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Ben Brinkerhoff

To Optimize or Not Optimize

6,307
by Ben Brinkerhoff
Thursday, October 9, 2008

One question that clients sometimes ask is, "Are IFA's portfolios optimized?" It's a fair question. That word "optimization" is thrown around somewhat loosely, and it certainly sounds like a good thing. ...Read More

Article Library

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

    8,410
    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 - 35 (Jeremy J. Siegel)

    5,749
    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 - 34 (Michael C. Keenan)

    6,107
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Friday, September 12, 2008

    "Fiduciaries should strongly consider index funds as an alternative to actively managed funds. Index funds incur about 80% less in transaction costs than actively managed funds…long-term returns for actively managed funds trail their respective ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 33 (Matt Krantz)

    5,910
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Friday, September 5, 2008

    "Remember when you buy a commodity, you're not buying something that generates earnings and profit. You're buying a hard asset and hoping another buyer will be willing to pay more for that asset in the ...Read More

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

    5,993
    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 - 29 (Benjamin Graham)

    6,495
    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 market quotations are there for his ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 24 (Truman A. Clark)

    5,970
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Friday, June 20, 2008

    "Investors acquiring commodity futures in expectations of higher returns, lower risk, and improved inflation protection are making bets. Current evidence indicates that the odds are against ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 23 (Richard C. Green)

    5,810
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Thursday, June 12, 2008

    "For a long career full of breakthroughs that have advanced our understanding of financial markets, and his early fundamental work on efficient markets, we are proud to have Professor Fama as the first recipient of this prestigious award." ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 22 (Harry Markowitz)

    6,698
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    "A good portfolio is more than a long list of good stocks and bonds. It is a balanced whole, providing the investor with protections and opportunities with respect to a wide range of ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 19 (Michael C. Keenan)

    6,018
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, May 12, 2008

    "Fiduciaries should strongly consider index funds as an alternative to actively managed funds. Index funds incur about 80% less in transaction costs than actively managed funds…long-term returns for actively managed funds trail their respective ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 18

    5,965
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, May 5, 2008

    "Some fiduciary boards, particularly those composed largely of non professionals, do not adequately understand the true returns, risk and cost associated with investment in hedge ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 17 (Jack Meyer)

    6,518
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, April 28, 2008

    "Most people think they can find managers who can outperform, but most people are wrong. I will say that 85% to 90% of managers fail to match their benchmarks, if you properly specify their ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 16 (George Miller)

    5,688
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, April 21, 2008

    "Many 401(k)-style plans charge hidden fees that can cut deeply into worker's retirement savings, and many plan participants do not have access to low-cost investment options--index funds--that can help them boost their retirement ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 12

    6,167
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    "res tantum valet quantum vendi potest." - Latin for: "A thing is worth only what someone else will pay for ...Read More

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

    5,931
    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

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 9 (Merton Miller)

    5,704
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, March 3, 2008

    "If there's 10,000 people looking at the stocks and trying to pick winners, one in 10,000 is going to score, by chance alone, a great coup, and that's all that's going on. It's a game, it's a chance operation, and people think they are doing something ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 7 (William F. Sharpe)

    5,975
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, February 18, 2008

    William Sharpe tells us that if we want to achieve higher expected returns, we must be able to both emotionally and financially be able to withstand the increased volatility that inevitably comes with higher expected returns. Risk is the source of ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 6 (Mark T. Hebner)

    5,537
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, February 11, 2008

    As tax reporting documents trickle in and investors ponder their current tax situation, it's a good opportunity to give you some insight into a powerful tax-savings tool called tax loss harvesting. In fact, the recent market downturn provides you with an ...Read More

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

    6,140
    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

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

    6,180
    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 equally important, Bernstein sheds light on the ...Read More

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 3 (Charles Ellis)

    7,031
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, January 21, 2008

    Charles Ellis was an early proponent of indexing. His quote addresses two important points: First, we should expect the stock market to rise over time, but take us on some ups and downs along the way. Second, the more educated we are about risk (the ...Read More

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

    5,860
    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

  • IFA's Quote of the Week - 1 (John C. Bogle)

    5,380
    by Mark Hebner / Mary Brunson — Monday, January 7, 2008

    "You will almost never find a fund manager who can repeatedly beat the market. It is better to invest in an indexed fund that promises a market return but with significantly lower ...Read More

  • Mauboussin: Why the Market is Smarter Than You Are

    5,608
    by Henry Blodget — Friday, April 13, 2007

    Most people who write about the wisdom of crowds offer colorful anecdotes about crowd intelligence but don't explain why groups are smarter than individuals. In a recent piece, Explaining the Wisdom of Crowds, Legg Mason strategist Michael Mauboussin ...Read More

  • In Search Of: A New Name For "Passive"

    4,918
    by Henry Blodget — Saturday, March 31, 2007

    One of the many reasons "passive" investing gets dissed is that its name--"passive"--is both misleading and deflating. Who wants to be "passive"? The folks who do well in life are active, the ones who have gumption, the ones who get up off the couch and ...Read More

  • Dumbest Column of the Year

    5,536
    by Henry Blodget — Monday, March 12, 2007

    When you first stumble across this recent column from MSN Money, it seems that the writer (Tim Middleton) might just be playing an early April Fool's joke on his readers. After reading the the rest of the text, however, it's clear that he ...Read More

  • Amaranth's Losses Top $6 Billion

    7,037
    by Steven Mufson — Friday, September 22, 2006

    Amaranth Advisors LLC, the hedge fund firm that stumbled over massive wrong bets on natural gas futures, said late Wednesday that its losses had climbed to more than $6 billion, or 65 percent of the assets it claimed at the end of ...Read More

  • Rex Sinquefield

    Interview with Rex Sinquefield (transcript)

    5,777
    by Rex Sinquefield — Friday, December 2, 2005

    Rex Sinquefield is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Dimensional Fund Advisors. Rex received his B.S. from St. Louis University and his MBA from the University of Chicago. He has contributed numerous articles for books, academics and professional ...Read More

  • International Markets

    Stock Pickers in International Markets

    3,891
    by Mark Hebner — Sunday, January 23, 2005

    Many investors agree that the U.S. financial markets are highly efficient. But are other markets outside the United States efficient? Are there profitable investments that can be made that might outperform their respective ...Read More

  • DFA vs Vanguard (from 2004)

    13,553
    by Christian Chensvold — Thursday, January 1, 2004

    Research shows that for a long-term investment strategy, Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) consistently delivers superior results to Vanguard. In a survey of between 1,100 and 2,000 investment advisors held three times between 1997-2002, Dalbar Research ...Read More

  • Interview with Kenneth French

    5,632
    by Kenneth French — Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    Kenneth R. French is the NTU of Professor of Finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is an expert on the behavior of security prices, investment strategies, and the management of financial ...Read More

  • Emerging Markets Rebounding

    8,584
    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

  • Terminator Pulls Trigger on Indexing, Sort of

    5,096
    by IndexFunds.com Staff — Thursday, September 4, 2003

    Arnold Schwarzenegger owns approximately 5% of Dimensional Fund Advisors, the secretive mutual fund index group in Santa Monica that is popular among index advisors and institutional investors. Ironically, while he appears to have done relatively little ...Read More