Understanding Different Types of Risks

Harry Markowitz received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1990 for his contributions to the body of work known as “modern portfolio theory.” Probably his greatest contribution was to turn the focus away from analyzing the risk and expected return of individual investments to considering how its addition impacts the risk and expected return […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Market Insights

More Hazards of Individual Stocks

In a recent article that highlighted the perils of owning individual stocks, I offered the historical evidence demonstrating how only a small percentage of stocks have accounted for all the gains provided by the market—with the vast majority earning a big, fat zero in aggregate cumulative returns, even before considering the impact of inflation or taxes. […]

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Topics: Advice, Market Insights

Active Management Falls Short With Bonds, Too

In a July 2017 Q&A with WealthManagement.com, Western Asset Management CIO Ken Leech asserts that passive investing is unlikely to play as large a role in fixed income as it does now in equities because active managers outperform their benchmarks much more in the bond market than they do in the stock market. While the trend toward […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Market Insights

The Momentum Factor: Fundamental or Price?

Momentum is the tendency for assets that have performed well (poorly) in the recent past to continue to perform well (poorly) in the future, at least for a short period of time. The momentum effect is one of the most pervasive asset pricing anomalies documented in the financial literature: Stocks with the highest returns over […]

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Topics: Advice, Market Insights

Europe’s SPIVA Results Are Nothing New

Earlier this week, I provided some highlights of from the S&P Dow Jones Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) 2016 U.S. Scorecard. Today we’ll look at the SPIVA Europe Scorecard, which compares the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. The year-end 2016 Scorecard provides us with 10-year data. While not surprising to those familiar […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Market Insights

The Antidote To Stock Market Hysteria

Just for fun, Google the words “market pullback.” There are over 2.2 million results–most of them market predictions–and the first page of results is dominated by calls for an imminent market reversal that the simple desk calendar has already proven false. However, despite their worthlessness, market predictions remain as predictable as market opens and closes. […]

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Topics: Market Insights

Tax-Loss Harvesting in Inclement Markets

In some alternate universe, there may be markets where nobody ever experiences any loss and every investment just keeps growing. In our world, we know better. While markets are expected to climb over time, periodic downturns happen. When they do, they can leave you feeling left out in the cold. That’s why it pays to […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Market Insights

Beware the Recency Pitfall

“Recency” can be described as the tendency to overweight recent events or trends and ignore the long-term evidence. It’s one of the more common and costly behavioral mistakes that individual investors can make, often leading them to buy high and sell low. Clearly, this represents a major problem, as such behavior is exactly opposite of […]

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Topics: Advice, Investment Strategy, Investor Behavior, Market Insights

Why The Stock Market Is Volatile, Why Volatility Hurts, And What To Do About It

Unless you made a resolution not to read, listen to or watch the news in 2016, you’ve likely noticed that “the market” is off to a stumbling start. Indeed, one glance at the headlines, at least the ones that don’t involve the presidential election, quickly reveals that the market is having one of its worst […]

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Topics: Advice, Market Insights