Submitted by Josh Patrick on Fri, 03/07/2014 - 3:00pm
We all love to watch our investments when we’re winning in the market and making money. The problem comes when we lose. The temptation to make rash decisions, whether in buying or selling investments, is the real enemy of investors.
Our behavior when we fall short of expected returns causes us real problems. Why does it seem losses count twice as much to us as gains?
Submitted by Joseph A. Clark on Tue, 02/18/2014 - 9:00am
How should you measure your mutual fund portfolio’s performance? The standard answer is against a benchmark, typically an index like the Standard & Poor’s 500. But that’s a misplaced focus. The better measure is how much risk you are taking.
Submitted by Rick Kahler on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 9:00am
Many investors, panicked by the market crash of 2008-2009, started a search for some type of investment vehicle to protect them from the next market downturn. Some decided the answer was a variable annuity with a "guaranteed living benefit" rider. That’s a mistake.
Submitted by Kimberly J. Howard on Mon, 12/23/2013 - 3:00pm
Mutual funds carry unique risks and benefits just like other investments, despite marketing that tells you otherwise. As ubiquitous as they are, a lot of people aren’t clear how they operate and what the differences are among them.
Submitted by Matthew Tuttle on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 9:00am
New alternatives to conventional exchange-traded funds and mutual funds, which are weighted by their market value, have gotten a lot of attention lately. But are these so-called smart beta products any better? Maybe, maybe not. Here are a few caveats.
Submitted by Dan Crimmins on Wed, 11/27/2013 - 3:00pm
Buying top-rated mutual funds, in hopes of reaping turbocharged performance in the future, is not smart. A better idea: Using index funds or exchange-traded funds that cover broad asset classes – and skip the ratings.
The classic proof is the failure of actively managed funds to beat indexes covering their specialty areas, according to Standard & Poor’s.
Submitted by Walid L Petiri on Tue, 11/26/2013 - 9:00am
Socially responsible investing (SRI) is increasingly popular, with more and more mutual funds offering this ideals-based style. It is a diverse field, more known for what they avoid (some won’t invest in cigarette companies, others bar defense contractors, etc.) than what they embrace (pro-green or promoting diversity, for instance). But are they good investments? Actually, the answer is … yes.
Submitted by Rick Kahler on Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:00pm
Index funds, which track the entire market or portions of it, do best for investors over time. These funds are called passively managed, because their components get selected automatically, according to index movements. But you shouldn’t be passive about managing them. You must be very active.
A fundamental principle I preach is that having a core of passively managed mutual funds is the foundation of successful long-term wealth building. I practice that principle, as well: About 75% of the securities in my personal portfolio are passively selected.
Submitted by Roger Wohlner on Thu, 11/14/2013 - 9:00am
The ETF price wars are heating up. This is good for investors in that it acts to keep fees down for exchange-traded funds. But simply because an ETF has a very low cost is not a sufficient reason for you to buy it.
Fidelity late last month fired the latest salvo in the ongoing price wars with the introduction of a number low cost sector ETFs. Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Blackrock, Vanguard and others also participate in this price war in one form or another over the past couple of years.
Submitted by Ray Ferrara on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 9:00am
Investors still are dubious about stocks, even though the market has had a decent, if sometimes bumpy, ascent since March 2009. That’s troublesome, because stocks over the long haul are the best way to increase your portfolio and build a decent retirement.