August 2, 2015

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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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What Is The Alternative To An Annuity?

Question hole

An immediate fixed annuity is not an investment; it is an insurance product.

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What Is The US Dollar Index?

What Is The US Dollar Index?

How is the change in the value of the dollar computed?

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Returns from the Countries with Economic Freedom

Freedom Countries - 2014 Returns

Freedom investing beat the EAFE Foreign index by 7.92% in 2014.

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2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

6 Asset Classes - 2014 Returns

When asset classes are not correlated that means they often move in different directions.

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Does Past Performance Have Anything To Do With Future Results?

Does Past Performance Have Anything To Do With Future Results?

Is there a correlation which would justify talking about “the momentum of the markets”?

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Guess What Statistic Has The Highest Correlation With The S&P 500?

Guess What Statistic Has The Highest Correlation With The S&P 500?

David Leinweber calls this technique, “torturing the data until it screams.”

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November 2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

November 2014 Returns -6 Asset Classes

Here are the returns for our six Asset Classes from November 2014.

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August – October 2014 Returns for Our 6 Asset Classes

6 Asset Classes - 8-10-14

Here are the returns for our six Asset Classes from August 2014 – October 2014.

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Bogle’s Best Advice: Don’t Peek

Don't Peek

When it comes to finances, just shut your eyes and keep them closed.

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If You Wouldn’t Buy It, Why Keep It?

Lego Shop

The stock market is one of the few places that when things go on sale we are less likely to want to buy.

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Should You Be Building Bond Ladders In This Lower Rate Environment?

Ladder from above

There was an interesting article by Joseph Lisanti in Financial Planning Magazine entitled, “Should You Be Building Bond Ladders?” which read in part: As with many strategies, laddering works best for clients with sufficient assets to benefit fully from it. “It is a tried-and-true strategy,” says Morris Armstrong of Armstrong Financial Strategies, an RIA in [...]

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How To Diversify Highly Appreciated Stock

Dog and Turtle

Exchange funds, also know as swap funds, can provide investors with one highly appreciated security a way to trade it for an equivalently valued but more diversified portfolio.

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AAII 2014

David John Marotta presenting

The articles associated with David John Marotta’s presentation at the DC Metro chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors.

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Style Box Annualized Returns For The Past Three Years

Morningstar 3-year stylebox returns 2014-08

Morningstar data for the 3-year annualized returns based on style boxes shows us three interesting lessons.

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Real Returns Favor Holding Stocks

Real returns favor holding stocks

There are several important lessons to learn from this graph.

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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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Don’t Do Something. Just Stand There!

Sisters Forever

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

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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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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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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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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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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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