Search by Topic
See Older Posts
There’s a cliché that money can’t buy happiness. Is that true? Thanks to research from Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, authors of the 2010 study “High Income Improves Evaluation of Life But Not Emotional Well-Being,” we can answer the question: It does—to a point. Kahneman and Deaton found that happiness tends to increase along with income up to about $75,000 a year.
They found that the lower a person’s annual income falls below that benchmark, the unhappier he or she feels—having to worry about putting food on the table, providing decent shelter, and having access to good > SEE MORE
Hedge funds entered this year coming off their 10th straight year of trailing the return of the S&P 500 Index. And as you can see in the following table, over the 10-year period ending 2018, they underperformed every single major equity asset class by wide margins. They also outperformed virtually riskless one-year Treasuries by less than 1%, and underperformed intermediate and long-term Treasuries. > SEE MORE
Behavioral finance is the study of human behavior. There is extensive literature on how that behavior leads to investment errors, including the mispricing of assets. This is one reason Princeton psychology professor Daniel Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002.
The field also provides us with other important insights from which behavioralists have learned ways to change behaviors for the better. For example, in their book “Nudge,” Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein described the following real-life experiment in tax compliance. > SEE MORE
It’s impossible to build an investment plan without estimating the return to stocks (as well as bonds and any alternative investments). One reason is that the estimate of returns determines your need to take risk—how high an allocation to equities you will need to reach your goal.
If your estimate is too high, it’s likely you won’t have sufficient assets to reach your retirement goal. If it’s too low, it could lead you to allocate more to equities, which means taking more risk than necessary. Alternatively, it could lead you to lower your goal, save more or plan on working longer.
Despite its importance, there is much disagreement about how to estimate stock returns. As is always the case, at Beacon Hill Private Wealth we rely on academic evidence. > SEE MORE
Ever since the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, when the correlation of all risky assets rose toward 1, investors have been hearing that because of globalization, the world has become flat and the benefits of diversification are gone.
The explanation is generally that the world market has become more integrated and financial markets more globalized. This has led some investors to draw the wrong conclusions about the benefits of international diversification.
With that in mind, we’ll take a deep dive into the issue of how much an allocation to international stocks you should have.
Recent Research From Vanguard
We’ll begin with a look at the February 2019 paper by Vanguard’s research > SEE MORE