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When Headlines Worry You, Bank on Investment Principles

April 17, 2023

Investing can be a stressful and confusing process, especially when news headlines are constantly bombarding us with information about market volatility, economic downturns, and geopolitical tensions. It’s natural to feel anxious when the stock market is experiencing wild swings or when economic indicators suggest trouble ahead. However, rather than getting caught up in the hype and panic of sensationalized news stories, investors can benefit from focusing on sound investment principles.

Understanding the Importance of Investment Principles

Investment principles are the guiding rules and strategies that investors use to make informed decisions about their portfolios. These principles are based on empirical evidence, historical trends, and economic theory, and they are designed to help investors achieve their financial goals over the long term. By sticking to a set of proven investment principles, investors can avoid emotional decision-making, minimize risk, and maximize returns.

Principle #1: Diversification

Diversification is the practice of spreading your investments across multiple asset classes, sectors, and geographic regions. The idea behind diversification is that by investing in a variety of different assets, you can reduce your exposure to any one particular risk. For example, if you only invest in technology stocks, your portfolio will be vulnerable to fluctuations in the tech sector. However, if you also invest in bonds, real estate, and international stocks, you can mitigate the impact of any one market downturn.

Principle #2: Asset Allocation

Asset allocation is the process of dividing your portfolio among different asset classes based on your investment goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon. The three main asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash, and each class has its own risk and return characteristics. By choosing an appropriate mix of assets, investors can balance risk and reward and achieve their financial objectives.

Principle #3: Buy and Hold

Buy and hold is a long-term investment strategy that involves buying a diversified portfolio of assets and holding onto them for an extended period of time. The idea behind buy and hold is that over the long term, the stock market tends to increase in value, and investors who stay

invested through market fluctuations are more likely to achieve higher returns. Buy and hold also minimizes transaction costs and reduces the impact of short-term market volatility.

Principle #4: Rebalancing

Rebalancing is the practice of periodically adjusting your portfolio to maintain your desired asset allocation. Over time, the value of different assets in your portfolio will fluctuate, which can throw off your original asset allocation. By rebalancing your portfolio, you can sell assets that have performed well and buy assets that have underperformed, bringing your portfolio back in line with your original allocation.

Principle #5: Dollar-Cost Averaging

Dollar-cost averaging is an investment strategy that involves investing a fixed amount of money on a regular basis, regardless of market conditions. The idea behind dollar-cost averaging is that by investing a fixed amount at regular intervals, you can buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. Over time, this can result in a lower average cost per share and higher overall returns.

Conclusion

Investing can be a daunting and confusing process, but by focusing on sound investment principles, investors can make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. By diversifying their portfolios, allocating assets appropriately, adopting a long-term buy and hold strategy, rebalancing periodically, and dollar-cost averaging, investors can minimize risk and maximize returns over the long term. Rather than getting caught up in sensationalized news stories, investors can bank on investment principles to guide their decision-making. Check out the article from Dimensional for some additional tips.


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Recent Posts
Do You Owe The AMT?

American educational reformer Horace Mann called education “the great equalizer.” In football, it’s been said ...

See more
What is the Value of Your Business?

In the second quarter of 2023, more than 2,300 small businesses were sold. The median ...

See more
Immediate vs. Deferred Annuities

Despite not being as well known as some other retirement tools, annuities account for 6.5% ...

See more