Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good Chart in Today's Wall Street Journal

Could be a little hard to read, but if you click on the image it will get bigger.

Basically the idea is that (no surprise) nothing is for free. The more safe the investment, the more you "pay" either in terms of a low return or actual fees to a broker or insurance company.

Here's an excerpt; full link follows:

The Price Of Safety Just Went Up

Volatility, low rates and skittish firms are squeezing investors

Investors battered by market upheaval, including a 6% stock slide in recent weeks, have a new mantra for their portfolios: preserve, protect and defend. But they should be prepared to pay up.


The price of portfolio safety is soaring. Low interest rates and high market volatility make it more expensive to construct products offering income guarantees, downside protection, and other sleep-at-night features. On top of that, Wall Street firms, still skittish from the financial crisis, are reluctant to offer generous guarantees.

It all adds up to a dubious proposition for safety-seeking investors: Pay more for less.