In the face of political drama at home and abroad, it’s certainly been a summer for trying our patience, hasn’t it? For anyone who has ever been a parent or a child – that is, for everyone – there are several comparisons we can draw between good parenting and good wealth management. For both, plenty of patience is one of the most important qualities to embrace.
From robotic arms to robotic bees (as featured in this 2014 National Geographic piece), the future looks bright for new and potentially improved ways to enhance our lives with robotics. Lately, “robo-advisors” have been capturing the fancy of the financial press, promising to take over investment decisions that have traditionally demanded human intervention.
Believe me, we get it. After yesterday’s Brexit referendum and its startling outcome, it’s hard to view today’s news without feeling your stomach twist over what in the world is going on. Whenever the markets scream bloody murder, your instincts deliver a sense of unrest ranging from discontent to desperation.
One of the reasons we turn to evidence-based investing is to guide us past the misguided strategies that can otherwise cause an investor’s expected returns to run aground. That said, there is a lot of “evidence” out there. How do we determine which of it comes from sound science and which may steer you wrong?
Thanks in part to our evidence-based approach to investing, we don’t have to eat our words or advice very often. But recently, we discovered that we stand corrected on one point. Fortunately, it’s a point we’re happy to concede:
Evidence-based investing doesn’t have to be such a boring subject after all.
In Part I of our series on Tax-Wise Investing, “You and Your Investments,” we explored how to engage in year-round tax-wise investing by adopting your own best practices as well as by favoring fund managers who are likewise keeping a tax-efficient eye on their offerings. There are two other important areas to tend to as part of your due diligence: your investment portfolio’s tax-efficient management and your advisers’ tax-efficient teamwork.
While “tax season” may imply that there is an optimal time to think about your income taxes, the best way to minimize your annual “pay-triotic duty” is to engage in year-round tax-wise investing, with ongoing best practices in:
- Your personal tax-efficient habits
- Your fund managers’ tax-efficient habits
- Your investment portfolio’s tax-efficient management
- Your advisers’ tax-efficient teamwork
As the public grows increasingly familiar with “passive” or “index” investing, it’s becoming easier for individual investors to gain cost-effective exposure to globally diversified market returns. That’s good news! Even better news is that there is a similar approach we employ for our clients that incorporates the many strengths of passive/index investing while eliminating some of its inherent weaknesses. Beyond passive, we call it evidence-based investing. More than any other approach, we feel it rigorously incorporates available evidence on how markets have delivered long-term wealth to patient investors.
When introducing evidence-based investing, we like to begin by explaining why we feel it’s the right strategy for those who are seeking to build or preserve their wealth in wild and woolly markets. Of course sensible strategy is best followed by practical implementation, so it’s also worth describing how we select the funds we typically employ.