My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at the advantages of avoiding complexity in your investment process. The print version had the simple headline Simplifying Your Investment Strategy while the online version used the hedder Keep it simple, avoid the pitfalls.
There are know advantages to certain complex investing strategies, but these complexities become harmful disadvantages most of the times, as Humans are emotionally unable to follow them.
By creating an investment plan that is simple and easy to follow, you make it more likely that you will ultimately succeed and reach your goals. Hence, all of the familiar themes get mentioned in my focus on simplicity: ETFs, lower costs, diversification, rebalancing, dollar cost averaging, etc.
Here’s an excerpt from the column:
“We must recognize our own behavioral errors. To be blunt, you are not likely to become a cognitive Zen master anytime soon. But a little enlightenment could keep you from making some common investing errors.
Knowing these limitations, we can design an investment plan to circumvent the behavioral pitfalls. And a good step is to simplify. Toward that end, keep these 10 ideas in mind when approaching your portfolio”
The 10 ideas are not groundbreaking — but they are often overlooked.
Less can be more.
Keep it simple, avoid the pitfalls
Washington Post, January 25 2013