What to Consider When Creating a Diversified Investment Portfolio

diversified portfolio

-+*Building an investment portfolio is a very personal process. Before jumping into a variety of different asset classes and market sectors, you need to first determine your overall goals and your tolerance for risk. Are you saving to buy a house in three years, or for retirement that may be twenty years down the road?… Read More


Oil, Markets, Volatility

Oil, Markets, Volatility

David R. Kotok

-+*Sharply lower oil prices have occasioned a huge discussion about their impact. We see it play out daily in newspapers, on TV and radio, at websites, on blogs, and in market letters. The range of forecasts runs from one extreme to another. On one side, pundits predict a recession resulting from a US energy sector… Read More


6 Reasons Why You Don’t Want to Invest Like a Professional Trader

Stock market analysis

Kateri Young

-+*As everyone with a computer knows, the web is shoulder-deep in brokerages, services, and publications that promise to help you invest just like the pros. That’s no surprise. It’s a logical step in the democratization of information. On a technological landscape where anybody can become a self-made journalist, filmmaker, or detective, what’s stopping anyone from… Read More


Am I Effectively Diversified?

istock_000001756684large

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the sixth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. Diversification is a perennial topic among investors, and if it seems controversial at times, that may be due to the fact that people don’t always share the same understanding of what it means. But diversification isn’t about investing… Read More


Is My Portfolio at the Right Risk Level?

Return and risk balance concept

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the fifth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. At every stage of investing, you should periodically ask yourself how much risk you can realistically tolerate. The primary way to measure the risk level of your portfolio is to look at its allocation of stocks vs. bonds. … Read More


Am I Better Off Investing or Paying Down Debt?

paying-bills

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the fourth installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. A common dilemma in personal finance is whether to use funds to pay down debt faster or to invest more. The question crops up in various forms: Should I pay off all credit card debt or make smaller… Read More


Am I Saving Enough to Reach My Goals?

Businessman using tablet computer

Geoff Considine

-+*This is the second installment in our series on how individual investors can assess their financial health. The starting point for any discussion of a household’s financial health is to evaluate current savings and savings rates in the context of financial goals.  The three largest expenses that most families will face are buying a home,… Read More


How Am I Doing? An 8-Point Financial Checklist

investment-performance

Geoff Considine

-+*A question that nags at many people is whether they are on track financially.  Even an average financial life can seem remarkably complex.  How does anyone know whether he or she is doing the right things?  A range of studies on how people manage their money suggests that many, if not the majority, are making… Read More


Goldman Sachs Predicts 4.5% 10-year Treasury Yields

bond

Geoff Considine

-+*Goldman Sachs just came out with a prediction that 10-year Treasury bond yields will rise to 4.5% by 2018 and the S&P 500 will provide 6% annualized returns over that same period.  The driver for this prediction is simply that the Fed is expected to raise the federal funds rate. Because rising yields correspond to… Read More


Low Beta Market Sectors

Geoff Considine

-+*With U.S. equity markets near their record highs and a bull market run that is starting its sixth year, the potential for a correction is a growing concern.  In addition, U.S. equity prices look fairly high when viewed in terms of the PE10 ratio.  Another factor that concerns some market watchers is that volatility (as… Read More