Bringing Balance to the Risk Tolerance Continuum

When you are making a financial decision, do you intentionally weigh the potential risks and rewards?  Is weighing that balance more of a rational or emotional process for you?  In other words, do you tend to rely more on facts or on feelings?

For example, when Karla got a promotion at the architectural firm where she is employed, she gave serious consideration to buying a new car.  She thought about the practical and emotional rewards of having a new car such as: 1) having a dependable means of transportation, 2) getting better gas mileage, 3) portraying a successful image to her clients, and 4) experiencing the pride and pleasure that comes with owning a new car (there’s nothing like that new car smell!). (more…)

The Evolution of Sustainability Investing

Helping investors align environmental priorities with their investment goals

OVERVIEW
With investors increasingly concerned about the potential environmental effects of certain business practices, many individuals and institutions are asking how they can align their environmental views and personal values with their investment decisions.

The Dimensional Sustainability Funds Council has worked with Dimensional’s Research and Investment teams, looking to implement real-world solutions designed to deliver the dual outcomes mentioned above through Dimensional’s systematic and time-tested approach. This paper highlights the key elements of those solutions in the context of a world in which sustainability considerations are playing an increasingly important role. (more…)

Taking Stock of Lump-Sum Investing vs. Dollar-Cost Averaging

Some investors favor a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) approach to deploying their investment capital. Unlike lump-sum investing, in which the full amount of available capital is invested up front, DCA spreads out investment contributions using installments over time. The appeal of DCA is the perception that it helps investors “diversify” the cost of entry into the market, buying shares at prices that fall somewhere between the highs and lows of a fluctuating market. So what are the implications of DCA for investors aiming to generate long-term wealth? (more…)

Finding the Silver Lining

According to Charles Schwab’s 2020 Modern Wealth Survey, 57 percent of Americans say they or a close family member have been financially impacted by COVID-19. In addition, nearly 15 percent reported being more financially stressed as compared to the end of 2019 before the widespread outbreak, and express concern that their increasing stress might have a lasting effect. (more…)

Is the Price Right?

It is often said that stock prices take the stairs up and the elevator down. In the first half of 2020, we saw how fast that elevator ride down could be. In just two months, U.S. stocks lost effectively years of gains. In fact, this was the fastest decline of 30% or more that we’ve ever experienced.

U.S. stocks weren’t alone on the elevator ride down. Joining them were stocks of all developed and emerging countries, as well as many commodities, like oil. True, oil’s decline was exacerbated by a debate between Russia and Saudi Arabia over the amount being produced, but no one expected it to briefly trade at a negative $37 per barrel. (more…)

Wealth Planning for Life’s Uncertainties

As events this year have reminded us, uncertainty is always a factor when it comes to the economy and markets. It’s also a common companion in other areas of our lives, often with real financial ramifications in those instances as well. But you have a plan for that. It’s built with an eye toward managing those inevitable uncertainties and controlling what you can. Importantly, it should include a wealth transfer component designed to achieve the legacy you envision while providing for your loved ones in the way you intend. So, check off each of the following must-have documents you’ve prepared to solidify your wealth transfer plans. See where you stand. Then consider sharing this list with someone you care about. (more…)

How Real Is Post-Pandemic Inflation Risk?

By Alex Kluesner

Governments around the world have made unprecedented efforts to support the global economy in response to COVID-19 by increasing spending and getting cash into the hands of both consumers and companies. Steps taken thus far may well have been necessary to help fight the pandemic’s economic fallout – but at what cost? Pundits are starting to point their collective finger at a dramatic increase in inflation, which is the idea that currency depreciates – buys less – as time goes on. (more…)

Change vs Transition

Change is situational. Transition, on the other hand, is psychological.  It is not those events but rather the inner reorientation or self-redefinition that you have to go through in order to incorporate any of those changes into your life.

William Bridges, PhD
Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Change (more…)