The Commoditization of Portfolio Returns: What’s a Financial Advisor To Do?

We have an operating theory here at DataPoints that goes like this: portfolio returns are being commoditized for the vast majority of retail investors–either by robo-style services or index strategies, or both–and that this large swath of the population will be willing to pay less for the (likely illusory) promise of market-beating portfolio returns from their would-be financial advisors. This development will in turn put pressure on the financial services industry in general and financial[…]

What Is Volatility Composure?

We define volatility composure as a combination of past experiences and behavioral patterns that describe how an investor typically reacts to changes in the market value of his or her investments as well as overall changes in the value of the stock market. How will the individual actually behave–as opposed to how they think they will behave–when the stock market goes haywire (as it is doing now for the first time in quite some time)? How[…]

Identifying and Guiding Investor Behaviors with the Investor Profile

Working with an advisor can add incrementally to your portfolio, according to Vanguard’s Advisor Alpha study. Half of the contribution is through behavioral guidance – helping clients make better decisions regardless of market decisions, guiding them to ignore the herds, and mentoring them to stick to a plan. These findings beg the question: if we added a framework to the guidance that advisors provide, would these benefits increase? To create a better mousetrap of understanding investor[…]

Investing: Why Experience Matters

One of the treasures I own is a set of my grandmother’s cookbooks from the 1960s and 1970s. They are full of newspaper clippings with recipes and notations regarding whether she tried the recipe or not. They are very retro: the kind of books you would find in a thrift store that only sold vintage bell bottoms and butterfly-collared shirts. One of them– the Better Homes & Gardens Meat Cookbook (1967) (yes, there are copies[…]