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Featured Article

SEC Conducts Online Investor Survey

by Staff
Wednesday, May 9, 2001

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is performing an online survey to learn more about how investors are utilizing the Internet as an information resource when making important investment decisions. ...Read More

Article Library

  • Vanguard to Implement New Online Tools

    by Sharon Rockey — Monday, May 7, 2001

    Vanguard's online brokerage service is set to include "Consolidated View," a one-stop simple approach where shareholders can manage all their financial assets online. The account aggregation tool was developed by CashEdge, and allows investors to view all ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Japan Gives Green Light On ETFs

    by John Spence — Wednesday, May 2, 2001

    Japan has finally given the official go-ahead on exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Exchange-traded funds have experienced explosive growth in the ...Read More

  • Jim Wiandt

    S&P Prevails - Vanguard Loses Landmark Lawsuit

    by Jim Wiandt — Thursday, April 26, 2001

    The judgment is in. Standard & Poor's prevailed over The Vanguard Group in a closely-watched lawsuit. According to a statement released by Standard & Poor's parent company, McGraw Hill Companies, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein ruled that ...Read More

  • Why Invest Overseas At All?

    by Sam Henry — Wednesday, April 25, 2001

    Before you buy an international index fund, you might ask whether it makes sense to invest overseas at all. Although this is a complicated question, it seems pretty clear that the increased diversification and opportunity provided by overseas equities ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Upcoming Retail HOLDRs Look Familiar

    by John Spence — Monday, April 23, 2001

    More and more individual investors are recognizing the benefits that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and HOLDRs offer as a cheap way to gain exposure to different sectors of the economy. However, as with traditional mutual funds, it's important to examine ...Read More

  • Netfolio: New Kid on the "Do-It-Yourself" Block

    by Sharon Rockey — Friday, April 20, 2001

    When the mutual fund industry's key lobbying organization kicks up a fuss with the SEC about those newfangled investor-managed stock portfolios, you can bet it's because somebody's feeling threatened. Netfolio is the most recent threat. ...Read More

  • FXI Launches New Index for China

    by Staff — Friday, April 20, 2001

    More news out of Asia. Yesterday we told you about the Hong Kong exchange announcement to cross-trade exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on May 2, just two days before the Singapore exchange will cross-list ETFs with the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). ...Read More

  • John Spence

    ETFs to Cross-Trade in Hong Kong

    by John Spence — Thursday, April 19, 2001

    The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) has taken another step toward its vision of a fungible global trading platform for exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Next stop: Hong Kong. ...Read More

  • The Expected Return One-Step

    by William Bernstein — Wednesday, April 18, 2001

    After any particularly wrenching period in the markets, I usually get a few calls and messages in the following vein: "You saw how the Nasdaq just got cut off at the knees on no fundamental news… do you still believe that the market is efficient?" To ...Read More

  • Larry Swedroe

    Survivorship Bias

    by Larry Swedroe — Friday, April 13, 2001

    The above headline should be an SEC-required disclosure for advertisements of many mutual funds. The reported returns of many fund families and their funds are often either misrepresentations (intentional or unintentional) of the returns earned by ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Record Numbers of Funds Blown Up in Market Minefield

    by John Spence — Thursday, April 12, 2001

    Yesterday, we told you that Vanguard announced plans to close and liquidate two of its funds. Could this be a harbinger of more funds throwing in the towel in coming months if the down market continues? How bad is it out there? Let's take a look. ...Read More

  • Vanguard_to_close_and_liquidate_two_funds

    by Staff — Wednesday, April 11, 2001

    The Vanguard Group recently announced the closing and planned liquidation of two funds, and also the re-opening of two funds to new shareholder accounts. On April 6, Vanguard said it would cease accepting new accounts and shareholder purchases for ...Read More

  • Savings on Capital Gains Ease Losses

    by Adrienne Pauly — Monday, April 9, 2001

    Many index fund investors can take some comfort this tax season that they are not paying capital gains on funds reflecting lost value. Both Barclays Global Investors and the Vanguard Group report they have not needed to distribute capital gains to ...Read More

  • AMEX and Singapore Exchange to Cross-List ETFs

    by Staff — Thursday, April 5, 2001

    The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and the Singapore Exchange (SGX) today said they will begin listing and trading exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and HOLDRs on SGX Securities Trading starting May 4th. ...Read More

  • Jim Wiandt

    ETF Trends - Volatile Market Alters the Playing Field

    by Jim Wiandt — Tuesday, April 3, 2001

    Despite the sharp market downturn, and declining asset values, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have continued to gain assets. The value of the U.S. total market as measured by the Wilshire 5000 declined in value by 22.05% over the 6-month period from ...Read More

  • Mutual Fund Tax Bite Can Be Bigger Than Bark

    by Christian Chensvold — Monday, April 2, 2001

    April 16 is nearly upon us. In honor of tax season, we're running an article series to help investors understand how mutual funds are taxed. In this first installment, we examine the basics with a general overview of the subject. Later this week, we'll ...Read More

  • S&P 500 Index Changes in March

    by Staff — Monday, April 2, 2001

    Recently, we took a not-so-serious look at the prospects for front-running additions to the S&P 500 to exploit the "index effect," where demand can push up a stock's price when it enters an index. This time, let's take a look back and see what happened to ...Read More

  • Index and Enhanced Index Funds

    by David Booth — Sunday, April 1, 2001

    The purpose of including Exhibit 5 is to demonstrate that portfolio management is a sufficiently complicated task even when index funds are used. In some ways, the role of an investment committee is made more difficult, because it has to decide which ...Read More

  • Individual Investor Group Launches Large- and Mid-Cap Indexes

    by Staff — Friday, March 30, 2001

    Individual Investor Group announced two new additions to the America's Fastest Growing Companies index family: the LargeCap 50 and the MidCap 300. The LargeCap 50 starts off with a base of the 100 largest companies and selects the 50 with the highest ...Read More

  • Jim Wiandt

    Front Run The S&P 500: Vanguard Investors, Hedge Your Bets!

    by Jim Wiandt — Thursday, March 29, 2001

    In these topsy-turvy days of volatile markets, who knows what's up or down? The Dow could be up 250 today, and down 300 tomorrow. It's a fool's game playing market direction, and every diehard index fund investor knows it. One thing we can count on, ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Wayne Wagner on How to Become a Millionaire

    by John Spence — Wednesday, March 28, 2001

    Wayne Wagner is the co-author of Millionaire, a book with a promise that index fund investing can turn your lunch money into a million bucks given enough patience, time, and discipline. Wagner should know - in the early 1970s he helped Wells Fargo ...Read More

  • Breaking Down the Nasdaq 100 This Year - An Autopsy

    by Staff — Monday, March 26, 2001

    Thus far, 2001 has been like a train wreck for the technology sector. In true rubberneck form, let's slow down for a second and take a look at the extent of the carnage. Call it a morbid fascination, but new research from the Equity Derivatives Strategy ...Read More

  • New Technology iShare

    by Staff — Tuesday, March 20, 2001

    A new iShares exchange-traded fund (ETF) began trading on the American Stock Exchange on Monday. The Goldman Sachs Technology Index Fund (trading symbol: IGM) will track the Goldman Sachs Technology Index, and has an expense ratio of 0.50%. ...Read More

  • Jim Wiandt

    Active vs. Passive Management for Small-Cap Funds

    by Jim Wiandt — Monday, March 19, 2001

    "Active management works better than passive index funds for small-cap and international funds." This notion is so widespread that it has become conventional wisdom in financial circles. I have never seen much to back it up, and have largely held an ...Read More

  • Swiss Exchange Launches Broad Market ETF

    by Staff — Friday, March 16, 2001

    Yesterday the SWX Swiss Exchange announced the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that tracks the Swiss Market Index. This broad benchmark is a cap-weighted index that contains 29 Swiss blue-chip companies which represent 80% of the total ...Read More

  • John Spence

    I Want to Buy an S&P 500 Index Fund . . . Now What?

    by John Spence — Friday, March 9, 2001

    By far, the index with the most money benchmarked to it is the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, with over a trillion dollars. The index is widely regarded as the barometer to measure the performance of large-cap U.S. companies. The stocks within the ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Vanguard to Offer Free Investment Advice

    by John Spence — Tuesday, March 6, 2001

    The Vanguard Group and Financial Engines have inked an alliance that will allow retail investors of Vanguard funds to receive portfolio investment advice at no charge. Vanguard will initially offer the service in the second quarter to participants in ...Read More

  • John Spence

    FTSE to Launch Socially Responsible Benchmarks

    by John Spence — Monday, March 5, 2001

    FTSE, the index provider jointly owned by the London Stock Exchange and the Financial Times, announced that it plans to launch a new series of indexes for socially responsible investment (SRI). Called the FTSE4Good family, the indexes will go live in June ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Index Fund Popularity Waning?

    by John Spence — Wednesday, February 28, 2001

    "One of the most popular investment products of the 1990s - passively managed index funds that mimic the movements of major market indices - may have reached a peak in their popularity," says a new report by Eaton Vance, a Boston-based investment ...Read More

  • MSCI Launches Real-Time Indexes

    by Staff — Tuesday, February 27, 2001

    Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) today launched over 750 global sector, regional, and country indexes that will be updated in real time. The indexes cover developed markets and Asian emerging markets, and will be updated every 60 seconds for 23 ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Diversification with Inherent Assets in Mind

    by John Spence — Monday, February 26, 2001

    Chances are, the successful individual investor keeps these basic ideas in mind for the long haul: be disciplined, save and invest as much as possible, be mindful of taxes, don't get caught up in the latest market mania fashion trend, and keep investments ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Retail Investor Perception of Exchange-Traded Funds

    by John Spence — Friday, February 23, 2001

    The biggest players in exchange-traded funds, Barclays Global Investors (BGI) and State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), truly believe they've pioneered a tool that's perfect for index investors - low management fees, protection from taxes and turnover, and ...Read More

  • Will McClatchy

    ETF Net Asset Value Not Always Best Indicator of Short-Term Value

    by Will McClatchy — Thursday, February 22, 2001

    Initially, critics of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) decried their trading at a significant premium/discount to net asset value (NAV), the underlying stock values they represent. This is a problem that regularly plagues closed-end mutual funds, where prices ...Read More

  • Will McClatchy

    ETF Premium/Discount Misconceptions

    by Will McClatchy — Wednesday, February 21, 2001

    Initially, critics of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) decried their trading at a significant premium/discount to net asset value (NAV), the underlying stock values they represent. This is a problem that regularly plagues closed-end mutual funds, where prices ...Read More

  • New Canadian ETFs

    by Dan Hallett — Tuesday, February 20, 2001

    Yesterday, Barclays Global Investors unveiled the finishing touches on a much-anticipated line of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for Canadian investors. ...Read More

  • Buying Value In ETFs Amidst a Beaten-Down Technology Sector

    by Max Issacman — Friday, February 16, 2001

    Yes, the Nasdaq market is down, but here's the multi-trillion dollar question: Is the market down enough? Since its high early in 2000, the Nasdaq 100 Index is down about 50%. Is this correction enough justification for the cuts in sales and estimated ...Read More

  • The Next Mutual Fund R(Evolution)?

    by Gavin Quill — Monday, February 12, 2001

    Too often financial innovations that affect the mutual fund industry are portrayed in a black and white fashion. They are either viewed as just a curious sideshow, or else they are quickly proclaimed to be a fundamental challenge to the health, viability ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Dow Jones and FTSE Launch Global Sector Indexes

    by John Spence — Monday, February 12, 2001

    The trend toward global sector investing is picking up steam. Dow Jones Indexes yesterday launched the Dow Jones Sector Titans Indexes, a new set of indexes comprised of global blue-chip companies. The sector indexes in the new family are listed in the ...Read More

  • Larry Swedroe

    Market Trends and Investor Behavior

    by Larry Swedroe — Friday, February 9, 2001

    It's quiz time. I have devised the following test of "investment memory." The period in question is the 30-year period 1970-1999. As you take this little quiz, keep in mind that the last 15 years have probably been among the greatest periods (if not the ...Read More

  • John Spence

    AMEX and Euronext To Cross-List ETFs

    by John Spence — Thursday, February 8, 2001

    Well, ETF trading is going transatlantic. The American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and Euronext have announced plans to cross-list and trade U.S. and international exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Effectively, ETFs that trade on Euronext will soon be available on ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Wanna Bet?

    by John Spence — Thursday, February 1, 2001

    You see the craziest stuff coming over all these Internet wire services we have today, but this one is truly bizarre - mostly because it's a case of fantasy mimicking reality just a little too closely. ...Read More

  • John Spence

    Flurry of Global ETF Launches in Early 2001

    by John Spence — Tuesday, January 30, 2001

    2000 was a busy year for exchange-traded fund (ETF) launches and asset growth. According to the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), assets in ETFs listed on the exchange reached $70.3 billion, nearly doubling the 1999 year-end total of $35.9 billion. Also, ...Read More

  • IndexFunds Speaks with Michael Petronella

    by Staff — Monday, January 29, 2001

    Michael Petronella is Managing Director at Dow Jones Indexes. He recently sat down with's, Site Editor Jim Wiandt to discuss the history of Dow Jones indexes, the free-float debate, and how Dow Jones plans to construct international country ...Read More

  • Dunn's Law Review: The Life and Times of "Core and Explore"

    by William Bernstein — Monday, January 29, 2001

    One of the silliest bits of conventional financial wisdom is the notion that while indexing works well with the efficient U.S. large-cap market, there is benefit from active management in the "less efficient" small-cap and foreign arenas. In fact, Charles ...Read More

  • New HOLDRS Allow Investment in Europe's Largest Companies

    by Staff — Thursday, January 25, 2001

    Europe 2001 HOLDRS began trading on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) on January 18 under the symbol EKH. With the new HOLDRS, which stands for Holding Company Depository Receipts, investors can own interest in 50 of the largest companies in Europe in ...Read More

  • ETFs: The Growth Story of 2000

    by Gavin Quill — Wednesday, January 24, 2001

    If S&P 500 index funds were the most notable success story from 1996-1999 and technology funds were the talk of the industry in 1998-1999, then their headline-grabbing successors in 2000 were probably index-based exchange-traded funds. After seven years ...Read More

  • Barclays to Launch Nasdaq Biotech Index ETF

    by Staff — Tuesday, January 23, 2001

    Barclays Global Investors (BGI) is planning to launch an iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology Index Fund, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will hold all 76 securities in an index that contains companies primarily engaged in biomedical research to develop new ...Read More

  • SEC Mandates Disclosure of Mutual Fund After-Tax Returns

    by Staff — Monday, January 22, 2001

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a rule on Friday that requires fund companies to disclose after-tax returns for 1-, 5-, and 10-year periods in fund prospectuses. The SEC first proposed the new rule in June 2000. ...Read More

  • Comparing Mutual Funds to Different Benchmarks

    by Staff — Friday, January 19, 2001

    What a difference two years can make. In 1999, only 33% of mutual funds were able to beat Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500. In the year 2000, over 72% of all mutual funds managed that task. Nearly half of all funds managed to outgain the S&P 600 Small Cap ...Read More