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  • Tom Allen and Mark Hebner

    Dimensions of Expected Return: Patience is a Virtue – 2017 Update

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Monday, May 29, 2017

    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

  • Separation Between Economics and Markets: An Important Distinction

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    It should be quite obvious to anyone that economics have an effect on markets. Predictions about employment, GDP growth, inflation, fiscal and monetary policy, trade balance, all have an effect on global enterprise and therefore have an effect on markets. What may not seem as ...Read More

  • The Gurudex: How Accurate are the "Experts?"

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

    It may come as no surprise to anyone who follows us, but just in case you forgot, we don’t think too highly of active management. It is nothing personal, of course. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority is not delivering on their proposed value proposition to ...Read More

  • Post Election Guidance From IFA – Stay the Course!

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    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, November 9, 2016

    Most of us woke up this morning with a certain amount of uncertainty hanging over our heads. Similar to what we witnessed during the “Brexit” vote just five month earlier, polls, statisticians, and markets didn’t expect the outcome of this election. As some ...Read More

  • Trying to Avoid the "This Time Is Different" Mentality

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    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, November 3, 2016

    “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr   We have all said it before. Whether it comes to our finances or any other situation that involves what seems like a high degree of uncertainty, we are all predisposed to ...Read More

  • The Leap Year Approach to Investing

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    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 years to help align our calendar year with an actual solar year ...Read More

  • Low Future Economic Growth and Expected Returns

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Tuesday, February 16, 2016

    We have recently come across a series of articles that are giving warning about the near future of slowed economic growth, high levels of volatility, and potentially lower returns from stocks and bonds. Although the stories are compelling, we believe that investors should be ...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 go awry. But there are ways around that. The ignominy that goes with ...Read More

  • The Market Playing Peek-a-Boo

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    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, January 7, 2016

    Have you ever noticed how a newborn’s favorite game is peek-a-boo? Now you see it. Now you don’t. In 2015, global markets seemed particularly intent on playing peek-a-boo with ...Read More

  • A Journey to the Past for Advice in the Present

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    by Tom Allen and Mark Hebner — Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Let’s travel back 55 years into the past and see what the world was like. It was the early-1960s, where our country was still riding the coattails of a post-war economic and population boom. President John F. Kennedy would be elected into office, the United States would ...Read More

  • Book Analysis: The Panic of 1837

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    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, former University of Cincinnati history professor Reginald Charles McGrane ...Read More

  • Book Analysis: The Stock Market Crash of 1929

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    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 of 1929, he recounts the historical and economic factors behind the ...Read More

  • 2014: Patience Pays Off

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    by Weston Wellington — Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Forecasters often cite a figure of 8%–10% as a likely outcome for stock market performance in the year ahead, and 2014 was no exception. As sensible as this may sound, it is worth pointing out that over the past 89 years, the S&P 500 Index and its predecessors have ...Read More

  • Let the Compounding Effect Work for You

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    by Venkat Yarlagadda — Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”  – Albert Einstein “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ...Read More

  • The Third Quarter of 2014 in Review

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, October 2, 2014

    In the third quarter of 2014, equities pulled back around the world, particularly for international developed markets. Portfolios tilted towards small cap and value companies performed worse than portfolios tilted towards large cap and growth companies. During the quarter, the ...Read More

  • The S&P 500 Index Closes Above 2,000 and So What?

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Friday, August 29, 2014

    On August 26th, 2014, the S&P 500 Index closed above 2,000 for the first time by the skin of its teeth (2,000.02). To us at Index Fund Advisors, it is just a number and nothing to get excited about. We are reminded of what one of our favorite authors ...Read More

  • The Second Quarter of 2014 in Review

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, July 1, 2014

    In the second quarter of 2014, market risk was rewarded around the world, particularly for emerging markets and real estate. Portfolios tilted towards small cap companies were not rewarded to the same extent as portfolios tilted towards large caps companies. On June 18th, the ...Read More

  • When Reality Confronts Investor Expectations

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Wednesday, May 14, 2014

    A recent survey of 1,050 American investors conducted by Natixis Global Asset Management found that they said they needed average annual returns of 9.8% above inflation to meet their financial needs such as providing income in retirement, housing expenses, and health care ...Read More

  • Q4/2013: Quarterly Market Review Summary

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, January 30, 2014

    Overall, it was a very good quarter for equities, the one exception being real estate investment trusts (REITs) which were down 1%. U.S. bonds were down slightly, but Global bonds showed a gain of 0.44%.   The quarter began with the shutdown of the U.S. government which ...Read More

  • The 2013 4th Quarter and Year-End Review

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, January 2, 2014

    In the fourth quarter of 2013, risk was rewarded for all classes of equities except REITs, and fixed income remained essentially flat. Once again, there was a lot of discussion surrounding future Fed policy, particularly as it relates to the eventual tapering down of the ...Read More

  • Hedging Against Inflation Risk and Speculating About the Fed

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Monday, November 25, 2013

    Over the last few years, one of the most consistent questions we have received from both prospects and clients is, “How can I protect myself from high inflation?” Please note that since 1991, there has only been one calendar year (2007) where the rate of inflation ...Read More

  • 3Q/2013: The Quarter in Review

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    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Monday, October 7, 2013

    In the third quarter of 2013, risk was nicely rewarded for all classes of equities except REITs, and fixed income staged a small comeback from a difficult second quarter. Once again, there was a lot of discussion surrounding future Fed policy, particularly as it relates to the ...Read More

  • Private Equity and Venture Capital

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    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Some investors may wonder if they would be better off in private equity or venture capital, two asset classes that have nowhere near the amount of quality data that we have with public ...Read More

  • Long-Term History Characterizes Risk and Return

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    by Mark Hebner — Friday, August 30, 2013

    Looking over the long term, David Booth, one of the two co-founders of Dimensional Fund Advisors, reviews the history of the stock market and highlights the importance of time, not timing, in the achieving long term investment ...Read More

  • Historical Databases and Studies

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    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    The premier source of historical data used by the academic and corporate community comes from the Center for Research in Security Prices ...Read More

  • Book Collector

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    by Guest Author: Farzam Khassian — Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Book collector Farzam Khassian shares his thoughts on his hobby of collecting rare investment and financial books. He has collected more than 1,000 financial books over the years and has inspired Mark Hebner to also start collecting these treasures. It is interesting to note ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 35 (Jeremy J. Siegel)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    "The current financial crisis calls out for new products and services as well as more, not less, information about what is safe and profitable in the future environment." ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 32 (Benjamin Graham)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Friday, August 29, 2008

    "The investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 10 (Burton Malkiel)

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    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    "Historically, the stock market is like a gambling casino with the odds in your favor. Over the long pull, stocks are given something like nine and a half to ten percent compounded per year. The banks have probably given you something in the order of four ...Read More

  • ETF Industry Poised for Next Round of Growth

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    The exchange-traded fund universe is expanding - at last count growing to 135 ETFs trading in the U.S. with over $112 billion in assets under management. Likewise, in the coming weeks we'll be enhancing our own editorial coverage of ETFs with more ...Read More

  • First ADR Index ETFs Begin Trading on Nasdaq

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Wednesday, November 13, 2002

    Four new exchange-traded funds tied to Bank of New York American Depository Receipt (ADR) indexes began trading on the Nasdaq Exchange today. Called BLDRS, the new members of the ETF family will have expense ratios of 0.30%. The Bank of New York will ...Read More

  • Total ETF Assets Decline in September

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Tuesday, October 29, 2002

    Total exchange-traded fund assets declined over $9 billion in September to about $82 billion, according to the Investment Company Institute. The ICI, the trade group for the mutual fund industry, keeps monthly tabs on ETF ...Read More

  • Third Quarter Index Wrap

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Tuesday, October 1, 2002

    A sagging stock market continued to drag down most equity indexes in September, and third quarter returns were likewise ugly. The broad Russell 3000 index fell 16.2% during the third quarter on the heels of a 13.1% decline in the second quarter, according ...Read More

  • John Spence

    ETF Assets Dip Below $90 Billion After May Highs

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    by John Spence — Tuesday, July 30, 2002

    After clearing the $90 billion asset plateau for the first time in May, combined assets of the 102 exchange-traded funds listed in the U.S. fell to $88.95 billion in June, according to the latest figures from the Investment Company Institute. ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Russell Indexes Gain Market Share

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    by John Spence — Wednesday, July 3, 2002

    Russell indexes are becoming more widely accepted by institutional investors, according to a recent study of over 3,6000 U.S. equity products listed in Nelson Information's Marketplace Web database. The 10 most commonly used U.S. equity benchmarks are ...Read More

  • Most Slumping Equity Indexes in Red for the Year

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Friday, June 21, 2002

    After surging ahead earlier this week, most equity indexes fell sharply going into the weekend. It wasn't a great week for most equity fund investors, and a look at 1-year index returns shows pain has been the norm over the last 12 months. As a result, ...Read More

  • May Wrap-Up

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Monday, June 3, 2002

    Here's how major equity indexes fared in May 2002, broken down by index ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Index Spotlight: Russell Style Indexes

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    by John Spence — Monday, May 6, 2002

    Recently we looked at the performance disparity between two small-cap blend indexes: the S&P SmallCap 600 and the Russell 2000. We found that subtleties in index methodology can lead to different results in indexes designed to track similar market ...Read More

  • March Wrap-Up

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    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Monday, April 1, 2002

    The S&P 500 inched slightly forward in the first quarter of 2002, while small-cap and value indexes moved ahead of the pack. On the other hand, most growth indexes across market capitalizations are in the red so far this ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Ten-Year Risk and Return of Equity Asset Classes by Index

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    by John Spence — Tuesday, March 5, 2002

    Most of the experts will tell you that a diversified equity portfolio is comprised of funds from the various asset classes, which are separated in terms of size and style. The idea is to build a broad base of funds that will hold up over the long haul and ...Read More