Fit for All Seasons: Managing and Monitoring Your Portfolio

Portfolios occasionally get away from investors and become financial beasts. You may have one of these creatures in your file cabinet: Your portfolio may be something you started long ago and added to sporadically over the years, never looking very closely at these investments individually after your initial interest or considering how the individual investments…

 

When Less Is More: How to Increase Aftertax Returns by Doing Less

High turnover can have a big impact on your tax bill, reducing bottom-line returns, while a buy-and-hold strategy can significantly improve long-term aftertax results. A lot of attention is given to stock and market returns. However, most of the attention is focused on rates of return before taxes. The bottom line, though, for any investor…

 

The Next Generation of Socially Responsible Investing

It is getting easier for investors to incorporate their personal values into their portfolios and to do so in a diversified, low-cost and tax-efficient manner. This approach, traditionally known as socially responsible investing, is increasingly being referred to as environmental, social and governance investing—or by its acronym, ESG investing. As its name suggests, ESG investing…

 

Knowledge and Investing Styles Vary

A majority (55%) of surveyed investors with $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds described themselves as being “listeners” in a Wells Fargo/Gallup poll. Listeners seek out good investment advice and tend to follow it. Nearly a quarter (24%) of surveyed investors rarely look at their investments (“snoozers”), whereas just 10% use…

 

Investment Products: If It Has to Be Sold, Don’t Buy It!

Non-financial firms can make consistent profits by combining parts into a whole. For example, GM buys parts, puts them together and sells cars for more than the cost of the parts. GM adds value by putting the parts together. But financial firms cannot add value merely by buying securities and combining them into a portfolio….

 

How to Calculate Your Portfolio’s Return

The question every investor wants to know is: How well am I doing? Although some people are satisfied with simply watching the dollars grow, most investors want that translated into a performance figure. Bragging rights aside, there is a good reason to determine your own portfolio’s performance: Measuring the performance of your total portfolio is…

 

Financial Professional Terms: What They Mean and Why You Should Care

Broker, registered investment adviser, financial planner, insurance agent, investment adviser and wealth managers: These are a few of the common terms used to describe various financial professionals. Many individual investors are confused by these terms, and do not have a clear understanding of what distinguishes one professional from another. This article will clarify these terms…

 

Measuring Risk: A Practical Approach

Risk is a fundamental concept in any investment program. Beta and standard deviation are two common risk measures. But many investors prefer to view risk differently, at least mathematically. Others do not understand how a complex formula for deriving individual betas and standard deviations can be used practically in a real investment program. This workshop…

 

A Do-It-Yourself Approach to Target Date Retirement Investing

Advertised as a one-stop shopping, automatic-pilot retirement vehicle, life cycle or target date mutual funds have become increasingly popular. These funds are aimed at individuals seeking an all-in-one retirement fund to invest his or her retirement nest egg, with a target date whose termination date approximates the date of his or her projected retirement (e.g.,…