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Featured Article

How Mutual Funds Can Be Advocates For Their Investors

168
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 Tyco as well as the excessive risk taken by the biggest investment ...Read More

Archive

  • 1319

    Tax-Wise Investing - You & Your Investments

    400
    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?

    638
    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

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    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

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    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

    515
    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?'

    446
    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

    889
    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

    Committing Financial Suicide

    1,308
    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

  • 1307

    Cast in Iron

    987
    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

  • 1306

    The First Quarter of 2015 in Review

    789
    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

    The Power of Market Returns

    1,770
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — 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

  • 1299

    Did Bloomberg Find Another Bill Miller?

    1,749
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — 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

  • 1298

    Book Review: The Great Beanie Baby Bubble

    2,584
    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

  • 1297

    Yet Another Sign that the Tipping Point Has Arrived

    1,370
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — 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

  • 1296

    Vanguard Wades Deeper into Alternative Investments

    1,161
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — 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

  • 1294

    One More Nail in the Coffin of Active Management

    1,905
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — 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

  • 1291

    Addressing Some Misconceptions about Indexing

    1,400
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, March 11, 2015

    While Forbes magazine has often carried excellent articles about investing such as this one, we found a recent column from Pamela Rosenau to be disappointing. She begins by noting the mass migration from ...Read More

  • 1290

    Pension-Gate — More Good News from Pennsylvania

    1,575
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    A little more than a year ago, we reported on how the stewards of the pension fund for Montgomery County, Pennsylvania came to the wise decision of moving away from high-cost actively managed funds in favor of ...Read More

  • 1289

    Book Analysis: The Panic of 1837

    2,175
    by Thomas Brunson — Monday, March 9, 2015

    “Over-trading, speculation, and investments in unproductive undertakings became a dominant note in American society”- Reginald Charles McGrane In his historical novel titled The Panic of 1837, ...Read More

  • 1288

    Yet More Wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha

    1,715
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Friday, March 6, 2015

    One of the things we look forward to at this time of year is the release of Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, and his 2014 letter (which marks the 50th anniversary ...Read More

  • 1287

    Weather vs. Climate

    1,322
    by Jim Parker — Thursday, March 5, 2015

    Notice how TV news bulletins put finance next to the weather report? In each, talking heads point at charts and intone about intraday events that are quickly forgotten. Meanwhile, the long-term wealth building ...Read More

  • 1286

    Is Skill Dead? Perhaps It Was Never Alive

    1,565
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, March 4, 2015

    A recently released white paper from GMO titled “Is Skill Dead?” begins with this excellent quote from Jeremy Grantham: “90% of what passes for brilliance or incompetence in investing is the ...Read More

  • 1285

    The Emotional Investor: An Interesting New Website

    1,409
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, March 3, 2015

    Recently, we came across theemotionalinvestor.org which is run by Jay Mooreland who, like Joshua Brown, can be described as a reformed broker. As a holder of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation ...Read More

  • 1284

    Q&A with IFA: Momentum at the Asset Class Level

    1,079
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Monday, March 2, 2015

    Question: I understand that there is evidence that momentum is one contributing factor to long term performance (in addition to the size and value factors). There is a current advisory service (Fundx) that ...Read More

  • 1281

    Why Does This Machine Simulate Market Returns?

    1,528
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, February 25, 2015

    Anyone who has visited IFA’s office in Irvine will likely have a fond memory of Francis, IFA’s probability machine, named after Francis Galton, an English mathematician who was an expert in many ...Read More

  • 1280

    More Bad News on the State of Retirement Readiness

    3,808
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    A few months ago, we published this article addressing the woefully inadequate level of American financial literacy as it relates to retirement saving and investing. This newly released issue brief from EBRI ...Read More

  • 1279

    Book Analysis: The Stock Market Crash of 1929

    2,812
    by Thomas Brunson — Monday, February 23, 2015

    “The crash of 1929 stands out in financial history like a lighted beacon on a hilltop warning of impending trouble”-David V. Axon   In Gordon V. Axon’s book titled The Stock Market Crash ...Read More

  • 1278

    It's Tax Planning Time For Trusts

    1,086
    by Randy Gardner and Leslie Daff — Friday, February 20, 2015

    The 39.6% ordinary tax rate and 20% capital gain tax rate enacted by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) and the 3.8% Medicare investment surtax now apply when trust income exceeds $11,950.  ...Read More

  • 1277

    Should Hedge Funds Get Away With It? Not on Our Watch!

    1,303
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Thursday, February 19, 2015

    The title above is a play on the title of this excellent article from the venerable New Yorker magazine which offers eight possible explanations for what Barry Ritholtz brilliantly calls The Most Fascinating ...Read More

  • 1276

    Cramer Weighs in on Mutual Funds

    1,392
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, February 18, 2015

    As you may have guessed or perhaps already have known from articles such as this one or this one, we at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. are not fans of CNBC’s Jim Cramer. While some may claim that he has ...Read More

  • 1275

    About Those Bulls and Bears

    1,085
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    In the IFA Library of rare and antique finance-related books, we recently acquired a first edition from 1838 of Sketches of Imposture, Deception and Credulity. Although the author is officially anonymous, he ...Read More

  • 1273

    Q&A with IFA: Commodities

    1,350
    by Venkat Yarlagadda — Thursday, February 12, 2015

    Question: Should I have a separate exposure to Commodities in my portfolio? In short, we have concluded that the answer is no, and we will explain why below. Based on returns data for the last 10, 20, 30, 40, ...Read More

  • 1272

    Are Stock Pickers Getting Desperate?

    1,399
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, February 11, 2015

    We ask this question after reading this interesting article by David Randall from the Daily Mail. We believe the author was being polite in his word choice of “creative” rather than ...Read More

  • 1270

    The Analysts Underestimate Apple Again

    1,186
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Monday, February 9, 2015

    On 1/27/2015, Apple released a spectacular earnings report for the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year. Once again, it smashed through the analysts’ predictions, earning $3.06 per share vs. a consensus ...Read More

  • 1268

    IFA FinPlan: Using the Vault Feature [VIDEO]

    1,230
    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, February 5, 2015

    Clients who have signed up for IFA FinPlan have the ability to securely store an unlimited number of files. In this article, we will discuss some of the files that you may want to upload to your vault. Please ...Read More

  • 1267

    Some Sage Advice from the Guardian

    1,377
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Monday, February 2, 2015

    The title of this Guardian article by Kira Brecht (“How Highly Paid Wall Street Guys Could Be a Threat to Your Retirement Money”) perfectly summarizes the situation of today’s individual ...Read More

  • 1266

    A Memo that Should Give Brokers Pause

    1,201
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Friday, January 30, 2015

    Recently, a White House memo dated 1/13/2015 from the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (Jason Furman) came to our attention. Co-authored with fellow Council member Betsey Stevenson, it calls out ...Read More

  • 1265

    Book Analysis: The Story of a Speculator

    1,790
    by Thomas Brunson — Thursday, January 29, 2015

    “Why, if a speculator won every time, soon he would own everything in the world” -Arthur W. Cutten, veteran wheat pit trader In his autobiographical narrative titled the Story of a Speculator, the ...Read More

  • 1264

    Understanding Administrative Trustee Services

    1,092
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, January 28, 2015

    If you have a trust, you are probably familiar with the idea of trustee (which could be yourself) who oversees the administration of the trust and has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the ...Read More

  • 1263

    Is a Donor Advised Fund Right for You?

    1,201
    by Jay D. Franklin and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, January 27, 2015

    A donor advised fund (DAF) is a charitable giving vehicle administered by a public charity created to manage charitable contributions on behalf of organizations, families, or individuals. The giver opens an ...Read More

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