Do I need downside protection?

There’s no doubt about it: Losing money hurts. Even the fear of losing money is unpleasant. The financial industry is well aware of this, and sends out its sales force to peddle a comforting idea. It’s called “downside protection.” It’s supposed to allow you to continue enjoying the market’s expected returns while simultaneously dodging its correlated risks.

Or so the story goes. But when it comes to principal protected notes and other forms of downside protection, it’s usually not your interests being protected. Common sense tells us why.

The truth is, market risks and expected future returns are related. If you don’t take any risk, you should expect very low returns. This is why long-term investors are better off minimizing their costs, capturing the returns of the global markets using low-cost index funds, and controlling their level of risk through their mix between stocks and bonds.

The rest of any other sales pitch is costly smoke and mirrors. Want to see behind the subterfuge? Watch today’s CSI, and I’ll walk you through the numbers. And subscribe here if you’d like to remain in the clear moving forward.

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