AES International Wealth Management & Employee Benefits Blog

The Scientific Investor

Intelligent ideas to make you healthy, wealthy and wise.

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..

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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.

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Blog Feature

Investment | Financial Planning

The danger of staying close to home when investing

By: Sam Instone
June 6th, 2018

There are many behavioural biases to overcome when investing.

One of the most common that investors are prone to?

Home bias.

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Blog Feature

Investment | Financial Planning

Why my money is in passively managed funds

By: Sam Instone
May 25th, 2018

Last week one blog I published caused a flurry of questions to my inbox.

It caused confusion.

Sparked curiosity.

And a little anger.

The greatest reaction stemmed from one sentence:

“My own money is in firms such as DFA moving forwards.”

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Blog Feature

Financial Planning | Financial Education

How to bounce back after slipping up

By: Sam Instone
May 10th, 2018

I’m a huge fan of James Clear.

He’s an author focused on habits and decision making.

His ideas come from a wide range of disciplines, including biology, neuroscience, psychology, philosophy.

In other words, evidence.

Like us, he’s also mission-driven

At the core is a simple, but powerful question.

How can we live better?

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Blog Feature

Financial Planning

Financial planning isn’t something you can do once

By: Sam Instone
May 8th, 2018

You could be forgiven for likening a financial adviser to a personal trainer.

Both improve your health (be it physically, or financially).

Both usually offer a free consultation and develop custom plans for specific needs.

Both aim to make you the best version of yourself.

Most importantly, they both require long-term commitment in order to see results.

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Blog Feature

Financial Planning | Financial Education

How to control your financial destiny (and boost your sex appeal)

By: Ian McGugan
April 29th, 2018

When Ronald Read died at age 92 in 2014, his friends and family were surprised to discover he had been hiding a secret.

The retired janitor and gas station attendant, who lived in rural Vermont nearly all his life, had quietly accumulated a fortune of $8 million despite never earning more than a modest income.

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Blog Feature

Pensions | Financial Planning

Revealed: The biggest risks of the 4 percent retirement rule

By: Andrew Hallam
April 25th, 2018

You’ve probably heard of the 4 percent retirement rule.

It’s used to determine how much a retiree should withdraw from a retirement account each year.

The idea is the retiree receives a steady income stream, while maintaining a healthy account balance.

It’s considered safe by experts.

But what happens when it’s put to the test against falling markets?

And inflation-adjusted?

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