Three Ways Investors Negatively Impact Their Investment Returns (With Examples)

Three Ways Investors Negatively Impact Their Investment Returns (With Examples)

Behavioral investment pitfalls can have a significant impact on investment returns for the average investor. The impact can be anywhere from 0.5% to 1.0%+ per year. But that’s the average impact on the average investor. The reality is that this impact will manifest differently for each investor and it could be years or even decades before an individual investor gets trapped by one of these behavioral pitfalls.

An average impact of 0.5% to 1.0% makes it sound like this happens every year. While this is true on average, it actually reflects many different experiences for many individual investors.

The truth is that some investors will experience no behavioral impact on their investment return for years and years before suddenly experiencing a negative effect. The AVERAGE impact of 0.5% to 1.0% means that in a given year some people experience no impact and others experience a small or large impact.

The problem is that this can lead investors into a false sense of security. It can make it seem like everything is going well until suddenly it’s not.

In this post we’ll provide three examples of how behavioral investment pitfalls can actually manifest in an investor’s portfolio and how they impact long-term investment returns.

When It Comes To Investing We’re Our Own Worst Enemy

When It Comes To Investing We’re Our Own Worst Enemy

Compounding interest is a beautiful thing. It’s like magic. Give it enough time and compounding interest can turn even the smallest amount of money into millions.

Investing CAN be as easy as that, just set it and forget it. But when it comes to investing, we’re our own worst enemy.

Without guidance, rules, plans, checks and balances, we as individuals can cause some serious damage to our investment portfolios. We’re biased in many different ways and those biases create many behavioral investing pitfalls to watch out for.

There are many different behavioral investing pitfalls to be aware of, but some are more common than others (especially now that investing is even more easy and accessible). Some can be reduced with new investment options that automatically rebalance but there is still a risk.

Are you currently making one of these three behavioral investing mistakes?!?

8 Ways To Feel Financially Secure

8 Ways To Feel Financially Secure

Feeling financially secure has nothing to do with how much money you have or how much money you earn. Feeling financially secure is all about how you feel about your finances, how you manage your finances, and your attitude towards money in general.

Financial insecurity is a very common feeling. It affects both low-income and high-income households, it affects both young and old. In fact, according to the most recent FP Canada survey, at least half of us are affected by financial stress in some way.

“Half (50%) of Canadians say that financial stress has impacted their life in at least one way, with health issues (18%), marriage/relationship problems (15%), distractions and reduced productivity at work (14%), and family disputes (13%) the most common ways stress affects them.” Source.

When talking about financial security, it’s important to differentiate between BEING financially secure and actually FEELING financially secure. It’s possible to BE financially secure but not FEEL that way. It’s possible to be in a great financial position but without the right knowledge, routines and plans, it may not actually feel that way.

In this post we’ve outlined eight things you can do to FEEL financially secure (even if you still have the exact same income, spending, and savings).

Can You Retire When The Stock Market Is At An All Time High?

Can You Retire When The Stock Market Is At An All Time High?

Can you retire when the stock market is at an all time high? For many soon-to-be retirees this is an important question. It can be extremely nerve-racking to “pull the plug” and leave a stable income when investment values are at their peak.

But is this really a concern? Is it bad to retire when markets are at an all time high?

For many soon-to-be retirees, their investment portfolio will make up an important part of their future retirement income. Even retirees with a pension or full CPP/OAS will often have a small investment portfolio to support additional spending in retirement.

Many retirees worry about retiring at an all time high. They worry about a large decline in investment values soon after retirement. They believe this will dramatically impact their retirement plan. But is this concern justified? Or is this one of those biases that we’re all susceptible to?

Working for a few additional years would certainly help solidify a soon-to-be retirees financial plan, but at what cost? That lost time can never be recovered and could represent some “prime retirement years”. That income may also never be needed if everything goes to plan.

As it turns out, we’re actually at an all time high quite often, and the impact of retiring at an all time high isn’t even close to what we’d assume…

Did Our Investment Plan Cost Us Thousands?

Did Our Investment Plan Cost Us Thousands?

Like any good investor we have an investment plan, and one part of that investment plan involves rebalancing. We have a very specific rebalancing schedule and rebalancing rules. These rules help us know when we should and should not rebalance. But did these rules just cost us thousands?

In early 2020 the quick drop in investment values and equally quick recovery was an investment rollercoaster and it left more than a few people feeling slightly nauseous. It was incredible how quickly investment values declined, and it was equally incredible how quickly they recovered.

In hindsight, had we rebalanced during that dip, we could have been thousands of dollars richer today, perhaps even 10’s of thousands.

Why didn’t we rebalance during the drop? It wasn’t in our plan.

Strategically Using CPP To Reduce Risk In Retirement

Strategically Using CPP To Reduce Risk In Retirement

The majority of people choose to start CPP as early as possible. In fact, over 9 out of 10 people choose to start CPP at or before the age of 65. This means that the majority of people aren’t using CPP strategically to reduce risk in retirement.

The way CPP works means that it can be a great tool to help absorb inflation rate risk and investment risk in retirement. But many people choose to ignore these benefits (or aren’t aware of them in the first place) and simply start CPP as soon as possible.

One common strategy we’ll review in this post (but not the only strategy) is to delay CPP to age 70. By delaying CPP by 10-years the payments are over 200% higher than at age 60. There is a 0.6% increase for each month of delay between age 60 and age 65. Plus, there is a 0.7% increase for each month of delay between age 65 and age 70.

Delaying CPP to age 70 is a great way to reduce risk in retirement but it’s not necessarily the best decision in all situations. There are a few other CPP strategies we can use to help reduce risk in retirement if faced with certain circumstances. This could include low investment returns, negative investment returns, or high inflation.

Rather than start CPP at age 60, or delay CPP to age 70, we can choose to start CPP at different times depending on the circumstances. This flexibility can help us decrease risk in retirement and provide more flexibility.

There are four CPP strategies we can use to help decrease risk in retirement. The first, delaying CPP to age 70, is relatively well known, but the other three strategies we’ll cover in this post are unique and can be used if faced with certain circumstances between age 60 and age 70. This provides a retiree with some flexibility to optimize their CPP start date depending on the circumstances at the time.

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