Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Wed, 03/05/2014 - 9:00am
The emerging markets are destined to eclipse the U.S. and other economically mature nations, right? Not necessarily. Too often, debt feeds their growth. This is not the best nutrient because it imposes a burden. But Corporate America is sitting on a mountain of cash that it can deploy, so U.S. companies appear to be a better investment bet.
Submitted by Adam D. Koos on Tue, 03/04/2014 - 9:00am
This winter’s stock downturn sent a lot of investors scurrying out of equities and back to bonds. Going forward, whenever the stock market dips, realize that bonds’ sunny days are gone. Even modest inflation will eat them away over time. So don’t go there.
Submitted by Jim Ludwick on Wed, 02/26/2014 - 3:00pm
Remember that, before its recent winter downturns, whole segments of the market spiked last year. But your 2013 returns don’t reflect that. Should you worry? Not at all. What should you do about it? Nothing, other than re-balance your portfolio back to the original allocation you want.
We’re well into a new year and all 2013 investment results are clear. I keep seeing 30%-plus increases for several asset classes and mutual funds for the year just past. You probably do, too.
Submitted by Lon Jefferies on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 9:00am
What impact would rising interest rates have on your investment portfolio? Likely not so bad.
An interest rate hike has been widely anticipated for some time. According to an October survey of 50 top economists that the Wall Street Journal conducted, the yield on the 10-year Treasury was to rise nearly one percentage point by the end of 2014.
Submitted by Jared Kizer on Fri, 02/21/2014 - 9:00am
A common misconception is that bond funds are more exposed to interest rate risk than laddered individual bond portfolios. The truth is that they have identical exposure.
The logic for the standard view basically starts and ends with the observation that an investor can hold individual bonds to maturity while bond funds don’t necessarily hold all bonds until they mature. Most bond fund managers trade their assets periodically.
Submitted by Lon Jefferies on Thu, 02/20/2014 - 9:00am
Diversification is harder than you think, beyond figuring out which places to put your money and how much for each. By definition, diversification means that you always dislike a portion of your portfolio. And the psychological challenge of dealing with that is tough.
Submitted by Raul Elizalde on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 9:00am
The 2014 outlook for fixed-income is the most complex in a long time, sparking worries for this year and beyond. Investors tend to believe bonds are a “conservative,” mostly stable investment. Not really. Expect volatility ahead, and don’t bet that interest rates will rise.
The best advice: Avoid bonds, and especially bond funds, until the direction of rates becomes clearer.
Submitted by Kevin Flynn on Mon, 01/27/2014 - 9:00am
Economic and market weaknesses abound, but few see them. At some point in the not-too-distant future, there may well be plenty of heated discussion over how investors and the Federal Reserve could have been so blind.
Submitted by Ray Ferrara on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 9:00am
It is foolhardy to think that 2014 market returns will be like 2013, but great years are often followed by good years. The odds favor a positive performance this year, although of course that’s far from assured.
Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:00pm
Cleaning out your financial closet may be long overdue. Sure, it’s a hassle. Don’t put it off, though, even though that is tempting.
Things change all the time. Over the last 25 years, my waistline grew bigger and then smaller. Styles of clothing go in and out of fashion. Things wear out or lose color. I should have cleaned old clothes out of my closet long ago. I did not and today the task appears daunting.
Thus, I delay doing anything. The task is so tedious and time-consuming. Nothing has happened to create a sense of urgency for me to take action today.