Worried about your stocks? Blame it on Wall Street.
Investors today face a barrage of conflicting information and exaggerated return claims from what most people consider the "market" -; the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But these indexes only comprise about 12 percent of all U.S. stocks. The reality is that these stocks can't be predicted with any consistency, especially long-term.
In the complicated world of financial services, you're being misled.
Wall Street advisors employ a strategy of "active marketing," which is the continual development of new products designed and marketed as the latest and greatest solution to investors' fears and concerns. There is an addiction factor at work here; active marketing feeds our desire to roll the dice. This rolling of the dice takes the form of stock picking, market timing and return chasing, activities otherwise known as active management.
The alternative is to "super-diversify" your portfolio with a wide array of unrelated investment choices and assets. This strategy allows you to own the market as a whole, rather than just a few of its components, thereby increasing your return and reducing the risk.
Based on Nobel Prize-winning research known as Modern Portfolio Theory, the application of this theory into a properly diversified portfolio - what I call a "Market Return Portfolio" - consists of no-load institutional asset class mutual funds you normally don't see in many portfolios. Choices such as micro-cap, small cap international, emerging markets and value stocks can lead to more consistent long-term returns equal to or somewhat greater than the market at large.
Another important aspect of proper portfolio management is finding the right firm to work with. Look for one that is independent, uses a fee structure whereby the firm is paid directly and only from clients, and uses a market return approach. The right strategy, managed by the right help, can truly bring wealth without worry.
In some sense, worry-free investing isn't really possible. People will always worry about taking care of their families and they'll always worry about their country's economy. Yet true "wealth without worry" means not having to track the daily movement of the market, saving time and energy for more important things in life.
Investors' confidence should be put not in an adviser or their own stock-picking prowess, but rather in the economic miracle we call capitalism. By tracking market movement over the past seven or eight decades, we see that the market goes up more than 80 percent of the time.
The expansion of capital markets is inevitable -; and a windfall for market return investors.