AES International Wealth Management & Employee Benefits Blog

The Scientific Investor

Intelligent ideas to make you healthy, wealthy and wise.

Blog Feature

Financial Education

When you do (and don’t) need a financial planner

By: Sam Instone
June 21st, 2018

It was February 12, 2002 and as a young Army officer I was sitting on my tank top listening to the radio.

Donald Rumsfeld, the US secretary of defence, was known for being decisive and confident.

He was talking about Afghanistan. 

Rumsfeld said:

"There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know."

Think about it for a minute.

Here is the man charged with guiding the war efforts during a time of instability arguing that there are risks we know about (those can be managed) and there is this other category of risks that we don’t know about.

In fact, we don’t even know that we don’t know about them.

16 years later, I’d argue the same is largely true of finance.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Investment

Why controlling investment costs is so important

By: Sam Instone
June 20th, 2018

"Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion". 

William Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician and author, said that.

It’s one of my favourite quotes.

I use it almost daily.

Why?

Because investors driven by data are more successful.

(That’s a fact too). 

Read More

Share

Just before you go...

Gain insights

Increase your wealth, improve returns and cut costs.
Subscribe today and grow.

Subscribe to our blog
Blog Feature

Investment | Financial Planning

Where did all the alpha go?

By: Sam Instone
June 19th, 2018

The investing industry often talks about alpha.

In simple terms, alpha is a measure of outperformance compared to the market.

The evidence shows that fund managers are finding it increasingly difficult to generate alpha.

According to a book called "The Incredible Shrinking Alpha", there are 4 reasons..

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Investment

Successful investing is boring

By: Sam Instone
June 15th, 2018

Investing isn't supposed to be exciting.

But the financial media likes to make it seem so.

Why do so many people seem to seek excitement in investing?

There’s a couple of reasons.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Investment

The paradox of skill: Why your portfolio should be passively managed

By: Sam Instone
June 14th, 2018

Most investors still use actively managed funds.

In other words, they pay a fund manager to buy and sell the right stocks at the right time.

But, in general, how well do active funds perform?

The answer is worrying for investors.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Investment | Financial Planning

Why a buy-and-hold approach beats speculation

By: Sam Instone
June 13th, 2018

Technology and investing have many parallels.

Both constantly improve.  

Both evolve over time.

Newer versions constantly replace what was once seen as the best.

And both are passions of mine.

Some have even described one particular type of fund as having a ‘cult-like status’.

Fans of Apple can certainly relate to this.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Investment | Financial Education

Why investors need to feel happy doing nothing

By: Sam Instone
June 8th, 2018

It’s deeply ingrained in the human psyche that taking action is a positive thing.

And in many cases, it is.

But successful investing means doing exactly the opposite.

Even if that feels wrong.

And it will.

Read More

Share

Blog Feature

Financial Education

How to get wealthy (over time)

By: Sam Instone
June 7th, 2018

I recently discovered Safal Niveshak.

Meaning ‘successful investor’ in Hindi, it’s a blog created by Vishal Khandelwal, aimed at helping investors become intelligent, independent and successful.

His ideas about wealth and investing are interesting.

And I want to share one with you.

One which I think about almost every day…

Life is simple.

Why do we make it so hard?

Read More

Share