5 Steps to Get Yourself Invested

by noloadfundx on August 26, 2014

balanceMost investors need a balanced portfolio that includes both stocks for growth and bonds for stability. Investors who have balanced accounts may be able to ride through and benefit from the stock market’s ups and downs.

A classic balanced portfolio has 60% invested in stocks and 40% in bonds. This 60/40 mix has been effective through many market cycles, as we explained here.

How can you build a balanced portfolio? Follow these five steps:

1. Start with fixed income

You can invest the fixed income portion of your portfolio right away. Bonds have typically had lower drawdowns than stocks so you’re less likely to experience a severe sell-off just after buying into bond funds.

2. Invest in equities gradually

Get a substantial portion of your equity exposure invested (at least 30-50%) right away so you’ll have the opportunity to participate in the gains, and then space out your subsequent purchases over time. We suggest if you are getting back in the market, focus first on core diversified equity funds or even balanced funds, which tend to be less volatile than more aggressive funds like sector or specialty funds.

3. Schedule your investments

Plan how you’ll invest the rest of your portfolio in to equities. You might choose to invest another 10% in equities each month. Or, if you want to try to use market declines to your advantage, you might commit to investing another 10% in equities every month or every time the market pulls back 5%—whichever comes first. But stay on schedule — don’t wait for the perfect day to buy, or you may never get invested.

4. Core, then explore

Once you’ve filled out your allocation to core stock funds, continue on to the more aggressive portion of your equity portfolio.  Keep investing until you’ve reached your target allocation—regardless of what happens while you’re building up your portfolio.

5. Fine-tune your allocation

Once you’re invested, you can tweak your allocation over time. If your stock exposure has grown too large, wait until an equity fund you own is slated to be sold and then use the proceeds of sale to add to your bond positions to get back to your original target allocation.

Need help? Call us at 1-800-763-8639 and ask to speak with an adviser.

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It’s Time to Face Your Finances

by noloadfundx on August 21, 2014

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“How many times have you avoided learning more about a particular area in your financial life because you felt the answers could be stressful?”

This is one of the questions Carl Richards asks in a recent issue of his Behavior Gap newsletter, “Do You Stick Your Head in the Sand?” Richards is a financial planner, New York Times writer, and director of investor education for the BAM Alliance.

If you’ve avoided looking at your fund portfolio because you believe you’ll feel regret or anxiety, you’re not alone.

- Perhaps you haven’t been opening your account statements because you spent 2013 in cash, and you feel badly about the gains you missed.

- Or you aren’t logging into your brokerage account because you bought a fund that didn’t continue to be a good performer, and you feel like buying this fund was a mistake.

- Or you’re avoiding your portfolio because you don’t know what trades to make, or because you’re waiting for some clarity about where the market’s going before you make a move. You keep reading about the possibility of a market correction and the inevitability of higher interest rates, and it may seem better to just wait it out.

But while ignoring our portfolios may feel like a way to protecting ourselves from negative feelings, it can put us at risk. As Richards explains, investors like to believe that “what we don’t know can’t hurt us. But when it comes to money, it’s the exact opposite. What we don’t know about our personal situation can hurt us — a lot.”

- Staying out of the market can hurt our chances of reaching our long-term goals.

- Hanging on to lagging funds hurts our returns over time.

- Avoiding investing because we think we need to know the future simply isn’t a successful investment approach.

So how can we start facing our finances? Continue reading “It’s Time to Face Your Finances” »

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Balanced Portfolios Offer Growth & Stability

August 19, 2014

We’ve been managing fund portfolios for clients since 1969, and the clients who’ve been with us the longest tend to have one thing in common: their portfolios are invested in both stock funds and bond funds. It’s not only our clients who favor balanced portfolios. The classic allocation of 60% stocks and 40% bonds is […]

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On Forbes: Capitalize on Changing Markets

August 14, 2014

FundX President Janet Brown explains How to Capitalize on Changing Markets in her new Forbes piece. Rather than trying to forecast future markets, Janet says it’s more useful for investors to identify the funds and ETFs that are doing well in the current market environment and then adapt their portfolios when market conditions change. “Some […]

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4 Little-Known Facts about Sustainable Responsible Investing (SRI)

August 12, 2014

Sustainable responsible investing (SRI) has evolved over the years. What was once considered a niche market is now becoming more widespread. But there are still many misconceptions about SRI that may prevent investors from capitalizing on the advantages of sustainable investing, such as: Myth #1: SRI Funds Only Cover a Small Part of the Market […]

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Janet Brown’s August 2014 Market Update (video)

August 7, 2014

FundX President Janet Brown shares some of the recent changes we made to NoLoad FundX’s stock and bond portfolios and offers her take on the market’s pullback. As Janet explains, “When the market’s change, we change.” Click below to watch.

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Stocks & Bonds Slid in July

August 5, 2014

Stocks and bonds slid and wiped out last month’s gains to end July down. There are certainly many possible reasons for the decline, including geopolitical concerns, ongoing fears of rate hikes and weaker earnings reports, but maybe the market was just overdue for a pullback. The S&P 500 is within 3% of its high and […]

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August 2014 Fund & ETF Changes

August 1, 2014

Each month, we highlight changes to the funds and ETFs listed in the monthly newsletter and online. Added to the Monthly Newsletter We added Guggenheim S&P 500 Pure Growth (RPV) to Class 3′s diversified fund listings. Closed to New Investors T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation, which we list in Class 4 total return funds, has […]

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Do ETFs Cause Investors to Trade Too Often?

July 29, 2014

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) trade throughout the day like stocks, while mutual funds trade just once a day. Some investors believe that this is an advantage: they like that they can sell an ETF immediately if market conditions change. But the ability to trade ETFs at any time can prompt investors to trade more frequently than […]

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FundX CIO Jason Browne’s MoneyLife Market Call

July 22, 2014

FundX Chief Investment Officer Jason Browne talked with Chuck Jaffe on the MoneyLife show on July 17, 2014. The show, Jaffe explains, aims to be a place to “talk stocks, funds, markets, and more with really smart folks.” The first four minutes of the interview provide a good introduction to FundX’s unconventional Upgrading strategy. Jason […]

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