Insights From Conversations With Great Investors

Warren Buffett said that among the lessons he learned from Benjamin Graham was that “price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Though Buffett used the phrase in a discussion about bonds and stocks in his 2008 letter to Berkshire-Hathaway shareholders, the adage applies to many other objects. One such object is the…

 

The Incredibly Shrinking Fed Growth Forecasts

Seemingly overlooked in all of the hubbub about a possible rate hike occurring at the December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting is the longer-term trend of falling growth forecasts. FOMC members have collectively reduced their real (“inflation-adjusted”) long-run GDP growth forecasts for at least five consecutive years. The current long-run forecast calls for 1.80%…

 

Do You Need Growth for Successful Stock Picking?

A new stock screen I created omits one characteristic that may surprise some (or perhaps many) of you: growth. Nothing in the screen requires a passing company to be growing revenues or profits. It is an admitted deviation from how I’ve previously looked for stocks. I’m not alone in omitting growth. The four AAII Stock…

 

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…

 

Taking on Risk and Hoping the Strategy Doesn’t Backfire

Oh boy. There’s something new to be filed under the category of, “Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.” It is cash secured puts on the S&P 500. According to The Wall Street Journal, pension funds in Hawaii and South Carolina are using the strategy to generate income. It is a strategy…

 

The Debate Over Retirement Income Strategies

As millions of baby boomers are either retiring or nearing retirement, there is an ongoing debate on how to manage one’s portfolio heading into and once in retirement. Here’s a glimpse into it: While at last week’s Morningstar Investment Conference, I tweeted a comment made by Morningstar’s David Blanchett about the likelihood of success for…

 

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…

 

Planning for the Financial Impact of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Though the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on families and friends from a lifestyle and emotional standpoint has been well-documented, little research has been done into the financial impact of caring for some afflicted by the disease. To determine the impact, the Alzheimer’s Association conducted a nationwide survey. The results are discussed in the association’s 2016…

 

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…