Articles (64)

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  • Time for the Fire Drill

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    by Mark Hebner — Monday, April 10, 2017

    Most of us remember the days at school when we had our routine fire drill. The fire alarms around the school would ring, we would all calmly and collectedly stand up, form a line, and walk out of the school to ...Read More

  • Presidential Elections and the Stock Market

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    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

  • Luck vs. Skill: An Update!

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    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

  • Closing the Behavior Gap

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    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

  • Market Efficiency & Behavioral Biases

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    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

  • 2016: Ten Predictions to Count On

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    by Jim Parker — Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    The New Year is a customary time to speculate. In a digital age, when past forecasts are available online, market and media professionals find it harder to hide their blushes when their financial predictions ...Read More

  • The Market Knows Best: Federal Reserve Raises Rates

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, January 5, 2016

    Well there you have it folks. The Federal Reserve finally took action to increase the Federal Funds Rate. The catastrophe that was anticipated by many financial pundits ended up being what seemed like no news ...Read More

  • Second-Hand News

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    by Jim Parker — Friday, December 4, 2015

    Why don’t the media run more good news? One view is bad news sells. If people preferred good news, the media would supply it. But markets don’t see news as necessarily good or bad, rather in terms ...Read More

  • Should Investors Sell After a "Correction"?

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    by Weston Wellington — Thursday, September 17, 2015

    Stock prices in markets around the world fluctuated dramatically for the week ended August 27. On Monday, August 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,089 points—a larger loss than the “Flash ...Read More

  • The Patience Principle

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    by Jim Parker — Friday, August 28, 2015

    Global markets are providing investors a rough ride at the moment, as the focus turns to China’s economic outlook. But while falling markets can be worrisome, maintaining a longer term perspective makes ...Read More

  • When Times Are Turbulent – Invest and Relax

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, August 25, 2015

    No doubt the recent volatility in the market place has investors unnerved. Friends, family, neighbors, work colleagues, are all giving their opinion on where we stand and what will happen in the near ...Read More

  • What Greece Means for Investors

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    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

  • A Simulation of the Random Nature of Stock Prices

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    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

  • How to Improve Your Economic Forecast

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Knowing that we at Index Fund Advisors do not engage in economic forecasting, you can safely assume that the above title is meant to be facetious, just like this Wall Street Journal opinion piece titled ...Read More

  • CAPE Fear: Valuation Ratios and Market Timing

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    by Weston Wellington — Friday, September 5, 2014

    As broad market indices such as the S&P 500 have set new record highs in recent weeks, many investors have become apprehensive. They fear another major decline is likely to occur and are eager to find ...Read More

  • Q&A with IFA: Market Timing with Moving Averages

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Friday, July 18, 2014

    Question: Some researchers argue that a market timing strategy based on buy/sell signals generated by a 50- or 200-day moving average offers a more appealing combination of risk and return than a buy-and-hold ...Read More

  • The Big Tease Continues

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Take a walk past the financial section of your local newsstand, and you are likely to be greeted with headlines like “Ten Hot Stock Picks for 2014!” or “The Top Ten Mutual Funds to Buy ...Read More

  • Surprise! No Selloff in 2013

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    by Weston Wellington — Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    The unusually strong performance of US stocks in 2013 was a welcome surprise for investors who are following a simple buy-and-hold strategy and a source of exasperation for many professionals caught flatfooted ...Read More

  • President Index Funds Advisors

    The Resilience of Capitalism

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    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    As of the end of 2013, the S&P 500 Index has not only fully recovered from the 51% drop that began in late 2007 and lasted through March of 2009, it has actually gained 37% beyond the high point in 2007, ...Read More

  • A Retrospective on 2013 Predictions

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, December 31, 2013

    “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” -Nils Bohr   “Stocks are about to plunge, Wells Fargo warns.” According to strategist Gina Martin Adams, ...Read More

  • Many Happy Returns

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    by Jim Parker — Monday, December 23, 2013

    It’s that time of the year when the talking heads of television and the prognosticators of print issue their sage outlooks for the coming 12 months. While this crystal ball gazing is always entertaining, ...Read More

  • Much Ado about Nothing

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Wednesday, October 16, 2013

    As we noted in our review of the third quarter, the market essentially shrugged off the government shutdown that began on midnight of September 30th. The far bigger issue appeared to be the looming October ...Read More

  • Thoughts on Time Picking

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    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    There seems to be universal agreement among investment experts that time picking is futile. Even so, it is not unusual for these same experts to actively tout its ...Read More

  • Missing the Best and Worst Days

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    by Mark Hebner — Friday, August 2, 2013

    Big down days and big up days frequently come right next to each other. This is volatility—and it is why you have to stay in the markets to get the markets’ superior ...Read More

  • The Random Walk of Stock Prices

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    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    The Random Walk Theory essentially states that there are no discernible patterns in stock market prices. The logic and reasoning goes like ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 29 (Benjamin Graham)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Friday, August 1, 2008

    "The investor with a portfolio of sound stocks should expect their prices to fluctuate and should neither be concerned by sizable declines nor become excited by sizable advances. He should always remember that ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 4 (William Bernstein)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, January 28, 2008

    William Bernstein's quote conveys two important messages. First, he articulates an investor's inability to successfully profit from predicting the short-term future movements of the stock market. Second, and ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 2 (Burton Malkiel)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, January 14, 2008

    This witticism uncovered by Burton Malkiel introduces Chapter 11 of his enduring classic A Random Walk Down Wall Street. This section of Malkiel's book rallies support for Eugene Fama's Efficient Market ...Read More

  • Feel the Rush of Trading ETFs

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    by Richard Evans — Friday, May 17, 2002

    On May 14, when the markets shot up for the second day in a row, did you feel an urge to get in on the action? Yes, I know we all have our standard asset allocation related to our age and so forth. And we're ...Read More

  • Will McClatchy

    Bogle Cautions Indexers on ETF Speculation

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    by Will McClatchy — Wednesday, December 5, 2001

    Vanguard's founder denounced the speculative appeal of exchange traded funds before the largest annual US gathering of indexing faithful, who took the message to heart but felt that it understated how ...Read More

  • Will McClatchy

    Panic sellers did not profit on Monday

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    by Will McClatchy — Monday, September 17, 2001

    After watching today's low closing prices, US equity investors who held onto stocks out of patriotism today might have felt a bit foolish. In reality they did just fine. Everyone in the US market got hit ...Read More