Is Your Risk Tolerance Assessment A Cosmo Test?

If you have ever taken a quiz entitled “How to tell if your boyfriend is cheating on you” or “Answer these five questions to learn to see if you’re a good friend,” then you’ve probably taken something akin to what we call a “Cosmo test.” Your answers to just a few questions will result in[…]

The Investing Mistakes of Millionaires (And The Rest of Us)

Sometime around 2000, I gambled some of my money away while fooling myself into thinking I was doing something very sophisticated. I wasn’t in Las Vegas: I was sitting at my computer buying shares of Krispy Kreme Donuts on eTrade. I had seen the front page of Forbes or Fortune or some other publication touting[…]

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[…]

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[…]