AAII Survey: Readers Weigh in on Impact of Low Interest Rates

Depending on who you ask, the near-record-low interest rates of the last decade have either been a blessing or a curse. If you are a borrower, for things such as mortgages, car loans, credit card debt, etc., the low rates have been good. If you are a saver, however, the low interest rates mean you…

 

For Mutual Funds, Competition Doesn’t Mean Lower Fees

Competition is usually associated with lower prices. The exact opposite pattern is occurring within the mutual fund industry. Expense ratios for U.S. domestic equity funds operating in more competitive market segments “charge significantly higher annual expense ratios than funds operating in less competitive market segments.” Among the better-known measures of cost is the expense ratio….

 

How to Find and Select a Financial Planner

Financial planning is a process that is tackled by many individual investors quite successfully on their own. But some individuals prefer to have someone else perform the task. The question then arises: How do you find a financial planner? The selection of a financial planner is a very important and, sometimes, very difficult task. There…

 

Market Tips From an Observer

Covering the stock market as a broadcaster and columnist has given Dick Davis a unique perspective on the market—and investor behavior. Although these insights are over 30 years old, many of them are just as valid today as they were in 1984. Thoughts on How Adverse News Affects Stocks The first day loss may turn…

 

AAII Survey: Readers React to President Trump’s Verbal Assault on Federal Reserve

President Trump has been waging a one-sided war of words against the Federal Reserve in recent weeks. Last week’s statement that the Federal Reserve is “my biggest threat” was the latest in a series of negative comments directed at the central bank. “Because the Fed is raising rates too fast. And it’s independent, so I don’t…

 

Required Retirement Savings Rate Depends on Age and Income

Saving 15% of income for retirement is a common rule of a thumb. The actual number depends on the amount of replacement income needed, when the worker starts saving for retirement and when he or she plans to retire, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. The Federal Reserve’s National Retirement Risk…

 

The Role of Leverage and Quality in Dividend Changes

Dividend increases are typically met with a positive reaction from investors, while dividend cuts are typically met with a negative reaction. Whether these changes signal positive or negative information, however, depends on the quality of the company and its leverage. Companies with low-to-moderate levels of leverage—defined as liabilities to total assets—can signal positive information by…

 

AAII Survey: CEO Impact on Retail Investment Decision

For some companies, a current or former chief executive is inextricably linked. It’s difficult to think of Berkshire Hathaway without also conjuring up the name Warren Buffett. Jack Welch and General Electric. Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. Jamie Dimon and JPMorgan Chase. The list goes on and on. Recently, a few well-known companies have seen…

 

AAII Survey: Individual Investors Split as to Whether Market Is “Rigged” Against Them

“The stock market is rigged.” That is a statement I have heard from many investors over my 20-plus years at AAII. This number, not surprisingly, increased following the financial crisis of 2007–2008, when many investors saw their portfolio values fall by half or more. But is that really the case? By most estimates, we are…