Why Invest Forever? (Part 3)

Key Points

  • Since 1973 the S&P 500® Index has posted considerable gains—over this period the index has averaged over 10% per year in gains after reinvesting dividends, before taxes and fees.
  • However, investigating other 45-year periods (going as far back as 1871) leads to a more useful picture of the index’s performance across differing economic environments.
  • According to history, it’s better to invest in the index over longer periods in order to increase the likelihood of providing favorable returns and decrease the likelihood of losing money.

Continue reading “Why Invest Forever? (Part 3)”

Market Timing 101 (Part 1)

Key Points

  • The opportunity cost associated with the poor timing of initial investment allocations can be significant.
  • After missing out on a period of good performance some investors may be further compelled to employ additional timing measures that can further exacerbate underperformance.
  • Market timing, the tactical timing of when to be invested and when not to, although sensible at a high level, is far easier said than done.

Continue reading “Market Timing 101 (Part 1)”

Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 5)

Key Points

  • The fee differential between active and passive mutual funds may not appear to be significant at first sight.
  • However, over long periods, the impact of higher fees associated with active investing through mutual funds can be considerable, as compared to passive alternatives.
  • As such, over an investment lifetime of 45 years, excessive fees could wipe out a large percentage of your potential wealth.
  • Therefore, going with a passive approach has the potential to mitigate this particular concern.

Continue reading “Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 5)”

Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 1)

Key Points

  • According to theory, on a forward-looking basis, stocks are priced such that each stock should offer its investors with the same risk-adjusted return as any other stock, irrespective of past performance.
  • Based upon this line of reasoning, outperforming the market is exceedingly challenging.
  • Given this, passive investing aims to keep investment choices to a minimum with the goal of selecting an appropriate benchmark and aligning investments as closely as possible to said benchmark, with minimal fees and cost.
  • Alternatively, active investing involves making purposeful decisions regarding the selection and timing of investments, in an effort to nevertheless outperform the market.

Continue reading “Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 1)”

Why invest in one thing over another? (Part 4)

Key Points

  • The Efficient Market Hypothesis has plenty of criticisms that are not only important to understand, but also have strong validity, and therefore should not be dismissed.
  • Boom and bust cycles provide strong evidence of pervasive market irrationality; nevertheless, this is not the same as knowing when irrationally exists and knowing when it will go away.
  • It is not enough to be able to spot irrationality because, “the markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent”.
  • Rational and irrational investors may be unduly influenced by behavioral biases leading to the sustained, yet unpredictable mispricings of securities.

Continue reading “Why invest in one thing over another? (Part 4)”