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.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.