Too Many Investment Options? Making Sense Of A Muddled World – Nasdaq

By Evan Powers :

As we barrel toward Election Day faced with a choice between two historically unpopular presidential candidates, many of us are no doubt wishing that we had a more expansive set of options to choose from, a third or fourth candidate who we could really feel good about supporting. Nobody likes feeling as though they’re choosing among the lesser of evils, and yet that’s what an increasingly large portion of the voting population seems to face in each successive presidential election.

Of course, to an investment advisor like me, the “least worst option” dynamic is an eerily familiar one. In our current market, we’re constantly forced to choose between fixed income investments boasting historically low (or even negative ) yields and equity instruments with stretched valuations even amid stagnant or falling earnings . Sure, we could elect to sit in cash or commodities, but those strategies haven’t exactly been a panacea to a portfolio of late. So, just like voters who are faced with the prospect of holding their nose and voting for a candidate they dislike , so too are investors often compelled to invest in stocks with no better justification than “there is no alternative” .

This kind of repression is maddening for most of us – we crave choice because it is empowering, because we value freedom, and because we want to feel as though we control our own destiny. We therefore bemoan the situations in which we feel as…

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