September 3, 2015

Investments

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

Which Emerging Markets ETF Should I Buy: VWO or EEM?

Which Emerging Markets ETF Should I Buy: VWO or EEM?

They are based on different indexes and have different expense ratios.

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How Frequently Do New S&P 500 Highs Stick?

How Frequently Do New S&P 500 Highs Stick?

Every time the S&P 500 hits new highs everyone wonders if these new highs will stick.

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Mailbag: What’s Better At Predicting Future Returns Than Morningstar Stars?

Mailbag: What's Better At Predicting Future Returns Than Morningstar Stars?

How often did it pay to heed the star rating? Most of the time, with a few exceptions. Is there a better method to use?

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Mailbag: What Happened To The Markets In 2008?

Mailbag: What Happened To The Markets In 2008?

You shouldn’t invest in what you don’t understand.

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Do The Opposite of Wall Street Consensus?

Do The Opposite of Wall Street Consensus?

Contrarian indicators have paid off historically.

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Mailbag: Are Energy Funds A Good Buy?

Mailbag: Are Energy Funds A Good Buy?

The connection between the price of oil and the price of oil companies is loose.

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Second Quarter and Year-to-Date Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

YTD 2015 Asset Class Returns

Despite the headlines, the global equity markets posted gains last quarter and for the year.

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The Behavior Gap: Finding Your Financial Balance

The Behavior Gap: Finding Your Financial Balance

Planning for your financial future is largely a question of dealing with the constant tension between living for today and saving for some future event.

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Mailbag: What Does The Shanghai Composite Being Down 32.1% Mean?

Mailbag: What Does The Shanghai Composite Being Down 32.1% Mean?

Is it a crash or just a correction? On average, the drop from peak to trough takes 85 days and the markets have recovered after another 107 days.

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Only 20% of Advisors Avoid Active Management Strategies

Active Management Strategies

The majority of advisors make the mistake of having significant or moderate use of actively managed funds.

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The Markets Are Inherently Volatile

Does Past Performance Have Anything To Do With Future Results?

Most investors don’t understand what that means.

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Marotta’s 2015 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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What Is The Relationship Between Turnover Rate and Returns?

What Is The Relationship Between Turnover Rate and Returns?

A high turnover rate is not something you want in a stock fund.

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What To Do When The Stock Market Drops 1800 Points

What To Do When The Stock Market Drops 1800 Points

What should you do before a market correction? What about after? The answer is the same.

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How to Select Securities

How to Select Securities

Your investment strategy is critically important but the implementation requires wise fund selection.

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What Is The Correlation Of Freedom Investing?

What Is The Correlation Of Freedom Investing?

Should we have a “Free Countries Asset Class” or a “Foreign Stock Asset Class?”

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What Is The Relationship Between Number Of Holdings and Returns?

What Is The Relationship Between Number Of Holdings and Returns?

There is no such thing as “over diversification.”

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Tax Alpha: How to Fix a Client Portfolio

Tax Alpha: How to Fix a Client Portfolio

Good financial planners can be worth their weight in gold in helping clients build a tax-efficient portfolio.

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Defining Your Sectors

Defining Your Sectors

The process of defining your sectors is an attempt to identify the quintessential features of your strategy and formalize your selection criteria.

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Will Preferred Stocks Hypnotize With Yield?

Will Preferred Stocks Hypnotize With Yield?

Despite the appearance of stability, preferred stocks can become especially volatile when markets are reeling.

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What Is The Relationship Between Turnover Rate And Number Of Holdings?

What Is The Relationship Between Turnover Rate And Number Of Holdings?

The greater the number of holdings the lower the turnover rate with one surprising exception.

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Do Resource Stocks Deserve Their Own Asset Class?

Do Resource Stocks Deserve Their Own Asset Class?

Resource stocks represent one of the most interesting collections of diverse indexes as they do not always move in sync with one another.

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What Is Turnover Rate?

What Is Turnover Rate?

Beware the turnover rate. It’s much wiser to invest in funds managed by people you trust.

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The Crowd Is Usually Wrong

The Crowd Is Usually Wrong

Stocks less frequently traded have better returns.

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What Is the Correlation Between Value, Growth, Large and Small Cap Stocks?

What Is the Correlation Between Value, Growth, Large and Small Cap Stocks?

The higher the correlation the greater the justification to put them in the same asset class.

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The Asset Allocation Within Your Asset Allocation

The Asset Allocation Within Your Asset Allocation

It is good to take the two categories which are most similar and use them as underlying sector divisions within the same larger asset class.

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Hidden Fees in Private Equity

Hidden Fees in Private Equity

“Every pension plan in the nation is paying too much [for private equity], and it’s being hidden.”

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Are Healthcare and Technology The Best Performing U.S. Sectors?

Are Healthcare and Technology The Best Performing U.S. Sectors?

Should they be over weighted in your portfolio?

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Your Asset Allocation Should Be Priceless

Your Asset Allocation Should Be Priceless

The value of not running out of money when making withdrawals cannot be measured.

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What Is The Correlation Between US Stocks and Foreign Stocks?

What Is The Correlation Between US Stocks and Foreign Stocks?

Correlations over the past year have been very low, while correlations over the past 10 years have been higher.

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The Art of the Rebalancing Bonus

The Art of the Rebalancing Bonus

Portfolio design and rebalancing is both a science and an art. Knowing that rebalancing boosts returns is useless unless you as the investor follow through.

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What Is Correlation?

What Is Correlation?

The correlation between two investment is used in portfolio construction and rebalancing.

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The Science of the Rebalancing Bonus

The Science of the Rebalancing Bonus

Rebalancing can both boost returns and lower volatility, but most investors do not understanding how.

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Looking Beyond the Bottom Line

Looking Beyond the Bottom Line

The Principles for Responsible Investment is leveraging its network in noteworthy ways.

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Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

Cost-Benefit Analysis for Financial Planning

The cost of commission-based advisors are so hidden that you may be paying more than you realize.

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First Quarter 2015 Returns: Our 6 Asset Classes

Q1 2015 6 Asset Class Returns

Each quarter brings a different set of returns for each asset class and subcategory.

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Nobel Prize Worthy Advice On Investing

Nobel Prize Worthy Advice On Investing

Here’s how a good advisor should respond when you call about losses in your account.

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Is Lawsuit Funding A Good Investment?

Is Lawsuit Funding A Good Investment?

“Lawsuit lenders do not advertise prices; they advertise convenience.”

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Investment Strategies That Do Not Make Our Cut: Low Volatility

Investment Strategies That Do Not Make Our Cut: Low Volatility

There are three rules that we follow when looking for an investment strategy and the low volatility strategy fails two.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Investing Lessons from the Birth and Death of the Virginia Company

Investing Lessons from the Birth and Death of the Virginia Company

Investing in America began with the bankruptcy of the hottest stock in England.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

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Are Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Funds Better Investments?

Are Socially Responsible Investing Funds Better Investments?

“What do you think of the idea of Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) implemented simply by investing in something like the Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)?”

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Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

You cannot help a company by buying its stock.

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Jack Bogle: The Value Of An Advisor Who Sticks To A Long Term Plan

Jack Bogle: The Value Of An Advisor Who Sticks To A Long Term Plan

“Advisers need to sell their value as keeping their clients from doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

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Warren Buffett Extends His Lead in Hedge Fund Wager

Warren Buffett Extends His Lead in Hedge Fund Wager

With three years remaining on a ten year $1 million bet, Buffett is sitting pretty to win it.

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Jack Bogle: Investing Outside The United States

Jack Bogle: Investing Outside The United States

“We still have plenty of problems, but we’re much better than France, Britain and Germany.”

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Oil Price Predictions Are Essentially Meaningless

Oil Price Predictions Are Essentially Meaningless

“The most important thing I learned from my research was never to attempt to forecast the price of oil.”

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What Happened To The Australian Dollar?

What Happened To The Australian Dollar?

At first glance, AUNZ did not have great returns in 2014. But is that the whole story?

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Mailbag: Confused by Google And Yahoo Finance

Mailbag: Confused by Google And Yahoo Finance

Q&A: “I don’t understand how to explain what happened to the share price. What was going on in the fund?”

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