Keep Emotions Out of Your Portfolio

Stop over-thinking your portfolio. Take a mental “time out” and try some deep-breathing exercises. Do whatever it takes to rein in your caveman brain, because right now, your mind is one of your biggest liabilities — emotionally and financially.

That’s right: The ingrained tools that keep us out of harm’s way — our drive to seek more and more information, to look for patterns, to compare options, and even to flee to safety — are the very same ones that compel us to make boneheaded financial mistakes. Worst of all, often we’re not even conscious that we’re on a financial suicide mission until it’s over.

Re-train your brainThe good news is that, with pointed, conscious effort, you can tame your gray matter and neutralize the psychological noise that leads to bad investing decisions. The first step is to recognize the analytical and emotional tripwires in your head.

Here are four major cognitive biases to focus on nipping before they get the better of you and your money. [Read the full article]

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Now that BlackRock (NYSE:BLK – News) has completed its acquisition of Barclays Global Investors, investors are now seeing just how big a player the firm will be in the asset-management industry–and could be in corporate boardrooms.

Even before the deal, BlackRock was sizeable. Now, with $3.35 trillion in assets under management at the end of 2009, it can claim the title as the world’s largest money manager. About $1.9 trillion of that comes from BGI, which includes iShares, the largest ETF provider in the world. IShares commands more than 48% of the U.S. ETF industry market share with its 350-plus funds and more than $360 billion in assets. BlackRock also is one of the 10-largest traditional mutual fund managers in the United States with more than $100 billion in assets under management, up from about $77 billion at the beginning of 2009. [Read the full article]

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