Gambling With the Assessment of Risk Tolerance

In his “Intelligent Investor” column in the September 7, 2019 print edition of the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig wrote about an idea that we’ve thought about a good deal in the recent past: the fact that not all risk tolerance assessments are created equal. In the piece, Mr. Zweig—himself an accomplished and noted author[…]

Savings over time makes a difference.

What’s the Difference Between a 17% and 7% Savings Rate?

Our data consistently tells us that in the arena of personal-finance outcomes, behaviors matter. They matter a lot. So we thought it was time to try and quantify—from a dollars and net-worth perspective—exactly how much is “a lot.”  We have talked here before about the difference in savings rates between “high-potential” individuals and “low-potential” individuals, as[…]

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[…]

Advisor’s Alpha: 3% Is Good. 143% Is Better

We’ve written before about the often-cited Vanguard “Advisor’s Alpha” study. That research documents the data showing that a good financial advisor can add on average a full 3% in incremental return to a client’s investment portfolio annually. The study then breaks that 3% down into its component parts, showing that the biggest gains–a full 150 basis[…]

Inter-generational Wealth Transfer Woes

A hot topic in the financial advisory space—or maybe more accurately a sore subject—is the high rate of attrition of heirs when clients die and leave their managed wealth to beneficiaries. We have discussed this topic before, noting that a host of factors are at play including critical features like communication with the family-economic unit, relationship[…]