Thank you Mr. Jones!"Through modern media and advertising, we face a veritable blizzard of useless information vying for our attention."
"Investors should start with a view of skepticism." (Arthur Levitt quote)
"Putting it mildly, there is a lot of dumb advice out there when it comes to investing."
"Things you hear about the most (such as past performance) are often among the least important factors in making good investment decisions."
"Sadly, our educational system has been woefully behind the curve in preparing people for the heavy new financial responsibilities of a self-directed investment world."
"A big part of being an informed consumer of investment advice is being able to detect when your advisor may be making claims that don't stand up to scrutiny."
"Be careful of how your advisor gets paid. Conflicts of interest can yield advice that is not in your best interest."
"Making good investment decisions means recognizing that you will more often than not, end up with a different outcome than the expected result."
"There are many ways to measure risk other than looking at just the volatility of returns."
"Good decisions do not always result in good outcomes and bad decisions do not always result in bad outcomes."
"Be aware that high returns almost always come with substantial risk exposure, even when it may not be visible in the historical record."
"There is no free lunch--risk always accompanies expected returns.
"One of the biggest mistakes that investors make is relying too much on history and past performance in making decisions."
"We often find patterns where there are no patterns to be found."
"Even in a world populated by managers with no investment skill, we would still expect to see examples of long streaks of outperformance purely due to chance."
"When it comes to predicting the future, the market is usually smarter than any one person, no matter how astute or educated."
"With the rapid development and application of technology and computing to financial trading, markets are almost certainly becoming more efficient over time."
"Standard financial economic theory dictates that the 'market portfolio' is efficient and that it has the highest expected return of any portfolio for that level of volatility."
"Time is your friend when funding future goals. The earlier you start, the less you will have to save."
"Figure out what kind of portfolio you want and stick with that strategy. Getting cute with jumping in and out of the market rarely pays off."
"A study of investor behavior by the research firm DALBAR found that market timers in stock mutual funds lost -3.29% per year on average relative to investors who pursued a consistent strategy."
"By far, the most risky assets typically held by everyday investors are individual stocks themselves."
"Growth stocks have higher expected returns than value stocks. -- This may seem surprising given the mountain of literature in recent years proclaiming the benefits of value investing."
"When deciding on an asset allocation, start with the market portfolio allocation and tilt away from it toward higher or lower expected return mixes, depending on your time horizon and risk tolerance."
"Selecting an appropriate risk level for your investments is one of the most important and daunting decisions in personal finance."
"A major breakthrough in personal investing has been the development of sophisticated simulation engines that enable investors to directly observe not just the expected value of an investment, but the full range of potential outcomes."
"It pays to be skeptical when considerig the claims of someone who says he or she has a sure-fire way to beat the market."
"Pick a level of risk that you are comfortable with and stick with it. Don't fall victim to the siren song of market timing."
"For the vast majority of individual investors, buying individual stocks to achieve investment goals is inefficient, risky, and costly."
"Unlike a mutual fund, it is quite possible for a single stock to lose all its value by going bankrupt."
"Never make the critical mistake of being too concentrated in your employer's stock."
"No matter what the order of returns, the impact of volatility over time lowers the cumulative rate of return."
"Never make the mistake of assuming that a great company implies a great stock."
"On average, the performance of a broad-based index will exceed the returns of a single-stock strategy about 60% to 75% of the time over a multiyear period."
"The majority of individual investors profoundly underestimate the role that costs play in picking good investments."
"Try to invest in low-cost no-load funds when possible."
"Fund expenses are like termites. They can quietly eat away at the returns of your investment without you even realizing there is a problem."
"From the analysis of 22,472 mutual funds--only about one quarter of mutual funds were able to demonstrate performance that exceeded what you could achieve with a low-cost index fund."
"Asset class diversification is important, but so is appropriate investment selection, especially when it come to considering the impact of fees, manager performance, and taxes."
"Evaluate diversification at the household level, not at the individual account level."
"The expected return impact of giving up a single asset class is considerably less dramatic than you
"More than half of all commercial real estate in the United States is owned by large, publicly traded corporations."
"If you own a home already, you probably have enough real estate in your household portfolio."
"After deducting costs, you can make a strong argument that many commodity investments actually have negative expected returns."
"Keep investments in alternative investments like real estate, commodities, and hedge funds to a small part of your portfolio if you choose to hold them."
"Good funds are not defined by how well they have performed in the past, but how well they are likely to perform in the future."
"Asset allocation explains more than 90% of the variation in returns for most mutual funds."
"On average, the impact of an additional 1.0% in higher fees is 1.0% lower expected return."
"You are virtually guaranteed to outperform more than two-thirds of the actively managed funds with low-cost index funds."
"Saving money to achieve financial goals is a tug of war between current wants and future needs."
"Giving up $100 per month today means a good chance (in 30 years) of having $500 per month in additional retirement income for life."
"Dropping dead early does not pose much of a financial issue, but living too long can be a real pain in the pocketbook."
"If you could accurately predict your lifespan, future inflation, and future investment returns, then it would be a trivial calculation to determine what retirement income could be supported from a given portfolio value."
"It is very expensive to guarantee that you will have a certain amount of money in the future, but if you can tolerate some uncertainty, you can likely fund your future goal with significantly less savings."
"The only way to be more confident of reaching a financial goal is to invest more conservatively and save more."
"Higher-risk portfolios yield higher expected returns and growth rates. But this higher expected performance comes at the cost of a wider range of possible outcomes."
"Perhaps more than any other factor, the presence of taxes means your investment strategy must be tailored to your personal circumstances."
"All other things held equal, it will cost a woman more to fund her retirement than a man of the same age due to her longer expected lifespan."
"It has only been in the last decade or so that typical individual investors have had access to high-quality investment advice on how to build and manage tax-efficient investment portfolios."
"There are two basic principles that govern how to invest tax-efficiently: 1) It is better to pay taxes in the future rather than today. 2) Paying lower tax rates is generally better than paying higher marginal income taxes."
"Hold less tax-efficient assets (e.g.taxable bonds) in a tax-deferred account and more tax-efficient assets in your taxable account."
"As an investor, you want to be cautious about investing in a fund just prior to it making a distribution to shareholders."
"Municipal bonds are only attractive to those investors whose tax rates are high enough so that the tax benefit outweighs the lower interest rate paid by the bonds."
"Index funds are typically much more tax efficient."
"There is no silver bullet for maximizing after-tax returns, but by paying attention to a few key factors, you can make a big difference in your financial outcomes."
"Use your common sense. If something sounds too good to be true, it almost certainly is."
"And remember that life is what happens along the path toward your future goals. Don't forget to enjoy the journey!"
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