THE BLOG
09/18/2014 10:23 am ET Updated Nov 18, 2014

The Stupidest Investment Question Ever

Believe it or not, September is home to Ask A Stupid Question Day on the 28th!

So in honor of Ask A Stupid Question Day, I conjured up a Diligent Advisor article. In fact, thank goodness for the inspiration because I had been struggling with dreaded writers block lately. I really had been asking myself a stupid question, "what am I going to write about next?"

So let's get on with the stupid questions, shall we?

First, let's start with what I don't think are stupid investment questions. Really, there are quite a few.

Questions about how investments work. It's never stupid to want to know exactly how the investment works. You're putting your money into it and you should have a good working understanding. Keep in mind, you will probably never know every single feature or aspect of it. Do your best to have the basic understanding before you invest.

Questions about how much risk an investment has. Always a good question. As an investor, it's really important to understand the amount of risk an investment possesses. It will help you determine whether it fits in your portfolio or not.

Questions about a financial advisors fee, experience and philosophy. These are great questions. Your advisor should be ready to answer all of these. I addressed this in an article not so long ago. Don't hesitate to ask as many of these as you feel comfortable with.

Questions about the economy and the markets. More great questions. I get asked questions about the economy and the markets all the time. However, I don't know everything and I don't know how long or how far a market will go up or down. These are good questions because it will increase your understanding of how it all works.

Questions about your investments performance. A great question. How else would you know whether to keep it or dump it? Performance can be defined many different ways. The most important way is to compare it to some type of benchmark. If I run a mile in 5 minutes and the record is under 4, then I know exactly where I am, right? Same with investments.

So what's the stupidest investment question ever?

Why it's the question you don't ask.

Don't be shy. Ask. I've been asked the same questions thousands of times. I never roll my virtual eyes thinking, "Man, what a stupid question." Quite the contrary, I worry more when you sit there in silence. I'm thinking, are they getting this? Why aren't they asking me more questions?

To me, the stupidest investment question ever is the one that never gets asked. As an investor, how in the world will you become educated? There's only so much book and magazine article reading you can do. The real education with investments comes from experience and asking questions of a professional.

Actually, here's another stupid investment question. Why haven't you subscribed to my blog yet? I sure you have your reasons. If you just click right here, you'll never get asked that stupid question again! See you next time.