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…

 

The Earnings Quality Indicator Used by ETFs

Look under the hood of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) incorporating a quality factor and you will often find accruals being used. An accrual is an accounting entry recorded at the time a transaction occurs, regardless of whether not payment has been made. Accrual accounting allows businesses to report their sales and earnings performance without being beholden…

 

A Strategy for Losing Money

I can give you a name of a fund trading with the equivalent of a 23% sales charge. It’s actively managed by a company that’s incurred large outflows from its signature mutual fund following the departure of its star chief investment officer. Interested in owning it? You probably aren’t, but some investors were. PIMCO’s Municipal…

 

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…

 

Look Beyond Your Comfort Zone for Investment Gains

When was the last time you looked at a company you never heard of? How about a company whose name sounded somewhat familiar, but you can’t recall why and otherwise you don’t know anything about? If your answer is rarely, never or not in a long while, you’ve got plenty of company. We humans engage…

 

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…