Sabela Capital Markets
Dejan Ilijevski has over 15 years in the financial services industry. He was a successful trader in Chicago, routinely trading over $1Billion/day, and an executive for a proprietary trading firm. After earning an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, he left the trading industry to fulfill his longstanding goal of establishing Sabela Capital Markets, an independent, fee-only fiduciary investment advisory firm that works only in the clients' best interest. Dejan's approach to investing is evidence-based, which is grounded in peer-reviewed research, Nobel Prize-winning ideas, and reality-tested principles. Relying on financial science and reasoning can help improve the odds of investment success in the long term.
In addition to an MBA, Dejan also has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. Prior to joining Chicago’s “Wall Street”, Dejan worked as a research chemist on diverse projects, including: a novel fuel cell technology; waste-water purification for the International Space Station; metal-coating technology for catalyst adsorption; plastics additives; and adsorbents used in oil processing. He also worked as a database administrator, designing and coding solutions to enterprise-wide system requirements, and quickly developed a successful career spanning research and technology.
MBA, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
MS, Computer Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
BA, Chemistry, Beloit College
Assets Under Management:
Sabela Consulting Group, Inc., d/b/a Sabela Capital Markets, is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the States of Indiana and Florida and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. The presence of this webpage profile shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Sabela Capital Markets in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or pursuant an applicable state exemption.
No, your advisor is not charging reasonable fees. High fees can squander your returns. Managing your costs is one of the key principles for long-term investing, and in many cases can even be the most important one.
The buy-in sounds like a sales charge, not necessary. Justifying it as paying a premium for supposedly a fund that has done well over time is misleading. What does "done well" actually even mean? And you don't need to pay a sales charge to have access to high-quality funds, like those from Vanguard. Their index funds consistently beat the more expensive active funds over the longer term. Consider also Dimensional funds, which you can only find through an approved Dimensional advisor. They are considered among the best in the industry.
On the surface, that .63% management fee may be reasonable (depending on your aum); however you haven't mentioned your portfolio turnover rate. Am wondering if your advisor has also been advising frequent changes to your holdings in order to time the market or to pick the next winning stock or fund, based on his/her supposed extraordinary skill. In aggregate, all these transactions generate more fees and commissions, trickling up wealth from your account to theirs. Although it's difficult to know exactly what approach this advisor uses for investing, I agree with the few others in this thread who recommend that you seek a second and third opinion. Look for a fee-only, fiduciary investment advisor. He/she will work in your best interest, no commissions, no sales-agenda. Good luck.
First, to help your odds of success in the long term, focus only on actions that add value. You can't control the market, and no one can predict what it will do tomorrow. For that you need a crystal ball. So, forget about sector, stock, time, manager, or any other market attribute picking. Speculation does not add value to your long-term success.
Defining market dips is a form of time picking (market timing). As someone already usefully pointed out, how do you define a market dip? It really is dependent on your time frame. There are market dips every minute, hour, day, week, month, year, decade, etc. How do you choose which time resolution to use for your trade triggers? It's impossible, that's why market timing doesn't work.
Instead, if you already know the right balance of stocks and bonds for your portfolio (based on your risk tolerance), then don't worry about what the market is doing. Simply continue to contribute to your account on a regular time interval (known as dollar cost averaging) regardless of whether the market is hitting new highs or recent lows. Then every quarter or so, check whether your portfolio conforms to your target allocation of stocks and bonds. If it's really off whack, then rebalance to get it back to your target levels.
Finally, you don't need to pay financial professionals more or for expensive funds in order to get better returns. On the contrary, the lower the fees, usually much higher are your odds of success. Cost-generating gimmicks like market-timing, stock picking, frequent trading, and other conventional strategies only guarantee that more wealth will trickle up from your account to the pockets of your broker/advisor. Don't pay for gimmicks and proven myths. Be disciplined for the long haul and stick with low-cost index funds. Good luck.
Yes, you absolutely can. Sometimes this is referred to as scalping. The better question is whether you should. There are a few points to seriously consider. First, trading can seem fun and the opportunity to beat the market (thousands of others) exciting. However, as an independent day trader competing from home, the extremely high likelihood is that you will not win. Remember that you will be competing against the professionals who use the latest technology, co-located servers, and immediate news aggregation services. Even most of them fail. And, when you do get filled, it'll also be likely that an institution may be on the other side. I don't like your chances.
Secondly, the backtested results of your algorithm will be misleading. Backtesting can't exactly mimic the real world market mechanics. The simulator may record you being filled. In reality, you can't be sure that you will pay .770 for the stock, then sell it at .775. Sure, you may have working bids and offers; however even if the market trades at your price you can't be sure that you get filled (might be at the back of the stack), unless the price totally clears. Most importantly, if there really was an edge simply taking half ticks out of this market, competition would have priced it out a long time ago, especially now with high-frequency, low-latency trading. I think that most of the time you'll simply be stuck trying to scratch your position, and usually will end up having to puke (take a loss).
Finally, decades of data, economic theory, and real-world evidence suggest that stock-picking as an investment strategy does not work. Even the professional money managers can't consistently beat the markets, so why try? I get it, it's fun to be part of the game. If you watch the financial news channels it would seem that every day is an opportunity to make profits. If you do trade, make sure it's only with money that you can lose and not have it affect your lifestyle or retirement goals. I also recommend you read a bit about behavioral finance. People tend to have a harder time accepting losses then they do gains, in which case when you trade for real you'll probably hold on to your losers longer, hoping for a comeback, deviating from your strategy. Be aware of this and other biases and try to remain disciplined. If you have any specific questions about trading, please let me know. Good luck.
As my colleague already explained well, the best "averages" are the indices. An index is a collection of stocks or bonds, usually hundreds or thousands. You can't directly trade an index, however there are numerous index funds that mimic an index by holding the same securities as the index. The question really is figuring out to which index (or indices) you should be comparing your portfolio. And that's difficult to answer without knowing your portfolio asset allocation. If you only own domestic large cap stocks or funds, then maybe the S&P500. Or if you are very well diversified in the US equities market, then maybe the Russell 3000.
However, if you are already paying an advisor to manage your investments, he/she should already be able to tell you how your portfolio is doing by comparing your returns to an index (or to a blended index) that best matches your asset allocation. This is something that every advisor should be capable of doing. Make sure you then follow up by asking why he/she is using those specific indices as the comparison for your portfolio.
While you are on the topic of your portfolio returns with your advisor, that may also be a good time to ask about the fees (if you haven't already). Fees and costs can squander returns. Minimizing how much you pay is something that you can control and is a key investment principle. For example, are you being charged commissions or is it based on AUM (assets under management)? AUM fees above 1%, in my opinion, are suspect, and you can usuallly find reputable advisors who charge much less. If not based on AUM, how much do you pay in commissions? If you are being charged commissions, you are probabily advised by a broker rather than by a fiduciary investment advisor. What about mutual fund expense ratios? With access to cheap index funds, there is no reason to pay for actively managed funds that cost much more. If your advisor doesn't use index funds, ask why not? I hope that begins to explain averages, along with suggesting few other things to consider. If you have a follow up question, please feel free to reach out again. Good luck.
First, full disclosure, I am not an insurance broker, I don't sell insurance products of any kind, and the only insurance product that I have ever purchased myself is a term policy.
My recommendation to you would be to also only consider term life insurance. Like you already are aware, it is not only cheaper, but it also separates your investments from your insurance. There is absolutely no way that an insurance/annuity firm can provide you with the diversity, quality, and cost of investment portfolios that you have the freedom to seek out yourself from Vanguard, Dimensional, and from reputable fee-only fiduciary advisors. Get your term insurance from an insurance firm or from a fee only insurance agent, then use the savings over whole/universal life to fund your retirement with a legitimate, well-diversified, low-cost investment portfolio. Generally, the more complicated a product is, whether insurance or investment, the less it makes sense. Complicated products are usually created so that financial professionals can generate more fees.
Also ask about tiered terms. By tiered I mean that you may be able to purchase smaller 10, 20, 30 year term policies so that as you get older the shorter terms drop off, leaving your with lower premiums and lower coverage (so you have the most coverage when you need it most, in middle age). Again, I am not an insurance agent, so please talk to one that can provide more info.
Finally, based on the summary of your finances and goals, that 1M policy may be a bit much. Sure, you want your family to be taken care of well in case the worst happens. However, if there is significant difference in the premiums, you may be able to better plan for your family's future by getting the right coverage amount, then investing the cost savings in your retirement and college savings portfolios. Good luck.