Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 40

Spotlight In Practice: Patterns of Investor Irrationality The Melting Pot By Jim Licato Short-Term Focus By Jim Licato Despite the recent runup in the stock market, it is safe to assume that investors are still a bit hesitant to get back into the market (or to stay in the market), let alone consider the riskiest of investments. What investors should Returns and Risk of Asset Classes internationally include currency, economic, political, and market liquidity. When clients view this particular investment in a vacuum, they are usually less receptive to include it in their portfolios. They are dismissing the potential diversification benefits of international investments and possible improvements in the risk/return trade-off. While the relative safety of cash and bonds may be soothing, especially during this day and age, investors are sacrificing long-term growth. Some investors may be willing to sidestep greater returns because the volatility of stocks may be too intimidating. As shown in the table, by focusing on the whole portfolio (and not just the individual components), an investor would actually experience a risk level that was lower than bonds and a return that was comparable to stocks. It is important to note that some mental accounting may be helpful for your clients. For example, if it is helpful for them to mentally account for investments in terms of the goals they are trying to achieve (retirement, college savings, etc.), mental accounting could be warranted. In most cases, however, where your clients are reluctant to get back into the market, or to just stay the course, having them concentrate solely on the total portfolio may help pacify them. Jim Licato is Morningstar’s research and communications manager. It’s tempting for clients regularly to monitor their investment accounts. Instant access to real-time quotes and a barrage of media reports on daily stock market fluctuations can make it difficult for clients with a long-term investment horizon to stay focused on their goals. In reality, these daily market movements may not be as extreme as they seem. As investors look longer term, their perception often changes. Allocation Return Risk Large stocks Small stocks Bonds Cash International stocks Total portfolio 20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 9.4 11.7 8.8 5.8 9.8 9.8 17.3 25.1 11.8 0.9 19.1 11.0 Probability of Losing Money in the Market 1989–2008 % of Probability 50 40 30 20 10 Daily Monthly Quarterly Annually 46% 37% 30% 25% Returns calculated over the time period January 1970–June 2009. Risk is measured by standard deviation. understand is that separate types of investments perform differently from one another, which has made it possible to lower the risk of volatile assets by combining them with other types of investments. Mental accounting is a pattern of investor irrationality in which an investor mentally compartmentalizes investments while neglecting to focus on the portfolio as a whole. Mental accounting can often impede investors from making sound financial decisions. This investor behavior is often evident when international investments are introduced. Risks that often raise red flags when investing Short-term market fluctuations can be quite volatile, and the probability of realizing a loss within any given day is high. However, the likelihood of realizing a loss has historically decreased over longer holding periods. The graph illustrates that while the probability of losing money on a daily basis over the past 20 years was 46%, the probability dropped dramatically to 25% when analyzing an annual time period. Periodic review of an investment portfolio is necessary, but investors shouldn’t let shortterm swings affect their view of the future. 40 Morningstar Advisor October/November 2009

Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009

Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009
Contents
New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Letter from the Editor
Contributors
How Do You Use Behavioral Finance in Your Practice?
Investing in the Moment
Investment Briefs
How the Best Large-Cap Managers Rise Above the Rest
Don’t Give Up on Stocks Just Yet
Makeup of the Mind
A Top-Down Approach
In Practice: Patterns of Investor Irrationality
A Call for Nudges
The Furious Comeback of Emerging Markets
Junk-Bond Pioneer
Four Picks for the Present
Consumer Staples Hold Up in the Kitchen
Familiarity Can Breed Bad Investment Decisions
Leave the ‘Junk Rally’ Behind and Look for Quality at a Reasonable Price
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular Equity ETFs
Undervalued Stocks
New at Morningstar
Meet the New Boss, Same (School) as the Old Boss
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - New on MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 8
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Letter from the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 11
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - How Do You Use Behavioral Finance in Your Practice?
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 14
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Investing in the Moment
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 16
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 18
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 20
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 21
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - How the Best Large-Cap Managers Rise Above the Rest
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 24
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Don’t Give Up on Stocks Just Yet
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 28
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Makeup of the Mind
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - A Top-Down Approach
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 33
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 34
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 35
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 36
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 37
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - In Practice: Patterns of Investor Irrationality
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 41
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - A Call for Nudges
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 44
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - The Furious Comeback of Emerging Markets
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 49
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 50
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 52
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 54
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Junk-Bond Pioneer
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 57
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 60
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Consumer Staples Hold Up in the Kitchen
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 63
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Familiarity Can Breed Bad Investment Decisions
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Leave the ‘Junk Rally’ Behind and Look for Quality at a Reasonable Price
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 70
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 50 Most Popular Equity ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Undervalued Stocks
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 76
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Meet the New Boss, Same (School) as the Old Boss
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - October/November 2009 - Cover4
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