Last year certainly provided active managers with plenty of opportunities to outperform, and it’s worth examining if they really did. For example, while the S&P 500 Index returned 32.4 percent, Netflix (NLFX), the top performer in the index, returned 297 percent. Two other stocks, Micron Technology (MU) and Best Buy Co. (BBY) returned more than …Read More.
The most common misconception among investors may be the value of investing in dividend-paying stocks. Almost every week, someone contacts me to extol the virtues of investing in what they call “high quality, dividend-yielding securities.” Often, their interest is spurred by the recent high performance of these stocks. According to one paper by Gregg S. Fisher, published …Read More.
Proponents of alternative investments (like hedge funds) have a very effective presentation. They claim these investments have low volatility (risk), offer excellent risk-adjusted returns, and don’t correlate well with stocks or bonds, thereby providing a “hedge” in troubled times. These proponents demonstrate the accuracy of these claims with compelling statistics, displayed in impressive marketing materials. …Read More.
You should never make investing decisions based on what the market is doing, except for now, maybe. Past experience and reams of studies tell us there is no way to time the market and that we should buy and hold. That said, there are a few exceptions to the rule. With the total United States …Read More.
College planning can be stressful. There are too many schools and too many forms. We spoke with Lynn O’Shaughnessy, the author of The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price, about the challenges families face when it comes to choosing a college. Q: What prompted you to …Read More.
Day three of our lessons from 2013, we’ll dive right in with an examination of hedge fund returns. This one holds the title with the most repeat performances, appearing most years. The HRFX Global Hedge Fund Index earned just 6.7 percent. The table below shows the returns for various equity and fixed …Read More.
Today, we begin a series designed to help you determine the best way to allocate your assets. I have written a great deal on this subject, but it’s advice worth repeating time and again. We’ll start with focusing on the ability to take risk. …Read More.
When I ask you to think long term, what comes to mind? Ten years from now? One year? One week? In a world where excellence is now measured in milliseconds, it can be incredibly difficult to think past the moment that’s right in front of us. …Read More.
Much attention has been paid to expense ratios of mutual funds. Yet, despite the fact that taxes have a substantial impact on the long-term performance of taxable mutual fund investors, far less attention has been paid to the impact of taxes on after-tax returns. And while the evidence is clear that it’s difficult for active fund managers to create superior investment performance by picking stocks or by timing markets, it’s relatively easy to avoid destroying value for taxable fund investors by managing investment taxes. For example, tax-aware funds might attempt to reduce the tax burden by avoiding the intentional realization of any short-term gains and by accelerating the realization of capital losses. Tax management strategies might not only reduce the tax burden, they might also generate lower trading costs. For example, tax-efficient investment strategies exhibit relatively low turnover, generating lower trading costs. In addition, liquidating stock positions with embedded capital losses and holding on to positions with capital gains might generate superior before-tax returns due to the momentum effect. …Read More.
Investors would love to be able to achieve positive returns in both bull and bear markets, and that’s the “promise”—or at least the premise—of absolute-return funds. …Read More.
The recent sharp market decline has brought out the worst in the securities industry and the financial media. Some brokers and pundits who were “riding the bull” have undergone a remarkable transformation and now advise “fleeing to safety.” …Read More.
The recent sharp decline in the stock market has investors concerned. Apparently, many “investment pros” thought the market would continue its upward trajectory through 2014. The National Association of Active Investment Managers conducts a weekly survey with advisers and found that they have an astounding 98.3 percent of their clients’ portfolios allocated to stocks. This was a sharp increase over the average of 72 percent allocated to stocks in 2013. …Read More.
Investors were stung, badly, by the financial crisis of 2008. No one wants to go through an experience like that again, which has led to renewed interest in an investing approach called tactical asset allocation …Read More.
I earned my first allowance of $2 per month by doing weekly chores. As an 8-year-old, my chores included making my bed, emptying my garbage can, dusting and vacuuming my room. My dad would have surprise “military” inspections to check that we were doing our chores properly. When parents consider giving their children an allowance, …Read More.
Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence wrote Your Retirement Quest based on a decade of research and interviews with more than 200 retirees. For more about Alan and Keith and their book, go to YourRetirementQuest.com. In this article, Alan and Keith discuss the crucial conversations that people should have as they consider retirement. Have you discussed your retirement …Read More.