Featured Article

Timing Premiums: Why It Is Not A Good Idea

by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner
Friday, October 14, 2016

Many investors have caught on to the idea of the different dimensions of expected return or “premiums” such as the market, size, relative price (value), profitability, and capital investment factors. We at IFA have long advocated for a passive investment ...Read More


  • Presidential Elections and the Stock Market

    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Monday, October 3, 2016

    Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: There will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and ...Read More

  • The Importance of Hiring a Fiduciary

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, September 21, 2016

    Index Fund Advisors embraces the responsibility of putting our clients’ best interest first and foremost.  Being beholden to the fiduciary standard of care is not something we see as a barrier, but ...Read More

  • Capturing the Value Premium: Is More Necessarily Better?

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    Research over the last 4 decades has revealed a robust and persistent value premium – value stocks have outperformed growth stocks over many time periods and markets worldwide. In its most simplest form, ...Read More

  • Dreyfus Funds: A Closer Look at the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Jack Dreyfus, also known as “The Lion of Wall Street,” founded Dreyfus Funds in New York City in 1951. A 1964 Life Magazine article attributes Dreyfus as revolutionizing the advertising of mutual ...Read More

  • The Law of Large Numbers: Bill Miller's Fall From Grace

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, September 2, 2016

    Bill Miller is widely considered one of the most successful investors of all time. At the helm of the Legg Mason Value Trust Fund (LMVTX) for over three decades, he earned the title of legendary by beating the ...Read More

  • Luck vs. Skill: An Update!

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, August 25, 2016

    The active fund industry is a marketing machine; ready to pitch short term outperformance as an indication of manager skill. Investors subsequently make a large allocation to these “winners” and ...Read More

  • The 3.8% Medicare Tax: What You Need To Know

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, August 11, 2016

    On January 1, 2013, the US Government introduced a new Net Investment Income Tax of 3.8%. This tax only affects certain households or individuals that meet certain thresholds of net investment income or ...Read More

  • Index Funds: The Documentary Film

    by Mark Hebner — Monday, August 8, 2016

    I am very proud to share this film with you and ask that you help spread the word. I’d also like to thank you for your support, your interest and your encouragement as my dedicated team and I continue to ...Read More

  • Columbia Funds: A Deeper Look at the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, August 4, 2016

    Columbia Management is one of the largest investment management firms in the world. With close to 7 full decades of industry experience and expertise and over 100 individual investment strategies, Columbia has ...Read More

  • The 2nd Quarter of 2016 in Review [VIDEO]

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, July 26, 2016

    The second quarter of 2016 was mixed in terms of good and bad news as well as performance. While the Eurozone experienced a big shock in terms of the unanticipated “Brexit” vote, the United States ...Read More

  • Closing the Behavior Gap

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, July 25, 2016

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein Market timing is and has been one of the most disastrous investment ideas to plague our ...Read More

  • Dodge & Cox: A Deeper Look at the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, July 7, 2016

    San Francisco based Dodge & Cox is one of the most well-known investment management firms in the world. More impressively, they have been able to build a very sizeable asset base on the back of just 6 ...Read More

  • Brian Schroeder

    Benchmark Linking: What Plan Sponsors Should Know

    by Brian Schroeder — Friday, July 1, 2016

    Believe it or not, many plan sponsors of institutional investment plans do not have a reliable benchmark to judge their total performance over time.  How can this be?  What could be more fundamental ...Read More

  • Market Efficiency & Behavioral Biases

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    One of the most misunderstood tenants of the efficient market hypothesis (EMH) has to do with assumption that all decisions made by market participants are rational. In other words, the millions of people who ...Read More

  • UK's EU Referendum Result

    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Friday, June 24, 2016

    On June 23, citizens of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. While there has been much speculation leading up to and since the vote, many of the longer-term implications of the referendum ...Read More

  • Bond Funds or Individual Bonds? What You Need To Know

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, June 17, 2016

    A common question we receive from clients has to do with bond strategies. Should we buy bond funds or build individual bond ladders? There are a few things to keep in mind when thinking the role of fixed ...Read More

  • False Diversification

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    As proponents of globally diversified portfolios, we understand the principle of diversification when it comes to investing. Harry Markowitz was one of the first academics to identify the benefits of adding ...Read More

  • Eugene Fama: One of A Kind

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, June 6, 2016

    Academics are a hallmark of the investment strategy that we recommend to our clients. While there are plenty of sales pitches professing some sort of new or “hot” idea on how to get rich quick, we ...Read More

  • Index Reconstitution: The Price of Tracking

    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Thursday, June 2, 2016

    With the annual reconstitution of the Russell indices approaching, it is a good opportunity to revisit how index reconstitution events affect trading costs and returns. Index funds are an innovative solution ...Read More

  • Invesco: A Deeper Look At the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, June 1, 2016

    Invesco Ltd. is one of the most well-known investment firms in the country. Their operations span over 20 different countries around the world and are involved in investment management, wealth management, ...Read More

  • Tom and Becky

    Volatility... Is There More of it Today?

    by Tom Allen and Becky Vasquez — Wednesday, May 25, 2016

    If you follow the stock market, you cannot get away from the word volatility.  It is discussed in the media, over the Internet, the front page of the newspaper’s Business section.  All you have ...Read More

  • T. Rowe Price: A Deeper Look at the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, May 19, 2016

    T. Rowe Price has clearly stated their value proposition to their investors. But what exactly is that value and, more importantly, who is receiving the bulk of that value?           ...Read More

  • Tom and Denise

    Reverse Mortgages: What You Need to Know

    by Tom Allen and Denise Delaney — Tuesday, May 17, 2016

    There has been a sharp rise in the reverse mortgage market in last the decade within the United States. According to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA), the annual number of reverse ...Read More

  • Family Limited Partnerships: What You Need To Know

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, May 10, 2016

    Wealth transfer strategies are an extremely important topic when it comes to financial planning. Establishing the proper legal conduits to ensure the maximum amount assets transferred to beneficiaries ...Read More

  • The Matrix Book: A DFA Tradition [VIDEO]

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Friday, May 6, 2016

    "Data! Data! Data!" he cried impatiently, "I cannot make bricks without clay!" — The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ...Read More

  • IFA By the Numbers - 2016

    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, April 28, 2016

    As we begin 2016, it has become a tradition that we reflect on the prior year by collecting our IFA statistics (or, what has grown to be known as IFA By the Numbers) on the abundance and wealth of information ...Read More

  • The Small-Cap "Alpha" Myth: An Update!

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, April 27, 2016

    There is a common misconception about “alpha” in the small-cap market within the United States. Many professionals believe that once we step out of the mega-cap world of companies like Google, ...Read More

  • The 1st Quarter of 2016 in Review [VIDEO]

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    The first quarter of this year was a textbook case on the importance of having discipline when approaching the investment process. January was a punishing month for markets around the world as fears of ...Read More

  • Oppenheimer Funds: A Deeper Look At Their Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, April 12, 2016

    Oppenheimer Funds is a subsidiary of Oppenheimer Holdings & Co., one of the largest financial institutions in the entire world. Having roots dated over a century ago, the Oppenheimer name has acted as a ...Read More

  • Free Throws

    by David Butler — Wednesday, April 6, 2016

    Dave Butler offers a sports example to help investors apply discipline in a stressful market   “What do you regard as the most difficult period in the financial markets during your 25 years in the ...Read More

  • Wells Fargo: A Deeper Look at the Performance

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, March 31, 2016

    Wells Fargo is one of the largest institutions in the world. In fact, it is considered a Systematically Important Financial Institution (SIFI), in which its failure could potentially lead to a much larger ...Read More

  • How To Read Your Form 1099 Composite

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Friday, March 18, 2016

    As we approach tax day (April 18th, 2016), we wanted to take the time to go over the 1099 Forms that have been provided to our clients by Fidelity, Schwab, and TD Ameritrade. If you haven’t received this ...Read More

  • The $1 Million Dollar Bet: Buffett Winning Big

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, March 16, 2016

    Warren Buffett is considered a household name amongst the investment community. The famed investor and third richest man on planet earth is well-known for his investing acumen. Although he has had long-term ...Read More

  • Diversification: Expanding the Opportunity Set!

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, March 7, 2016

    “Diversification is your buddy!” – Merton Miller, Nobel Laureate Diversification means different things to different people. Some people understand the timeless adage of “don’t ...Read More

  • The Leap Year Approach to Investing

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Thursday, March 3, 2016

    2016 marks another special year for those who happened to have a significant event, like a birthday or wedding anniversary, fall on February 29th. The Leap Year, which is that extra day that we get every 4 ...Read More