Market turbulence, as the January downturn shows, tempts impatient investors to do foolish things. Trouble is, too many of us are hard-wired to opt for instant gratification and forsake long-term strategies – as the famous marshmallow experiment shows.
A conventional piece of investing advice is to put most of your money into broad market index funds, like the one tracking the Standard & Poor’s 500. But few people invest solely in the S&P 500 or solely in U.S. stocks.
How do you find out if your investments help a company or cause you detest – and what can do about it?
When a financial genius invests in you, that’s usually a good sign. This seemed to be the case recently when George Soros invested $500 million with Bill Gross at the latter’s new firm. The Soros money went into a separate account that follows Gross’ new Janus Global Unconstrained fund.
Despite a good 2014, the stock market went through some tough days. At one point in October the Standard & Poor’s 500 was down about 8% from its all-time high reached just a month before, then a few weeks later rebounded to set records.
Much of the investing public has its money tied up in mutual funds, trusting to their professional management. So wouldn’t it be nice to think that funds make sure companies they invest in don't overpay their executives? Too bad the funds largely look the other way.
Socially responsible investing considers both financial return and social good. This strategy gives you a chance to support the causes you care about, and adds diversification to your investment portfolio.
Shopping season blazed in full glory just a few weeks ago, the strategic plans of browsers and spenders playing out in packed aisles nationwide. You were probably in one of those aisles – and while drawing a bead on that perfect and marked-down gift, you also honed a skill to help your portfolio.
As hard as it may be to believe, I recommend paying very little attention to how the big stock market indicators, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, are doing.
Up 100, down 150, up 70, up 80: Recently the stock market became increasingly volatile, exhibiting wild swings daily, if not hourly. When your nest egg’s tied to Wall Street, how can you get used to these whipsaws? More important, can you profit?