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…

 

Market Movement’s Impact on Portfolio Rebalancing

Sometimes, the market does the hard work for you. Such is the case with my 403(b) account, which is similar to a 401(k) account. Over the weekend, I looked at it for the first time in six months. I could have easily skipped doing so because Mr. Market took care of things for me. There…

 

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 Impact Returns Have on How Much You Should Save

One of the fuzzier numbers in retirement planning is how much a person should save. Put another way, how much does an individual need to set aside each year to fund retirement expenses? It’s a function of projected expenditures, sources of other income (e.g., Social Security, inheritance, etc.) and expected investment returns. Though they are…

 

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…

 

Retirement Can Be Long Enough for Something to Go Haywire

An interesting point was brought up at this week’s CFA Institute’s Financial Analysts Seminar: retirement is a long enough period of time for something to go haywire. The point was brought up by Barton Waring, a retired chief investor officer for Barclays (which is now BlackRock). He raised the topic during a discussion about retirement…

 

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…

 

Observations About Investing in a Low-Volume Stock

A few months ago, I bought a low-volume stock, Oregon-based Willamette Valley Vineyards (WVVI). I had seen the company’s name on a screen of liquor stocks I occasionally run and was prompted to take a closer look when the company sent us a prospectus for a preferred stock offering. (I think my wife put us…

 

Two Traits that Give Active Mutual Funds an Edge

American Funds says that some actively managed funds are better than passive (index) funds. Specifically, the company argues that actively managed funds with low expense ratios and high levels of manager ownership (a group that Amercian Funds calls “Select Active”) outperform their index peers. The outperformance is evident over one-, three-, five-, and 10-year rolling…