What You Can Expect at the AAII Conference

Those of you who regularly read my weekly commentary know that I attend conferences and other industry events. The presentations are generally informative, but it’s the personal interaction that’s the big draw for me. I’ve made numerous connections over the years, many I never would have made had I simply stayed in my office. Those…

 

Stock Buybacks Are Being Maligned

Stock buybacks have been the topic of discussion lately. Not from an investment strategy perspective, but more so from the perspective of what corporations should be doing with their cash. This is not surprising given the tax cuts, strong corporate earnings and the ongoing conversations surrounding worker pay. While some of the arguments may seem…

 

Selecting Stocks From a Screen

I’ve long been a fan of stock screens. They filter a database to identify stocks with specific traits. A value screen may identify stocks trading at low price-earnings (P/E) ratios with above-average levels of return on equity (ROE). A growth screen can find stocks that consistently grow profits and are projected to continue doing so…

 

Seeking More Than One Factor Can Boost Returns

One of the current trends within the investment industry is to focus on factors. Also referred to by the monikers “smart beta” and “strategic beta,” factor investing involves buying stocks with certain, quantifiable characteristics. Factors include low valuation, small size, price momentum and many others. There has also been a proliferation of factor exchange-traded funds…

 

Some Thoughts About Allocating to Cash

One of the Briefly Noted columns appearing in next month’s AAII Journal will give tips on what to do during each of the five years leading up to retirement. In the column, we reference AAII founder James Cloonan’s Level3 withdrawal rules. Among those rules is allocating an amount equivalent to two to four years of…

 

Projecting an Aging Parent’s Finances

In assisting my mother-in-law with her finances, one of the things I’ve done is to project how long her savings will last. I’m monitoring her income, spending and savings to ensure she is able to live comfortably now and still has enough to cover future potential living and care expenses. Since it may be of…

 

Second-Quarter Earnings and Tips on Analyzing the Numbers

Second-quarter earnings will begin to heat up next week. Thomson Reuters projects S&P 500 index earnings growth of 20.7% and revenue growth of 8.1% on a blended basis. (The blended number uses results from both the 20 S&P 500 companies that have reported as of this morning and the consensus forecast of analysts’ estimates for…

 

The New 1040 Is Shorter, But Not Simpler

The familiar 1040 tax form is getting a big makeover. Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will release a new Form 1040 this week: “It will be a postcard as we’ve promised.” As of early this afternoon, nothing about it had been posted yet on the IRS website, but The…