Can Indexing Become Too Big?

For some time now, actively managed mutual funds have been underperforming index funds that essentially own shares of all the stocks in the market. That’s because the lower costs of index funds give them huge advantages over the high-priced active funds. Though I’ve been investing in index funds for decades, I’m rather surprised by their more recent popularity. My indexing approach was once rare, but now a full 37 percent of the money in U.S. stock funds is in index …

Investors Win in Supreme Court 401(k) Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court this week sent a strong message to employers offering 401(k)s: You can’t just pick investments for the plan and then forget about them. This unanimous decision is expected to provide greater protection for 401(k) participants who increasingly rely on these plans to fund their retirement. And it may also trigger more lawsuits by workers unhappy with their investment options and the fees charged, legal experts say. “Participants over the long term should benefit from all of …

Why You Need to Check Your Credit Report

Some 44 percent of people age 65 and up have never checked any of their credit reports, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com. That percentage shocks me, especially considering how important the information is and how easy it is now to get it for free. Here’s why you need it and how to get it. It’s important “Monitoring your credit goes well beyond scanning a three-digit [credit score] number,” said Jeanine Skowronski, credit card analyst at Bankrate.com. “Americans need …

Reverse Mortgages Now Harder to Get

If you’ve thought about taking out a reverse mortgage, be aware that new rules that recently kicked in might make it harder for you to qualify. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tightened lending criteria late last month. The changes require that lenders determine whether would-be borrowers have enough income to keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance so they don’t default on the loan and, possibly, lose their home. HUD’s Federal Housing Administration insures most reverse mortgages. …

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Achieving Financial Resilience

Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month each May is a time to celebrate, reflect on and pay homage to the many generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who contributed their talents to America’s history. They came here with hopes of getting a slice of the American pie, such as starting a business or securing a good job, and having the financial resources to raise a family and enjoy a comfortable retirement. For some older members of the AAPI …

Stock Investing: Time Versus Timing

More and more investors are telling me that their portfolios have now fully recovered from the 2008 stock market crash. I respond in my typical tactless way by telling them their performance has been awful. That’s because stocks are now 64 percent above their pre-crash high. Put another way, if you had timed the market perfectly wrong and put $10,000 in a total stock market index fund on Oct. 9, 2007, the pre-crash peak, you’d have about $16,375 today. All …