September 30, 2016

Investments

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

Investing In Hong Kong Has Lowered Risk and Boosted Returns

hong kong skyline

We allocate a portion of our managed portfolios to foreign stocks, and Hong Kong is the highest ranked country on the latest edition of the Index of Economic Freedom.

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Hedge Funds and Long/Short Strategies

Ostrich Race

Long/short strategies use the money from the stocks they have shorted to purchase extra stocks that they hope will go up.

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Are You Paying for Your Fund’s Advertising?

sparrow feeding

If you own some mutual funds, chances are you are paying a hefty marketing price.

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Why the Ending Value on your Performance Report Differs from your Statement

DogTeam

Here’s what you need to know to understand why the numbers may not match.

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Don’t Forget to Rebalance All Your Assets

stacked rocks

It can be easy to forget about your company’s 401(k) because you aren’t depositing the money yourself, your pre-tax contributions are deducted from your paycheck and are electronically deposited by your employer.

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What’s the Difference Between Time Weighted Return and Internal Rate of Return?

Abacus

There are 2 main types of returns you want to see on your performance report. What’s the difference?

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Economic Indicators: Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

basket of food

Under one theory, changes in GDP or the rate of GDP growth precede and could cause stock markets to react and move in response. This is usually not the case.

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What NOT to Compare on Performance Reports

Odd Couple Dogs

By definition and design, different types of reports produce different numbers.

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Beware of Dire Market Crash Predictions

questioning chick

I receive dire predictions with such frequency that were I to act on even a fraction of them I would never be invested in the markets.

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Where Should I Invest Money Which I Will Need in a Year or Two?

house money

Return comes with an element of risk. There is no safe investment which also pays a good rate of return.

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Why Would You Intentionally Realize Capital Gains?

handful of cherries

When you sell an investment that has appreciated, the IRS looks at your tax rate and taxes the gains accordingly.

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Selecting an Endowment’s Asset Allocation

Selecting an Endowment's Asset Allocation

Two rules of endowment investing: 1) Keep an equity bias and 2) diversify.

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The Golden Bear: The Bear Market of 1973

GoldenBear_w

This Bear market is considered one of the greatest challenges to retirement planning.

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Recouping Losses Is Not As Hard As You Think

Deceptive Posts About The Difficulty Of Recouping Losses

Many advisors and most investors don’t really understand the math on how to compute investment returns.

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Radio: The Importance of Real Estate

rainbow row

David John Marotta was interviewed on radio’s Schilling Show discussing real estate and its importance in your total net worth.

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Changing Your Financial Behavior Is Difficult

Financial Behavior Modification Is A Difficult Process

Our minds are wired to quickly generalize on perceived trends and react to them.

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Double Bottom Bear: The Bear Market of 1970

Double Bottom Bear: The Bear Market of 1970

Bear Markets are unpredictable, but there is no reason that they should be a cause of distress.

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5 Reasons to Have Some Cash Equivalents

5 Reasons to Have Some Cash Equivalents

There are at least five reasons to hold cash. Without a good reason to hold cash, you may be holding too much.

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BREXIT: Britain’s Independence Day

BREXIT: Britain's Independence Day

The future may be uncertain, but the markets are quite reliable in the long run.

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Narrowly Framed Questions Fail to Meet Life Goals

Narrowly Framed Questions Fail to Meet Life Goals

Purchasing investment products in isolation from the larger context of your specific situation is like pushing random buttons on a vending machine in order to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for your family.

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Bloomberg Article Gets Asset Allocation Exactly Wrong

Bloomberg Article Gets Asset Allocation Exactly Wrong

Investors should not have to deal with financial reporters that misunderstand the field they write about.

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A Guide to Investing in REITs

A Guide to Investing in REITs

REITs are one way to get some of the benefit of investing in real estate without as much of the risk.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

You can learn a lot about financial management from snapping turtles.

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What Are The Problems With Illiquid Alternative Investments?

What Are The Problems With Illiquid Alternative Investments?

If you happen to hold alternative investments and can find a fair price for them, we recommend that you liquidate them.

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What Is Settlement Date And Why Does It Matter?

What Is Settlement Date And Why Does It Matter?

Most investors think that whenever you buy or sell a security the money is immediately deducted or deposited into your account. This is not true.

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Guidelines for Using Margin

Guidelines for Using Margin

Too much leverage is risky because it endangers meeting your goals.

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Fund Analyzer Shows Value Of Lower Fees

Fund Analyzer Shows Value Of Lower Fees

Continually curating a list of low cost funds is valuable for long term investors.

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What is Margin?

What is Margin?

We don’t normally recommend being on margin, but we recommend having the option in case it is needed.

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Investing Strategies for an Irrational Brain

Investing Strategies for an Irrational Brain

Recency bias is perhaps the most difficult natural bias to overcome.

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Dimensional On: Staying in the Market

Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

“It is always a difficult experience for investors to stay in markets.”

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Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

Dimensional On: Why Should We Invest Internationally?

“Historically there has been a wide variety of returns from US and International stocks, and when one does poorly often another does well.”

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How Long Should I Give An Investment Plan?

How Long Should I Give An Investment Plan?

Even the most brilliantly crafted investment plan has to be given time to work.

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The Complete Guide to Creating an Investment Plan

The Science of the Rebalancing Bonus

This is a summary of the six steps required to create a well-crafted investment plan.

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Why We Do Not Use Active Management

Why We Do Not Use Active Fund Managers

Index investing seeks to track the return of a portion of the market. The opposite is active management.

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Radio: Three Investing Mistakes

three geese

David John Marotta was interviewed on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show discussing three big investing mistakes.

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Mailbag: Why Doesn’t Everyone Want High-Yield Bonds?

Mailbag: Why Doesn't Everyone Want High-Yield Bonds?

We don’t recommend high yield bonds because they do nothing good for your overall portfolio.

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Radio: Market Returns for 2015

2015 Asset Class Returns

David John Marotta was interviewed on the Schilling Show discussing how the markets performed last year and lists 4 mistakes to avoid.

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Why Gold Has Utterly Failed as a “Safe Haven”

Why Gold Has Utterly Failed as a "Safe Haven"

Gold sounds like it should provide a safe haven of your purchasing power much more than it has actually done so.

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Investing Mistake: Forgetting About Inflation

Investing Mistake: Forgetting About Inflation

Taking inflation into account changes nearly everything about financial planning.

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A Case Study In Volatility

A Case Study In Volatility

While volatility can make a fund more attractive on the way up, it can also make a fund less attractive on the way down.

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Asset Allocations for UVA Retirement Plans at Fidelity

Asset Allocations for UVA Retirement Plans at Fidelity

The University of Virginia plan includes funds sufficient to produce these excellent portfolios.

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Marotta’s 2016 UVA Fidelity 403(b) Calculator

University of Virginia's Serpentine Walls

Age appropriate asset allocation for 2016 using the choices available in the University of Virginia’s Fidelity 403(b) Tax Deferred Savings Plan (TDSP).

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Marotta’s 2016 UVA Fidelity 401(a) Plans Calculator

UVA Fidelity 401(a) Plans Calculator

Age appropriate asset allocation for 2016 using the choices available in several of the University of Virginia’s Fidelity Retirement Plans.

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What Are The Odds That The Stock Market Will Go Up This Year?

What Are The Odds That The Stock Market Will Go Up This Year?

The stock is more likely to go up than down, but how volatile are the markets really?

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Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Here is a review of Marotta’s 2015 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio and a description of our changes for 2016.

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Marotta’s 2016 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2015 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

If you are using Vanguard, we have created a gone fishing portfolio using only low-cost Vanguard mutual funds to help save money on transaction costs.

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Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

Gone Fishing

The gone-fishing portfolio provides suggested asset allocations for investors up to age 70 and up to $1 million.

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Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

The fishes

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility.

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Why Invest In Chile?

Why Invest In Chile?

Adding a little bit of Chile to your portfolio can boost returns and reduce volatility.

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Mailbag: Stop Before Using Stop Orders

Mailbag: Stop Before Using Stop Orders

We do not recommend using stop loss orders. Now, it appears that the New York Stock Exchange agrees.

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