In some shape or form we all have money that is at the mercy of the stock markets whether it is our pension and/or savings. Choosing the “right” investment can be tricky and even when we think we have the right blend something happens that makes us question what we are doing.
At the start of 2015, it seemed the markets would deliver double digit returns for investors. However, sharp downward corrections in June, August and September almost eradicated any growth from the start of the year and only with the bounce (in October) did some investors see positive returns.
Developing plans and setting goals are part of the financial planning process. The other crucial element is how we invest to achieve our desired outcomes. Investing may not be simply about growth, it can also be about providing an income or protecting money or perhaps a combination of all of these. Fundamentally it comes back to understanding our goals and through this we can look at the best way to invest (everything is interlinked).
Two things happened this week which led me towards writing this latest blog. Firstly, I was invited to a presentation by Source which offers a range of ETFs (a range of low cost index based “funds”). The second was a question by an individual who had looked at our site and wondered why we appear to favour active funds.
The definition of a successful investment is to pay a price for an asset whose value subsequently increases significantly.
As investment boards and committees gather to discuss performance for 2014, eyebrows will most certainly be raised as people review the performance of many of their equity managers. Depending on which database they are looking at, between 80% and 90% of active U.S. equity managers will have underperformed their benchmark this year, making it one of the worst years for active management in the recent past.
I have recently finished a book by Jeroem Bos, a deep value investment fund manager. In it he details a number of case studies of investments where prices were significantly below the value of assets; in value investor speak "net nets”.
Ben Graham is arguably the most important investment thinker of modern times. Not because he personally produced the best investment results but because he wrote THE book, the seminal guide to successful long term wealth accumulation through investment in stocks.
Many years ago I studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). Humans have hard wired personality tendencies which if understood allow for more effective learning, communication and control of emotions.
Sir John Templeton, a ‘Hall of Fame Investor’ was asked to name the most dangerous belief an investor can have. He replied “this time is different.”