It’s easy to feel anxious about investing these days. Those who claim they can foresee market moves are out in force, on screen after screen, citing factors such as trade wars or the inverted yield curve as signals that stocks will soon go down.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is your’re the pilot.” Michael Althsuler
Life insurance can be an extremely important, even essential, part of your financial plan. One of its most attractive aspects for many individuals and families is the death benefit of the policy—the money that the insurance company pays out in the event of the insured’s death.
IBM did research a few years ago proclaiming that 90% of the world’s data is being created every two years. That is an amazing statistic. More data has been created since October 2017 than all the prior years combined? More data will be created in the next two years than all prior years?
Each year, Dimensional analyzes returns from a large sample of US-based mutual funds. Our objective is to assess the performance of mutual fund managers relative to benchmarks. This year’s study updates results through 2018. The evidence shows that a majority of fund managers in the sample failed to deliver benchmark-beating returns after costs. We believe that the results of this research provide a strong case for relying on market prices when making investment decisions.
The theory is simple enough: The more risk you are willing to assume, the higher the expected potential return. The challenges, though, are selecting an asset allocation that will provide the returns you require to meet your long-term financial goals and sticking to the allocation through up and down markets.
The first decade of the 21st century, and the second one that’s drawing to a close, have reinforced for investors some timeless market lessons: Returns can vary sharply from one period to another. Holding a broadly diversified portfolio can help smooth out the swings.
How many of us have pushed the “Door Close” button on the elevator thinking it closed the door faster? Interestingly that button on most elevators is a placebo. It does not actually close the door faster. The sole purpose is to help impatient people have a better experience by giving them the illusion of control. Riders get to hit something to reduce stress without harming late arrivers. In addition, the doors will eventually close, so they get a feeling of accomplishment as well. Thus, our mental health is preserved without us knowing it was even influenced.
A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a “point” for the Dow and what it means to an individual’s portfolio may be unclear. The potential for misunderstanding also exists among even experienced market participants, given that index levels have risen over time and potential emotional anchors, such as a 500-point move, do not have the same impact on performance as they used to. With this in …
We typically keep these newsletters light on technical details, but given the abundant news on yield curves we thought diving into this would help quell fears. The yield curve graph below shows the relationship between bond yields and bond maturity. Typically, investors require higher interest rates for longer maturity bonds. Back when we all visited physical banks 😊, we walked by the posted Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates. You might remember the longer-term CDs had higher rates. This makes sense. Investors want higher rates if the bank is going to hold their money for longer period of time.