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Equities, also called stocks:
- Represent shares of ownership in publicly held companies
- Historically have outperformed other investments over long periods (keep in mind that past performance does not guarantee future results)
- Most volatile in the short term
- Returns and principal will fluctuate so that accumulations, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than original cost
Fixed income, or bond investments, generally pay a set rate of interest over a given period, then return the investor’s principal.
- Set rate of interest
- More stability than stocks
- Value fluctuates due to current interest and inflation rates
- includes “guaranteed” or “risk-free” assets
- Also includes money market instruments (short-term fixed income investments)
An option is a contract that allows a buyer the right to buy or sell an underlying asset or financial instrument at a specified strike price on or before a specified date, depending on the form of the option.
Your home or investment property, plus shares of funds that invest in commercial real estate.
- Helps protect future purchasing power as property values and rental income run parallel to inflation
- Values tend to rise and fall more slowly than stock and bond prices. It is important to keep in mind that the real estate sector is subject to various risks, including fluctuation in underlying property values, expenses and income, and potential environmental liabilities.
Physical goods such as gold, copper, crude oil, natural gas, wheat, corn, and even electricity.
- Helps protect future purchasing power as values have fixed utility and thus run parallel to inflation
- Values tend to exhibit low correlations with stock and bond prices.
- Price dynamics are also unique: commodities become more volatile as prices rise. Thus a commodity with a 20% volatility might have a 50% volatility if prices doubled.