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The Human Factor in Evidence-Based Investing

Written by Brian Puckett, CFP®, CPA/PFS, Attorney at Law.

Over the past several months, our blog series on evidence-based investing has explored the ways we can use stock and bond market factors to help drive an effective investment strategy.

We turn now to what is arguably the most significant factor in evidence-based investing: the human factor.

Despite everything we know about efficient capital markets and all the solid evidence available to guide our rational decisions, we're still human. We've got things going on in our heads that have nothing to do with solid evidence and rational decisions—a brew of instincts and emotions that spur us to leap before looking.

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What Has Evidence-Based Investing Done for Me Lately?

Written by Brian Puckett, CFP®, CPA/PFS, Attorney at Law.

In last month's blog, "Factors That Figure in Your Evidence-Based Portfolio," we discussed key factors that are used in constructing evidence-based investment portfolios. Now let's look at a few additional ones—and why incorporating them into a portfolio can be tricky.

First, a quick reminder that the three well-established stock market factors are equity, value and small-cap. For bonds, the key factors are term and credit. These factors have formed the backbone of evidence-based portfolio construction, helping investors strike the most effective balance between return and risk.

Continued research has found additional market factors that provide the potential for additional premiums. As with the earlier factors, these premiums seem to result from accepting added market risk, avoiding ill-advised investor behaviors or both. In academic circles, the most prominent among these are considered to be profitability and momentum.

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Factors That Figure in Your Evidence-Based Portfolio

Written by Brian Puckett, CFP®, CPA/PFS, Attorney at Law.

If you're a reader of our blogs, you know we're proponents of evidence-based investing: The practice of grounding investment strategy in rational methodology.

Evidence-based investing strengthens your ability to stay on course toward your financial goals by understanding and using the factors that drive investment returns.

A body of research dating back to the 1950s has identified three factors that have formed the backbone for evidence-based portfolio construction:

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The Essence of Evidence-Based Investing

Written by Brian Puckett, CFP®, CPA/PFS, Attorney at Law.

In our most recent blog, "What Drives Market Returns?" we explored how markets deliver wealth to those who invest their financial capital in human enterprise. But, as with any risky venture, there are no guarantees that you'll earn the returns you're aiming for, or even recover your investment.

This leads us to why we so strongly favor what is known as evidence-based investing. Grounding your strategy in a rational methodology helps you best determine your financial goals—and it helps you stay on course toward those goals even when your emotions threaten to take over.

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What Drives Market Returns?

Written by Brian Puckett, CFP®, CPA/PFS, Attorney at Law.

In last month's blog, "Get Along, Little Market," we discussed the benefits of diversifying your investments to minimize avoidable risks, manage those that are unavoidable when we're seeking market gains, and better tolerate market volatility along the way.

Our next topic: understanding how to build your diversified portfolio to effectively capture market returns. To do that, we must understand where those returns actually come from.

Market returns represent something deeper than the ups and downs of stocks and bonds. They are our compensation for providing the financial capital that feeds the human enterprise going on all around us.