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You Know More about Investing than You Think You Do

No matter how familiar we are with investing, we’ve all navigated uncertainty, weighed risks and rewards, and made carefully considered tradeoff decisions. Just by being human, we’ve been compelled to tackle the central challenges of life—which also happen to be the central challenges of investing.

Cracks in the Crystal Ball

A standard media device at the start of a financial year is a “lookahead” on the outlook for the coming 12 months. As a reflection on the anxieties of the day, these articles are usually reasonably accurate. But as a forecast of the future, not so much. The forecasts rest on a whole bunch of assumptions that can quickly exceed their use-by date when events change or when at least one of the variables undershoots or overshoots their expectations.

The Year that Wasn’t

A routine task for financial journalists at this time of year is to write a summary of the year in markets and to survey economists on their expectations for the coming year. These so-called ‘year-enders’ are worth revisiting 12 months on.

Information Hygiene

The pandemic highlighted the importance of medical professionals in protecting our health. The rise of investment scams highlights the role of financial professionals in protecting our wealth.

So What’s Your Plan for the Bear Market?

Market Returns through a Century of Recessions

What does a century of economic cycles teach investors about investing? Our interactive exhibit examines how stocks have behaved during US economic downturns. Markets around the world have often rewarded investors even when economic activity has slowed. 

This is an important lesson on the forward-looking nature of markets, highlighting how current market prices reflect market participants’ collective expectations for the future.

Three Crucial Lessons for Weathering the Stock Market’s Storm

This Has Been a Test: Developing a Financial Plan You Can Stick With

Will Inflation Hurt Stock Returns? Not Necessarily.

Investors may wonder whether stock returns will suffer if inflation keeps rising. Here’s some good news: Inflation isn’t necessarily bad news for stocks.

Trust the Financial Advisor Who Trusts the Market

With over 200,000 financial advisors in the United States, how do you pick one?

Trust the financial advisor who trusts the market.

These are people who help investors try to capture the returns of the market rather than attempting to outsmart it. Decades of research supports this strategy. So does the explosive growth of index funds.

When Headlines Worry You, Bank on Investment Principles

On Friday, March 10, regulators took control of Silicon Valley Bank as a run on the bank unfolded. Two days later, regulators took control of a second lender, Signature Bank. With increasing anxiety, many investors are eyeing their portfolios for exposure to these and other regional banks.

Rather than rummaging through your portfolio looking for trouble when headlines make you anxious, turn instead to your investment plan. Hopefully, your plan is designed with your long-term goals in mind and is based on principles that you can stick with, given your personal risk tolerances. While every investor’s plan is a bit different, ignoring headlines and focusing on the following time-tested principles may help you avoid making shortsighted missteps.

‘Everything Screams Inflation.’ How to Interpret the Headlines.

Jul 29, 2021

After last year’s economic shocks, we shouldn’t be surprised to see prices rebounding.

But the potential for inflation is one among many factors investors take into account when agreeing on a price at which to trade.

A look at headlines from the past 50 years shows the difficulty of timing markets around inflation expectations. Investors may be better served sticking to a long-term plan.

How quickly things change.

Two years ago, the New York Times reported, “Federal Reserve officials are increasingly worried that inflation is too low and could leave the central bank with less room to maneuver in an economic downturn.”1 More recently, a Wall Street Journal article presented a sharply different view, with a headline that likely touched a raw nerve among investors: “Everything Screams Inflation.” The author, a veteran financial columnist, observed, “We could be at a generational turning point for finance. Politics, economics, international relations, demography and labor are all shifting to supporting inflation.”

Riding Out the Storm: Seven Lessons

Two years since the pandemic shock helped drive global share markets down 30-40% in the space of weeks, volatility is back. 

This time, however, it’s war, inflation, and recession fears that are dominating headlines, and not even bonds are immune. It’s a worrying time for investors, to be sure. But just as in every crisis, discipline is the key.

Is It Time to Sell Stocks?

  • Soaring inflation and record market highs may leave investors wondering whether it’s time to adjust their portfolios.
  • Researchers have examined a wide range of timing strategies based on earnings, dividends, interest rates, economic growth, and more. 
  • A recent Morningstar report showed that investors may be better off steering clear of tactical asset allocation strategies and avoiding making short-term shifts among asset classes.
  • 10 Attributes of Great Financial Advisors

    Dimensional Fund Advisors have been working with financial advisors for more than three decades. To recognize the impact they have on the investor experience, we compiled a list of 10 attributes of great financial advisors.

    The Cost of Trying to Time the Market

    The impact of being out of the market for a short time can be profound. Staying invested and focused on the long term helps to ensure that you’re in position to capture what the market has to offer.

    Markets Don’t Wait for Official Announcements

    Some investors may worry about the stock market sinking after a recession is officially announced. But history shows that markets incorporate expectations ahead of economic reports.

    The Power of Compounding—in Health and Wealth

    Don’t settle for the status quo when you can do just a little bit better—because a little bit becomes a lot over time.

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