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…

 

A Few Observations About the Dow’s Latest Change

General Electric Co.’s (GE) long run as a member of the Dow Jones industrial average will end on Tuesday morning. As you have probably already heard, the stock is being replaced by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA). General Electric was an original member of the Dow, first added back in May 1896. According to S&P…

 

AAII Investor Update: Kahneman on Decision-Making, and Other Morningstar Conference Notes

Nobel laureate and psychologist Daniel Kahneman shared insights from his current research about decision-making at this year’s Morningstar Investment Conference. He described noisy interferences in the decision-making process as being more important than systematic errors. Noise is something that interferes with the decision-making process, particularly irrelevant factors influencing a person’s judgments. Irrelevant factors can include…

 

The Number of Investments to Hold in Your Portfolio

The number of investments required to be adequately diversified depends on a few factors. For most individual investors, the number is not very high. It does depend on what is held in the portfolio and the dollar size of the portfolio overall. This week, I provide a few guidelines. Let’s start with stocks. We suggest…

 

Paying a Premium to Take on More Risk

Would you willingly pay $1.25 for something worth $1.00? This is not a trick question. The data showing the current price and the actual value is clearly stated and easily accessible. Knowing this, would you pay $1.25 for something worth $1.00? In a world operating in accordance with the efficient market hypothesis (EMH), such price…