The Center of Gravity for Retirees

Peter Bernstein wrote The 60/40 Solution in 2002. His seminal article laid out arguments for why 60% stocks and 40% bonds is the “ideal asset allocation” for long-term investors. He considered this allocation the “center of gravity” on a risk and return spectrum. Bernstein’s observation is timeless advice for many investors, but not everyone. The [...]

My Expected Investment Changes in 2015

I make investment changes at a glacial speed. The last change was about five years ago when I combined micro-cap stocks with small-cap value stocks to reduce the number of funds in the portfolio. Before that, I eliminated a preferred stock allocation, which was fortunately done right before the financial crisis. Over the coming year, I believe the opportunity may present itself for another change.

Avoid Being An Out-Of-Style Investor

Beating the market using mutual funds isn’t easy. The hope of finding fund managers who steadily beat their benchmarks may seem like a worthwhile venture, but the only people who seem to earn steady profits from active mutual fund strategies are companies selling products. A persistent “performance gap” exists between investor returns and the returns of the funds they invest in.

Peter Lynch was Wrong

I love you man, but you’re wrong! Legionary Fidelity Magellan fund manager Peter Lynch wrote “buy what you know” in his classic book, One Up on Wall Street: How to use what you already know to make money in the market. The basic principle is simple: you’re more likely to be successful in the market if you buy what you’re familiar with. Peter Lynch was wrong; or at least he wasn’t quite right.

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 [...]