Riding the ups and downs of the stock market roller coaster can provide for a thrilling and stressful experience. As a Los Angeles fee-only financial planning firm, there are decisions clients face when developing an investment strategy. These decisions are based on removing emotion, lowering risk, capturing global market returns and tailoring investments to meet their financial plan. Over the next several weeks, I will share ten decisions investors face as they try to build long-term wealth in the capital markets.
Costs matter. Whether you’re buying a car or selecting an investment strategy, the costs you expect to pay are likely to be an important factor in making any major financial decision. People rely on a lot of different information about costs to help inform these decisions. When you buy a car, for example, the sticker price indicates approximately how much you can expect to pay for the car itself. But the costs of car ownership do not end there. Taxes, insurance, fuel, routine maintenance, and unexpected repairs are also important considerations in the overall cost of a car. Some of these costs are easily observed, while others are more difficult to assess. As a Los Angeles fee-only investment management firm, it’s important to consider fees when investing in mutual funds, different variables need to be considered to evaluate how cost‑effective a strategy may be for a particular investor.
As an investment management firm in Los Angeles, a quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a “point” for the Dow and what it means to an individual’s portfolio may be unclear. The potential for misunderstanding also exists among even experienced market participants, given that index levels have risen over time and potential emotional anchors such as a 500-point move do not have the same impact on performance as they used to. With this in mind, we examine what a point move in the Dow means and the impact it may have on an investment portfolio.