Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php on line 2339

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php on line 2343

Warning: "continue" targeting switch is equivalent to "break". Did you mean to use "continue 2"? in /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/output.class.php on line 3165

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php:2339) in /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/opt-in-panda/bizpanda/includes/functions.php on line 628

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/revslider/includes/operations.class.php:2339) in /nfs/c12/h03/mnt/211066/domains/park-elm.com/html/wp-content/plugins/opt-in-panda/bizpanda/includes/functions.php on line 633
October 2018 - Park and Elm

Six Simple Truths About Volatility

By | October 25th, 2018|Markets, volatility|

Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think markets only ever move in one direction, the pendulum has swung the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good.

There are a number of tidy-sounding theories about why markets have become more volatile. Among the issues frequently splashed across newspaper front pages: global growth fears, rising interest rates, policy uncertainty, geopolitical risk, and trade issues.

In some ways, the increase in volatility in recent weeks could be just as much a reflection of the fact that volatility has been very low for some time.

So, the increase in market volatility is an expression of uncertainty. Markets do not move in one direction. If they did, there would be no return from investing in stocks and bonds. And if volatility remained low forever, there would probably be more reason to worry.

As to what happens next, no one knows for sure. That is the nature of risk. In the meantime, investors can help manage their risk by diversifying broadly across and within asset classes.

For those still anxious, here are six simple truths to help you live with volatility:

1. Don’t make presumptions

Remember that markets are unpredictable and do not always react the way the experts predict they will.

2. Someone is buying

Quitting the equity market when prices are falling is like running away from a sale. While prices have been discounted to reflect higher risk, that’s another way of saying expected returns are higher. And while the media headlines proclaim that “investors are dumping stocks,” remember someone is buying them. Those people are often the long-term investors.

3. Market timing is hard

Recoveries can come just as quickly and just as violently as the prior correction. For instance, in March 2009—when market sentiment was at its worst—the S&P 500 turned and put in seven consecutive months of gains totaling almost 80%. This is not to predict that a similarly vertically shaped recovery is in the cards, but it is a reminder of the dangers for long-term investors of turning paper losses into real ones and paying for the risk without waiting around for the recovery.

4. Markets and economies are different things

The world economy is forever changing, and new forces are replacing old ones. This applies both between and within economies. For instance, falling oil prices can be bad for the energy sector but good for consumers. New economic forces are emerging, as global measures of poverty, education, and health improve.

5. Nothing lasts forever

Just as smart investors temper their enthusiasm in booms, they keep a reserve of optimism during busts. And just as loading up on risk when prices are high can leave you exposed to a correction, dumping risk altogether when prices are low means you can miss the turn when it comes. As always in life, moderation is a good policy.

6. Discipline is rewarded

The market volatility is worrisome, no doubt. The feelings being generated are completely understandable and familiar to those who have seen this before. But through discipline, diversification, and understanding how markets work, the ride can be made bearable. At some point, value re-emerges, risk appetites reawaken, and for those who acknowledged their emotions without acting on them, relief replaces anxiety.

If you’d like to discuss your specific investment situation, please do not hesitate to call our office.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice. This article is distributed for informational purposes, and it is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, recommendation, or endorsement of any particular security, products or services. Diversification does not eliminate the risk of market loss. There is no guarantee investment strategies will be successful. The S&P 500 Index is not available for direct investment and does not reflect the expenses associated with the management of an actual portfolio. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Contributions from Dimensional Fund Advisors LP.

Park + Elm Investing Principle #8: Do Emotions Affect Investment Returns?

By | October 22nd, 2018|Markets|

PRINCIPLE #8 IS HERE!

Do Emotions affect Investment Returns!

Download the rest of our Ebook Here to get all 10 principles!!

Many people struggle to separate their emotions from investing. The chart above shows the correlation between emotional cycles and market returns. Investors typically buy at “Elation” and sell at “Fear”, inherently creating a dreaded “selling low, buying high” strategy.

A philosopher once said that nothing is as difficult for people as not deceiving themselves. But while most self-delusions are relatively costless, those relating to investment can come with a hefty price tag.

Market volatility in 2008 and 2009 took investors on a bumpy, emotional ride. Despite the market’s strong performance after March of 2009, many investors were too exhausted to endure the ongoing stress of an uncertain economy and market. By making an emotional decision to avoid the stress, there are millions of investors who never recovered their losses and sacrificed the enormous gains that would follow.

On the contrary – prior to the tech bubble of the early 2000’s, investors were pumping money into the dot coms because they saw their neighbor or co-worker getting rich. Driven by media and emotional investing, American’s poured their savings into tech stocks, only to endure the bubble bursting in 2000.

Some media outlets claim a similar bubble for tech stocks in ‘15 and ‘16. A Bing search on this claim literally pulled up the following article titles, one after another on page 1:

“Why this Tech Bubble is Worse than the Tech Bubble of 2000”

“Why this Tech Bubble is Less Scary than the Tech Bubble of 2000”

Magazines sell by appealing to the emotions of a reader. When it comes to investments, reacting to what you read or see on TV can be detrimental to your long-term retirement plan. Keep these tips in mind before making an emotional investment decision:

  1. Market timing is hard.
  2. Never forget the power of diversification.
  3. Markets and economies are different things.
  4. Discipline is rewarded.

Overcoming self-deception is not impossible. It just starts with recognizing that, as humans, we are not wired for disciplined investing. We will always find one way or another of rationalizing an emotional reaction to market events. But that’s why even experienced investors engage advisors who know them, and who understand their circumstances, risk appetites, and long-term goals. The role of your advisor is to listen to and acknowledge your very human fears, while keeping us in the plans we committed to at our most lucid and logical moments. Can you say with confidence that your investment decisions are based on a long-term strategy, or are your current emotions playing a role?

Quarterly Market Review: Q3-2018

By | October 8th, 2018|DFA, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Markets, Quarterly Market Review|

Click on the link below for a detailed analysis of quarterly performance of the global equity and fixed income markets.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE 3RD QUARTER 2018- QUARTERLY MARKET REVIEW

Total Cost of Ownership

By | October 3rd, 2018|Dimensional Fund Advisors, Markets|

Costs matter. Whether you’re buying a car or selecting an investment strategy, the costs you expect to pay are likely to be an important factor in making any major financial decision.

People rely on a lot of different information about costs to help inform these decisions. When you buy a car, for example, the sticker price indicates approximately how much you can expect to pay for the car itself. But the costs of car ownership do not end there. Taxes, insurance, fuel, routine maintenance, and unexpected repairs are also important considerations in the overall cost of a car. Some of these costs are easily observed, while others are more difficult to assess. Similarly, when investing in mutual funds, different variables need to be considered to evaluate how cost‑effective a strategy may be for a particular investor.

Expense ratios

Mutual funds have many costs, all of which affect the net return to investors. One easily observable cost is the expense ratio. Like the sticker price of a car, the expense ratio tells you a lot about what you can expect to pay for an investment strategy. Expense ratios strongly influence fund selection for many investors, and it’s easy to see why.

Exhibit 1 illustrates the outperformance rate, or the percentage of funds that beat their category index, for active equity mutual funds over the 15-year period ending December 31, 2017. To see the link between expense ratio and performance, outperformance rates are shown for quartiles of funds sorted by their expense ratio. As the chart shows, while active funds have mostly lagged indices across the board, the outperformance rate has been inversely related to expense ratio. Just 6% of funds in the highest expense ratio quartile beat their index, compared to 25% for the lowest expense ratio group.

This data indicates that a high expense ratio presents a challenging hurdle for funds to overcome, especially over longer time horizons. From the investor’s point of view, an expense ratio of 0.25% vs. 1.25% means savings of $10,000 per year on every $1 million invested. As Exhibit 2 helps to illustrate, those dollars can really add up over time.

Exhibit 1.       High Costs Can Reduce Performance, Equity Fund Winners and Losers Based on Expense Ratios (%)


Exhibit 2.      
Hypothetical Growth of $1 Million at 6%, Less Expenses

For illustrative purposes only and not representative of an actual investment. This hypothetical illustration is intended to show the potential impact of higher expense ratios and does not represent any investor’s actual experience. Assumes a starting account balance of $1 million and a 6% compound annual growth rate less expense ratios of 0.25%, 0.75%, and 1.25% applied over a 15-year time horizon. Performance of a hypothetical investment does not reflect transaction costs, taxes, other potential costs, or returns that any investor would have actually attained and may not reflect the true costs, including management fees of an actual portfolio. Actual results may vary significantly. Changing the assumptions would result in different outcomes. For example, the savings and difference between the ending account balances would be lower if the starting investment amount were lower.

Going beyond The expense ratio

The poor track record of mutual funds with high expense ratios has led many investors to select mutual funds based on expense ratio alone. However, as with a car’s sticker price, an expense ratio is not an all-encompassing measure of the cost of ownership. Take, for example, index funds, which often rank near the bottom of their peers on expense ratio.

Index funds are designed to track or match the components of an index formed by an index provider, such as Russell or MSCI. Important decisions in the investment process, such as which securities to include in the index, are outsourced to an index provider and are not within the fund manager’s discretion. For example, the prescribed reconstitution schedule for an index, which is the process of deleting or adding certain stocks to the index, may cause index funds to buy stocks when buy demand is high and sell stocks when buy demand is low. This price-insensitive buying and selling may be required so that the index fund can stay true to its investment mandate of tracking an underlying index. This can result in sub-optimal transaction prices for the index fund and diminished overall returns. In other words, for a given amount of trading (or turnover), the cost per unit of trading may be higher for such a strictly regimented approach to investing. Moreover, this cost will not appear explicitly to investors assessing such a fund on expense ratio alone. Further, because indices are reconstituted infrequently (typically once per year), funds seeking to track them may also be forced to buy and sell holdings based on stale eligibility criteria. For example, the characteristics of a stock considered value as of the last reconstitution date may change over time, but between reconstitution dates, those changes would not affect that stock’s inclusion or weighting in a value index. That means incoming cash flows to a value index fund could actually be used to purchase stocks that currently look more like growth stocks, and vice versa. Metaphorically, these managers’ attention may be more focused on the rear-view mirror than on the road ahead for investors.

For active approaches like stock picking, both the total amount of trading and the cost per trade may be high. If a manager trades excessively or inefficiently, costs like commissions and price impact from trading can eat away at returns. Viewed through the lens of our car analogy, this impact is like the toll on your vehicle from incessantly jamming the brakes or accelerating quickly. Subjecting the car to such treatment may result in added wear and tear and greater fuel consumption, increasing your total cost of ownership. Similarly, excessive trading can lead to negative tax consequences for a fund, which can increase the cost of ownership for investors holding funds in taxable accounts. Such trading costs can be reduced by avoiding unnecessary turnover and seeking to minimize the cost per trade.

In contrast to both highly regimented indexing and high-turnover active strategies, employing a flexible investment approach that reduces the need for immediacy, and thus enables opportunistic execution, is one way to potentially reduce implicit costs. Keeping turnover low, remaining flexible, and transacting only when the potential benefits of a trade outweigh the costs can help keep overall trading costs down and help reduce the total cost of ownership.

conclusion

The total cost of ownership of a mutual fund can be difficult to assess and requires a thorough understanding of costs beyond what an expense ratio can tell investors on its own. We believe investors should look beyond any one cost metric and instead evaluate the total cost of ownership of an investment solution.

Load More Posts