The Big Secret Wall Street Will Never Tell You About Investing

(Ryan Downie)

Investors can learn valuable lessons from Wall Street, but its proponents don’t always want to reveal its secrets. Fortunately, there are some common stock market misconceptions that aren’t too difficult to correct – and they happen to be linked to some of the most expensive mistakes investors make. Keep this “secret” in mind when you create and implement your investment strategy.

Profit is only part of the equation

We have an obsession with return on investment that seems to be deeply rooted in our psychology and society. Market headlines often attract attention with big gains and losses for individual indexes and stocks. The first major question in the field of financial advisors from potential clients often involves historical returns. A casual conversation on the golf course or at a cocktail party often focuses on recent investment wins and losses.

None of this is particularly surprising. Investing is attractive because it allows us to take money and turn it into more money. Regression is also an intuitive way to identify achievements, which suits people who like to keep score. However, the hyperfocus on growth is one of Wall Street’s distinct advantages over investors.

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Asset management is increasingly a professional exercise, and financial institutions have devoted significant resources to understanding and limiting risk. A good financial planner, fund manager, or investment analyst actively monitors other metrics along with portfolio returns.

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One of the best ways to improve your investment is to recognize that risk management is just as important as growth.

Risk management is essential

Portfolio allocation isn’t as easy as picking a few stocks that you think have the potential to grow. Risk is a fundamental consideration in asset management. It is important to strike the right balance in your asset allocation. A good investment strategy identifies key risks and evaluates them. The portfolio should be designed to maximize return within reasonable risk, and performance should be measured in a way that takes this risk into account.

There are several risks to consider when building an investment portfolio. For individual securities, the greatest risk is that a company, industry, sector, or geographic region will be volatile, which could adversely affect the performance of a stock or bond. connected. Think about it BlackBerryFired up during the first cell phone wars, or the collapse of Internet stocks during the Dot Com bubble. If we accept that we cannot know the future, the only effective way to deal with the company’s own risk is to diversify. Instead of holding one stock or one stock from one industry, it is usually wise to hold at least one position in several sectors. That way, not one bad investment can ruin the portfolio. Index investing is the most comprehensive answer to this risk, as it allows investors to access the entire stock market rather than individual companies.

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For diversified portfolios, risk is often equal to volatility. The market as a whole should go up over the long term, but equities experience price fluctuations in the short term. Stocks with high growth rates tend to have high valuations and experience more volatility. This creates a positive relationship between risk and reward. Investors need to measure and manage volatility, and any return should be understood in terms of risk. A portfolio of growth stocks can outperform stocks during a bull market, but carries the risk of severe losses – which we’ve seen in recent years.

When you’re building an investment portfolio, consider metrics like beta to make sure your profile is right. When evaluating performance, consider metrics such as the Sharpe Ratio. This approach helps isolate the impact of good investment choices on market conditions.

Investment planning is essential

The dual focus on risk and return means that the best investment for one person may not be the best for another. This concept is often conveyed in an efficient frontier chart, which plots the relationship between volatility and return. In theory, no point along the frontier is superior to the others because they all represent the optimal combination of risk and return. A pension cannot withstand the same volatility as 30 years of pension savings, and older investors often have to sacrifice the potential consequences. Different people should have different portfolios, which lead to different results.

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Instead of focusing exclusively on growth, it is better to focus on integrity. Set your limits by measuring your risk tolerance, time frame and investment goals. Then build a portfolio that can maximize returns within that framework. Make sure you are properly compensated for any capital risk.

Wall Street has put a lot of money into professionals and technology that can monitor and manage risk – it’s not smart to ignore this part of the equation, but too many investors do. Of course, returns are important when evaluating the quality of an investment strategy. However, you can improve your results in the long run by taking advice from professionals.

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Ryan Downie has no position in the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BlackBerry. The Motley Fool has a publishing policy.


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