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Featured Article

IFA Client Study - Maximizing Your Return Relative to a Benchmark

64
by Mark Hebner
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What has been the value of following or not following the advice of Index Fund Advisors (IFA), regardless of what happens in the financial markets? A similar question was addressed by Vanguard Research in their Advisor’s Alpha article, where they estimated ...Read More

Archive

  • 1349

    Exposure to Greece and China in Perspective

    218
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, July 24, 2015

    Many of our clients have been concerned about the issues involving Greece. Likewise, growth in China, the world’s second largest economy has begun to slow causing concern for investors about what the ...Read More

  • 1348

    Greece is the Word

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    by Jim Parker — Thursday, July 23, 2015

    In recent weeks, the world’s markets and media financial pages have focused intensely on the standoff between debt-laden Greece and its international lenders over the conditions of any further bailout. ...Read More

  • 1347

    The 2nd Quarter of 2015 in Review

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, July 22, 2015

    The 2nd Quarter of 2015 was quite a tumultuous one. With concerns over Greece existing the Eurozone, markets experienced significant volatility late in the quarter. For those investors who were able to ride ...Read More

  • 1346

    Passive Investing: Seeing the Forest For the Trees

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, July 20, 2015

    Sometimes it is hard to focus on the big picture, often getting caught up in the minutia where we are expending our efforts for little benefit in return. Other times we lose sight of the purpose of our efforts ...Read More

  • 1344

    Maryland - Ready For an Investment Change

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, July 15, 2015

    No this is not a political campaign slogan, but more of a realization. The Baltimore Sun recently published an article highlighting the recent popularity of passive investing and how some of the biggest ...Read More

  • 1342

    The Momentum Factor: An Empirical Update

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, July 9, 2015

    The Momentum Factor has been well documented since the early 1990s[i]. As a quick reminder, the Momentum Factor is the tendency of stocks that have outperformed (or underperformed) the market over the last ...Read More

  • 1341

    IFA is Ahead of the Trends in Retirement Plans

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, July 7, 2015

    A recent article published on benefitspro.com summarized the recent trends in retirement asset size and location. Not surprisingly, more and more assets are being geared towards individual retirement accounts ...Read More

  • 1340

    Why DFA Is a Strategic Partner of Our Mission

    1,282
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, July 6, 2015

    As most of our readers can probably tell, we are big fans of Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Our recommended mutual fund lineup, record-keeper for retirement plans, and experts for research in the field of ...Read More

  • 1339

    Celebrate Financial Independence - Invest & Relax

    938
    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, July 2, 2015

    In the next few days most of us will be thinking more about barbeques and bottle rockets than about freedom and independence. Cheers to those who fully partake in the uniquely American holiday. It’s with ...Read More

  • 1338

    JP Morgan: A Case Study in What is Not a Fiduciary!

    1,113
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    The investment advisory industry has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. We are no longer in the simple world of retiring with a pension and not having to worry about making it across the proverbial ...Read More

  • 1337

    What Greece Means for Investors

    1,499
    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, June 30, 2015

    Like a slow-motion glacier melting into a rushing river, it would appear that the markets have been swept into a period of heightened global uncertainty driven by a long-looming Greek debt crisis. If ...Read More

  • 1335

    Come On Hartford, You Know Better!

    833
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    We recently came across the Second Quarter 2015 White Paper from Hartford Funds, which attempted to address the recent investor trend of shifting more and more money to passive investment strategies. But their ...Read More

  • 1329

    You vs. Uncle Sam: Taxes & Mutual Fund Performance

    1,146
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    “It's not brains or brawn that matter in taxable investing; it's efficiency. Taxable investing is a loser's game. Those who lose the least - to taxes and fees - stand to win the most when the game's all ...Read More

  • 1328

    Give Your Graduate One More Piece of Advice

    1,409
    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, June 4, 2015

    The soccer games and ballet lessons are behind you, but as a parent, you may always feel the need to give advice to your children. At the same time, once they walk across that stage with degree in hand, ...Read More

  • 1324

    Gravel Road Investing

    1,307
    by Jim Parker — Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    Owners of all-purpose motor vehicles often appreciate their cars most when they leave smooth city freeways for rough gravel country roads. In investment, highly diversified portfolios can provide similar ...Read More

  • 1322

    How Mutual Funds Can Be Advocates For Their Investors

    1,075
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, May 22, 2015

    There has been a growing focus in the area of corporate governance given the numerous and very significant financial events that have happened over the last 15 years like the collapse of Enron, Worldcom, and ...Read More

  • 1319

    Tax-Wise Investing - You & Your Investments

    1,211
    by Mark Hebner — Monday, May 18, 2015

    While “tax season” may imply that there is an optimal time to think about your income taxes, the best way to minimize your annual “pay-triotic duty” is to engage in year-round tax-wise ...Read More

  • 1318

    Beware of Index Funds - What Is It This Time?

    1,518
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, May 15, 2015

    There was a recent article published by Wintergreen Advisors that made two main claims against the use of index funds for investors. The first dealt with having overly concentrated portfolios, while the other ...Read More

  • 1317

    Dear Recovering Financial Advisors

    1,263
    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, May 13, 2015

    I recently received an email from a long-time stockbroker who now works as a traditional financial advisor on the east coast. He very candidly described his long-time commitment to the active money game as ...Read More

  • 1316

    Chasing Our Tails Through Past Performance

    1,260
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, May 12, 2015

    For those who have been investing for some time, you should be very familiar with the following statement: “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” This SEC mandated disclaimer when ...Read More

  • 1315
    Dan Wheeler

    Hedge Funds

    1,199
    by Dan Wheeler — Monday, May 11, 2015

    One of the supposed benefits of investing in a Hedge Fund, is the opportunity to make money in both up and down markets.  This goal is appealing to two types of investors.  First, those who do not ...Read More

  • 1313

    James Bond. 'Gambler Extraordinaire?'

    1,082
    by Christopher Dennistoun — Thursday, May 7, 2015

    "The scent and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three o'clock in the morning...." So begins one of the most celebrated sentences in English popular literature, the opening lines in Casino Royale. Gambling ...Read More

  • 1310

    The Misbehavior of Investors

    1,629
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, April 29, 2015

    “The investor’s chief problem—and even his worst enemy—is likely to be himself.” – Benjamin Graham There was initial hesitation in choosing to use Mr. Graham's age-old ...Read More

  • 1309

    A Simulation of the Random Nature of Stock Prices

    2,295
    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, April 28, 2015

    Many measurements seem random, such as the heights of humans, the length of leaves, the roll of 5 dice, and the change of stock market prices. But when academics, statisticians and mathematicians view the ...Read More

  • 1308

    Committing Financial Suicide

    2,048
    by Tom Allen — Friday, April 24, 2015

    The way I like to think of day trading is that it’s probably the most effective weapon ever to commit financial suicide,…It’s an absolutely lethal way for the typical person to invest ...Read More

  • 1306

    Cast in Iron

    1,627
    by Jim Parker — Monday, April 20, 2015

    The media occasionally locks in on a particular “hot” sector. In the late 1990s, it was technology. In the mid-2000s, it was mining. Writing headlines about fashionable sectors is one thing. ...Read More

  • 1305

    The First Quarter of 2015 in Review

    1,358
    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, April 16, 2015

    2015 has been a hallmark year for diversification so far. In Q1 we saw international developed and emerging markets outpace their domestic counterparts. During the quarter, the European Central Bank announced ...Read More

  • 1301

    Key Man Risk: Yet Another Reason to Avoid Active Funds

    2,143
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Monday, March 30, 2015

    When discussing the risks of investing in actively managed funds, we have focused on issues related to timing and selection.  Recently, we had a chance to view a report from a prominent investment ...Read More

  • 1300

    The Power of Market Returns

    2,341
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, March 26, 2015

    “Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe.”    - Albert Einstein While perusing the Wall Street Journal, we came across this delightful article about a retired ...Read More

  • 1298

    Did Bloomberg Find Another Bill Miller?

    2,414
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, March 24, 2015

    You may recall that Bill Miller was the fund manager who enjoyed the unparalleled winning streak of beating the S&P 500 Index for fifteen consecutive years ending in 2005. Of course, investors who came ...Read More

  • 1297

    Book Review: The Great Beanie Baby Bubble

    3,150
    by Thomas Brunson — Monday, March 23, 2015

    “It had gone from cute to heinous, and there was no good way for it to end”- Zac Bissonnette, New York Times bestselling author  At the height of the late 1990’s tech bubble, speculative ...Read More

  • 1296

    Yet Another Sign that the Tipping Point Has Arrived

    1,945
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Friday, March 20, 2015

    We have spoken several times (see here and here) about the tipping point in the long-term migration from active to passive management. While perusing InvestmentNews, we encountered this article about investors ...Read More

  • 1295

    Vanguard Wades Deeper into Alternative Investments

    1,724
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, March 19, 2015

    If you find the above title puzzling, then you may not be aware that Vanguard offers a market neutral fund (VMNFX) that engages in a long/short equity strategy. Among all the Vanguard funds, it has far and ...Read More

  • 1293

    One More Nail in the Coffin of Active Management

    2,423
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    “The only consistent data point we have observed over a five-year horizon is that a majority of active equity and bond managers in most categories lag comparable benchmark ...Read More

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