I was having a cup of coffee at the local java shop and overheard a guy talking with his friend about investing. It went something like this, “Just about the time I started making money, the system screwed me.” Wow! This is too good to mind my own business. I leaned in a little closer… [...]
What funds should you buy? Should it be index funds or exchange-traded funds, or low-cost actively managed funds, or should you pay an adviser for access to special products like DFA funds? This is an important question — but it’s often the wrong question. The products used to construct a portfolio are a function of a portfolio’s purpose. Get the purpose right first and then select the product.
Mutual fund expenses may be making you poorer. Investing in actively-managed mutual funds that charge high fees can lower your standard of living in retirement by as much as one-third over a low-cost index fund strategy. This is the conclusion of Nobel Laureate William Sharpe in his latest Financial Analysts Journal article The Arithmetic of Investment Expenses.
There is a belief among many investors that excess returns can be earned in the market by owning stocks for only 6 months out of the year and sitting the rest of the time in interest-bearing Treasury securities. This market-timing strategy is commonly known as Sell in May and Go Away because the exit period is May. CXO Advisory took a look at “Sell in May” over the long-term to determine if this belief was fact or fiction.
Index fund returns keep getting better the longer you hold them. This is because low-cost index funds give you more of the market’s return and because many actively-managed funds eventually go under. A combination of cost savings and longevity help index fund returns float to the top in rankings.