risk

How to Protect Your Capital in a Dangerous Climate

“For those properly prepared, the bear market is not only a calamity but an opportunity,” said investing great Sir John Templeton. Are you ready or are you running?  News headlines are drenched with the same old same old: Coronavirus is spreading, business and travel interruptions are occurring, and global stock prices are sinking fast. Blah, …

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What Behavioral Biases are Messing You Up?

News flash: Your worst enemy isn’t inflation, deflation, a market crash, or whatever other scary financial scenarios you can think of. Rather, we ourselves, in many cases become our own worst enemies. And at any given time, our behavior simply amplifies whatever bad things might be happening around us. (Podcast) Simple Strategies to Protect Your …

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What to Do About Fading Stock Market Momentum

Wall Street has been so busy with one all-time high after another, many have already long-forgotten that it’s  been over one-year since the stock market corrected by 10% or more. But as the great poets say, “we don’t remember the days, we only remember the moments.” (Audio) Are ETFs turning people into day traders?  At this …

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Factors that Should Influence Your Investments

If you asked a thousand different people about the key factors that should drive their investment choices, you’re bound to get a thousand different answers. Some, for example, might be inclined to argue that U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) have increased for eight consecutive years and there’s no reason to make any portfolio changes because stock prices …

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Risk and Volatility: Know the Difference

On financial networks and in finance classrooms around the globe, stock market volatility is routinely mis-classified as “risk.”  Unfortunately, this erroneous view causes people to make investment mistakes. Elroy Dimson, a London Business School professor once wrote, that risk “means more things can happen than will happen.” It’s an eloquent way for describing risk, which …

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Retirement Plan

Is “Saving More Money” Always the Cure?

Wall Street’s remedy for fixing whatever problems that afflict your investment portfolio is simple: “Save more money.” And if you happen to be among the godforsaken group that always manages to have unsatisfactory investment results, regardless of whether the pesky stock market is up or down, Wall Street’s solution is invariably the same: You need to “save …

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(Podcast) The $700 Million Man Who Lost His Fortune

What’s hot and what’s not? The chart below shows that U.S stocks (NYSEARCA:SPY) are still outperforming other asset categories like bonds (NYSEARCA:BND), global real estate (NYSEARCA:RWO), and gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) this year.  Stock market fear is contained and the VIX – a popular barometer of sentiment –  has declined around 30% year-to-date. In terms of S&P 500 industry …

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Ocean Waves

Is Elevated Volatility on Modest Losses Normal?

Stock market volatility creeps up when most investors least expect it. But even more intriguing about the latest upward explosion in equity volatility is that it occurred on small percentage losses in major stock index benchmarks like the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) and Russell Small Cap 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM). (Audio) Portfolio Report Card: Diseccting a $1.2 Million …

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Beware of Skewed Performance Comparisons

Many people and fund companies still use inappropriate benchmarks for measuring investment performance. Instead of getting truthful results, investors are given a distorted perspective of performance which leads to mistaken conclusions. (Audio) Ron does a Portfolio Report Card on a $26.9 Million Investment Account The mutual fund industry’s (NasdaqGS:MORN) widespread use of peer group comparisons is …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $294,439 Retirement Plan with a Tax Threat

Some of us got started late at saving and investing for retirement. And while the financial services industry enjoys browbeating people who lack discipline, got distracted or got into trouble and temporarily paused saving money, I think empathy is due when empathy is warranted. This week’s Portfolio Report Card is for K.E., a 60-year old …

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Portfolio diversification

Portfolio Report Card: A Poorly Designed $863,309 Advisor Managed Account

How can a person tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy investment portfolio? Naturally, it’s by how well (or poorly) a portfolio does at addressing crucial areas like taxes, cost, diversification, risk, and performance. Here’s the problem: Poorly constructed portfolios are usually ignorant about these first four things, which explain why unsatisfactory performance results …

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Conservative Utility Stocks Lose Favor

Last week we told you how dwindling stock market volatility (NYSEARCA:VIXY) and the insatiable appetite for high risk debt (NYSEARCA:JNK) is characterizing the market’s latest episode of fearless risk taking. This time around, there’s another piece of evidence that confirms this scary trend. The chart below shows how S&P 500 utilities (NYSEARCA:XLU) are on the …

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Portfolio Chart 1

3 Ageless Lessons for Nasdaq 5000

Back to the future! The Nasdaq Composite Index (NasdaqGIDS:^IXIC) just crossed 5,000. Other stock market yardsticks like the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) and S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO) sit atop multi-year highs too. Everything that is old and worn out is suddenly new and exciting. (See skinny jeans and venture capital.) All of us are 15 …

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Love Affair with High Risk Debt Overtakes Bond Market

The most important single factor in shaping security markets is the public’s psychology. That was Gerald Loeb’s observation about how financial markets operate. And history has proven this assessment to be consistently true. What about now? Although the broader bond market (NYSEARCA:AGG) is generally considered to be a more conservative place to invest versus stocks, there’s been …

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Portfolio Report Card: One Doctor’s Sick $503,929 Retirement Plan

Some illnesses can go undetected for many years. Others are accompanied by obvious warning signs like coughing, sniffling, shortness of breath, and other red flags. Similarly, we can distinguish between a healthy investment portfolio versus a sick one by how each deals with important matters like taxes, investment cost, diversification, risk, and performance. My latest …

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Roller Coaster Ride 2

Portfolio Report Card: A Risk Heavy $696,000 Investment Plan

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of you. Put another way, it’s a personal statement about how you view risk, taxes, diversification, and investment cost. If you’re negligent in building an investment portfolio that fails to correctly address these key areas, your performance results are likely to suffer. My latest Portfolio Report …

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PRC Calculation

The Long-Term Investing Fallacy

The financial services industry likes to preach the benefits of compounding returns and long-term investing. Have they overstated or even misstated their cause? It’s common for industry types to illustrate unrealistic long-term time horizons of 100 or 200 years of equity returns (NYSEARCA:DIA) to prove that we should be long-term investors. The problem with this …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A $200,598 Retirement Plan Stuck in Neutral

Whenever we begin a journey, the excitement of getting started frequently overtakes us. We begin with unrealistic expectations and end disappointed. The investing experience of many people follows this unfortunate pattern. If you’re in this situation, there’s hope. Before I do a Portfolio Report Card for J.W. in Nashville, TN, here’s some background on him: …

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