IvyVest Blog


What Mutual Funds Look Like Next to Their Benchmarks (Losers)

The actively-managed mutual fund industry makes billions of dollars in management fees every year, but habitually fails, on average, to add much of any value to underlying investors. Here is how and why.


Why Wall Street is Leaving You Out of Its Money Management Games

The somewhat short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement sought to split the world into two camps: the 99%, and the 1%. Wall Streeters were generally lumped into the latter category, and this was not intended as a compliment. 

Wall Street has...


Asset Allocation: What It Is, and Why Thinking About It Will Make You Richer

When most people talk about investing, they are talking about the stock market, and specifically about individual common stocks within the stock market. The news is dominated by coverage of the Apple's, Google's and Starbucks' of the world.

But it turns out that what what is arguably several times more important than what stocks you own in your portfolio is how much of your portfolio is in stocks and how much of it is in bonds, commodities, real estate, cash or something else.

This article will look at this question by introducing the field of asset allocation, talking about what it is and why it important.


Here's Why You Might Unknowingly Be Putting All of Your Investing Eggs in the Same Basket

In November 2008, the scene unfolding in Peter and Olivia's living room was playing out across the country. 

Peter had just gotten home from a long day of the work, and was less than pleased to find the entrance to the house that he shared...


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...

Manage Investment Risks 104398922 1024

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...