Studies show that investing in a globally diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds or ETFs can be a potentially beneficial investing experience.
I believe in keeping costs and fees low. I encourage clients to avoid strategies likely to lessen their long-term returns -- like trying to pick stocks, the next hot fund manager, or calling market tops or bottoms.
Higher costs are a significant obstacle to outperformance.
Investors can increase their chances of outperforming a majority of similar investors by investing in a low-cost index fund. Morningstar research demonstrates low management fee funds “generally outperform their more-expensive peers.”
Actively managed mutual funds (where the fund manager attempts to beat a designated benchmark) charge significantly higher management fees (called “expense ratios”), than comparable index funds. Additional costs can include bid-ask spreads, administrative costs and taxes.
I implement this research by investing your money in low management index funds and exchange-traded funds.
There can be a significant barrier to identifying an actively managed fund likely to outperform. Most investors look to past performance. They assume a fund with a stellar track record will continue to outperform. In my opinion, studies have debunked this myth. It’s actually more likely underperforming funds can outperform in the future.
It’s very difficult prospectively to identify mutual funds that will outperform. We believe this effort exposes our clients to the possibility of underperformance -- especially over the long-term -- which is why we don’t do it.
I aim to maximize the possibility of successful long-term investing by using low-cost, broadly diversified index funds and ETFs.
I assess your ability to tolerate risk before we recommend a portfolio. My focus is on your asset allocation (the division of your assets between stocks, bonds and cash), holding a broadly diversified portfolio and limiting efforts to time the market.
Asset allocation and diversification are investment methods used to help manage risk. They do not guarantee investment returns or eliminate risk of loss including in a declining market. All investing involves some degree of risk, whether it is associated with market volatility, purchasing power or a specific security, including the possible loss of principal. Stocks offer long-term growth potential, but may fluctuate more and provide less current income than other investments.
Investing in mutual funds involves risk. The principal value and investment return will fluctuate so that your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Exchange-Traded Funds are subject to risks similar to those of stocks. Investment returns may fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed, or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Exchange Traded funds may yield investment results that, before expenses, generally correspond to the price and yield of a particular index. There is no assurance that the price and yield performance of the index can be fully matched.
The opinions expressed here reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of the report and are subject to change without notice. The material has been prepared or is distributed solely for information purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy. Additional information is available upon request.