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Showing posts from February, 2013

Diversification: Disciplinarian of Disciplinarians

Disciplined diversification works when you do and even when you don't want it to. Diversification in effect forces you to sell the thing that has been doing so well in your portfolio and to buy the thing that hasn't. While this makes rational sense, it is emotionally difficult to execute. Think back to the tail end of 2008--were you selling bonds and cash to buy stocks? Most likely you weren't unless your advisor or some sort of automatic trigger did it for you.

Carl Richards of www.behaviorgap.com provided a good reminder of how diversification works in a recent NY Times blog post. The diversification he discusses here is more so related to equity asset-class diversification but also touches on the three basic building blocks--equities, bonds, and cash. He doesn't discuss alternative asset classes -- an asset class that doesn't fit neatly into the three basic categories -- being used to further diversification, but that's a detailed topic for another day.

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