S&P 500: A Great 2nd Place Index Fund

I’m an index fund investor, but I don’t invest in S&P 500 index funds. It’s not the type of index I want in my portfolio, unless I’m in a pinch. Here’s why. The S&P 500 is arguably the most important stock market index on the planet. It represents the free-float value of 500 major corporations [...]

Confessions of an Index Investor

I’m a diehard index fund fan. I’ve written books on index funds, lectured on index funds, co-authored an award-winning paper on portfolios of index funds, and Forbes even named me “The Indexer” when I began writing for them several years ago. The problem with being “The Indexer” is that I don’t invest in all index funds. Truth be told, my portfolio is a combination of funds that follow indexes, quantitative funds that don’t follow indexes and actively managed funds. I don’t even consider following an index as being paramount in portfolio management as long as you’re capturing the risk premiums you’re seeking in a low-cost and efficient manner.

To Tilt or Not to Tilt

I tilt. Do you tilt? It’s OK to tilt. Many people tilt. I’m not talking about posture or politics – I’m talking about portfolio design. A portfolio “tilt” is industry slang for an investment strategy that overweighs a particular investment style. An example would be tilting to small-cap stocks or value stocks that have historically [...]

The Risk Of Short-Term Bond Funds

Did you miss returns from intermediate-term bond funds because you sat in a short-term bond fund waiting for interest rates to rise? A lot of people did. This strategy has backfired as the opportunity cost of not being in intermediate-term bonds has been more costly than whatever damage rising interest rates might have taken away.

Exchange-Traded Confusion

Exchange-traded funds and all the products related to them have terminology that’s foreign to many investors. People hear “ETF” and they assume every product that’s called an ETF is the same. They’re not. Product structure can have big implications for investors, especially if it’s held in a taxable account.