September 1, 2014

Investments

Investments are at the core of what we do, and here is some commentary on various aspects of the financial markets.

Mailbag: What Cost Basis Method Do I Want For Vanguard Mutual Funds?

Mutual Funds Scrabble

In our example, your gain/loss could vary from -$1,000 to +$3,500 depending on the method used.

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Mailbag: What Is The One Fund Should I Invest In?

Rainbow Stars

Here’s how to earn a slow million.

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Why a Monkey Throwing Darts Could Boost Your Returns

Mandrills are the world's largest monkey.

Not aiming for where the money is should boost returns.

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The Efficient Frontier Of Investing

Blended Efficient Frontier

Many investors don’t appreciate asset allocation or understand intuitively how a diversified portfolio can exceed the sum of its parts.

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Freedom Investing Since 2000

Freedom Investing 2000-2016-06

Recently we did an analysis of the returns of the MSCI Country Specific Indexes

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The Wealth Of Nations Is Their Freedom

Berry Hard Work

“When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” – Adam Smith

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Freedom Investing Beats EAFE Index by 3.92% Annualized Over Past Decade

Freedom Investing 2014-06

Over the past decade the economically free countries have an annualized return of 11.34%. The S&P 500′s annualized return was 7.78%.

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Should I Tender My Allergan Shares To Valeant Pharmaceuticals?

Allergan

Perhaps they should make this into a mini-series.

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Don’t Do Something. Just Stand There!

Sisters Forever

You learn a lot by the discipline of reading old news.

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Mailbag: How Do I Open A Vanguard Trust Account?

Vanguard Personal Investors

I am the trustee for my mother’s living trust and I am trying to help her open an investment account at Vanguard. How do I go about opening a Trust account at Vanguard? – Trustee in Cville Most regular brokerage accounts can be opened online. Trust accounts need to use the paper form and provide [...]

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Mailbag: Can I Roll My IRA Into A REIT Tax-Free?

Can I Roll My IRA Into A REIT Tax-Free?

A reader asks, “My wife has a $250K SEP IRA earning 1.5% interest. Can we use any of the funds for real-estate investments?”

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Does Every Client Get Put Into One Of A Few Investment Allocations?

Buckets

The short answer is, “No.”

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What Benchmark Should I Measure My Return Against?

Bad Benchmarking

Don’t let the noise of random returns ruin a brilliant investment strategy.

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Investment Advisors vs. Brokers

Lock and Gold Coins

Low risk firms should be visited less frequently by the SEC.

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Emerging Markets Still A Good Investment Despite Warning Notices Regarding Russia

SSEMX Warning Notice Regarding Russia

Russia is less than 6% of most emerging market indexes.

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How To Save Wealthy Clients From Themselves

Brain Scan

“Emotion can undo the best-laid financial plans.”

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What Is A “Margin Alert”?

Schwab Margin Alerts

There are five types of Schwab Margin Alerts: Margin Maintenance, Short Position, Trade Debit Due, Margin Debit Balance / Account hold Value Advantage, and Trade Settlement Violation

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What Exactly Is Quantitative Easing?

Piggy Bank

Quantitative easing is a sneaky way to make everyone dealing in U.S. dollars pay off the U.S. debt.

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Gift Tender Offers To Charity To Avoid Capital Gains Tax

Gift with Yellow Bow

This technique can avoid paying any tax, a savings worth up to 36.1%.

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How Does The Fed Control Interest Rates In A Free Market?

Federal Reserve 2014

Even as recently as 2007, banks were paying 4% interest. Now you have to go to the hundredth decimal before you find your interest rate.

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As Recently As 2007, Banks Were Paying 4% Interest

Taxable Money Market Rates 2014

In retirement planning, these are the deep risks we are concerned about.

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Every Bond Contract Has At Least Five Components

Bond Components

Unlike stocks, each bond contract has unique characteristics that define how repayment will occur.

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Mutual Funds Offer Good Governance Assistance

my fund voted

Investing in mutual funds and ETFs offers an efficient solution for investors to engage in corporate governance issues. When you purchase a fund, you authorize fund managers to vote proxies on your behalf.

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Tax By Inflation

The Fading Dollar

In its simplest form, the government prints money and uses the newly printed currency to fund government spending.

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Quantitative Easing And The Federal Reserve’s Balance Sheet

Inflation

Government officials argue that consistent deficits are good for the economy, if we were only willing to go high enough.

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Today’s 20-year Olds Will Need Over $7 Million For Modest Retirement Lifestyle

Worried Woman

Most young people don’t understand inflation as well as their parents and grandparents.

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Is Rebalancing a “Myth”?

Stacked stones

You ought to know what it is that you are rebalancing.

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Should a Business Buy Its Own Building?

New Office

We finally found a great building and decided to purchase it!

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Three Lessons From Warren Buffett’s Big Bet

hedge funds and index funds race

For five of the last six years, the simple index fund has outperformed the so-called expert hedge funds, and Buffett’s competition is starting to feel the heat. Here are three important take aways from this big bet.

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Which is Better: Bad Market Timing or Not Investing?

Nervous Woman

Trying to wait until market conditions are perfect likely means you will miss a good investing opportunity.

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Advisors Must Stop Client Self-Destruction

Koala Bear

Sometimes the best advice is when a competent advisor tells you that you are wrong.

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Obama’s myRA Plan Violates Multiple ERISA Laws

Go to jail

Willful violations of ERISA legislation carry criminal penalties of up to a year in prison for the plan sponsor and a fine of up to $100,000 for the corporation.

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End-Of-The-World Money Moves

End of the World

How do you prepare for the end of the world?

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Opening A Brokerage Account

Stone grid

Opening an account is the first step in getting started in investing.

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How should investors respond to tender offers?

tender offer

Advice for those who own individual stocks when a response to a tender offer is needed. The research for this article turned out to be much more interesting than I first anticipated.

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Economic Freedom Matters 2014

Wall around Wall Street

Economic freedom enriches society, lifts the poor out of poverty and respects the agency and dignity of human choice.

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Freedom Investing Over The Past Decade

Freedom Investing 2014

The portfolio of the five freedom countries has an annualized return of 11.06% over the past decade.

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Marotta’s 2014 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Sunset fishing

A gone-fishing portfolio keeps investing simple.

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Marotta’s 2013 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Review

Fish Measuring Station

A review of last year’s 2013 gone fishing portfolio returns.

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Should We Wallow in the Rising Stock Market?

Sad puppy

The stock market can occasionally benefit from the misery index.

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Bitcoin Trashing Makes The Case For The Gold Standard

Slack Palm

A return to stable money would signal the death of the bitcoin and other stores of value used as hedges against dollar mismanagement.

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University of Virginia Best Plan 2014 Asset Allocation Recommendation

Is this the BEST?

Here is an asset allocation recommendation for the The University of Virginia Physicians Group 2014 BEST plan.

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Active Management Has An 82% Failure Rate

Active management failure

Managing investment assets requires managing investor expectations.

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The Truth About Annuities

Shocked

Most financial planning articles about annuities pull their punches.

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Should I Wait Until After The End Of The World To Start Investing?

Shares

When the dust settles, can I really buy things for pennies on the dollar?

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Mailbag: Are the equity markets getting kind of toppy?

Top

It is always a good time to have a balanced portfolio.

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Six Asset Classes – November 2013 Performance

6 Asset Classes - Nov 2013

Bonds down; US stocks up.

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Annuities Are Still A Bad Idea

A very bad idea

“Up until recently” annuities were a bad idea. They still are.

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Marotta’s 2014 UVA TIAA-CREF TDSP Calculator

University of Virginia's Serpentine Walls

Age appropriate asset allocation for 2014 using the choices available in the University of Virginia’s TIAA-CREF Tax Deferred Savings Plan (TDSP).

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Is It The End Of The Line For Stock Investments?

End of the line

If you are 50 years or younger will you see any of your retirement money?

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