stock market http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1549/all en-US Don't Be Fooled by an Investment's Rate of Return http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/investor_compares_quotes_from_newspaper_and_tablet.jpg" alt="Investor compares quotes from newspaper and tablet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you invest, you are looking for return. You want your money to grow over time, preferably at a rate that will allow you to achieve your financial goals.</p> <p>An investment's rate of return can be a deceptive thing, however. The amount of money that an investment has made in the past isn't a guarantee of future returns. Moreover, these returns by themselves don't tell you a whole lot about what you are investing in.</p> <p>Learning how to analyze an investment's returns &mdash; and understanding its limitations &mdash; will help you on the path to financial freedom. Just remember these key facts about an investment's return when examining it.</p> <h2>Short time frames don't tell you much</h2> <p>&quot;Hey, this mutual fund went up 29 percent last year! Woo hoo!&quot; That's great, but what did it do the year before? And the year before that? How has it performed over the last decade? Looking at the rate of return for a single year is not particularly useful, as any investment can have a hot 12 months. To get a sense of how an investment may perform in the future, it helps to have a long record of performance to examine. Fortunately, most brokerages and financial websites have comprehensive information on historical returns, so you're not simply looking at the performance of the last year.</p> <h2>It offers no information on the type of investment</h2> <p>It's great if an investment has a solid rate of return, but that should not be the only consideration when looking to buy shares. If you are buying a stock, you need to ask yourself key questions aside from just looking at performance. What industry does the company operate in? How big is the company? Does it operate internationally? If you're talking about a mutual fund, what is the investment mix? Answering these questions will help you understand whether you already own similar investments, and whether it makes sense to add them to your portfolio.</p> <h2>It's almost useless without context</h2> <p>Let's say you come across a mutual fund that earned a 9 percent return last year. You might think that is pretty good, right? Well, it doesn't look so good when you consider the S&amp;P 500 returned 11.96 percent. Information on returns is only meaningful when it is paired with information about the broader stock market, comparable investments, and specific indexes. A small cap ETF, for example, should be examined alongside the Russell 2000 index. A mutual fund focused on technology should be compared to prominent technology indexes. Fortunately, most brokerage firms and financial websites do provide this, so it's important to analyze market returns using that context.</p> <h2>It does not always factor in all costs</h2> <p>If you purchase a mutual fund or ETF, a certain portion of your investment is taken in expenses and fees. While mutual fund returns are usually reported net of expenses, not every cost is included in this calculation. Many funds have sales charges and commissions (also known as loads) that you pay when buying and selling. Your brokerage firm may also charge a commission to execute the trade. This can reduce your overall return. The good news is that there are many good no-load mutual funds out there, and many can be traded without a commission, depending on the broker.</p> <p>One more caveat regarding costs. Capital gains taxes will also reduce your balance when you sell. Be sure to factor in these costs when examining an investment's rate of return.</p> <h2>It does not offer detail on volatility</h2> <p>Let's say you have a stock that rose in value from $50 to $90 in five years. The annualized return on that stock is 16 percent. But that does not tell you whether the stock's performance has been consistent or wildly up and down.</p> <p>For example, during that five-year period, that stock may have risen 20 percent, then dropped 25 percent, then risen 44 percent, dropped 10 percent, and finally rose 53 percent. That's pretty volatile, and may be outside the comfort zone of many investors even though the overall return is good. To get a better picture of the investment's performance, you need to look at the returns from each individual year, but even that offers no insight into price swings within any given year.</p> <h2>It can't answer the question &quot;Why?&quot;</h2> <p>An investment's rate of return may be the crucial piece of information you need to know before investing, but there's a lot that it doesn't tell you. Perhaps most importantly, it does not offer any insight into <em>why </em>an investment's price moved up or doing during a certain period.</p> <p>Investment values go up and down for a variety of reasons, not all of them related to company performance. Perhaps a retailer saw its shares fall sharply during one quarter due to a series of natural disasters. Perhaps another company saw shares rise dramatically because of hype over its Super Bowl commercial. Returns on investment are crucial to know, but if you are an investor, it's important to do your own homework to understand why a price went up or down. Doing so will help you better understand how an investment may perform in the future.</p> <h2>It gives you no information on fundamentals</h2> <p>An investment's historical rate of return can give you insight into how it might perform in the future. But the company's actual financial performance may be even more important. It's not enough to just examine an investment's return. You should also look at company balance sheets, analyze earnings reports, and look at things like cash flow, debt, and price-to-earnings ratio. This will help you understand whether an investment's price is justified. Examples abound of companies that saw share prices skyrocket based on speculation although earnings weren't there to support it.</p> <h2>It tells you nothing about taxes</h2> <p>Let's say you invested $1,000 in a company stock and it earned an annual return of 9 percent a year over five years. That means you'll end up with $1,450 when you sell, right? Well, not exactly. Remember that unless you are investing in a tax-advantaged account such as a Roth IRA, the government takes its share when you sell. Assuming that you'll be taxed at the long-term capital gains rate of 15 percent, suddenly, that 9 percent annual return became something closer to 7 percent. Keep this in mind when trying to calculate how much money you'll actually walk away with.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investing-tips-you-wish-you-could-tell-your-younger-self">11 Investing Tips You Wish You Could Tell Your Younger Self</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-foolproof-ways-to-protect-your-money-from-inflation">4 Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Money From Inflation</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment balance sheet bonds fees mutual funds rate of return returns roi s&p 500 stock market stocks volatility Fri, 08 Dec 2017 10:00:07 +0000 Tim Lemke 2068609 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman_cowering_on_blue_blackboard_background.jpg" alt="Businessman cowering on blue blackboard background" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're nervous about investing in the stock market, you're not alone. Stock ownership in the U.S. is down, and a recent poll indicates that frightening memories of the last bear market may be to blame.</p> <p>According to a Gallup survey, just 54 percent of U.S. adults own stocks, including those owned through mutual funds that people invest in via their 401(k) or other retirement accounts. That's down from 62 percent who owned stocks before the last bear market. During that devastating downturn, which began at the end of 2007 and ran through early 2009, the market fell by more than 50 percent. In part, Gallup blames the decline in stock ownership on that painful, fearful time.</p> <p>&quot;It appears the financial crisis and recession may have fundamentally changed some Americans' views of stocks as an investment,&quot; the company stated on its website. &quot;The collapse in stock values in 2008 and 2009 seems to have left a greater impression on these people than the ongoing bull market that has followed it, as well as research showing the strong historical performance of stocks as a long-term investment.&quot;</p> <p>If that sounds like you, here are some suggestions for overcoming your concerns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Over These 5 Scary Things About Investing</a>)</p> <h2>1. Develop a healthy fear of not investing</h2> <p>If it's safety you're after, there are few safer places to put your money than a bank. Because deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, you could put up to $250,000 in a bank account and rest easy knowing that if the bank went out of business, the federal government would make sure you got your money back.</p> <p>While a bank account can be a good place to keep some savings for emergencies, right now many banks are paying just .01 percent interest, making them a horrible place to pursue long-term goals like retirement.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're 30 years old and deposit $10,000 at .01 percent interest. In 40 years, your $10,000 will have turned into &mdash; wait for it &mdash; $10,040. That's right. After 40 years, you will have made just $40 on your 10 grand. And once you factor inflation into the mix, the buying power of your $10,000 will have taken a big step backward.</p> <p>Let's say you earn 7 percent interest instead. In 40 years, your $10,000 will have turned into $150,000. And 7 percent is a very conservative assumption since the stock market's long-term average annual return has been 10 percent.</p> <p>So, instead of being fearful about investing, it is more logical to be fearful about not investing.</p> <h2>2. Learn a little market history</h2> <p>Many of the mistakes investors make are due to their emotions. If the market falls, some people get scared and pull money out of the market, usually to their detriment. A little knowledge of market history can help you stay the course.</p> <p>The longer you keep money in the market, the more likely you are to make money. When Morningstar analyzed the stock market's performance during each one-, five- and 15-year period from 1926 to 2016, it found that 74 percent of the one-year periods showed positive returns, 86 percent of the five-year periods generated gains, and 100 percent of the 15-year periods were up. In other words, based on 90 years of history, if you stay in the market for at least 15 years, it's a virtual certainty that you will make money.</p> <p>Putting time on your side is also the key to surviving a significant market downturn. According to Morningstar, someone with $100,000 invested in the stock market at the beginning of 2007 would have lost nearly half that amount by early 2009. Brutal, right? However, if they had stayed invested, by January 2017 their portfolio would have been worth nearly twice its value on January 2007. Despite that horrible downturn, their average annual return over those 10 years would have been nearly 7 percent. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a>)</p> <h2>3. Start small</h2> <p>If you have a chunk of money to invest but just can't work up the courage to hit &quot;buy,&quot; consider investing a little at a time through dollar-cost averaging. The idea is very simple. Just take the total amount (let's say $12,000), divide by the number of months you plan to invest (let's use 12), and invest that amount at the same time every month ($1,000 per month).</p> <p>If the market has a good month, your money will buy fewer shares. If the market has a bad month, your money will buy more. You never have to worry about getting the timing just right. By spreading your investments over a year a more, you minimize the risk of losing a lot of money through an immediate downturn. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is Dollar Cost Averaging the Right Strategy for You?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Keep it simple</h2> <p>Investment terminology can be confusing. Diversification. Asset allocation. What does it all mean? You can put these helpful concepts to work without qualifying for a job on Wall Street by investing in a super simple target-date fund.</p> <p>Because they are mutual funds, target-date funds are inherently diversified &mdash; that is, the money you invest is spread out among multiple stocks, bonds, or other investments. And they take care of asset allocation decisions for you. That means they are designed with an appropriate mix of stocks and bonds for someone your age. They even automatically adjust that mix as you get older, tilting their stock/bond allocation more toward bonds to make your portfolio appropriately more conservative as you near your intended retirement date.</p> <p>It's understandable that the last bear market may have dampened your enthusiasm for the stock market. However, the market continues to offer most people their best opportunity for building wealth. The steps described above should help you wade back into the investment waters without fear.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Simple%2520Ways%2520to%2520Conquer%2520Your%2520Fear%2520of%2520Investing.jpg&amp;description=4%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Conquer%20Your%20Fear%20of%20Investing"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Simple%20Ways%20to%20Conquer%20Your%20Fear%20of%20Investing.jpg" alt="4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment allocation bonds dollar cost averaging fears losing money not investing risk stock market stocks target date funds Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:30:11 +0000 Matt Bell 2066563 at http://www.wisebread.com Does Skill Really Matter in Stock Market Investing? http://www.wisebread.com/does-skill-really-matter-in-stock-market-investing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/does-skill-really-matter-in-stock-market-investing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_with_a_rocket_on_his_back.jpg" alt="Man with a rocket on his back" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My young son once expressed concern when I told him I had money invested in the stock market. Perhaps he had seen stories about <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/rickferri/2012/12/20/any-monkey-can-beat-the-market/#40f9d684630a" target="_blank">blindfolded monkeys throwing darts</a> picking better stock portfolios than &quot;expert&quot; traders.</p> <p>&quot;Buying stocks is just like gambling,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&quot;No, it isn't,&quot; I explained.</p> <p>I am not sure my son was convinced by my explanation, and I began to doubt it myself. What made me so confident that my process of choosing stock market investments was better than random chance?</p> <h2>How lucky stock picks can beat the market</h2> <p>People tend to overrate their investment skills as their portfolio grows. Over the years, the stock market tends to go up and the value of anyone's portfolio &mdash; even a portfolio picked by a monkey &mdash; would likely go up. But the measure of a successful investor isn't merely getting a positive return on investment. Real success is beating the market by getting a return that is better than the market average. This is where the skill comes in &hellip; or does it?</p> <p>Let's consider randomly selected stock portfolios drawn from the broader stock market. Most such randomly selected portfolios will perform near the overall rate of return for the market. Some of the stocks may perform better than average and some worse, but the ups and downs across the portfolio tends to work out to about average. But by pure luck, some portfolios will end up with more winners than losers and beat the market average. Sometimes these randomly selected portfolios do a <em>lot</em> better than the market average.</p> <p>For some specific examples, let's simulate <a href="http://www.moneychimp.com/articles/randomness/skill_luck.htm" target="_blank">portfolios randomly drawn from a market</a> with 10.5 percent return and a standard deviation of 20 percent after 20 years. Under these conditions, the average return portfolio value based on the broader market is $7,366. Here were my &quot;returns&quot; from eight randomly selected portfolios after 20 years:</p> <ol> <li> <p>$4,330</p> </li> <li> <p>$34,603</p> </li> <li> <p>$19,572</p> </li> <li> <p>$9,971</p> </li> <li> <p>$10,925</p> </li> <li> <p>$1,482</p> </li> <li> <p>$8,482</p> </li> <li> <p>$3,460</p> </li> </ol> <p>You can see that five of our eight randomly selected portfolio beat the expected value of $7,366 from average market returns over 20 years. One portfolio (#2) beat the market significantly, achieving an annualized return of 19.4 percent and growing 4.5 times that of an average portfolio. This portfolio was selected by pure chance, but the performance looks like something that would take a financial genius to achieve. If you were lucky enough to put this portfolio together, people would probably be lining up to ask for your investment secrets to learn how you beat the market. And since you were so successful, you might believe you had actually figured it out!</p> <p>Our simulation results show that by pure luck, an investor could end up with a portfolio that greatly beats the market. A dart-throwing monkey could pick a great set of stock picks by chance. Random picks can result in underperforming portfolios too, but people tend to notice the big winners.</p> <p>We have seen how you can end up with a high performing stock portfolio by pure chance. Does this mean that successful investors are just lucky?</p> <h2>The argument for investing skill</h2> <p>As we have seen, it is possible to get lucky and beat the market. But some investors seem to beat the market <em>consistently</em>. It's one thing to get lucky once in awhile, but is someone like Warren Buffett just really lucky, or is there more to it than that?</p> <p>From reports over the years, we can see that Berkshire Hathaway beat the market 39 out of 49 years, earning more than the market average rate of return. A 2015 <a href="https://www.significancemagazine.com/business/119-warren-buffett-oracle-or-orang-utan" target="_blank">paper by James Skeffington</a> uses some simplifying assumptions to analyze the probability that such a run of success would occur by chance. In a simulation with randomly drawn portfolios of 500 companies to represent the S&amp;P 500, Warren Buffett turns out to be luckier than the luckiest of the simulated portfolios by a factor of about 100x.</p> <p>While this analysis does not conclusively prove that Warren Buffett has exceptional skill as an investor, it does indicate that luck alone is not likely to be the secret of Mr. Buffett's success as an investor.</p> <h2>Should you throw darts to pick stocks?</h2> <p>The conclusion that skill &mdash; not just blind luck &mdash; likely played a big role in Warren Buffett's investment success means you could potentially study up and make informed investments or find a fund manager that can consistently beat the market through skill. If you want a piece of Warren Buffett's action, you could buy Berkshire Hathaway at a premium or a similar fund at a discount. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off</a>)</p> <p>But in general, past performance does not predict future performance. If you see a fund that is advertising good recent performance, it does not mean the fund will stay hot. It is impossible to know if a fund manager is good or lucky, and investment strategies that work now may not keep working forever.</p> <p>You could follow Warren Buffett's advice and go with index funds with low expense ratios that take away some of the risks, expenses, and inefficiencies of actively managed funds. As Warren Buffett's famous $500,000 bet showed, a low expense index fund can beat an actively managed fund. This investment strategy allows you to be successful without luck or skill. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-warren-buffett-says-you-should-invest-in-index-funds?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Warren Buffett Says You Should Invest in Index Funds</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fdoes-skill-really-matter-in-stock-market-investing&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FDoes%2520Skill%2520Really%2520Matter%2520in%2520Stock%2520Market%2520Investing_.jpg&amp;description=Does%20Skill%20Really%20Matter%20in%20Stock%20Market%20Investing%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Does%20Skill%20Really%20Matter%20in%20Stock%20Market%20Investing_.jpg" alt="Does Skill Really Matter in Stock Market Investing?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-skill-really-matter-in-stock-market-investing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-boring-investments-that-are-surprisingly-profitable">10 Boring Investments That Are Surprisingly Profitable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-performing-mutual-funds-of-the-2000s">The 9 Best Performing Mutual Funds of the 2000s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment luck market performance returns skill stock market stock picks Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:00:07 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2066564 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Signs You're a "Helicopter Investor" (And How to Stop) http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-a-helicopter-investor-and-how-to-stop <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-signs-youre-a-helicopter-investor-and-how-to-stop" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_with_newspaper.jpg" alt="Man with newspaper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We're all familiar with the term &quot;helicopter parent&quot; in reference to the mom or dad that hovers over every aspect of their child's life. Do you have a similar approach to investing? Do you obsess over every detail of your portfolio? Are you constantly checking in, even when it's clear your stocks are handling things pretty well on their own?</p> <p>If so, you may be a &quot;helicopter investor,&quot; and it may be costing you money as well as your peace of mind. Watch out for these warning signs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-investment-mistakes-we-all-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">11 Investment Mistakes We All Make</a>)</p> <h2>1. You check your portfolio every day</h2> <p>How often do you log in to see your investment account? Are you checking in every day, or even multiple times a day? Monitoring your investments is important, but there's no real need to check in on them that frequently. Most people can get away with looking at things once a week, and could probably go months without a check-in as long as they are paying attention to broader market movements.</p> <p>Checking your investments frequently might tempt you to fiddle with them. You might sell or buy stocks based on emotion. You'll get angry when investments go down slightly, and irrationally happy when they go up.</p> <p>Consider setting a personal policy of checking your investments once a week (or even less) at a certain time, and have a plan for what you want to accomplish when you do. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a>)</p> <h2>2. You watch a lot of financial news programs</h2> <p>Any smart investor should follow the news and be aware of market trends, but tuning in constantly to CNBC or another financial channel is completely unnecessary. If you want to tune in once to see where the market closes, fine. But you never want to find yourself watching for hours a day, reacting to every stock tip and piece of advice from a talking head.</p> <p>Proper retirement investing requires time and patience. Watching too much financial news can lead you to think that every business event is more significant than it actually is. Unless you are a day trader or professionally manage a fund, you can do without the information overload. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <h2>3. You subscribe to too many financial publications</h2> <p>There are many great financial publications out there that can help you hone your investing prowess, but many of them also have similar content. Subscribing to one or two publications is useful, but subscribing to a half dozen or more or is overkill. This is especially true today, when there is a lot of solid advice available online for free.</p> <p>Consider subscribing to one or two well-respected financial news sources to stay on top of the latest trends and market performance. Chances are, you'll make out just fine.</p> <h2>4. You have alerts on your phone</h2> <p>Smartphone apps have certainly made it easier to track and trade investments. I draw the line, however, in setting up alerts to tell you about the activity of specific investments. The average investor does not need to know, for example, that Amazon's stock just hit $180 per share, or that the market fell 1 percent on the day.</p> <p>Ideally, your investments are working behind the scenes to make you money while you live your life. Turn off any notifications that would encourage you to check your investments more often than necessary. In fact, consider getting rid of the smartphone investing apps altogether.</p> <h2>5. You panic when investments decline</h2> <p>Guess what? Sometimes your investments lose money. They are not guaranteed to go up day after day. If this bothers you, and you find yourself buying and selling stocks while in the midst of emotional meltdowns, you may be a helicopter investor.</p> <p>No one wants to see stocks decline, but if you are invested in the long term, you should be able to overcome a blip in the market. And any money you need within a few years shouldn't be tied up in the markets anyway.</p> <p>If you're getting emotional every time you see stocks go down, do yourself a favor and back away from your computer screen. Breathe. Go do something else. Your portfolio will be fine, and you won't have to deal with the shame of making a bad situation worse by reacting in the moment.</p> <h2>6. You obsess over rebalancing</h2> <p>It's always a good idea to check your portfolio to make sure it's not out of whack. You don't want to wake up one morning and find that you're 85 percent invested in volatile tech stocks, for example. A properly balanced portfolio will be well-diversified and will match your risk tolerance.</p> <p>However, most portfolios don't need to be rebalanced all that often. Remember that every time you rebalance, you are likely to incur transaction fees for every trade, and there may be tax implications as well. There's a cost to rebalancing too frequently. Once a year or once every six months for a rebalancing check-in should usually do the trick.</p> <h2>7. You're constantly going after the hottest thing</h2> <p>So you heard some buzz about Bitcoin, and now you want in. You saw Facebook's shares rise 5 percent in a week, so you jump. You're paying such close attention to your investments and the market that you're going after short-term hits rather than maintaining a long-term, disciplined approach.</p> <p>Going after the hot thing often results in you buying high and selling low, which is the opposite of the ideal investing approach. It's fine to be generally aware of what's hot in the markets, but don't be like the cat going after the shiny toy.</p> <h2>8. Transaction fees and taxes are cutting into your gains</h2> <p>Buying and selling stocks has gotten cheaper in recent years, but most discount brokerages will still charge you at least $4.95 for every trade. So if you are constantly checking your portfolio and constantly buying and selling, this can add up. Consider that if you buy 10 shares of a stock at $50 a share, you've automatically given away 1 percent of your investment. If you are buying and selling smaller lots, that's an even higher percentage.</p> <p>Additionally, selling stocks can come with tax implications if you are trading in a taxable brokerage account. If you sell a stock soon after buying it, you may pay a short-term capital gains rate, which can be as high as 39.6 percent.</p> <p>Buying and selling stocks can be enjoyable, but if you do it too frequently, there's a cost involved. Hovering over your portfolio and constantly looking to trade can actually make a dent in your earnings over time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sneaky-investment-fees-to-watch-for?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Sneaky Investment Fees to Watch For</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-signs-youre-a-helicopter-investor-and-how-to-stop&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Signs%2520You%2527re%2520a%2520_Helicopter%2520Investor_%2520%2528And%2520How%2520to%2520Stop%2529.jpg&amp;description=8%20Signs%20You're%20a%20%22Helicopter%20Investor%22%20(And%20How%20to%20Stop)"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Signs%20You%27re%20a%20_Helicopter%20Investor_%20%28And%20How%20to%20Stop%29.jpg" alt="8 Signs You're a &quot;Helicopter Investor&quot; (And How to Stop)" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-a-helicopter-investor-and-how-to-stop">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-confidence-can-hurt-your-investments">8 Surprising Ways Confidence Can Hurt Your Investments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-investing-in-company-stock">7 Things You Need to Know About Investing in Company Stock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment emotional investing financial news helicopter investing hovering obsessing rebalancing stock market taxes trading Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2063287 at http://www.wisebread.com How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_team_thinking_about_risk_management.jpg" alt="Business team thinking about risk management" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The stock market can be risky. Just 10 years ago, due to the financial panic and subsequent Great Recession, stocks lost half their value in the course of not much more than a year. But the stock market is also a great investment: Long term gains are large, and even the biggest losses are routinely reversed in a matter of a few years.</p> <p>The upshot is that you should almost certainly have at least some money in the market.</p> <p>But since it's always either rising or falling, and since nobody wants to be foolish, it's often hard to get into, or back into, the market. And yet, because of the large gains the market routinely offers over the long term, it's absolutely worth doing &mdash; even for those terrified of risk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Over These 5 Scary Things About Investing</a>)</p> <h2>Figuring out how much to invest</h2> <p>The best way to think about your portfolio when you're risk-averse is by recognizing that a significant amount of your money is <em>not</em> part of it and should not be invested at all. If you cover your other important financial bases first, you may feel better about investing.</p> <p>First, make sure you have adequate liquidity balances &mdash; that's cash on hand to deal with the fact that your income arrives on one schedule (biweekly paychecks, perhaps) while your bills arrive on a different schedule (some monthly, others perhaps annually or semi-annually).</p> <p>Second, make sure you have an adequate emergency fund to deal with events like an unexpected loss of income, or expenses that come out of the blue. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</a>)</p> <p>Third, make sure you have a plan to fund medium-term expenses (a savings account or CD or maybe an intermediate-term bond fund). These are things you know you're going to buy in the next few years.</p> <p>Once you've got those bases covered, the rest of your money is your investment portfolio.</p> <p>By identifying how much of your money is <em>not</em> part of your investment portfolio, you may find yourself much more comfortable thinking about committing some fraction of the rest of your money to the stock market.</p> <p>However, maybe you've done that and you're <em>still</em> not comfortable. That brings us back to where we started. In particular, it raises the question: If you know the market is the right place for a sizable chunk of your portfolio for the long term, why are you hesitating to commit funds now?</p> <h2>Ask yourself why you're afraid</h2> <p>There are probably two big reasons why people hesitate to get into the stock market: Either because the market seems &quot;too risky,&quot; or because they're &quot;waiting for the right time.&quot;</p> <p>The way to get yourself to make the move into the stock market depends on which reason is blocking you right now.</p> <h3>Too risky</h3> <p>If it's just that the market seems too risky, you can often get started investing by going small. If you can't bring yourself to put 70 percent of your portfolio into stocks (which is actually a reasonable allocation if you're fairly young), can you bring yourself to put 5 or 10 percent in?</p> <p>When I was first starting to invest, most mutual funds had minimum investments that were pretty large (compared to the size of my portfolio), but there are now ways to invest amounts as small as just a few hundred dollars into stocks.</p> <p>If the market seems very risky, pick a very small amount of money &mdash; small enough that you could absorb even a 50 percent loss without endangering your long-term goals &mdash; and take the plunge. Put that small amount into the market. Better yet, set up some sort of automatic investment (a payroll deduction into a 401(k) or an automatic transfer to a mutual fund or brokerage account) that would send a small amount away every month or every paycheck.</p> <p>If you can find an amount small enough that you're willing to risk it &mdash; and especially if you can set up some sort of automated further investments &mdash; you set yourself up to get past your risk aversion the easy way: By seeing gains start piling up right away. And if they don't &mdash; if your investments start off by losing money &mdash; you'll still be OK, for two reasons. First, you'll know that your losses are so small that they scarcely matter over the long term. Second, you'll know that your future investments are buying stocks at a lower price (and buying low is an essential part of &quot;buy low/sell high&quot;). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-invest-if-youre-worried-about-a-stock-market-crash?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Invest If You're Worried About a Stock Market Crash</a>)</p> <h3>Waiting for the right time</h3> <p>If the issue is that you accept that the market is the right place to be for the long term, but <em>right now</em> is the wrong time to get in (perhaps because the market seems kind of high, perhaps because it has recently dropped and you worry it might drop further, perhaps because you see major risks to the economy from business conditions or the international situation or Congress), I have two thoughts.</p> <p>First, understand that it hardly matters. I saw a study some years back that compared two hypothetical brothers. Each had invested $2,000 a year in stocks in his IRA, but each year one brother had the good luck to make his investment on the day the stock market hit its low for that year. The other brother had the bad luck to make his investment on the day that the market hit its high for the year.</p> <p>The result? After 10 years, it barely mattered. The lucky brother had a tiny bit more money, but both of them had a lot more money than the guy who kept his money in cash waiting for a &quot;better time&quot; to invest that never came.</p> <p>Second, approach it just as I advised the person who thought the market was too risky: Start small.</p> <p>Maybe now isn't the right time to jump in with 70 percent of your portfolio, but surely having 0 percent of your portfolio in the market is the wrong choice.</p> <p>Go ahead and put a little money in. It doesn't have to be a lot. (And, once again, even better if you set up some sort of automated investment so you're continuing to put money into the market regularly over time.)</p> <h2>Finding the right balance</h2> <p>Suppose you do start small, but through a combination of further investments and growth in the market, find yourself a few years down the road with a sizable portfolio and with a large portion of it invested in stocks. When do you have too much in stocks?</p> <p>One answer is that you have too much if it's worrying you. If you're having trouble sleeping at night, or if hearing the market report on the news ruins your appetite, then by all means sell some stocks and put the money into a CD or something. If you're still anxious a month later, sell some more. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/find-the-investing-style-thats-right-for-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Find the Investing Style That's Right for You</a>)</p> <p>I would advise that you <em>not </em>use this as an excuse to time the market. The market will always be going up or down and neither circumstance is a good reason to change your mind about having stocks in your portfolio.</p> <p>Instead, you should probably have a target asset allocation. Figure out what you want in stocks (and bonds, real estate, gold, cash, etc.) and buy and sell as necessary to return to that target allocation from time to time &mdash; usually annually is good. This is a process called rebalancing your portfolio. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a>)</p> <p>An old rule of thumb is to set your stock allocation percentage at 100 minus your age, and invest the rest in bonds. So someone in their 20s would put 70 to 80 percent into stocks while someone in their 60s would put 30 to 40 percent into stocks. That's a perfectly good rule, although with people living so much longer now than even a generation ago, it should probably be a bit more aggressive for people in the years just before and just after retirement. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <p>Your asset allocation is important, but don't let that paralyze you. The worst thing you can do is agonize over your asset allocation to the point that you never get around to investing.</p> <p>Put a little money in stocks right away. Set up some sort of automatic investment. Once you have a tidy sum invested in stocks, start putting some of the new money in bonds. Only after those investments start getting large do you need to think about whether it's time to add some more exotic choices.</p> <p>Start small. Start simple. But above everything else: Start.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520the%2520Risk%2520Averse%2520Can%2520Get%2520Into%2520the%2520Stock%2520Market.jpg&amp;description=How%20the%20Risk%20Averse%20Can%20Get%20Into%20the%20Stock%20Market"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20the%20Risk%20Averse%20Can%20Get%20Into%20the%20Stock%20Market.jpg" alt="How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-one-mediocre-investor-prospered-after-the-market-crash">How One Mediocre Investor Prospered After the Market Crash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment asset allocation bonds gains investing fear portfolio rebalancing risk averse stock market stocks Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Philip Brewer 2045391 at http://www.wisebread.com The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/financial_chart_on_chalkboard.jpg" alt="Financial chart on chalkboard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>To a great degree, the biggest threat to your success as an investor is <em>you</em>. Making investment decisions based on fear, greed, a hot tip from your brother-in-law, the headline of the day, or any of many other flawed inputs can wreak havoc on your results. What's needed instead is a trustworthy investment <em>process. </em></p> <p>It should be rules-based, time-tested, easy to understand and execute, and it should be one you have enough confidence in to stick with in good markets and bad.</p> <p>Here are three broad types of investment processes to consider making your own.</p> <h2>1. DIY</h2> <p>You can absolutely invest on your own. The recommended process involves following traditional rules of asset allocation, using an online calculator or questionnaire to determine your optimal stock/bond mix, choosing investments accordingly (index funds that represent each desired asset class are the easiest way to go), and rebalancing annually. Or, you could choose an appropriate target-date fund, which would simplify the asset allocation process.</p> <p>DIY is the least expensive investment process, but also the one that leaves you most vulnerable to emotion-driven portfolio tinkering. After all, the process I just described, whether you choose your own index funds or use a target-date fund, is essentially a buy-and-hold strategy. That means you need to have a strong enough stomach to handle the losses that will come with a bear market, trusting that the process will deliver respectable gains over the long haul. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a>)</p> <h2>2. DIY with help</h2> <p>You could subscribe to an investment newsletter that takes a rules-based approach to implementing an investment style you agree with (value, momentum, etc.). This process is DIY in that you maintain your own account at the broker of your choice and you make the trades, but it's &quot;with help&quot; in that the newsletter tells you exactly what to buy or sell.</p> <p>This is more expensive than a pure DIY approach because you have to pay for a subscription to the newsletter (from as little as $100 to more than $1,000 per year). Newsletters typically aim to beat the market through a more active process, providing buy and sell recommendations based on objective, rules-based criteria designed to identify undervalued, high-momentum, or otherwise attractive investments. They can also better protect you from being swayed by emotion because a trusted outside authority is guiding your decisions.</p> <h2>3. Work with an adviser</h2> <p>Here the key is understanding the <em>adviser's </em>process. First, does he or she work as a fiduciary? That means the adviser has formally agreed to only recommend investments that are in <em>your </em>best interest and to disclose all fees and commissions. Next, how does he or she make investment decisions? Again, you're looking for objective rules you understand and agree with and the adviser's discipline to follow the rules.</p> <p>Working with an adviser is usually the most expensive process you could employ (typically, you'll pay 1 percent of the value of the portfolio they manage for you). However, it <em>may</em> also provide the best protection from yourself. For one thing, a good adviser acts as a therapist during times of market stress, talking clients out of emotional buy or sell decisions. For another, the adviser typically has direct control over your portfolio; you don't. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ask-these-5-questions-before-deciding-on-a-financial-advisor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding On a Financial Adviser</a>)</p> <p>Each of these processes could guide you through any market. But you have a role to play as well. Here are two ways you can tip the scales further in your favor:</p> <h3>Manage your expectations</h3> <p>The market ebbs and flows and so will the performance generated by even the best investment process. Your willingness to accept some down months, and even some down years, will go a long way toward helping you stick with your chosen process.</p> <p>Having some sense of what to expect will help. If you're taking a DIY approach, you can see how various allocations have performed over the years (see Vanguard's <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/us/insights/saving-investing/model-portfolio-allocations" target="_blank">portfolio allocation models</a>). By the same token, you should understand how a newsletter's strategy, or an adviser's, has performed during past bull and bear markets.</p> <p>While past performance won't tell you exactly how each process will perform in the future, it can help manage your expectations. That may not make riding out a downturn <em>easy</em>, but it should make it <em>easier</em>.</p> <h3>Tune out the noise</h3> <p>Adopting a trustworthy investment process will not silence the headline writers, investment analysts, or your coworkers who like to brag about their latest investment conquest. However, it should help you turn down their volume and keep you focused on following your chosen process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Secret%2520to%2520Successful%2520Investing%2520Is%2520Trusting%2520the%2520Process.jpg&amp;description=The%20Secret%20to%20Successful%20Investing%20Is%20Trusting%20the%20Process"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Secret%20to%20Successful%20Investing%20Is%20Trusting%20the%20Process.jpg" alt="The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essentials-for-building-a-profitable-portfolio">5 Essentials for Building a Profitable Portfolio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-costly-mistakes-diy-investors-make">9 Costly Mistakes DIY Investors Make</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment decisions diy investor expectations financial advisers gains portfolio stock market strategy Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Matt Bell 2038342 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Portfolio "Blind Spots" That Are Ruining Your Investments http://www.wisebread.com/4-portfolio-blind-spots-that-are-ruining-your-investments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-portfolio-blind-spots-that-are-ruining-your-investments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/confused_executive_man_looking_at_documents.jpg" alt="Confused executive man looking at documents" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ignorance definitely isn't bliss when it comes to your investments, and yet we all seem to be hard-wired with blind spots, or as psychologists call them, <em>behavioral biases</em>. Here are some of the more common ways we tend to make irrational and unprofitable investment decisions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This One Mental Bias Is Harming Your Investments</a>)</p> <h2>1. Assigning too much value to the most recent news</h2> <p>Try to remember what you had for dinner on each of the past seven nights. Assuming there was nothing unusual about any of the meals, which one do you think you'll remember most easily? Last night's dinner, right?</p> <p>That makes sense. It's only natural that we would remember most clearly what happened in the most recent past.</p> <p>But here's the problem when it comes to investing: It isn't just that we most easily remember what happened in the recent past; we tend to assign greater significance to the most recent events as well, viewing them as indicators of what's likely to happen in the future. That's called <em>recency bias</em>.</p> <p>For example, let's say you're thinking about buying a particular stock. Before placing a buy order, you check its performance today and are pleased to see that it's up. Without consciously thinking about it, your built-in recency bias sees this as added confirmation that the stock is worth buying. It might be a good stock to buy, and it might not. One day's performance means very little.</p> <p>What to do? Make sure you're basing your investment decisions on something more than just the most recent news. What are analysts saying about the company's long-term prospects? Where will the company's future growth come from? How much competition does it have?</p> <h2>2. Reacting too strongly to bad news</h2> <p>Recency bias can be magnified if the recent news is bad. That's because of <em>loss aversion</em> &mdash; the tendency to feel the pain of loss on a much greater magnitude than the pleasure of an equal gain. According to some studies, losses can feel twice as bad as the good feelings that accompany comparable gains.</p> <p>This can lead to many forms of bad investor behavior. During a steep market decline, some investors can't stomach the pain and decide to sell. But that often makes matters worse because selling locks in their loss. When the market eventually cycles back up, fear keeps them on the sidelines and they miss the rebound.</p> <p>How to combat loss aversion? Don't monitor your portfolio so closely. People who check their holdings frequently have been found to trade more (because of fear-based selling) and generate lower returns than those who monitor their portfolios less often. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-loss-aversion-is-costing-you-more-than-your-fomo?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Your Loss Aversion Is Costing You More Than Your FOMO</a>)</p> <h2>3. Seeing only what you want to see</h2> <p>As the old saying goes, if you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. By the same token, if you have a hunch about a stock, and especially if you've become emotionally attached to the idea of owning it, you may tend to notice only news that supports your point of view.</p> <p>When <em>confirmation bias</em> gets its claws in you, it becomes very difficult to see things differently. You will ignore contradictory information, selectively remember conversations or articles about the investment you are considering, and even read ambiguous commentary as favoring your point of view.</p> <p>Confirmation bias goes a long way toward explaining the existence of &quot;perma-bears&quot; and &quot;perma-bulls&quot; &mdash; market analysts who <em>always </em>see a bear or bull market on the horizon and can point to evidence supporting their opinions.</p> <p>To avoid confirmation bias, proactively seek opposing points of view. Feeling strongly attached to the idea of investing in XYZ Corp? Look for reasons <em>not </em>to invest in it.</p> <h2>4. Using the wrong benchmarks</h2> <p>When you walk into a car dealer's showroom and see one of its most expensive vehicles on display, the model you had in mind probably looks like a bargain. That's a type of bias called<em> anchoring </em>in action, with the expensive car serving as a very influential point of reference.</p> <p>When it comes to investing, it's common for people to anchor their portfolio's performance to &quot;the market.&quot; Even if they have 40 percent of their money invested in bonds, the fact that the market generated a 30 percent gain makes them feel bad about their paltry 18 percent. It might even prompt them to change their portfolio and take on more risk than they should.</p> <p>What's the solution? Create a written investment plan tailored to your age and risk tolerance, including a realistic assumed average annual rate of return, such as 7 percent. Using <em>that </em>as your anchor, an 18 percent return wouldn't be a disappointment; it would be amazing.</p> <h2>Other ways to combat behavioral biases</h2> <p>The ideal emotional state for an investor is <em>unemotional. </em>However, we're not robots. So, awareness of our many biases is a good starting point for preventing them from steering us in the wrong direction.</p> <p>Perhaps the most helpful step of all is to press the pause button. Since it's impossible to time the market, waiting a couple of days before executing a buy or sell order isn't going to make much difference in that investment's performance. However, using that time to question your assumptions may make a <em>big</em> difference in helping you more rationally decide whether the investment should be bought or sold in the first place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mental-biases-that-are-keeping-you-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Mental Biases That Are Keeping You Poor</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-portfolio-blind-spots-that-are-ruining-your-investments&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Portfolio%2520Blind%2520Spots%2520That%2520Are%2520Ruining%2520Your%2520Investments.jpg&amp;description=4%20Portfolio%20Blind%20Spots%20That%20Are%20Ruining%20Your%20Investments"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Portfolio%20Blind%20Spots%20That%20Are%20Ruining%20Your%20Investments.jpg" alt="4 Portfolio &quot;Blind Spots&quot; That Are Ruining Your Investments" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-portfolio-blind-spots-that-are-ruining-your-investments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easiest-way-to-invest-in-the-worlds-biggest-companies">The Easiest Way to Invest in the World&#039;s Biggest Companies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-secret-to-successful-investing-is-trusting-the-process">The Secret to Successful Investing Is Trusting the Process</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment anchoring blind spots buying cognitive biases confirmation bias loss aversion mental biases portfolio recency bias selling stock market Tue, 17 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Matt Bell 2035896 at http://www.wisebread.com Why the Dow Will Hit a Million, Eventually http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman_building_business_graph.jpg" alt="Businessman building business graph" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At an event earlier this month, Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of all time, revealed his prediction that the Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA) will be &quot;over 1 million&quot; in 100 years.</p> <p>With the DJIA currently sitting at about 22,400, is it even reasonable to think that the stock market could grow that much? Growth from the current value of the Dow to 1 million would represent an increase of about 45 times over. My first impression was that a value of 1 million for the Dow is very high, and Mr. Buffett must be either confused or overly optimistic to put forth such a prediction.</p> <p>But since this prediction came from someone who <em>clearly </em>has a good understanding of investments and the stock market, I decided to check out the math behind this prediction to see if it makes sense.</p> <p>An important part of Warren Buffett's prediction is the &quot;in 100 years&quot; part. One hundred years is a long time, and although it may be surprising, Warren Buffett's prediction of the Dow topping 1 million is actually quite reasonable given the historical performance of the market. In fact, the prediction of the Dow reaching 1 million in 100 years may even be <em>conservative</em>.</p> <h2>Here's the math</h2> <p>Let's look at what kind of growth rate would be required for the Dow to reach 1 million in 100 years. As I mentioned, the Dow would need to grow by 45 times its current value. When thinking about investment growth, it is informative to look at the growth in terms of the number of doublings that would be required.</p> <p>2<sup>n</sup> = 45</p> <p>n ln(2) = ln (45)</p> <p>n = ln(45) / ln(2)</p> <p>n = 3.81 / 0.693</p> <p>n = 5.5</p> <p>So the market value would need to double 5.5 times from its current value to reach 1 million. Let's look at this in the form of a table to make sure it makes sense:</p> <table> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p><strong># of Doublings</strong></p> </td> <td> <p><strong>Resulting Dow Value</strong></p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>0 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>22,400 (current Dow)</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>1 doubling</p> </td> <td> <p>44,800</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>2 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>89,600</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>3 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>179,200</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>4 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>358,400</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>5 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>716,800</p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>6 doublings</p> </td> <td> <p>1,433,600 (Dow over 1 million)</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>From the table above, you can see that doubling the current Dow five times yields 716,800, and doubling six times yields <em>over</em> 1 million, so the number of doublings for the Dow to reach 1 million must be somewhere in between. Our estimate of 5.5 doublings makes sense.</p> <p>So the Dow would need to double 5.5 times in 100 years &mdash; or in other words, it would need to double every 18.2 years: 100 years / 5.5 doublings = 18.2 years to double.</p> <p>The next step to checking out Mr. Buffett's prediction is to figure out what rate of growth would be required for the value of the Dow to double every 18.2 years.</p> <p>For a quick estimate, I turned to the &quot;Rule of 72.&quot; The Rule of 72 is a handy approximation to find how many years it will take an investment to double &mdash; simply divide 72 by the annual rate of growth. I flipped the Rule of 72 formula around to check the rate of growth required:</p> <p>72 / growth rate = years to double</p> <p>72 / growth rate = 18.2 years</p> <p>Solve for growth rate:</p> <p>72 = 18.2 x growth rate</p> <p>growth rate = 72 / 18.2 = 3.96 percent annual growth</p> <p>So the &quot;Rule of 72&quot; approximation tells us that an annual growth rate of 3.96 percent would be required to double the Dow every 18.2 years, which is the rate of growth needed for the Dow to hit 1 million in 100 years.</p> <p>If you don't want to settle for an approximation, or if you are just geeky in a cool sort of way, you can do a more exact calculation:</p> <p>2P = Pe<sup>Yr</sup></p> <p>2P = Pe<sup>(18.2)r</sup></p> <p>ln(2) = 18.2r</p> <p>r = ln(2) / 18.2</p> <p>r = 0.038 or 3.8 percent</p> <p>The approximation from the Rule of 72 matches pretty closely with the exact calculation, so it seems we have nailed down the rate of growth that is required for the Dow to reach 1 million.</p> <p>It turns out that that an annualized growth rate of 3.8 percent is well within the historical growth rate of the stock market over the past 100 years. The average rate of return from the stock market is typically considered to be as high as 7 percent.</p> <p>Of course the stock market does not march steadily along at an average rate of growth year after year. The market swings up and down from day to day and follows longer upward and downward trends during bull and bear markets. But over the long haul, the average trend for the stock market has been upward at a rate of well over 3.8 percent average growth over the past 100 years.</p> <p>In addition to the mathematical consideration of the rate of growth required for the Dow to reach 1 million in 100 years, another consideration is whether the world's people and natural resources will continue to sustain economic growth over the next 100 years. With development of exciting new technologies and emerging global markets to drive growth, it seems reasonable that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-does-the-stock-market-keep-going-up" target="_blank">stock market could keep going up</a>.</p> <p>So it looks like Mr. Buffett's thinking makes good sense as usual, and the prediction of the Dow 1 million makes perfect sense.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520the%2520Dow%2520Will%2520Hit%2520a%2520Million%252C%2520Eventually.jpg&amp;description=Why%20the%20Dow%20Will%20Hit%20a%20Million%2C%20Eventually"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20the%20Dow%20Will%20Hit%20a%20Million%2C%20Eventually.jpg" alt="Why the Dow Will Hit a Million, Eventually" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-does-the-stock-market-keep-going-up">Why Does the Stock Market Keep Going Up?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off">How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you">Is Dollar Cost Averaging the Right Strategy for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-that-are-actually-having-a-good-year">10 Stocks That Are Actually Having a Good Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Financial News Investment 1 million calculations djia dow jones industrial average estimates growth math predictions stock market Warren Buffett Fri, 29 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2028010 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You? http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/businessman_reading_a_newspaper.jpg" alt="which type of investor are you" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you tend to invest in a particular way? Identifying which type of investor you are can help you understand the potential pitfalls of your investment approach &mdash; and how to improve your chances for better investment returns. Which type of investor are you?</p> <h2>1. Automatic investor</h2> <p>The automatic investor is all about convenience. Everything related to investing is set on autopilot. Automatic contributions to investment funds come out of every paycheck or are withdrawn from the bank account on a certain day of the month. This type of investor doesn't spend much time or effort thinking about investing, and doesn't need to since everything is automatic. They don't have to remind themselves to invest; it's checked off their financial to-do list.</p> <p>The potential downside for the automatic investor is losing touch with where investment funds are going and how the investment portfolio is performing. If you are not paying attention, you may not have investment selections that meet your current goals, and you may not identify and remove low performing investments or funds with high fees. If you don't check in at least occasionally, this hands-off approach may cost you. Rebalancing your portfolio once or twice a year by transferring funds to maintain your desired proportions of stocks to bonds should be sufficient to keep your investment portfolio on track. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-most-important-thing-youre-probably-not-doing-with-your-portfolio?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Most Important Thing You're Probably Not Doing With Your Portfolio</a>)</p> <h2>2. Daily Dow watcher</h2> <p>The Dow watcher is constantly up to speed. They know at any time if the stock market is up or down. The current market price and chart is only a tap away on their smartphone. This type of investor knows how much their portfolio is worth and worries about how much they are losing when the market has a bad day. Nothing goes over the Dow watcher's head.</p> <p>The risk for the Dow watcher is that he or she can easily get stressed out by day-to-day ups and downs in the market. They may even get discouraged when the market is going down and decide to sell stock when the price is low &mdash; the worst time to sell! It's good to be informed, especially when it comes to your investments, but if you find yourself too glued to the Dow's daily performance &mdash; it might be a good idea to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news" target="_blank">step away from the news</a> for a bit. Checking in on the stock market and your investment portfolio quarterly is probably more than frequent enough, and you can use the time you save for something more productive and enjoyable.</p> <h2>3. Active trader</h2> <p>The active trader is a studious investor. This type of investor tries to time the market by figuring out that a stock is going up before other investors realize it &mdash; and then selling when it is near the peak price before most investors figure out that it is going down. This type of investor pores over market and economic data, reads business articles, and is well-informed about business trends and news. He or she is willing to take risks for a chance at big returns.</p> <p>If you're an active trader, tread carefully; you can easily lose significant money if your timing is off. Trading fees can also get expensive if your investment approach requires making a lot of trades. You are much more likely to make money from buying good stocks and holding them for the long haul.</p> <h2>4. Conscientious investor</h2> <p>Conscientious investors put their money where their morals are. They have limits to what activities and products they are willing to be involved with in order to make a buck. For example, some conscientious investors invest only in socially-responsible or environmentally-responsible companies, and avoid owning shares in companies that promote values or products contrary to their moral principles. This type of investor is likely to exert economic influence through consumer purchasing decisions as well as through their stock picks.</p> <p>This type of ethical investing unfortunately can limit a person's investment options, which may result in lower returns. But some things are worth more than money to conscientious investors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-simple-guide-to-socially-responsible-investing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">A Simple Guide to Socially Responsible Investing</a>)</p> <h2>5. Property investor</h2> <p>Not every investor owns stocks. The property investor owns real estate, collectibles, gold, and maybe even bonds. He or she wants to invest in things that they can understand and control to some extent. This type of investor may not trust Wall Street and avoids the volatility of stocks.</p> <p>Historically, however, stocks have had great investment returns compared to other investment types, so property investors who shy away from the stock market could be missing out. Large cap value stocks can be a relatively safe way to start off in stock investing for first-time stock investors.</p> <h2>6. Bargain investor</h2> <p>This is the kind of investor that pounced on GM stock when it was $1 per share in 2009. Of course there is risk that bargain stocks could become worthless, but there is potential for the stock price to bounce back. The bargain investor looks carefully at P/E ratios to check the share price relative to earnings per share when deciding what stock to buy.</p> <p>Bargain hunters should be wary though &mdash; sometimes stocks with low prices are trading at a low price for a good reason. The bigger the bargain, the more research is merited into why the price is so low before you buy.</p> <h2>7. Company loyalist</h2> <p>The company loyalist owns a disproportionate amount of stock from an individual company. This could be a trendy stock that inspires loyalty like Apple or Tesla, or the company loyalist could own a large amount of his or her own employer's stock.</p> <p>Owning a large amount of any single company stock can be risky. The company could <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-these-8-company-stocks-fared-following-scandal" target="_blank">experience a major scandal</a> or product failure and the stock price could tank. Remember Enron? Owning a lot of stock in the company you work for is even riskier, because if something goes wrong you'll not only lose value in your stock fund, but you may lose your job at the same time. Some financial advisers suggest that owning more than 10 percent to 15 percent of your company's stock may be too much.</p> <h2>8. Portfolio tweaker</h2> <p>The portfolio tweaker is not really an active trader, but likes to adjust and fine tune his or her portfolio frequently by making transfers between funds to get the desired balance between large cap, mid cap, small cap, foreign, domestic, growth, value, and bond investment categories.</p> <p>While it is good to adjust your portfolio occasionally to meet your investment goals, frequently selling investments that are performing well just to meet an arbitrary &quot;balance&quot; in your portfolio may not be the best move and could hurt your overall return. As we advised the automatic investor, portfolio rebalancing once or twice per year is a good interval for most investors.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F8%2520Types%2520Of%2520Investors%2520Which%2520One%2520Are%2520You.jpg&amp;description=8%20Types%20of%20Investors%20%E2%80%94%20Which%20One%20Are%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/8%20Types%20Of%20Investors%20Which%20One%20Are%20You.jpg" alt="8 Types of Investors &mdash; Which One Are You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment automatic company stock dow ethical investing portfolio property investors returns risk stock market stocks types Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 2017190 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Add Gold to Your Portfolio http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-add-gold-to-your-portfolio <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-add-gold-to-your-portfolio" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-165418687.jpg" alt="Learning ways to add gold to your portfolio" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Owning gold can be an attractive insurance policy in case of stock market turmoil or a decline in currency valuation. In times of economic uncertainty, gold prices tend to increase even when the value of other investments goes down.</p> <p>If you are looking to reduce your exposure to stock market investments, or simply want to have something of value to trade in case of a zombie apocalypse, here are four ways you can invest in gold today.</p> <h2>1. Gold coins and bullion</h2> <p>The U.S. Mint issues American Eagle gold bullion coins in the following denominations:</p> <ul> <li>1/10 ounce</li> <li>&frac14; ounce</li> <li>&frac12; ounce</li> <li>1 ounce</li> </ul> <p>The selling price of these coins floats with the price of gold, plus you will pay a few percent premium for getting a minted coin instead of a plain piece of gold. With the current price of gold at over $1,200 an ounce, you can find 1/10 ounce American Eagles selling from dealers for under $150. Gold coins produced by the U.S. Mint are not sold directly to the public, but may be purchased from a network of <a href="https://catalog.usmint.gov/bullion-dealer-locator?_ga=2.66368809.627583906.1498523906-142188866.1498523906" target="_blank">authorized bullion dealers</a> who buy the coins from the mint for resale.</p> <p>Another option is the American Buffalo gold coin that comes in a 1 ounce denomination. This is a legal tender coin whose gold content is guaranteed by the U.S. Government. These coins are available at coin dealers and participating banks. The South African Krugerrand, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Australian Gold Nugget, Chinese Gold Panda, and British Gold Britannia are other popular gold coins from around the world.</p> <p>A less expensive alternative to gold coins is to buy gold bars or gold rounds. These are not as impressive to look at, but are priced near the current trading price, or &quot;spot price,&quot; for gold. This form of bullion may have simple markings with the weight and purity of the gold.</p> <p>If the thought of keeping gold hidden in your closet or safe makes you nervous, consider using a bullion trading and storage platform. You can buy and sell physical gold bullion and it never has to leave the secure vault where it is stored unless you want to take it out. This gives you the benefit of directly owning gold without the hassle of transporting and storing it.</p> <h2>2. Gold jewelry</h2> <p>An advantage of buying gold in the form of jewelry is that you can wear and enjoy your investment, and it is highly transportable. A smart way to invest in gold is to give gold jewelry as a gift. A gift of precious metal jewelry will hold its value and possibly grow in value while most other gifts depreciate and eventually end up in a landfill.</p> <p>When buying gold jewelry, you need to pay attention not only to the weight of the jewelry, but also the purity of the gold. Pure gold is designated as 24 karat gold. But pure gold is too soft and malleable for jewelry, so it is often mixed with other metals to make the jewelry harder and stronger. For example, jewelry that is 18 karat gold is 18/24, or 75 percent gold and 25 percent other metals. You can divide the karat rating of jewelry by 24 to determine the fraction of gold that it contains.</p> <p>Sometimes you can find broken, tangled, or damaged gold jewelry for sale at a pawnshop for less than the spot price of gold. Just make sure you are buying solid gold, and not just gold plated items.</p> <h2>3. Gold exchange traded funds (ETFs)</h2> <p>A gold ETF is a fund that aims to track the price of gold. Some funds actually hold gold, while others do not own gold, but use derivative contracts instead. Gold ETFs allow a quick and easy way to get an investment that tracks the price of gold, and are convenient for large transactions since you do not need to move or store a lot of gold.</p> <p>There are a couple of potential downsides to investing in a gold ETF. When you buy shares in a gold ETF, you might not actually own any gold &mdash; in some cases, you will own only shares in the fund. Since the fund tracks the price of gold, you may not have a problem with this. But if you are trying to reduce your exposure to large financial institutions by investing in gold, buying shares in a fund run by a large financial institution might not meet your goal. Also, some gold ETFs sell some of the gold that they hold to cover expenses, so the amount of gold per share that you own can be reduced over time.</p> <h2>4. Gold industry stocks and mutual funds</h2> <p>Another way to get a piece of the gold market is to buy stock of companies involved in gold mining and gold production. When gold prices go up, the stock prices of these companies can also go way up. Conversely, when gold prices go down, the stock prices of these companies can go way down.</p> <p>You can buy individual company stocks or mutual funds that provide holdings in a number of companies in the gold industry. This market segment is especially volatile, but may provide a hedge against other types of investments in your portfolio.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like This Article? Pin it!</p> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F4-ways-to-add-gold-to-your-portfolio&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Ways%2520to%2520Add%2520Gold%2520to%2520Your%2520Investment%2520Portfolio.png&amp;description=4%20Ways%20to%20Add%20Gold%20to%20Your%20Investment%20Portfolio"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/4%20Ways%20to%20Add%20Gold%20to%20Your%20Investment%20Portfolio.png" alt="4 Ways to Add Gold to Your Investment Portfolio" width="250" height="374" /></p> </h2> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-add-gold-to-your-portfolio">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-everyone-should-know-about-the-commodities-markets">8 Things Everyone Should Know About the Commodities Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-choosing-the-right-fund-for-your-portfolio">Are You Choosing the Right Fund for Your Portfolio?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-10-weirdest-etfs-you-can-buy">The 10 Weirdest ETFs You Can Buy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-an-etf-isnt-right-for-you">8 Signs an ETF Isn&#039;t Right for You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment bullion coins ETFs exchange traded funds gold gold industry jewelry mining stock market u.s. Mint value Mon, 07 Aug 2017 08:00:05 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1994330 at http://www.wisebread.com This One Mental Bias Is Harming Your Investments http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/young_man_holding_his_head_counting_pennies.jpg" alt="Young man holding his head counting pennies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Are you holding your breath just waiting for the market to fall? If so, you're not alone. Many investors seem to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. That seems logical: After all, today's bull market has been running for more than eight years, and bull markets don't last forever.</p> <p>But is it really logical to think that way? Bull markets don't die of old age. They die from other causes, such as rising inflation or a recession. As of today, inflation is in check and most economy watchers say they see no signs of trouble.</p> <p>Making it far more difficult to decide what, if anything, to do with your investment portfolio are the many cognitive biases that plague us all. One such bias, however, can be especially dangerous in a stock market environment such as the one we're in right now.</p> <h2>A financially dangerous disposition</h2> <p>Think about your portfolio. You probably have several investments that have done very well in recent years. And, if you're well diversified, you may have some that have lost value. Are you thinking about &quot;taking profits&quot; by selling some of your winners? At the same time, are you planning to hang onto those investments that haven't done so well? Perhaps it would be too painful to sell. And besides, they're bound to come back eventually, right?</p> <p>Be careful. You may be under the spell of what behavioral scientists call the <em>disposition effect</em>. That's the tendency to sell winning investments too soon and keep losing investments too long.</p> <h2>The unequal nature of gains and losses</h2> <p>The disposition effect has much to do with a foundational behavioral bias first identified by researchers Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. It theorizes that losses &mdash; whether in the stock market, real estate, or other domains &mdash; have far more emotional impact on us than equivalent gains.</p> <p>Objectively speaking, it's been well documented that the recent past performance of an investment &mdash; its momentum &mdash; tends to persist. We'd be better off keeping our winners longer and selling our losers sooner.</p> <p>But we are not objective beings. For most of us, in the daily battle between facts and feelings, the truth seldom gets in the way of a bad decision.</p> <p>So strong is our subjective, irrational desire to avoid the pain of regret &mdash; in this case, the regret of having made a losing investment in the first place &mdash; that we tend to keep poorly-performing investments longer than we should.</p> <p>Hersh Shefrin, one of the behavioral finance experts who identified the disposition effect, described it as a &quot;predisposition toward get-evenitis.&quot; Rather than cutting our losses, we tend to hang on in the hope of at least getting back to even.</p> <h2>How to beat the disposition effect</h2> <p>Telling yourself to stop trying to avoid the pain of regret is about as effective as telling yourself not to think about an elephant. But that doesn't mean you're destined to spend your life fighting the disposition effect. Three steps can help.</p> <h3>1. Follow a process</h3> <p>First and foremost, don't make investment buy/sell decisions on your own. Find and follow a proven, objective, rules-based investment selection process. That may mean working with an experienced investment adviser, using a target-date fund that's designed according to your optimal asset allocation, or subscribing to an investment newsletter with a solid track record.</p> <h3>2. Stop the daily updates</h3> <p>Prevent yourself from looking at your investments so often. Research by psychologist Paul Andreassen found that people who receive frequent updates about their investment portfolios tend to trade more often and generate poorer returns than those who receive less frequent updates. Watching the daily gyrations of the market is a prescription for heartburn and bad decision-making. Check in with your holdings once a quarter, or once a month if you must. If you signed up for daily or weekly updates on how your portfolio is doing, today's the day to unsubscribe. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a>)</p> <h3>3. Form a plan</h3> <p>Lastly, create a written investment plan. It should identify your investment goals and time frames, the strategy you're using to accomplish them, the process you're following for choosing specific investments, and perhaps most importantly, what you are committed to doing (or not doing) under various market conditions. Then review it anytime market conditions tempt you to veer from your plan.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520One%2520Mental%2520Bias%2520Is%2520Harming%2520Your%2520Investments_0.jpg&amp;description=This%20One%20Mental%20Bias%20Is%20Harming%20Your%20Investments"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/This%20One%20Mental%20Bias%20Is%20Harming%20Your%20Investments_0.jpg" alt="This One Mental Bias Is Harming Your Investments" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-one-mental-bias-is-harming-your-investments">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-loss-aversion-is-costing-you-more-than-your-fomo">Your Loss Aversion Is Costing You More Than Your FOMO</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-how-to-invest-with-these-5-stock-market-games">Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment bull market cognitive bias disposition effect downturn gains losses overthinking risk stock market Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:01:05 +0000 Matt Bell 1990503 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Dollar Cost Averaging the Right Strategy for You? http://www.wisebread.com/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_money_and_banking_for_finance_concept.jpg" alt="Saving money and banking for finance concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've just received a bonus or an inheritance, and you know that investing your money in stocks and bonds is one of the best ways to create long-term wealth. But you're also worried that your investments might lose value instead of gaining it.</p> <p>It's a common struggle: You want the financial rewards that can come with investing, but the potential risk of losing money nags at you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-over-these-5-scary-things-about-investing?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Get Over These 5 Scary Things About Investing</a>)</p> <p>An investing strategy known as dollar cost averaging might be the answer.</p> <h2>What is dollar cost averaging?</h2> <p>In dollar cost averaging, you invest just a small chunk of money at a time. This differs from the more traditional approach to investing, in which you'd invest all the money that you've targeted for stocks, bonds, or real estate at the same time.</p> <p>Say you've inherited $6,000. You'd like to invest that money in the stock market so that it will grow over time. If you were investing in the traditional way, you'd invest that money all at once. With dollar cost averaging, though, you would invest more gradually, perhaps investing $500 each month throughout the course of a year. That way, you'd buy more stocks when prices are low, and fewer stocks when they're high. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-investing-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Investing Questions You're Too Embarrassed to Ask</a>)</p> <p>The main benefit of dollar cost averaging is that it reduces your financial risk. Say you invested all that money in stocks at once. A market crash three months later would then impact all your money. But if you'd just invested, say, $1,500 before the market crashed, you'd still have $4,500 of your original $6,000 left untouched by the financial turbulence.</p> <h2>Paycheck contributions versus lump sum investing</h2> <p>If you contribute the same amount to your 401(k) every paycheck, that's equivalent to dollar cost averaging. By default, most people have the same amount deducted from their paycheck each month, so there is no choice to make. Dollar cost averaging, however, usually refers to a choice the investor makes when they've got a lump sum of money, such as an inheritance, royalty check, or bonus. If you don't have a windfall of some sort, you usually don't have to worry about whether or not to do dollar cost averaging.</p> <h2>Pros and cons</h2> <p>The main advantage of dollar cost averaging is the reduced risk of losing as much money in a market downturn. But there's another advantage, too: Dollar cost averaging makes it easier for reluctant investors to enter the market.</p> <p>If you're hesitant about investing, you might find it easier to take the jump if you are investing a smaller amount of money. And that's a good thing: Over time, the stock market has tended to increase in value. If you don't invest, you won't get the chance to take advantage of this.</p> <p>Anything that encourages you to invest &mdash; such as dollar cost averaging &mdash; is a positive.</p> <p>There is a drawback, though, to this approach: By limiting your risk, you are also limiting the potential size of your financial rewards.</p> <p>Because the stock market has historically increased in value over time, the odds are that you'll make more money if you invest a larger sum all at once. The sooner you invest the money, the more time it has to grow. By contrast, if you invest smaller bits of money over time, you will tend to see smaller returns in what has historically been an upward-trending market.</p> <p>A recent study by Vanguard illustrates this. Vanguard studied whether people would see higher returns by <a href="https://personal.vanguard.com/pdf/ISGDCA.pdf" target="_blank">investing a large sum of cash</a> all at once or in smaller doses over a six-month period into a portfolio of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds. They found that investing the lump sum of cash all at once produced higher returns about two-thirds of the time. The longer the investment period, the higher the chance that the lump sum investment would outperform the dollar cost averaging strategy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-asset-allocation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Basics of Asset Allocation</a>)</p> <p>You'll have to decide whether the reduced risk outweighs the potential of losing out on bigger returns.</p> <p>Of course, it's most important that you do invest your money over the long term. And if dollar cost averaging, and the reduced risk that comes with it, is what encourages you to do this, then it might be the best approach for you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fis-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIs%2520Dollar%2520Cost%2520Averaging%2520the%2520Right%2520Strategy%2520for%2520You-.jpg&amp;description=Is%20Dollar%20Cost%20Averaging%20the%20Right%20Strategy%20for%20You%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Is%20Dollar%20Cost%20Averaging%20the%20Right%20Strategy%20for%20You-.jpg" alt="Is Dollar Cost Averaging the Right Strategy for You?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-dollar-cost-averaging-the-right-strategy-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-types-of-investors-which-one-are-you">8 Types of Investors — Which One Are You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-too-much-investment-diversity-can-cost-you">How Too Much Investment Diversity Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-your-investments-to-do-better-stop-watching-the-news">Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-that-are-actually-having-a-good-year">10 Stocks That Are Actually Having a Good Year</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment dollar cost averaging growth inheritances lump sums returns risk stock market Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 1986884 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Boomers and Millennials Are Creating Winners on the Stock Market http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_with_adult_daughter_in_park_together.jpg" alt="Mother With Adult Daughter In Park Together" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It may not seem like millennials and baby boomers have a lot in common, aside from the fact that they make up a huge chunk of the U.S. population. But the two generations do share some similar traits when it comes to spending and investing. This is already having a significant impact on the economy and the stock market, and will continue to do so.</p> <p>Here are some key ways that baby boomers and millennials are impacting business and the markets.</p> <h2>Health care will be huge</h2> <p>There's a lot of noise related to the Affordable Care Act and a possible replacement. How things will shake out on Capitol Hill is anyone's guess, but there's no doubt that Americans will be spending more on health care. Baby boomers make up an increasing percentage of the U.S. population, and will require more medical attention as they age. This means big profits for pharmaceutical firms, but also biotech companies, hospitals, and manufacturers of medical equipment. The S&amp;P 500 Health Care Index has seen annualized returns of more than 16 percent over the last five years, and is up nearly 12 percent in 2017. Expect the upward trend to continue.</p> <h2>Health consciousness is also big</h2> <p>Millennials are aware of the obesity problem in America, and many of them are making lifestyle choices to counteract that. We've seen a push for more natural and organic food items, and a desire for less sugar and fat. This also means a continued expansion of fast-casual restaurants that offer healthier options, perhaps at the expense of traditional fast food chains. Baby boomers will help fuel this push to health as well simply by following doctor's orders to eat healthy as they age.</p> <h2>Investing costs will go down</h2> <p>Boomers have no interest in seeing their retirement savings cut down by high expense ratios and commissions, and millennials are becoming more savvy about the impact these costs have on their portfolios. These two demographics have led the charge against fees, and we've seen some brokerages respond. In February, Charles Schwab and Fidelity cut their online trade commissions to a mere $4.95, and many brokerage firms have expanded their offerings of commission-free exchange-traded funds (ETFs).</p> <p>Meanwhile, investing in low-cost index funds has ballooned; nearly half of all assets placed in mutual funds and ETFs are indexed rather than in actively-managed accounts, according to Morningstar.</p> <h2>Investing in individual stocks will decline</h2> <p>Aging baby boomers can be expected to withdraw their investments or at least shift their portfolios to more conservative investments like bonds and cash. Meanwhile, millennials are wary of the markets in general after living through the stock market declines of the early 2000s and 2008. Millennials have also learned that trying to beat the market by investing in individual stocks is generally a fool's game. This shying away from individual stocks could impact the overall returns in the stock market over time.</p> <h2>Popular brands aren't a sure thing</h2> <p>There has long been a common thought among investors that big, popular brands will always be surefire investments. Investors have long banked on the notion of brand loyalty as a driver of investment returns. But there have been several recent reports that millennials are not as brand-loyal as their predecessor generations. Millennials will go for value and quality, and aren't going to stick with a single brand out of stubbornness. This may have implications for stocks that have performed well over the years in part due to brand recognition.</p> <h2>Brick-and-mortar retail will go south</h2> <p>We're already seeing retail chains struggling, with H.G. Gregg, Gymboree, Rue 21, and several other brick-and-mortar outlets declaring bankruptcy in recent months. Meanwhile, online retailing giant Amazon just reported a 23 percent increase in sales, to $35.7 billion. Millennials don't mind shopping online, and baby boomers are less likely to go out on long shopping trips as they get older.</p> <h2>Experiences over objects</h2> <p>Millennials don't really care about owning things. Instead, they get satisfaction from experiences like fitness classes, travel, or eating well. To the extent that they need items such as music or movies, they prefer to obtain them through streaming services such as Netflix (one of the hottest tech stocks in America) or Spotify. Meanwhile, baby boomers are getting older and aren't in the habit of acquiring more &quot;stuff,&quot; either.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520How%2520Boomers%2520and%2520Millennials%2520Are%2520Creating%2520Winners%2520on%2520the%2520Stock%2520Market.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20How%20Boomers%20and%20Millennials%20Are%20Creating%20Winners%20on%20the%20Stock%20Market"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20How%20Boomers%20and%20Millennials%20Are%20Creating%20Winners%20on%20the%20Stock%20Market.jpg" alt="Here's How Boomers and Millennials Are Creating Winners on the Stock Market" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-boomers-and-millennials-are-creating-winners-on-the-stock-market">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/with-micro-investing-your-smartphone-pays-you">With Micro-Investing, Your Smartphone Pays YOU</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-everyone-should-know-about-the-commodities-markets">8 Things Everyone Should Know About the Commodities Markets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-millennials-should-stop-being-afraid-of-the-stock-market">7 Reasons Millennials Should Stop Being Afraid of the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-making-the-biggest-investment-risk-of-all">Are You Making the Biggest Investment Risk of All?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment baby boomers brand loyalty eating well Food Health health care millennials retail stock market Mon, 24 Jul 2017 08:00:10 +0000 Tim Lemke 1986883 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rate of Return Can Help You Invest Smarter http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rate-of-return-can-help-you-invest-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rate-of-return-can-help-you-invest-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bussiness_growth_new_life_growing_before_blackboard.jpg" alt="Business growth:new life growing before blackboard" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At first glance, judging an investment's past performance would seem to be a fairly simple exercise. For most stock market investments, such as individual stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds, a lot of performance information is readily available online.</p> <p>However, the sheer quantity of information that's out there can make understanding it all somewhat overwhelming. And some of the terminology can be confusing.</p> <p>So, let's make sure you understand a couple of key metrics and how to put them to use &mdash; whether you're evaluating the performance of an investment you already own, or you're thinking about making a new investment.</p> <h2>Annual return and average annual return</h2> <p>Two of the most fundamental ways of looking at an investment's results are how well it performed in a specific year and what its average annual return has been over multiple years.</p> <h3>Annual return</h3> <p>This is how an investment performed in one particular year. Let's use Vanguard's 2030 target-date mutual fund [VTHRX] as an example. If you go to Yahoo Finance, enter that ticker symbol in the search box, and then click on the fund's Performance tab, you can see how the fund performed each year going back to 2006. For example, in 2016, it generated a return of 7.85 percent.</p> <h3>Average annual return</h3> <p>To see an investment's average annual return over multiple years, look on the same Yahoo Finance page under Trailing Returns (%) vs. Benchmark&quot; (&quot;trailing&quot; just means &quot;looking back&quot; &mdash; we'll get to the &quot;benchmark&quot; reference in a minute). You can see that VTHRX's average annual return for the past five years was 9.9 percent.</p> <p>On their own, such metrics aren't very useful. However, when used together, they can provide helpful insight. For example, a 9.9 percent average annual return may seem attractive. But when you examine the past five years individually, you can see how unrealistic it is to expect that return each and every year. In 2015, the fund even suffered a loss.</p> <p>When looking for meaning in performance numbers, context is king.</p> <h2>What's a &quot;good&quot; return?</h2> <p>To properly judge how well an investment has performed, you have to choose the right benchmark. Many investors make the mistake of comparing a specific investment or their entire portfolio to &quot;the market.&quot;</p> <p>It's fine to do that if you're investing in an S&amp;P 500 index fund, which is designed to mirror the market. However, sticking with our previous example, VTHRX isn't designed to perform like the market.</p> <p>It's designed for people who have less than 15 years until retirement. According to the basic rules of asset allocation, as you get older, the percentage of your portfolio that's invested in stocks should decrease and the portion invested in bonds should increase.</p> <p>That's exactly how target-date funds, such as VTHRX, are designed. This particular fund holds a 72 percent/28 percent mix of stocks and bonds. Plus, it's diversified across U.S. and foreign stocks and bonds.</p> <p>If you compared VTHRX's performance over the past five years to the S&amp;P 500 (through the end of June), you might be disappointed. The S&amp;P 500 has delivered an average annual return over that time period of 14.6 percent whereas VTHRX has averaged 9.9 percent.</p> <p>But again, that's an apples-to-oranges comparison. A better comparison would be how VTHRX has performed against <em>other </em>2030 target-date funds, and the same Yahoo Finance page referenced earlier tells you that as well.</p> <p>The table showing the fund's average annual returns over various time periods also shows how its performance has compared with the &quot;category&quot; &mdash; in this case, the average 2030 target-date fund. As you can see, it has done a good job of outperforming its category.</p> <h2>Should past performance impact which investments you choose?</h2> <p>The prominent display of historical performance information can give the impression that it's what's most important in choosing investments. However, how an investment has performed in past years has virtually nothing to do with how it'll perform in future years.</p> <p>What's more important is designing a portfolio around your optimal asset allocation &mdash; the mix of stocks and bonds that's appropriate for your investment time frame and risk tolerance. Then, if you're using a target-date fund, choose one with that asset allocation, keeping mind that funds with the same target date may be designed with very different asset allocations.</p> <p>Even more importantly, use an online calculator to develop an investment plan &mdash; how much you need to have in your investment accounts by the time you retire, how much money you need to invest each month, and the average annual rate of return you need to achieve.</p> <p>Such a plan would serve as the best possible benchmark because it's based on what you need to achieve in order to meet your long-term investing goal.</p> <p>On its own, investment performance data isn't very helpful. But with the proper context &mdash; how an investment performed versus other similar investments, and most importantly, how your investments performed compared to the rate of return you're trying to achieve &mdash; can be very helpful indeed.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fheres-how-rate-of-return-can-help-you-invest-smarter&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHeres%2520How%2520Rate%2520of%2520Return%2520Can%2520Help%2520You%2520Invest%2520Smarter.jpg&amp;description=Heres%20How%20Rate%20of%20Return%20Can%20Help%20You%20Invest%20Smarter"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Heres%20How%20Rate%20of%20Return%20Can%20Help%20You%20Invest%20Smarter.jpg" alt="Here's How Rate of Return Can Help You Invest Smarter" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rate-of-return-can-help-you-invest-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-be-fooled-by-an-investments-rate-of-return">Don&#039;t Be Fooled by an Investment&#039;s Rate of Return</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-simple-ways-to-conquer-your-fear-of-investing">4 Simple Ways to Conquer Your Fear of Investing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-risk-averse-can-get-into-the-stock-market">How the Risk Averse Can Get Into the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-a-helicopter-investor-and-how-to-stop">8 Signs You&#039;re a &quot;Helicopter Investor&quot; (And How to Stop)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-3-rules-every-mediocre-investor-must-know">The 3 Rules Every Mediocre Investor Must Know</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment asset allocation ETF financial news mutual funds performances rate of return stock market target date funds Wed, 19 Jul 2017 08:30:18 +0000 Matt Bell 1985090 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_woman_with_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Business woman with piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the years, Warren Buffett has built incredible wealth through the growth of his company Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company that includes stock of companies wholly-owned by Berkshire Hathaway, as well as positions in a number of large financial and consumer-oriented companies.</p> <p>You might be interested in buying stock in the company that Warren Buffett manages himself, but shares of Berkshire Hathaway are currently selling for around $250,000 per share [BRK-A] which is out of reach of most small investors.</p> <h2>Berkshire Hathaway for small investors</h2> <p>Fortunately, there is a way to own Berkshire Hathaway with a smaller minimum investment. In 1996, Berkshire Hathaway started issuing Class B shares [BRK-B] with limited voting rights that are currently selling for about $170. Class B shares were offered to protect small investors from pursuing Berkshire Hathaway imitation funds with high fees or other unfavorable terms.</p> <p>But Warren Buffett himself has advised against small investors buying Berkshire Hathaway stock. Berkshire Hathaway stock typically sells at a premium of 20 percent to 50 percent above the net asset value (NAV) of its holdings. Warren Buffett didn't get rich buying things for more that they are worth!</p> <h2>Berkshire Hathaway for 17 percent off</h2> <p>I decided to check out stocks with low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios trying to find a good value. While investigating, I stumbled upon an interesting fund called Boulder Growth &amp; Income Fund [BIF]. This 1.2 billion dollar fund is composed of about 30 percent Berkshire Hathaway stock (23 percent Class A shares plus 7 percent Class B shares). BIF also includes large, deep value financial and consumer companies that Warren Buffett likes to hold.</p> <p>A relevant fact about this fund is that it is selling for about 17 percent below net asset value. By contrast, Berkshire Hathaway is currently trading for about 40 percent over net asset value.</p> <p>Getting Berkshire Hathaway and other blue chip stock at a deep discount sounds like a great deal, but why is BIF trading for 17 percent less than asset value? BIF is a closed-end fund, which means that no additional shares of the fund will be issued. Only the existing shares of the fund are available to be traded. This is different from open-end funds that are more common, where new shares continue to be issued when investments are received.</p> <p>The trading price for BIF on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is subject to supply from investors wanting to sell and demand from investors wanting to buy. One downside of owning a closed-end fund is that there may not be a large pool of investors interested in buying when you want to sell. Plus, there is no guarantee that closed-end funds bought at a discount to NAV will ever converge to full market price. A drawback of BIF in particular is that the management fee is high: 1.43 percent total expense ratio in 2016.</p> <h2>Find discounted stock funds</h2> <p>If you are looking for value stocks, buying a closed-end fund at a significant discount is an alternative to other bargain-hunting strategies such as looking for stocks with low P/E ratios or following stock tips. As with any other investment, investigate to understand the goals of the fund, expenses and fees, and the financial health of the fund before buying.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Buy%2520Berkshire%2520Hathaway%2520and%2520Other%2520Blue%2520Chip%2520Stock%2520for%252017%2520Percent%2520Off.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Buy%20Berkshire%20Hathaway%20and%20Other%20Blue%20Chip%20Stock%20for%2017%20Percent%20Off"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Buy%20Berkshire%20Hathaway%20and%20Other%20Blue%20Chip%20Stock%20for%2017%20Percent%20Off.jpg" alt="How to Buy Berkshire Hathaway and Other Blue Chip Stock for 17% Off" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-berkshire-hathaway-and-other-blue-chip-stock-for-17-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-you-shouldnt-invest-like-warren-buffett">7 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Invest Like Warren Buffett</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-the-dow-will-hit-a-million-eventually">Why the Dow Will Hit a Million, Eventually</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-you-sell-a-stock-or-a-fund">10 Questions to Ask Before You Sell a Stock or a Fund</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-smarter-investments-by-mastering-this-simple-ratio">Make Smarter Investments by Mastering This Simple Ratio</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-expensive-stocks-that-are-totally-worth-it">7 Expensive Stocks That Are Totally Worth It</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment Berkshire Hathaway blue chip stocks funds net asset value price to earnings ratio shares stock market Warren Buffett Wed, 12 Jul 2017 08:30:12 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1979036 at http://www.wisebread.com