Don’t Exclude Emerging Markets
Thirty years ago, emerging markets made up only about 1% of world equity market capitalization, and just 18% of global GDP. As such, the ability to invest in emerging markets was limited—the few funds available were high-cost, actively managed funds.
Today the world looks very different. Emerging markets represent about 13% of global equity capitalization, and more than half of global GDP. In addition, the cost of obtaining exposure to emerging markets has decreased considerably. The expense ratio of Vanguard’s Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund Admiral Shares (VEMAX), for example, is just 0.14%.
Two Common Mistakes; Return
Yet despite emerging market stocks representing about one-eighth of global equity market capitalization, the vast majority of investors has much smaller allocations to them, dramatically underweighting the asset > SEE MORE
Retirement’s Routes To Failure
Retiring without sufficient assets to maintain a minimally acceptable lifestyle (which each person defines in their unique way) is an unthinkable outcome. That’s why, when investors are planning for retirement, the most important question is usually something like: How much can I plan on withdrawing from my portfolio without having a significant chance of outliving my savings?
The answer is generally expressed in terms of what is referred to as a safe withdrawal rate—the percentage of the portfolio you can withdraw the first year, with future withdrawals adjusted for inflation.
A Simulation Solution
While historical returns can provide insights, it’s critical that investors not make the mistake of simply projecting the past into the future. Current valuation metrics > SEE MORE
Are You Compensated For Your Risk?
Despite the fact that financial theory suggests stocks with high volatility should have higher expected returns—because investors cannot fully diversify away from the firm-specific risk in their portfolios—a growing body of empirical evidence demonstrates a negative return premium in higher-volatility stocks (the low-volatility/low-beta anomaly).
Research also documents that investor preferences for more volatile stocks are directly associated with preferences for stocks that look like lottery tickets (they have positive skewness and excess kurtosis, or fat tails). The negative premium associated with such stocks persists because of limits to arbitrage.
These findings on volatility and kurtosis are important because extreme positive and/or negative returns happen far more regularly > SEE MORE