Industry News and Insights

10 Principles of Investing

Monday, October 16, 2017
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When investors are evaluating a potential investment opportunity there a number of factors they must consider. Sometimes investors can be overwhelmed with all of the information, leaving them confused and often frustrated. They are bombarded with advertising, cold calls, and seminars from the financial services industry and often leave these experiences with more questions that answers.

The following principles can help all investors understand how to evaluate a potential investment opportunity. These principles pertain to both those individuals who are still accumulating their assets and those who are faced with the challenges of generating income from their assets after a lifetime of work.

Principle 1: Potential for Greater Return Means Potential for Greater Risk

When evaluating an investment opportunity understanding this principle is a must. Terms like “safe,” or “risky” are too vague and can often be quite misleading.

Investors should utilize this simple formula when determining whether or not and investment is appropriate for their portfolio.

(Anticipated Return on Investment) – (Ten-Year Treasury Interest Rate) = Additional Relative Risk
For example, if the potential return on investment X = 10% and the current ten-year treasury is paying 5%, an investor is assuming twice the risk in investment X as opposed to the ten-year treasury.

Investors must ask themselves if they can accept that risk. As an investor you should know the level of risk involved in every investment and determine whether your portfolio can accept that risk.

Although this principle may sound straightforward it is very often overlooked by the lure of high double digit returns.

Stay tuned for Principle 2: Every Investment Decision Has Risk.

Joseph A. Leo

Vice President, Financial Consultant
DLG Wealth Management, LLC
(518) 348-0060 ext. 405
www.dlgwealthmanagement.com
jleo@dlgwm.com

Are You Nearing Retirement?

Monday, October 09, 2017
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Retirees and soon-to-be retirees should be made aware of the potential risks associated with investing in the stock market or what they could be missing by sitting on the sidelines. Traditional thinking is centered on the belief that as a person nears retirement equity allocation should decrease and fixed income allocation should increase. For nearly thirty years fixed income investments have been thought of as a safe alternative with less risk than the equity markets. Investors have flooded fixed income mutual funds and target date retirement funds with the understanding that their money would be safer and with less risk as they approached their retirement years. As you begin to think about your life after your career one of the questions you will be faced with is whether or not it is smart to keep your money in the stock market after you’ve retired? In order to properly answer that question here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • The main risk associated with equities is volatility. Many people nearing retirement are looking to minimize their exposure to volatility. As a result they often turn to fixed income investments and are faced with inflation risk (rising price levels for goods and services), which can be as damaging to their financial goals as volatility if not managed properly.
  • Inflation exposure can often be more risky than short-term volatility due to the recent increases in life expectancy. Portfolios that are not designed to keep up with inflation are exposed to increased risk of losing money and negatively altering a person lifestyle in retirement.
  • Not all bonds are created equal. Although generally rising interest rates have a negative effect on fixed income investments, it is important to know the duration and type of bond(s) you are investing in. For example, the longer a bond has until maturity the more likely it is to see price pressure during an inflationary environment.
  • It’s important to understand the difference between a stated bond yield and the real rate of return the bond actually produces. Fluctuations in the bonds price, capital gains distributions to investors, and an individual’s tax situation will all affect the real return that position generates.
  • In recent years, interest rates have been intentionally kept historically low by the Federal Reserve. This phenomenon has the dangerous potential of creating a “bond bubble.” During this time investors have rushed to “protect” their money by purchasing fixed income mutual funds as they continue to be fearful of the volatility associated with the equity markets. Recently we have seen interest rates begin to inch higher putting pressure on the value of the underlying bonds within the mutual funds. As those rates continue to increase these funds will be faced with increased volatility and could decrease in value.

For all the retirees or soon-to-be retirees, is it vitally important to have a professional look at your portfolio. Will you have enough to get you through retirement and live the lifestyle you have become accustomed to?

At DLG Wealth Management, LLC we help clients manage volatility as well as the inflation risk associated with the fixed income portion of their investment portfolio. We create custom, diversified portfolios comprised of many different asset classes to help our clients prepare for an ever changing financial environment.

Joseph A. Leo

Vice President, Financial Consultant
DLG Wealth Management, LLC
(518) 348-0060 ext. 405
www.dlgwealthmanagement.com
jleo@dlgwm.com

Three Uses for the Dollar

Monday, October 02, 2017
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As we enter into an environment where interest rates are rising it is very important to understand how the US dollar is impacted. As investors try to navigate the volatility of the market and make sure their investment portfolios are outpacing inflation it often helps to return to the foundation of how we use the dollar in our economy. The three main uses for the US dollar include; spending, lending, and/or owning.

Spend

If you have a dollar you can buy a hamburger, pay a bill or get a haircut. You can use the dollar to purchase goods and services that have no inherent monetary value.

Lend

The second thing you can do with a dollar is lend it. Lending your dollar means to give your dollar to an entity that will pay you interest for a specific length of time. The common way of lending is to give your dollar to a bank (savings account) and the bank will pay you interest as long as you keep the money in the account. Investors who want a higher rate of return from the bank can look at Certificates of Deposits. CD’s pay a higher rate of interest because you tie up your dollar for a specific time period (1 month to 5yrs).

You can lend your dollar to the U.S Government (Treasuries). The government will pay you an interest rate depending on the maturity. The longer you go out the higher the rate of interest.

Another place to lend your money is Corporate Bonds. By lending your dollar to a corporation (IBM, APPLE) you will receive a fixed interest payment usually paid every 6 months for a specific amount of time. These corporate bonds usually pay higher interest rates than the bank but do have more risk. The longer the maturity is the higher the rate of interest. The higher the risk (can the corporation make its interest payments and pay the bond back at maturity) the higher the interest rate. All of the above examples of lending are taxable.

You can also lend your dollar and receive a tax free interest payment. Municipal Bonds are issued by states, state agencies & local governments. The interest is federal tax free and can be state tax free if you lend within the state you reside.

All these lending vehicles can be done within a mutual fund that can specialize in all or some of the types listed above. By investing in a mutual fund you can diversify your lending in both the type of bond and the length of maturing which can ultimately lessen your risk. This lending is known as “fixed income” investing.

Own

The last thing you can do with your dollar is own your dollar. You can buy a house, buy stock in a corporation, buy a business, buy collectibles or buy many other assets. Buying means you own an asset. That asset may increase or decrease in value but you own it. When you invest in a stock, you own a piece of the corporation (hoping the value goes up). Owning your dollar usually is called equity investing. As with bonds you can invest in a mutual fund to diversify your dollars owned which can also lessen your risk.

Joseph A. Leo

Vice President, Financial Consultant
DLG Wealth Management, LLC
(518) 348-0060 ext. 405
www.dlgwealthmanagement.com
jleo@dlgwm.com