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…

 

Where Is the Bond Armageddon?

On Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal published an article headlined, “Rock-Bottom Bond Yields in Europe Hit All-Time Lows.” Thursday morning, a headline on The Financial Times’ website declared: “Relentless: Bund Yields Take Fresh Step Down.” The headlines were written in reaction to what is occurring in global bond markets. Earlier today, yields on the 10-year…

 

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…

 

Fees on Mutual Funds Could Get Cheaper

There is some good news for investors: The war on expenses is continuing. Vanguard recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch two funds with total annual operating expenses of 0.01%. That is not a typo; the expense ratio was copied and pasted directly from the SEC filing. How cheap is 0.01%?…

 

AAII Investor Update: Binary Option Contracts, A Really Bad Idea

Companies are very aware of our tendency, as humans, to overestimate the odds of making money. They use this to their advantage by pitching products and services as money-making opportunities that in reality are highly effective tools for separating us from our money. One bad idea for a financial product brought to my attention in…