index funds

iStock_000039802810_Large bull and bear
Most of us have heard that stocks have outperformed bonds in the long run. But what is the definition of long run? So far this century, have stocks really outperformed?
Selling a lemon investment
I’m often asked when the right time is to sell an investment. There are actually two answers — a logical one and an emotional one. Let me explain by illustrating through one of the lessons in a course I teach.
iStock_000008866398Large gambler
In a recent column I exposed my own portfolio and its daring dullness. It is that very dullness which, I believe, is the key to its success. Still, beneath this dull exterior beats the heart of “The Gambler.” Even yours truly gets the occasional urge to buy that risky stock, offering the possibility of a 1,000 percent return, and sometimes I just can’t resist acting on that thrill-seeking urge.
Robo-advisor
I’m a fan of the so-called “ robo-advisers.” These are online wealth management services that provide automated software-based portfolio management advice without the use of human advisers. Two of the larger robo-advisers are Betterment and Wealthfront. In addition, Schwab recently launched its version, branded Intelligent Portfolios, and Vanguard has a product called Personal Advisor Services.
Bull Market
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 funds. With more and more money flowing out of managed funds and into index funds, can indexing become too big?
Scrabble pieces spell out 'tax' on dollar bills
As tax season draws to a close for another year, you may be among those feeling the pinch from taxes paid on investments. I admit that paying taxes is not exactly my favorite thing, so I always look for ways to be more tax-efficient. Here are three things you can do to keep more of what you earn:
Bull Market
Six years ago today, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at 676.5, which represented a 56 percent decline in less than 18 months. Many a shell-shocked pundit predicted then that the bloodbath was not over, such as this article warning that it would take eight years to recover, possibly longer. Harry Dent’s book The Great Depression Ahead was a best-seller, GM was flirting with bankruptcy, and cash was viewed as the only safe haven. It was a very scary time, and many believed capitalism had failed. It was a new paradigm.
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