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It is getting easier for investors to incorporate their personal values into their portfolios and to do so in a diversified, low-cost and tax-efficient manner. This approach, traditionally known as socially responsible investing, is increasingly being referred to as environmental,...

A majority (55%) of surveyed investors with $10,000 or more invested in stocks, bonds or mutual funds described themselves as being “listeners” in a Wells Fargo/Gallup poll. Listeners seek out good investment advice and tend to follow it. Nearly a quarter (24%) of surveyed investors...

Non-financial firms can make consistent profits by combining parts into a whole. For example, GM buys parts, puts them together and sells cars for more than the cost of the parts. GM adds value by putting the parts together. But financial firms cannot add value merely by buying...

The question every investor wants to know is: How well am I doing? Although some people are satisfied with simply watching the dollars grow, most investors want that translated into a performance figure. Bragging rights aside, there is a good reason to determine your own portfolio’s...

Broker, registered investment adviser, financial planner, insurance agent, investment adviser and wealth managers: These are a few of the common terms used to describe various financial professionals. Many individual investors are confused by these terms, and do not have a clear...

Risk is a fundamental concept in any investment program. Beta and standard deviation are two common risk measures. But many investors prefer to view risk differently, at least mathematically. Others do not understand how a complex formula for deriving individual betas and standard...

Advertised as a one-stop shopping, automatic-pilot retirement vehicle, life cycle or target date mutual funds have become increasingly popular. These funds are aimed at individuals seeking an all-in-one retirement fund to invest his or her retirement nest egg, with a target date...

Borrowing money through a margin account to purchase securities can be a profitable and wise investment strategy. But debt creates financial leverage: The money in a full payment purchase can instead be used as a type of down payment to buy a much larger block of stock. This means...

If you are like most people, you learned history in classes that largely covered facts related to dates, places and people … and you probably couldn’t wait until the school bell rang. Sadly, children’s exposure to history is often framed in a way that is less interesting...

Editor’s note: This post was excerpted with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons Inc. from “The Forbes CFA Institute Investment Course: Timeless Principles for Building Wealth.” Copyright © 2011 by Forbes, LLC. More information about the book and a multimedia...