Why You Should Own Stocks And Bonds

Stock Market LossNo other asset class lives up to the long term returns of stocks. Despite that fact, most investors don’t stick it out long enough during the periods when stocks perform poorly and the big losing years tend to drive investors insane.

Of course, accepting that losses are inevitable helps to deal with the year to year results many investors obsess over. There are ways to invest, using different assets, that help make those stock losses more bearable. By combining two assets like stocks and bonds, you get a smoother ride over time because stocks and bonds don’t always move together.

Your allocation doesn’t need to be complex either. One of the most often cited allocations is a 60/40 Portfolio. It’s made up of 60% stocks and 40% bonds. How you choose to build each portion is up for debate. Continue Reading…

The Art of Losing Money

If we avoid the losersAny chump can bet all their money on a single stock and get wiped out. But it takes a special kind of genius to invest and consistently lose money in the market. They follow one mistake with another, compounding their losses with opportunity cost. To avoid the same fate, we can steal a few lessons in how to lose money from the great investors who came before us.

Warren Buffett repeats his two simple rules often:

Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.

Easy enough. I use the same rules in Vegas and I swear it never fails.

But you know better. Right?

Never losing is impossible. Anyone who tells you different is lying. The great investors know losing is part of investing. They lose money better than anyone. Continue Reading…

Updated Asset Class, Sector, and Country Returns for 2014

Who guessed long-term Treasuries would be the best asset class to own? That 2014 would be the year of the REIT? Or Utilities, the most boring sector ever, would sit on top of the S&P. If anything, last year’s end results prove again – you’re better off with a long-term perspective because trying to predict the next six to twelve months is down right hard. And tweaking your portfolio because of short-term predictions can get messy.

Had you guessed, and acted on, 2014 being the year of falling interest rates, a stronger dollar, crashing oil, and geopolitical risks, then you had a great year. Had you guessed wrong, it could look terrible.

But if you stuck with a diverse portfolio you had another decent year. The good thing about decent years – they’re never great or terrible but they add up over time. Continue Reading…

Remember Your Investment Horizon

Investment HorizonWhen the markets start acting crazy, remembering your investment horizon puts everything back into perspective. Fears in Europe, the economy, unemployment, and a few hundred other data sets all add to the daily swings of the market. But you can lower your risk to these issues by building your portfolio around a strict investment time horizon.

So are we heading for a repeat of last year? Or are the recent headlines another gut check for every investor out there? More importantly, should it really matter?

All that noise breeds a shortsighted view of your money. What is different today that affects your investment risk? The answer should be “Nothing” if your portfolio is built around your investment horizon. Continue Reading…

15 Year Look At Asset Class, Sector, And Country Returns

Tables comparing investment returns are nothing new. Fund companies and other financial institutions have used them for years to argue for or against different investing ideas. Though, the problem is most tables are either stuck inside a PDF file or quickly become a giant mess of colored tiles that make it hard to read. I thought I’d take the concept, clean it up, and take it a step further.

The idea started about a month ago with an article about contrarian investing. The article took a contrarian look at past performance across three areas – asset class, sectors, and countries. Continue Reading…