How much do you know about market basics? Put your investing IQ to the test with this quiz on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
Traditional investment indexes such as the S&P 500 are weighted based on market capitalization, the value of a company’s total outstanding stock. This means the largest companies in the index may have much greater influence on index performance than smaller companies. … Funds that track market-weighted indexes may be the most direct way to participate in broad market performance, but there has been increasing interest in an alternative indexing strategy called smart beta (also known as strategic beta or factor-based investing)
When investing, particularly for long-term goals, there is one concept you will likely hear about over and over again — diversification. Why is diversification so important? The simple reason is that it helps ensure that your risk of loss is spread among a number of different investments. The theory is that if some of the investments in your portfolio decline in value, others may rise or hold steady, helping to offset the losses.
The terms growth and value are often used to describe two different investment strategies, yet many investors may want both qualities in an investment. Famed investor Warren Buffett put it this way in a 2015 interview: “I always say if you aren’t investing for value, what are you investing for? And the idea that value and growth are two different things makes no sense…. Growth is part of the value equation.”
If your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan allows pretax, after-tax, and/or Roth contributions, which should you choose?
Researchers in the field of behavioral finance have studied how cognitive biases in human thinking can affect investor behavior. Understanding the influence of human nature might help you overcome these common psychological traps.
As the year draws to a close, there might be a slew of tasks on your to-do list. One task to consider is setting up a meeting with your financial professional to review your investments. If you take the time to get organized now, it may help you accomplish your long-term goals more efficiently. Here are some steps that might help.
Asset allocation refers to how an investor’s portfolio is divided among asset classes, which tend to perform differently under different market conditions. In the financial world, correlation is a statistical measure of how two securities perform relative to each other. Securities that are positively correlated will have prices that tend to move in the same direction. Securities that are negatively correlated will have prices that move in the opposite direction.
Traditional economic models are based on a simple premise: people make rational financial decisions that are designed to maximize their economic benefits. In reality, however, most humans don’t make decisions based on a sterile analysis of the pros and cons. While most of us do think carefully about financial decisions, it is nearly impossible to completely disconnect from our “gut feelings,” that nagging intuition that seems to have been deeply implanted in the recesses of our brain.
The release in April of the long-awaited report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has spurred renewed discussion of ways to combat climate change and its effects. The report, written by leading scientists from around the globe, says that to keep greenhouse emissions below critical levels, the world must make substantial changes–and quickly–in how energy is produced and consumed. That finding has focused fresh attention on so-called “green investing.” Here are some considerations that can be especially important in this arena.