Today’s Video: How Much Should You Save For Retirement?

By | August 17th, 2018|Markets|

So many investors search for the answer to this question! This video discusses important factors that can help you meet your goals – like determining your savings rate, monitoring your progress, and making adjustments over time.

CHECK IT OUT!!

Park + Elm Investing Principle #5: Consider the Drivers of Returns

By | August 8th, 2018|Markets|

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Principle #5 is HERE!

Consider the Drivers of Returns!

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

Throughout history, many of the greatest advancements in finance have come from Academia. Our investment philosophy has been shaped by decades of research by leading academics. We structure portfolios on the principles that markets are efficient; that returns are determined by asset allocation decisions, and that portfolios can be structured around dimensions of expected returns identified through academic research. It is through our strategic partnership with Dimensional Fund Advisors, a leading global investment firm that has been translating academic research into practical investment solutions since 1981, that we can pursue dimensions of higher expected returns through advanced portfolio design, management, and trading.
Much of what we have learned about expected returns in the equity and fixed income markets can be summarized in these dimensions.

  • Stocks have higher expected returns than bonds – it has been well documented over time that stocks outperform bonds, and that risk = reward
  • Among stocks, expected return differences are largely driven by company size – small companies have higher expected returns than large companies.

 

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  • Relative price – low relative price “value” companies have higher expected returns than high relative price “growth companies.

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  • Profitability – companies with high profitability have higher expected returns than companies with low profitability.

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Since 1981, Dimensional has incorporated rigorous academic research on the capital markets into the design, management, and trading of clients’ portfolios. Some of the major milestones in academic research shown in the chart below have had a profound effect on our investment philosophy.

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Our enduring philosophy and deep working relationships with Dimensional and the academic community underpin our approach to investing. Over a long period of time, Academics have been able to identify dimensions of higher expected returns, and with Dimensional, we can structure portfolios around these dimensions in a very cost-effective manner.

What You Pay, What You Get: Connecting Price and Expected Returns

By | June 19th, 2018|DFA, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Markets|

STOCK PRICES ARE CHANGING EVERY DAY – AND AS PRICES CHANGE, SO DO EXPECTED RETURNS.

It has been more than 50 years since the idea of stock prices containing all relevant information was put forth. Information might come in the form of data from a company’s financial statements, news about a new product, a change in the regulatory environment, or simply a shift of investors’ tastes and preferences toward owning different investments.

 

Information is incorporated into security prices through the buying and selling process. While fair prices may
not depend on a certain level of trading, over $400 billion of stocks traded on average each day in the world equity
markets suggests that a great deal of information is incorporated into stock prices.

As investors, we should consider whether we want to use the price we observe or look for a better price. A recent
study from Dimensional Fund Advisors shows that over the 15-year period ending December 2017, only 14%
of investment managers that attempted to outguess the market survived and beat benchmarks.

This study is just one of many conducted over the past 50 years that have documented similar results. With investing, many things are out of our control, but we can make decisions that improve our odds of having a positive investment experience. Looking at these results, attempting to identify a better price than the one we observe in the market may not be accomplishing this objective.

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WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE PRICE

Beyond the challenge of trying to outguess the market, why is price so important? We should first understand
the connection between the price you pay and the return you expect to receive.

Let’s consider an example: Imagine that you want to buy a house and you know for certain the house will be worth $2 million 10 years from now. If you pay $1 million for the house today or you pay $500,000, in which case would you earn a higher return? Obviously paying less, $500,000, would earn you a higher return.

Of course, investing offers few, if any, guarantees, and we can’t know for certain what something will be worth in the future. Given this, investors should think in terms of expected returns and what decisions will lead to an investment with higher expected returns. Holding other factors constant, the lower the price you pay, the higher the expected return, which is why it’s so important to consider a stock’s observed market price. The price paid has a direct connection to the return we expect to receive.

AS PRICES CHANGE, SO DO EXPECTED RETURNS

We also know that, in a changing world, new information becomes available on a regular basis and that new information can affect the price of stocks. Let’s imagine a pharmaceutical company announces a new drug that investors believe will generate substantial revenues for the company. If this news was previously unknown, once it becomes available, it will likely influence the price of the stock. The price will adjust based on new information, and as the price changes, so will the expected return. Changes in stock prices are taking place every day, and as prices change, so do expected returns.

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INDEX MANAGEMENT AND MARKET PRICES

Each year on the last Friday in June, the Russell indices go through a process called reconstitution. In this process, certain stocks are added and deleted from the index. The goal of reconstitution is to periodically rebalance the index to account for historical changes in stocks during the prior period. Index providers, such as S&P, Russell, or CRSP, have different processes for adding and deleting stocks, and while each will have some variation, all will establish pre-set points in time to make their adjustments.

To decide which stocks will be added or deleted, the index provider may look at the market price of a stock to determine what is a small cap vs. large cap stock or what is a value vs. growth stock. It is only during these pre-set dates of reconstitution that index providers might consider market prices. On all other days between the reconstitution dates, changes in the prices of stocks are not being incorporated by the index. And since there is a direct relation between the price of a stock and expected return of a stock, indices are considering differences in expected returns only at infrequent intervals during the year. It not only seems logical that we may want to consider changes in market prices more frequently, the failure to do so can have a direct impact on the expected return of the index.

Again, this is why we believe using market prices is so important. The price we see gives us information about what we expect to receive. If you want to have an investment approach that targets higher expected returns every day, you need to ensure the approach incorporates changes in price every day. Otherwise, investors may not be getting what they think they are paying for.

Park + Elm Investing Principle #1: Embrace Market Pricing

By | May 25th, 2018|Markets, Uncategorized|

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This is just #1!

Download our Ebook Here to get all 10 principles!!


Many investors believe that there may be a way to predict when to buy and sell securities, and it’s possible that pricing errors occur in financial markets. But it’s clear that investors have a very difficult time consistently exploiting these errors. Over the last five years…

 

 

  1. About 60% of actively managed large cap US equity funds have failed to beat the S&P 500
  2. 77% of mid cap funds have failed to beat the S&P 400
  3. Two-thirds of the small cap manager universe have failed to outperform the S&P Small Cap 600 Index.
  4. Across the thirteen fixed income fund categories, all but one experienced at least a 70% rate of underperformance over five years.

…and the underperformance rate increases over longer periods of time. Most investors have investment time horizons much broader than 5 years, so trying to anticipate market movements over decades adds extreme anxiety and undue risk, while drastically increasing management expenses. Although the promise of above-market returns is alluring, investors must face the reality that as a group, US-based active managers do not consistently deliver on this promise, and they charge significantly higher fees for this underperformance.

Consider the assumption that the price of a security reflects all available information, and the intense competition among market participants drives prices to fair value. This type of strong belief in markets frees us to think and act differently about investing. When you try to outwit the market, you compete with the collective knowledge of millions of investors. By harnessing the Market’s power, you can put their knowledge to work in your portfolio.

Markets throughout the world have a history of rewarding investors for the capital they supply, and persistent differences in average portfolio returns are explained by differences in average risk. Attempting to time the market creates periods of time when investors are out of the market. This lack of participation can prove very costly to long-term returns. At Park and Elm, we embrace the market, and put investors in a position to capture returns from market growth over time, by pinpointing an acceptable level of risk, for an acceptable long-term return. There are periods of good and bad in the stock market, but it is by far the BEST investment option we have. Understanding that the price of a stock is driven to fair value by the intense competition of companies and investors, allows us to focus on controlling risk, lowering fees and diversifying into the broader markets.

INTERESTED IN THE REST OF THE INVESTING PRINCIPLES? DOWNLOAD OUR EBOOK HERE!

Video of the day: Tuning Out the Noise!

By | April 16th, 2018|DFA, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Markets, Video|

As an investor, it’s hard to stay focused on what really matters, and block out the constant noise. We believe the right financial advisor can get you closer to tuning it out! Check out the short video below to see why a more peaceful investment experience can be achieved!

Video of the day – Dimensional on Volatility

By | March 15th, 2018|DFA, Markets, Video|

Check out this short piece from Dimensional Fund Advisors explaining why investors should view market declines as part of the nature of investing.

 
 
 

Today’s Clip: Things you CAN control in your Investment Portfolio

By | February 27th, 2018|DFA, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Markets, Uncategorized, Video|

There are periods of good and bad in the stock market, but it is by far the BEST investment option we have. Understanding that the price of a stock is driven to fair value by the intense competition of companies and investors, allows us to focus on CONTROLLING what we can: RISK, FEES AND DIVERSIFICATION.

Click on the video image below to watch this short clip about focusing on the controllable things, and the importance of working with an advisor that understands you.

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Quarterly and Annual Market Review for Q4-2017

By | January 8th, 2018|Markets, Quarterly Market Review, Uncategorized|

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

CLICK HERE TO READ THE 4th QUARTER 2017 –  QUARTERLY/ANNUAL MARKET REVIEW

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