This article is featured in the summer edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
Source: Dimensional. In U.S. dollars. Market cap data is free-float adjusted from Bloomberg securities data. Many small nations not displayed. Totals may not equal 100% due to rounding. Past Performance is not indicative of future results. All investments involve risk. Foreign securities involve additional risks including foreign currency changes, taxes and different accounting and financial reporting methods. Countries represented by their respective MSCI IMI(net div.). Indexes are unmanaged baskets of securities in which investors cannot directly invest; they do not reflect the payment of advisory fees or other expenses associated with specific investments or the management of an actual portfolio.
This is the third article of a four-part series to help you understand our investment approach — and why it matters to you.
Look up the word RISK in a thesaurus and you see words like danger
, but also opportunity
. Continue reading
What was “Brexit” and why did it happen?
Brexit (short for “British Exit”) was the nickname given to the movement to persuade the British government to pull Britain out of the European Union (EU). A nationwide referendum — only the third in modern history in Britain — took place on June 23, 2016, and by a close vote of 52% to 48% British voters asked their government to negotiate a deal to leave the EU.
The idea of creating a single, common market across Europe began in the aftermath of World War II. A slow effort, but by 1993, a single market was created covering 28 countries. Borders were opened and visas for travel and work permits abolished. An important milestone was the development of the European Monetary Union in 1999 which, by 2002, had converted 19 of the 28 countries (defined as the “eurozone”) over to a single currency, the euro. Britain was a party to the EU, but it did not choose to participate in the eurozone, and thus preserved its use of its home currency, the pound.
While Britain, like most of the other EU countries, benefited economically from a common market, Britain has never been as comfortable with some of the political aspects of the EU. Long-term immigration trends and their recent acceleration under the EU have stoked strong nationalist feelings in Britain, leading to the political movement to exit the EU.
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This article will be featured in the summer edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
In a recent period of low stock market returns, low interest rates and low economic growth, investors have faced the temptation of trying to find the elusive outperforming investment. Who wouldn’t want to speed into the investment performance fast lane while others are stuck in traffic? Recently, promised outperformance has come from hedge funds, limited partnerships and high-yield bonds. Yet, as history proves again and again, great expected returns also mean taking on great risk. This year, the latest exemplar of this was the municipal bond market.
Would you buy a bond backed simply by the good faith of an entity that was drowning in debt and had poor growth prospects? What if the debt to GDP ratio rose above 70% as revenue dried up and borrowing cost rose?1 And what if this entity did not have the option of defaulting on its debt? Yes, the investment we’re discussing is Puerto Rico Municipal Bonds. Continue reading
Recently, retirement was the subject of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on HBO. (Note: The video contains some adult language.) The news satire program typically does a segment each week of “edutainment” and this time Mr. Oliver focused on a number of investing topics: financial advisors, annuities, what is a fiduciary, and the large impact fees have; he even goes into detail on the show’s own John Hancock 401k plan.
Oliver makes several important points, such as investors should know the fees they’re paying, they should work only with an advisor who is a fiduciary and active management can be expensive and rarely works. Oliver prescribes 5 steps every investor should take: Continue reading
While most investors probably don’t have “meet with my financial advisor” on the top of their list of favorite things to do, we do know that many clients want more contact and communication with their advisor.1 Surveys from clients tell us that in addition to traditional agenda items like investment review, re-balancing and updates on goals, they are looking for a comprehensive approach to both life and financial areas.2
With the many tools now available to help address and illustrate the different planning areas of client’s lives, how can you make sure that you are delivering an exceptional experience at this critical “moment of truth” — the client meeting? Continue reading
This blog is from the June issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
You come to the edge of a fast-flowing river and want to get to the other side. You read the sign conspicuously posted at the water’s edge — “average depth 3 feet.” Feeling confident, you begin to wade across the river. Midway across you fall into a deep hole and get swept down the river. Continue reading