Risk Management 101 (Part 1)

Key Points

  • Sound investing comes down to focusing on what you can control, while still maintaining a solid understanding the risks associated with what you cannot.
  • Risk Management involves understanding and controlling for the uncertainties related to the financial markets (systematic risk) or a particular company (idiosyncratic risk).
  • Risk-adjusted return can be quantified by the ratio of expected return divided by risk.
  • Volatility is a common, although imperfect measure of risk.

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Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 6)

Key Points

  • Over long periods, a passive investing approach in index funds is more likely to lead to an outcome that falls in line with a given benchmark.
  • With an active investing approach, where mutual fund fees are higher, outcomes are far less certain.
  • As such, the long-term opportunity cost of an active approach can be significant, and perhaps even disastrous.

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The World’s Most Expensive Hobby (Part 1)

Key Points

  • Hobbies can provide lasting benefit by allowing individuals to refocus their efforts away from their careers towards alternative forms of enjoyment.
  • Nevertheless, active investing as a hobby might not be the best use of one’s free time.
  • Not only are the chances of adding value from this endeavour very slim, but also, the costs associated with investing unwisely can profoundly impact one’s long-term goals and aspirations.
  • As an example, most investors often overlook opportunity cost when making investment decisions even though this particular expense can be significant.

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Passive is the New Aggressive (Part 4)

Key Points

  • Higher fees tend to correlate with worse investment performance, as suggested by research from Vanguard based upon the historical analysis of active and passive large-cap mutual funds.
  • Research suggests that the lower the fees, the less likely that a fund will underperform its benchmark (which is good for the investor).
  • Sound investing comes down to being able to differentiate between what you can control and what you can’t, and then doing your best to focus on the former while still maintaining a solid understanding the risks associated with the latter.
  • Given that you can control how much you pay in fees, but not whether a fund will outperform, a passive approach has strong merit over an active one.

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Why invest in one thing over another? (Part 2)

Key Points

  • Whether you agree with it or not, having a sound understanding of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) is critical.
  • Making active investment decisions requires factoring in all relevant and available information that may influence future performance and risk. This is a daunting task.
  • Nevertheless, according the EMH, the market is able to do this seamlessly and instantly.
  • According to theory, the markets have a way of equalizing prices such that all investment opportunities provide similar risk-adjusted returns on a go-forward basis.

Continue reading “Why invest in one thing over another? (Part 2)”