How to Keep Headlines From Driving Your Portfolio Decisions

On behalf of everyone at AAII, I want to say thank you to all of you who have served or are currently serving in the military. The stock market will be open Friday, Veterans Day, but banks and government offices will be closed. Big, unexpected events commonly trigger strong emotional reactions. The wiring in our…

 

You Could Spend More Years Being Retired Than Working

There might be a limit on how long humans can live. Jan Vijg, a geneticist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, published research in the journal Nature putting the upper limit for longevity at 115 years. More precisely, The New York Times quoted him as stating, “Humans will never get older than 115.” Vijg’s conclusion…

 

Jeopardy! Shows Humans Don’t Maximize Profits

One of the common behavioral biases is anchoring. Anchoring is basing expectations and viewpoints on previous, often recent, information. An example would be the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The benchmark bond yielded 1.59% today. If it were to rise over the short term to, say, 2.0%, your opinion would likely be that rates…

 

Using ETFs to Identify Quality Stocks

If one were to survey investors about what traits make a stock attractive, the top of the list would include an attractive valuation, a reasonable expectation of a price increase (particularly sooner rather than later), a sound underlying business model and good fundamentals. The first two traits are easy to identify: seek out below-average valuations…

 

Notes from the CFA Conference

The CFA Institute held its annual conference in Montreal this week. The conference draws global speakers from academia, the investment industry profession and even rock ‘n roll—Sir Bob Geldof spoke yesterday. (Unfortunately, he didn’t sing, opting instead to discuss investing in Africa.) The conference also attracts a truly global audience. Yesterday, I sat down across…

 

A Gold Fund’s Debacle Highlights Risks

Any time a fund invests in something more esoteric than exchange-listed stocks from a developed country or widely traded high-quality bonds, the potential for something to go wrong increases. We saw this happen in December when the Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund—a mutual fund—suddenly shut its doors in response to junk bond losses. Last week…

 

Forgotten By Some, Inflation Is Far From Gone

In an article for InvestmentNews, Rusty Vanneman reminds investors to be mindful of inflation. The reason being is that, although inflation has been a non-issue for the last several years, there are some signs that inflation may be starting to return. The Core Consumer Price Index (Core CPI) is nearing 2% year-over-year growth, ignoring food…

 

TIPS for a Low-Inflation Climate

In an article for WSJ.com, Michelle Perry Higgins discusses Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS), and how they may fit into bond allocation strategies in a low-inflation environment. When TIPS are issued by the Treasury they come with an interest rate that doesn’t change, like most bonds. The inflation protection works through increases in the principal value of…