Not Clear That Mutual Funds Are Becoming More Tax Friendly

This is the time of year when mutual funds make their annual distributions. The distributions, in this case, involve capital gains and ordinary income. They are the profits realized by the funds, most commonly through the sale of their portfolio’s holdings. To the extent that these gains cannot be offset by losses, they are passed…

 

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…

 

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…

 

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…

 

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…