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Evidence-Based Investing vs. Indexing: Making a Good Thing Even Better

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.

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How Do We Choose the Funds We Use?

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.

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Plain Sight Strategy #1: Being There

If you’ve ever dabbled in graphic design, you’re familiar with the concept of white space. When viewing an illustration, we typically pay the most attention to the visible ink on the page, such as a paragraph of text, a bar chart or an entertaining illustration. White space is the essential empty areas in between that are hidden in plain sight. We barely notice them … until they’re not there:

Where’s the white space?!

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Plain Sight Strategy #2: Manage Market Risks

In our last piece, we described why most investors should ignore the never-ending onslaught of unpredictable financial news and tend to three strategies that can be much more readily managed – at least once you know they are there. Hidden in plain sight, these potent strategies include:

  1. Being there
  2. Managing for market risks
  3. Controlling costs

Plain-Sight Strategy #2: Managing for Market Risks

Don’t take on more risk than you must.

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Plain Sight Strategy #3: Controlling Costs

In the first two installments of our three-part “hidden in plain sight” investment strategy series, we’ve covered the importance of staying invested to earn market returns, while managing the risks involved. We’ll conclude with what may be the most obvious and powerful advice of all, even if it does not seem to receive the attention it deserves.

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