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Evidence-Based Investment Insights: Bringing the Evidence Home

Evidence-Based Investment Insights: Bringing the Evidence Home

Over the past few months, we have shared with you a 12-part series on our Impact Blog called Evidence-Based Investment Insights. Now, in the final installment, Bringing the Evidence Home, we summarize the key points in the series. We hope you have enjoyed reading our series as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you.

1. You, the Market, and the Prices You Pay: Understanding how group intelligence generally generates the most accurate prediction (remember the jelly bean jar experiment?) and its effect on efficient market pricing.

2. Ignoring the Siren Song of Daily Market Pricing: Rather than trying to react to the market’s ever-changing conditions and cut-throat competition, invest your life savings according to factors over which you can expect to have some control.

3. Financial Gurus and Other Fantastic Creatures: Avoid paying “experts” to forecast your future moves for you. The evidence indicates that their ability to persistently beat the market is more likely to be fleeting than fantastic.

4. The Full-Meal Deal of Diversification: In place of speculative investing, diversification is among your most important allies. Spreading your assets around dampens unnecessary risks.

5. Managing the Market’s Risky Business: All risks are not created equal. Minimize concentrated risks (like timing markets and picking individual stocks) by diversifying away from them. Maximize long-term returns by holding large swaths of the market, building in systemic investment risks. Diversification helps manage the necessary risks involved.

6. Diversifying for a Smoother Ride: Diversification can also create a smoother ride through bucking-bronco markets. It helps you stay in your seat and on track toward your personal goals.

7. The Business of Investing: At their essence, market returns are compensation for providing the financial capital that feeds the global human enterprise going on all around us.

8. The Essence of Evidence-Based Investing: What separates solid evidence from flimsy findings? Evidence-based insights demand scholarly rigor, including an objective outlook, robust peer review, and the ability to reproduce similar results under varying conditions.

9. Factors That Figure in Your Evidence-Based Portfolio: Building on 70+ years of robust evidence-based inquiry to date, three key stock market factors (equity, small-cap, and value) plus a couple more for bonds (term and credit) have formed a backbone for many evidence-based portfolio builds.

10. What Has Evidence-Based Investing Done for Me Lately: Building on our understanding of which market factors seem to matter the most, we continue to heed unfolding evidence on best investment practices.

11. The Human Factor in Evidence-Based Investing: The most significant factor for investors may be the “human factor.” Behavioral finance helps us understand that our instinctive reactions to market events can overtake our logical resolve as reasoned investors.

Your (Final!) Take-Home

When we introduced our 12 Essential Ideas for Building Wise Wealth, we promised to skip the technical jargon, replacing it with three key insights for becoming a more confident investor.

1. Understand the evidence. You do not have to have an advanced degree in financial economics to invest wisely. You need only know and heed the insights available from those who do have advanced degrees in financial economics.

2. Embrace market efficiencies. You do not have to be smarter, faster or luckier than the rest of the market. You need only structure your portfolio to play with rather than against the market and its expected returns. That includes an above-market allocation to Small Cap and Value stocks.

3. Manage your behavioral biases. Since you cannot eliminate the emotions you experience as an investor, you must remain vigilant to how often your instincts tempt you off-course, and manage your actions accordingly. (Hint: A professional advisor can add huge value here. Vanguard has estimated that by hiring an advisor individuals benefit by as much as 3% in investment return.)

How have we done in our goal to inform, without overwhelming you? We would love to have the opportunity to continue the conversation in person. Please be in touch with us today.


With all the uncertainty and volatility in today’s economy, the time is now to take a thorough look at your finances. To accurately plan for your financial future, you must first know where you currently stand. For these reasons, our Success Team at Impact Advisors Group is offering a free financial assessment for both individuals and business owners. Request yours today!

This post was written and first distributed by Wendy J. Cook.

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