Articles (241)

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  • Managing Investor Expectations

    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, January 18, 2017

    Expectations can be a double edged sword. On one side, expectations represent what is most likely to take place, which can have practical value when talking about planning for the future. On the other hand, it can also set an “anchor” in the minds of investors, which ...Read More

  • Why Discipline is So Important for Investors

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, January 10, 2017

    As we come to the end of the year it is important to reflect on some of the lessons learned from 2016. One of the biggest that comes to mind is the importance of discipline when it comes to investing, especially if you are trying to target specific risk ...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 to do is Google “today’s volatility” and you will ...Read More

  • Volatility is a Good Thing!

    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, February 23, 2016

    Many readers may call us crazy, but hear us out. The beginning of 2016 has been tumultuous to say the least. Concerns over China’s transition from an export based economy to a more developed economy based on its own aggregate demand as ...Read More

  • Alternative Investments in Target-Date Funds: Poisoning the Well

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

    A recent report was released by ThinkAdvisor cited the recent increase in alternative investments making their way into defined contribution plans. According to Cerulli Associates, a research firm based out of Boston, “alternatives have long been used in defined benefit ...Read More

  • A Second Look at the Mutual Fund Landscape

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    A few months ago, we published “The Mutual Fund Landscape—Not a Pretty Picture” in which we presented the results of research by Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). To summarize, they found that over the ten year period ending 12/31/2012, less than 20% of actively ...Read More

  • Capacity Adjusted Risk

    by Mark Hebner — Friday, September 13, 2013

    Capacity adjusted risk is an entirely new way for investors to look at the uncertainty of their ...Read More

  • The Investment Meter

    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, September 12, 2013

    The investment meter is a device that shows the scores of the five dimensions as percentages of the maximum possible for each ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Risk Capacity

    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Each person has a unique Risk Capacity™.  The question is, how do we measure this capacity and find the right "bull" for you to ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 38 (Mark T. Hebner)

    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, October 20, 2008

    "Investing in the absence of an investment policy statement reduces decision making to an individual event-driven process of chasing short-term results, eliminating the expectation of achieving the long-term returns of ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 37 (Harry Markowitz)

    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, October 6, 2008

    "To reduce risk it is necessary to avoid a portfolio whose securities are all highly correlated with each other. One hundred securities whose returns rise and fall in near unison afford little protection than the uncertain return of a single ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 5 (Warren Buffett)

    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, February 4, 2008

    Widely known as the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett is one of the most admired investors in the world. Hordes of investors may bend a listening ear to capture Buffett's every word, but few seem to heed his sage advice to buy and hold. ...Read More

  • Emerging Markets Rebounding

    by J.D. Steinhilber — Wednesday, September 10, 2003

    Which equity index offers a price/earnings ratio of 14x, a dividend yield of 2.6%, and annualized earnings growth over the past five years of 12%? The answer will come as a surprise to many investors. ...Read More

  • Assets in Broad U.S. Index ETFs Jump in May

    by Staff — Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    The total combined assets of the 114 U.S. exchange-traded funds were $118.44 billion in May, according to the latest data from Investment Company Institute, the national association of the investment company ...Read More

  • Indexing Goes Global - International Exchanges Embrace ETFs

    by Staff — Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Although exchange-traded funds have experienced phenomenal growth in the U.S., there are actually more ETFs trading on foreign exchanges - 169 ETFs currently call an overseas exchange home, while 114 funds are listed on domestic U.S. exchanges. However, ...Read More

  • S&P Study Shows Cheaper Funds Outperform

    by Staff — Friday, June 13, 2003

    S&P reported that, on average, funds with lower expense ratios have outperformed their more expensive peers in eight out of the nine domestic fund style categories over a one, three, five, and ten-year annualized ...Read More

  • Gold ETF to Test Retail Investor Demand

    by Staff — Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    An impending Exchange-Traded Fund based on gold is stirring debate over whether it will make gold so easy to own that a flood of new retail investors will send the precious metal ...Read More

  • The Dangers of Dollar-Cost Averaging Small Amounts with ETFs

    by Staff — Monday, June 9, 2003

    Exchange-traded funds have low annual fees and tax distributions, but brokerage transaction fees can remove all the benefits for unwary small investors. Dollar cost averaging in small amounts, a great strategy with traditional mutual funds, is a ...Read More

  • ETF Asset Data from the ICI for April 2003

    by Staff — Friday, June 6, 2003

    Exchange-traded fund assets continue to rise in the bear market, topping $110 billion in April, according to the latest figures released by the Investment Company Institute, the trade group for the mutual fund industry. ...Read More

  • Broad Domestic Equity Indexes in May

    by Staff — Monday, June 2, 2003

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.69% in May, closing at 8793.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 5.41% for the year, according to Dow Jones Indexes. ...Read More

  • Fidelity to Launch Nasdaq Composite ETF

    by Staff — Wednesday, May 28, 2003

    Yet another major player is set to enter the ETF industry. Earlier this week mutual fund giant Fidelity filed for its first exchange-traded fund that will track the Nasdaq Composite index. ...Read More

  • S&P Active vs. Passive Study Focuses on Sector Funds

    by Staff — Wednesday, May 14, 2003

    Standard & Poor's released a study showing active sector fund managers have fared relatively well against sector indexes that track thin slices of the market over the past five years. However, over the last three years a majority of active funds beat the ...Read More

  • ETF Advisors to Close Its Treasury ETFs

    by Staff — Monday, April 21, 2003

    ETF Advisors announced it would close its four Treasury FITR funds: Treasury 1 FITR (TFT), Treasury 2 FITR (TOU), Treasury 5 FITR (TFI), and Treasury 10 FITR (TTE). ...Read More

  • S&P Reports Indexed Assets for 2002

    by Staff — Tuesday, April 15, 2003

    New York-based index provider Standard & Poor's released the results of its 2002 annual survey of assets linked directly to its domestic ...Read More

  • Emerging Markets iShares Begin Trading

    by Staff — Thursday, April 10, 2003

    The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets began trading today on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker EEM. The new exchange-traded fund, managed by Barclays Global Investors, is benchmarked to the MSCI Emerging Markets Free (EMF) index. ...Read More

  • S&P Reports Indexed Assets for 2002

    by Staff — Friday, April 4, 2003

    New York-based index provider Standard & Poor's released the results of its 2002 annual survey of assets linked directly to its domestic benchmarks. Based on the 2002 survey responses, S&P estimates that approximately 90% of the total S&P indexed assets ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Vanguard To Change Benchmarks for Seven Index Funds

    by John Spence — Friday, April 4, 2003

    Vanguard announced yesterday that it will transition to new MSCI U.S. equity benchmarks for several of its index funds, a move the Valley Forge-based fund group has been positioning itself for over the past several months, and perhaps years. ...Read More

  • Domestic Indexes Make Some Gains in March

    by Staff — Wednesday, April 2, 2003

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4.29% in March, and is down 1.33% for the year, according to Dow Jones Indexes. Measuring Europe, the Dow Jones STOXX 50 index was up 3.26% for March, and is down 7.11% for the ...Read More

  • Larry Swedroe

    Balanced & Lifestyle Funds

    by Larry Swedroe — Monday, March 17, 2003

    One thing the mutual fund industry does well is to create a product and then create demand for that product, even when the product may not be one that is in the investors' best ...Read More

  • Domestic Indexes Fall Again in February

    by Staff — Monday, March 3, 2003

    The U.S. blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 3.06% in February - the Dow is off 6.4% for the year. Measuring Europe, the Dow Jones STOXX 50 index was down 5.54% for February; year-to-date the index is down 12.2%. The Dow Jones Asian Titans 50 ...Read More

  • ETF Assets Decline in January

    by Staff — Thursday, February 27, 2003

    The combined assets of the nation's exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were $95.66 billion in January, according to the Investment Company Institute, falling from a December 2002 high of over $102 billion. ...Read More

  • Dollar-Cost Averaging Small Amounts with ETFs

    by Staff — Wednesday, January 22, 2003

    Exchange-traded funds generally have lower expense ratios than comparable traditional index funds. However, since ETFs trade like stocks, investors must pay commissions every time they buy or sell ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Barclays to Launch U.S. Fixed Income ETFs

    by John Spence — Saturday, January 4, 2003

    Barclays Global Investors (BGI) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) January 2 to launch five fixed income exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on Lehman indexes: ...Read More

  • More ETF Advantages - Diversification & Costs

    by J.D. Steinhilber — Thursday, December 5, 2002

    In a previous article we looked at the tax benefits of exchange-traded funds, as well as fund swap strategies to harvest portfolio losses. This time we continue on with more ETF ...Read More

  • Total Domestic ETF Assets Over $100 Billion

    by Staff — Tuesday, November 19, 2002

    There are currently 281 exchange-traded funds listed around the world, with over $140 billion in assets under management, according to a new report by Boston-based indexing giant State Street Global Advisors. ...Read More

  • John Spence

    A Look At the New Bond ETF Families

    by John Spence — Friday, November 15, 2002

    After years of development and regulatory hurdles, fixed-income ETFs have finally hit the market. San Francisco-based Barclays Global Investors beat ETF Advisors to the punch with a family of iShares tied to Lehman Brothers bond indexes. New York-based ...Read More

  • New ETF Advisers Fixed-Income ETFs Begin Trading

    by Staff — Friday, November 1, 2002

    Four new U.S. Treasury exchange-traded funds began trading today on the American Stock Exchange. The new funds, introduced by ETF Advisers, track Treasury securities with one, two, five and 10-year maturities. Called "fighters" - Fixed Income Trust ...Read More

  • First ETFs Tracking Dow Jones Global Sector Indexes Introduced

    by Staff — Wednesday, October 23, 2002

    Dow Jones Indexes said Credit Suisse Asset Management has licensed some of its global Sector Titans indexes for ETFs to be launched later this week. The new ETFs will be tied to the Dow Jones Banks Titans 30, the Dow Jones Technology Titans 30, and the ...Read More

  • Two New European ETFs Begin Trading

    by Staff — Tuesday, October 22, 2002

    UBS Global Asset Management introduced two new exchange-traded funds: the Fresco Dow Jones STOXX 500 (FEU) and the Fresco Dow Jones Euro STOXX 50 (FEZ). The new ETFs, which track the European and Eurozone markets, began trading on the New York Stock ...Read More

  • Editors' Model Portfolios

    by Staff — Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    Finding index funds that make up the building blocks of a diversified portfolio is important, but fitting them together is the real challenge. For our favorite index funds covering various asset classes, please see our editors' picks. ...Read More

  • Editors' Model Portfolios - Slice & Dice

    by Staff — Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    This portfolio is a very simple interpretation of slice and dice, with large caps coupled with small value. This portfolio deviates from the total stock market approach by overweighting small value stocks. ...Read More

  • Editors' Model Portfolios - Core & more

    by Staff — Wednesday, October 16, 2002

    This portfolio shouldn't be confused with the strategies that involve active funds. The idea of core and more is to lay down a core portfolio and explore by overweighting certain asset classes. Core and more portfolios can take on many shapes and sizes ...Read More

  • Editors' Index Fund Picks - Domestic Bond Funds

    by Staff — Tuesday, October 15, 2002

    Bond index funds can reduce risk in a portfolio. Indexing bonds also makes sense because of their lower yields compared to stocks. We like short-term bonds because of their low risk and lack of correlation with equity ...Read More