Articles (155)

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  • Mark Hebner

    Asset Location

    21,361
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

    An additional way that a passive advisor can add value is not just asset allocation but asset location. Specifically, for a client that has a mixture of taxable accounts, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs, it is often helpful to construct a single portfolio consisting of multiple ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    Advisor Alpha: The View from Vanguard

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    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

    At Index Fund Advisors, we have repeatedly cautioned investors to avoid getting ensnared in the never-ending pursuit of alpha by either picking stocks or hiring an active manager to pick stocks on their behalf. Nevertheless, by engaging in a few prudent practices such as ...Read More

  • murray@ifa.com

    2019 Q2 Market Review

    1,496
    by Murray Coleman — Thursday, July 25, 2019

    After logging strong returns in the opening three months of 2019, global equity markets slowed in the second ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman

    Selecting Investments Part 1

    58,007
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

    As a fiduciary for its clients, IFA only receives compensation from its clients and is therefore unbiased in its choice of ...Read More

  • Ian Liew

    SBBI: The Almanac of Returns Data

    16,562
    by Ian Liew and IFA Contributors — Updated: Friday, July 19, 2019

    Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation (SBBI) is often characterized as the Almanac of returns data. This magisterial work originally produced by Roger Ibbotson and Rex Sinquefield is considered the go to place when information is needed on the expected returns and risks of a ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Cash Withdrawal Considerations

    17,555
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

    IFA is often in the position of accommodating regular cash withdrawal by its clients. The question is how to best generate cash for ...Read More

  • mike

    Tax Mistakes Reported by Politicians

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    by Murray Coleman — Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The warnings about potential dangers of trying to file your own tax forms are well-documented. Indeed, we've explored at IFA Taxes many of the biggest blunders taxpayers have made in the past working on even the most basic of IRS accounting ...Read More

  • Brad Steiman

    Paradox of Skill

    17,957
    by Brad Steiman — Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Manager selection is a process that requires analyzing noisy performance data, so it should lean heavily on the notion of statistical ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman

    Dimensions of Expected Return: Patience is a Virtue – 2019 Update

    5,412
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Monday, July 8, 2019

    Giving investment advice should always aim to meet investors at their level of understanding. We do not expect everyone to have a PhD in Economics, so it is important to focus on big ideas that are the most crucial to understand. This can include ideas such as diversification, ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    The Funded Ratio: An Actuarial Approach to Retirement Spending

    20,287
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    In a recent Financial Professional Outlook, Russell Investments surveyed 234 financial advisors across 145 investment firms nationwide. According to their results, 60% of advisors said that more than half of their clients are near or in ...Read More

  • Rex Sinquefield

    Active vs Passive Management

    27,007
    by Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

    Active management is the art of stock picking and market timing. Passive management refers to a buy-and-hold approach to money management. It can be applied to any asset class: big stocks, small stocks, value or growth, foreign or domestic can all be accessed by passive ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    The Gambler's Fallacy and the Misuse of the Law of Large Numbers

    21,415
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019

    If you have ever spent any time in a casino, it is likely that you have seen supposedly random events that appeared to be non-random. Perhaps the roulette wheel came up red seven times in a row, for example. If your reaction was to place a large bet on ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Calculations for t-Statistics

    56,995
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    In calculating the t-stat, the first step is to determine the excess returns the manager earned above an appropriate ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    Profitability and a Four-Factor Model

    24,883
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    When constructing or evaluating a domestic equity portfolio, Index Fund Advisors has traditionally utilized the three-factor asset pricing model that Professors Eugene Fama and Ken French introduced1 in 1993. This model states that the expected return of a broadly diversified ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    2019 Q1 Market Review

    4,432
    by Murray Coleman — Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    Long-term minded investors shouldn't be surprised. Traders, however, could've been whipsawed by markets in ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    The Index Bogeyman

    2,011
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Over the last several years, index funds have received increased attention from investors and the financial media. Some have even made claims that the increased usage of index funds may be distorting market prices. For many, this argument hinges on the premise that indexing ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Getting to the Point of a Point

    1,445
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Deja Vu All Over Again

    1,459
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Investment fads come and go. Letting short-term trends influence your approach may be counterproductive to pursuing your financial ...Read More

  • murray@ifa.com

    2018 Q4 Market Review

    2,274
    by Murray Coleman — Tuesday, February 5, 2019

    Emerging markets and global real estate stock indexes used in IFA portfolios outpaced U.S., developed international in ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    Too Few Investors Taking 'Big Picture' View: Study

    1,962
    by Murray Coleman — Monday, January 7, 2019

    How big of a difference can an objective set of professional eyes add to an investor's overall financial success outside of managing a portfolio? A new study takes a look at just that question. Instead of considering hypotheticals, however, this report goes directly to the ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Recent Market Volatility

    2,841
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Updated: Monday, December 24, 2018

    What should you make of recent ups and downs in the stock market? Here's helpful context on volatility and expected ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    2018 Q3 Market Review

    2,081
    by Murray Coleman — Wednesday, November 28, 2018

    With technology bellwethers Apple and Amazon becoming America's first companies with market capitalizations surpassing $1 trillion, blue chip domestic stocks turned in banner performances in 2018's third quarter. Robust economic growth and corporate profits overshadowed jitters ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Midterm Elections—What Do They Mean for Markets?

    1,676
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Monday, November 5, 2018

    It's almost Election Day in the US once again. For those who need a brief civics refresher, every two years the full US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on ...Read More

  • Jim Parker

    A Question of Equilibrium

    1,876
    by Jim Parker — Tuesday, October 30, 2018

    "Sellers were out in force on the market today after negative news on the economy." It's a common line in TV finance reports. But have you ever wondered who is buying if so many people are ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman and Mark Hebner

    False Diversification: Liquid Alts

    3,764
    by Murray Coleman and Mark Hebner — Monday, August 13, 2018

    Trying to take advantage of the benefits of diversification, purveyors of liquid alts are going wild. But don't believe all of the ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    Not All Fiduciaries are the Same

    7,282
    by Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, August 7, 2018

    Advisors offering fiduciary services to 401(k) and 403(b) plans aren't all the same. In fact, they come in two distinct ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    A Vanishing Value Premium?

    13,489
    by Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2018

    New research by DFA confronts head-on whether the value premium is fading. Analysts crunch 90 years worth of data to gain a better ...Read More

  • murray@ifa.com

    2018 Q2 Market Review

    2,293
    by Murray Coleman — Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    As global trade tensions rose, investors kept buying shares of domestic companies. But foreign stocks fell into the red for the quarter and ...Read More