IvyVest Blog


Diversification: Still the Only Free Lunch in All of Finance

It is said that there is no such thing as a free lunch in life, and for my part I think that is mostly true. Most of the supposedly free meals that I have consumed have had some side effects that I would have preferred to avoid.

The one exception in the investing world is diversification. Owning a diversified portfolio truly is a free lunch.

This article will discuss why diversification is such an important concept to understand in investing, and how it can temporarily eliminate the usual tradeoff between returns and risk.


The First Grand Theory of Investing: Strategic Asset Allocation

Diversification is one of the most important principles in all of investing, but it unfortunately does not provide any easy answers in and of itself. Investors that understand the principle in its entirety still need to figure out somewhat the basic question of asset allocation: which assets should I hold in my portfolio and how much of each should I own?


Tactical Asset Allocation: a Strategy to Stay Ahead of the Herd

In the last article, we wrote about strategic asset allocation (SAA), which is the first major camp in the asset allocation world, and is still recommended by the majority of financial advisors and investing gurus. But not everyone agrees with the tenets of SAA.

Opponents to SAA mostly coalesce around some form of what is called tactical asset allocation, or TAA. This article will look at a broad overview of the TAA world, looking at what it is and how it has been practiced in the past.


The Most Important (and Tragically Neglected) Four Letter Word In All of Finance

One of the best ways that I have found to get acquainted with the strategies of some of the top hedge fund managers and traders in the world is to read the classic Market Wizards series of books. Author and trader Jack Schwager has...

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Do you Know How Risky Your Investments Are? Here's One Way To Figure That Out

In finance, risk has a very precise definition - the standard deviation of returns, also called "volatility". Standard deviation is a mathematical calculation that looks at how widely a series of data "moves around" from its trend-line average.

Black Swan

How an Irascible Dark Bird Might Threaten Your Retirement

Investors lucky enough to secure a spot in one of Bernie Madoff's funds had it pretty good. Year after year Madoff produced remarkably consistent positive returns. By all accounts, their volatility was quite low. Madoff's investors must have...

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How To Temper the Swings of Your Portfolio... and Sleep Better At Night

When it comes to investors, you have people like Warren Buffett, and then you have people like my cousin John. Studies show that most investors are more like the latter.

Buffett is, of course, the famous investor who become one of the richest...

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The Market Will Inevitably Fall Off a Cliff Again Sometime - Here's How To Make Sure Your Bungee Cord is Fastened

Anyone with money invested in the stock market has to be prepared to suffer a sudden loss of capital, like "Black Monday" when stock markets fell over 20% in one single day. Some smart risk management techniques can reduce your risk of getting hit by what has been called a "black swan" event. 

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Why Smart People Do Dumb Things with Their Money

Like most people I think, everything that I can ever remember doing has seemed perfectly rational to me... at the second I was doing it. Reflecting years later... not so much. I won't go into details here, but you can use your imagination or look...


Why the Stock Market Sometimes Has The Maturity Level of a 5 Year Old: An Intro To Market Anomalies

As human beings, we are attached to stories, perhaps irrationally so. In what Nassim Taleb calls the "narrative bias," we are really good at crafting a logically tight story to explain nearly anything -- but only after it has already happened!...