The best investment advice you'll ever receive is not a new, exciting, cutting-edge secret that you were probably hoping for. It's quite the opposite, actually. The best advice is the yawn-inspiring, time-tested, 'effective-since-the-advent-of-the-stock market' approach, and it's no secret.
I know what you're thinking: quit wasting my time with this boring stuff! And I get it - you've probably heard the 'diversification' bit a million times. But I'd argue that the concept of diversification isn't boring at all. Boring to me is watching C-Span for 16 hours straight. Diversification is different: it's actually more challenging than it is boring, for two very critical reasons.
Reason #1: Everyone Knows Diversification is the Answer, But Very Few People Know How to Properly Diversify
This is the equivalent of everyone knowing that eating healthy leads to a more healthy (and perhaps longer) life, but few people know what to actually eat and how to organize healthy meals. Investing is very similar. Most folks know that a well-diversified portfolio can lead to strong risk-adjusted returns over time, but few actually know how to build the diversified portfolio in the first place. What if there were easy-to-use technology that could give you ideas for how to build a diversified portfolio yourself?? (spoiler alert: it exists right now, at tickeron.com)
Reason #2: Investors Get In Their Own Way too Often
The second reason has more to do with human nature than anything else. Humans are hard-wired to be wary of risk and to make emotional decisions, especially when fear is involved. And make no mistake - there is plenty of fear in the stock market. All too often, investors will see something on the news that causes them to make a significant asset allocation adjustment, such as selling a big portion of stocks. But that's a major folly: diversification works if you stick with it for the long-term, but many investors have difficulty with that. That's why it makes sense for investors to acknowledge your weakness where it exists, and use the help of a Financial Advisor or the A.I. at Tickeron, to keep you on track. Take the decision-making process out of your hands a bit, and allow experts to do more of the work.
JP Morgan released some research recently that underscores the importance and the value of diversification. From 2001 - 2015, they analyzed two different portfolios. The more diversified portfolio, I'll call it Portfolio #1, had exposure to eight different asset categories: S&P 500, Russell 2000, REITs, EAFE Equity, Emerging Market Equity, Barclays Aggregate Bonds, US High Yield Bonds, and Emerging Markets Debt.
The second portfolio, Portfolio #2, had exposure to only three asset categories: S&P 500, EAFE Equity, and Barclays Aggregate Bonds.
Guess which portfolio performed better over the 15-year period?? You guessed it: Portfolio #1, the more diversified portfolio. It delivered annualized returns of 6.2%, compared to the less diversified portfolio which delivered returns of 5.4%.
Diversification makes a difference and history tells us that it works. The challenge facing investors today is knowing how to diversify, and where to invest assets. But it doesn't have to be a challenge any longer - you can generate ideas right here at tickeron.com.