What is rebalancing? Why and when should an investor do it? “Buy low, sell high.” The expression is so familiar that it’s become a cliché. And yet, few investors actually follow this most basic advice. Instead, they panic and sell (low) during market crises, and chase already-hot stocks at premium (high) prices. Deliberate rebalancing is one of the best ways we know of to more consistently buy low and sell...

What is diversification and why does it matter to you as an investor? Risk, Return and Diversification If market risk is the fuel that drives expected returns, diversification is your steering wheel for navigating more assuredly toward your desired destination. As we covered in our last post, if you want to earn a return on your capital, you must put it to work in one or more markets. This also means you...

What are market risks, and how should you approach them an investor? Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained We’re all familiar with how risk is a double-edged sword. Those who are willing to take on daring risks improve their odds for reaching the greatest rewards. But they also can fall the hardest by stretching beyond the safety net of the status quo. In investing, this means that market risk can be your strongest...

What is asset location and why does it matter to you as an investor? Let’s begin by noting that asset location should not be confused with asset allocation, which we addressed in last week’s post. The two are related, but each makes its own contribution to your investment experience. Asset allocation (as described here) is about spreading your money among different asset classes, based on the amount of market risk and...

What is asset allocation and why does it matter to you as an investor? In last week’s Investment Basics Summer Series, we defined asset classes as categories (classes) by which we organize individual securities (assets) that share significant factors. To review: There are broad asset classes for stocks, bonds and real estate. Within these broad classes, there are narrower ones based on company size and certain business metrics for stocks, and on...

What is an asset class, and why does it matter to you as an investor? Asset classes are categories (classes) by which we organize individual securities (assets) that share significant factors. Significant factors are the ones that help us associate an investment with a particular level of risk and expected return. For example: Significant – Stocks vs. Bonds: Owning (stocks) is inherently riskier than lending (bonds). That’s why stocks and bonds...

As we kick off our Investment Basics Summer Series, we’ll lead with the most important question of all: Why are you investing to begin with? It’s common for advisers and investors alike to rush into talking terminology and leveraging logistics, without first setting the all-important stage. Maybe it’s human nature to want to get right to the task at hand, and why many financial folk seem far more comfortable discussing...

If you’re wondering whether there’s something that you, as an investor, should be doing in response to the Greek crisis, here are some points to bear in mind. First, as always, we don’t know what the future holds, for Greece or anywhere else. Even more to the point, we don’t know how the market will react to whatever does happen in Greece. This is why we advise those who already have a...

We often advise others that mindful living represents a balance: reserving time for work and play, investing and spending, yourself and your community. Just as we invest our own wealth using the same strategy we recommend to others, we also strive to set an example on balanced living. (Admittedly, some days we’re more successful than others!) One way we strive for balance is by making plans each winter to set aside...

Is the US market due for a correction? If you Google that question, you will see people have been predicting a correction in the US stock market for years now. A healthy market will experience corrections, so rather than trying to predict them or live in fear of them, investors are better off incorporating them into their long-term strategies. Our investing philosophy is built on the knowledge that markets go both...