How to invest money — your money — is a critical part of your overall financial plan. It is intimidating for many, interesting and enjoyable for others.
At Journey Wealth Partners, we believe in smart, practical and effective investing:
- Investing must be grounded in scientific research, a proven and consistent process and time-tested data.
- Markets work, which means you can’t expect greater returns without increasing risk.
- It is possible to build portfolios that efficiently capture dimensions of higher-than-expected returns in the global capital markets.
- Portfolio diversification allows you to enjoy reliable sources of expected return while reducing unnecessary risk, although diversified portfolios can experience losses if holdings are sold in a downturn.
Sure, you may be able to manage your own investments. But do you? Do you have the time, training and tools, confidence to ensure you are optimally engineered? Do you have the discipline and all of the above to maintain your investments each passing year, and with each job change or life change? Is your time better spent developing your career, passions and family or even exercising and sleeping?
Working with someone who shares your investing philosophy is job number one. Is Journey Wealth Partners the best option for you? Get a good idea by answering these two questions:
- Do you want to increase the probability of reaching your goals while managing the downside given your financial circumstances and your tolerance for risk? If so, then we may be a good fit.
- Do you believe that with the right advisor, or on your own, you can pick stocks and/or know exactly when to buy and sell your investments to reach your goals with a high degree of probability? If so, and if you are willing to examine how markets work over time, we may be able to work together.
– Eugene Fama, Nobel Prize Laureate 2013 Financial Economics
“I’d compare stock pickers to astrologers, but I don’t want to bad-mouth astrologers.”
We make our recommendations in accordance with a rational, evidence-based approach known as asset class investing, or market exposure investing. Grounded in academic research spanning countries and decades, asset class investing posits that with the right mix of investments within each asset class, you can capture the dimensions of market returns efficiently. Only by knowing where you are can you determine a path forward. In just one meeting, we can distill the evolution of the investing landscape for you so you appreciate what goes into an effective investment strategy
Think of asset class investing as “Investing 3.0” — an important improvement in the evolution of investment management. The approach is based on the Efficient Markets Theory and Modern Portfolio Theory, which earned respective founders Eugene Fama and Harry Markowitz the Nobel Prize in financial economics. The widely accepted and proven, deep body of research of factor returns is now being heavily marketed as “strategic beta.” Journey was a practitioner long before it became trendy.
||Asset class investing
|Goal: Beat the market by taking advantage of pricing “mistakes” and attempting to predict the future.
||Goal: Mirror the performance of a particular index through index funds — e.g. mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
||Goal: Rely on portfolio engineering rules that efficiently track the market, but with weightings of asset classes that provide greater returns over longer time periods. Evidence shows the benefits are true over time, across U.S. and global markets.
Drawbacks: Precisely predicting when prices of individual securities or funds will rise or fall is very hard to get right repeatedly. Active management also incurs higher expenses and trading costs.
Drawbacks: Index funds tethered to benchmarks suffer from allocation drift and incur higher trading costs due to their mandate to reduce tracking error. As a result, they’re less efficient than the most efficient strategies over longer time periods.
Drawbacks: At some point, every asset class has periods of lesser returns. Thus asset class investing requires discipline and patience.
Execution Is Everything
Prudent investing means staying disciplined and focused on the long term, and understanding each investment’s role in your portfolio. Working with the right advisor is like creating guardrails and speedbumps to protect you from abandoning your strategy when the road ahead is rough and uncertain.
Behavioral economics explains why this is hard to do for mere mortals. It isn’t because people aren’t smart or strong. Rather, it is due to the misinformation, the nature of the media and the financial services industry’s use of fear and greed to generate trading revenue.
Benefit from staying in control and working with an experienced advisor who knows how to take advantage of the markets by not reacting irrationally. Investing is a zero-sum game; there are investors on each side of every trade. Be rational and ask us to show you the data.
Before You Invest Money: Recommended Resources
- Efficient Markets Theory: Learn more about the “proposition that the prices of stocks, bonds and other securities fully reflect all available information at any point in time.”
- National Highest Yield MMA and Savings Accounts: Find the best and latest high yield money market accounts and savings accounts rates.
- Before the Advice, Check Out the Adviser: This New York Times article raises questions about whether the investment advice you are receiving is actually in your best interest..
- Foundations of Factor Investing: This research insight from MSCI Research Index Inc. (owned by Blackrock) provides a succinct compendium of the research that we follow. Reasonable (and brilliant) people can and do disagree on implementation of these strategies. We have hitched our pony to the most rigorously tested factor investing strategies.
- Behavioral Economics: Are you suffering from maladies such as loss aversion, recency bias or hyperbolic discounting? Behavioral economists study how people really make economic decisions.
We generally build client portfolios featuring low-cost, well-diversified funds from respected firms such as: