It is one of the oldest and most contentious debates in the investment industry, but do we even know what we’re arguing about anymore? In this article, we’ll take a trip through time and attempt to clarify what active and passive used to mean, and what they have become.
If you have never worked with a financial advisor, then you may be wondering why start now. The truth is that having a guide, a coach, a confidant, a voice of reason... can make the process of setting financial goals, tracking your progress, and managing your investments less stressful and often more successful.
Year-end: a time for looking back, as well as looking forward. As it pertains to saving for retirement, year-end may be a good time to review one’s progress in saving for the future, while also considering strategies for saving more. For example, starting the new year with an increase in one’s 401(k) plan contributions is a simple yet effective strategy for building additional wealth, as is making a tax deductible contribution to a traditional IRA.
Diversifying with Alternative Investments
Introduced by Harry Markowitz in the 1950s, diversification is the concept of spreading your investment dollars into a variety of asset classes in an effort to increase return for a given level of risk. Beyond the concept of diversification by asset class or securities, however, Markowitz’s contributions to modern portfolio theory included the idea that risk and reward is not only a function of a portfolio’s individual holdings, but also how those holdings behave with respect to one another1, a concept known as “correlation.” A measure of the synchronicity of movement between components of a portfolio, correlation is scaled between – 1.0 and +1.0.
After years of saving for retirement, you’ll eventually be ready to start spending the money you’ve worked so hard to set aside. As you make the transition into retirement, you may worry about how much you can comfortably afford to spend without depleting your assets too quickly.
Markets got off to a rocky start this year, with a major selloff dominating the news in the first half of the quarter. While they have regained a good deal of ground, stocks remain skittish, with small companies and international developed markets continuing to trail U.S. large cap stocks. Emerging markets were the strongest performer this quarter although they have still not fully recovered from last year’s poor performance.
Most people think that Financial Advisors are about managing millions of dollars by choosing investments, and they are partly right. However, most people forget that advisors can only invest what you have and that a real problem in the middle class is a lack of planning and financial discipline.
If you want our attention, you have to push the envelope because everyone is fighting for it. How did the desire for information turn from the essential to the trivial? When did headlines begin to grab, formulate and declare relevance? Maybe reality TV is to blame.
If asked, most people would probably say they are rational individuals who make wise decisions. Indeed, logical thinking and prudent behavior are the norm for the majority of people in most instances.