Articles (1,551)


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Financial Advice and Overall Wealth Management

by Mark Hebner
Friday, September 13, 2013

Financial advice is a prescription that guides investors to make decisions that best serve 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

  • Rebalancing Portfolios

    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, September 12, 2013

    It is important for investors to rebalance their portfolio to achieve risk control and maintain long-term investing ...Read More

  • 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

  • Private Equity and Venture Capital

    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

  • How IFA Keeps You Up to Date on Your Portfolio [VIDEO]

    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    As an investment fiduciary, Index Fund Advisors has an obligation to always act in the best interests of our clients. This would include regular monitoring of their portfolios for rebalancing and tax loss ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Homemade Dividends [VIDEO]

    by Mark Hebner — Tuesday, September 3, 2013

    At Index Fund Advisors, we often encounter investors who religiously adhere to the commandment, “Thou shalt not invade thy principal.” Whether the investor is a retiree who is living out of his ...Read More

  • Long-Term History Characterizes Risk and Return

    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 ...Read More

  • Taking Stock in Pot? Beware!

    by IFA Contributors — Thursday, August 29, 2013

    With medical marijuana now legal in twenty states and recreational marijuana approved in two states, some people may sniff an investment opportunity. Not so fast says the Financial Industry Regulatory ...Read More

  • A Deeper Dive into the Value Factor

    by Mark Hebner — Thursday, August 29, 2013

    The third risk factor in the Fama/French model is the amount of exposure to low priced stocks, which is measured by a book-to-market (BtM) value ...Read More

  • Historical Databases and Studies

    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

  • The New and Improved IFA Index Portfolios [VIDEO]

    by Mark Hebner — Monday, August 26, 2013

    IFA established the original IFA Index Portfolios back in 2000, based on the DFA Matrix book and several peer-reviewed academic papers describing what I deem to be "Modern Portfolio Theory." We recently ...Read More

  • The Broccoli and Pizza Portfolio

    by Jim Parker — Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    For some of us, it’s hard to give up on the idea that investing should be exciting. Picking stocks can be fun, after all, and there’s nothing like getting your timing right and bragging about it ...Read More

  • Kudos to Time Magazine

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, August 20, 2013

    The major Wall Street firms provide a large source of revenue for the few companies that dominate the news media. This is why we found it so refreshing to read this article (“America Can’t Afford ...Read More

  • Discipline is Difficult [VIDEO]

    by Weston Wellington — Thursday, August 15, 2013

    We're going to talk about discipline in the investment arena. I want to make the case that discipline is a challenge for almost all ...Read More

  • The Failure of Manager Pickers

    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Like stock and time picking, manager picking is usually a worthless endeavor; however, there are still investors out there who believe they can select an all-star manager or financial guru who can beat the ...Read More

  • Diversification is Your Friend [VIDEO]

    by Weston Wellington — Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    In this session we're going to discuss the topic of ‘diversification.' One leading economist number of years ago said, "diversification is the investor's best ...Read More

  • Thoughts on Time Picking

    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

  • Profitability and a Four-Factor Model

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Friday, August 2, 2013

    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. ...Read More

  • Missing the Best and Worst Days

    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

  • When Two Hats Are Not Better than One

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, August 1, 2013

    As a registered investment adviser that is regulated under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, one of the fiduciary duties that Index Fund Advisors owes to its clients is to seek out best execution for their ...Read More

  • IFA's Position Statement on Investing

    by Mark Hebner — Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    1. Capitalism earns a profit for its shareholders on average. 2. Companies have a cost of equity capital of about 10% and that cost of capital is paid to the shareholders. 3. Nobody can see the future and ...Read More

  • The Wisdom of a Smart Crowd

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Tuesday, July 30, 2013

    Cogent Research LLC recently completed a survey of 1,700 financial advisers that asked how likely they are to increase or decrease assets with 24 different mutual fund companies, and once again, Dimensional ...Read More

  • The Separation Theorem

    by Mark Hebner — Sunday, July 28, 2013

    Harry Markowitz was primarily concerned with the diversification of risky assets. James Tobin added the concept of combining risk-free assets, such as cash or bonds, with risky assets, such as ...Read More

  • Advocates of Capitalism

    by Mark Hebner — Saturday, July 27, 2013

    Although not formally his professor, Ludwig von Mises may be considered a mentor of Friedrich von ...Read More

  • When Possessions Are Confused with Investments

    by Mark Hebner — Friday, July 26, 2013

    All too often, we come across stories of broken nest eggs that make us feel truly awful. One such story can be found in this 8-minute documentary on YouTube regarding a former soap opera star who spent about ...Read More

  • Putting Active Management to the Test

    by Mark Hebner — Friday, July 26, 2013

    from the University of Chicago, Eugene Fama's graduate student, Michael Jensen, published "The Performance of Mutual Funds in the Period 1945-1965," in the Journal of Finance, ...Read More

  • Prices are Fair [VIDEO]

    by Weston Wellington — Friday, July 26, 2013

    Securities markets are very competitive all around the world. competition among market participants tends to drive prices toward fair ...Read More

  • A Hedge Fund Gets Indicted

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Thursday, July 25, 2013

    To help us keep track of all the hedge fund scandals of recent years, we created IFA’s Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Shame. Note that we limited it to hedge fund managers, so today’s grand jury ...Read More

  • The Mutual Fund Landscape—Not a Pretty Picture

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Wednesday, July 24, 2013

    As we have discussed in previous articles such as this one, investors have a strong tendency to pour cash into funds that have had high returns only to be met with disappointment. If investors truly understood ...Read More

  • The Random Walk of Stock Prices

    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

  • A New Gadfly Buzzes the 401(k) Industry

    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Monday, July 22, 2013

    While we have often written about the sorry state of affairs that constitutes today’s 401(k) industry, as documented in this PBS Frontline documentary, Professor Ian Ayres of Yale Law School has taken it ...Read More

  • Second-Guessing

    by Jim Parker — Monday, July 22, 2013

    Markets recently have had a rocky time as investors in aggregate reassess prospects for monetary policy stimulus in the US. Is this something to worry about? The world’s most closely watched central bank ...Read More

  • Active Investors Anonymous

    by Mark Hebner — Friday, July 19, 2013

    I am Mark Hebner, president of Index Fund Advisors (IFA), a registered investment advisory firm. Years ago I learned some painful lessons when I sold my previous business and turned the profits over to active ...Read More