Articles (161)

1,321,443 views

Featured Article


murray@ifa.com

Institutional-Grade Active Managers Don't Do Any Better: SPIVA

1,254
by Murray Coleman
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

S&P research shows that higher-tiered share classes don't provide a significant advantage for active ...Read More

Article Library

  • murray@ifa.com

    2019 Q3 Market Review [VIDEO]

    4,240
    by Murray Coleman — Monday, October 14, 2019

    The third quarter produced a script worthy of the best tear-jerking romantic novel. The world's two biggest economies couldn't resolve an ongoing trade tiff, angst about Brexit and the European Union continued and sliding manufacturing data in the U.S. helped to raise fears of a ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    The Never-Ending Pursuit of Manager Alpha – Updated

    14,450
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

    As we have pointed out on many occasions, both stock picking and hiring an active manager to pick stocks on your behalf are mug’s games. While some investors diligently study individual stocks and other investors handsomely pay active managers to deliver alpha (an ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Rebalancing Portfolios [VIDEO]

    17,159
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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

  • Mark Hebner

    Asset Location

    21,519
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

    An additional way that a passive advisor can add value is not just asset allocation but asset location. Specifically, for a client that has a mixture of taxable accounts, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs, it is often helpful to construct a single portfolio consisting of multiple ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    Advisor Alpha: The View from Vanguard

    11,573
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2019

    At Index Fund Advisors, we have repeatedly cautioned investors to avoid getting ensnared in the never-ending pursuit of alpha by either picking stocks or hiring an active manager to pick stocks on their behalf. Nevertheless, by engaging in a few prudent practices such as ...Read More

  • murray@ifa.com

    2019 Q2 Market Review

    1,777
    by Murray Coleman — Thursday, July 25, 2019

    After logging strong returns in the opening three months of 2019, global equity markets slowed in the second ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman

    Selecting Investments Part 1

    58,282
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2019

    As a fiduciary for its clients, IFA only receives compensation from its clients and is therefore unbiased in its choice of ...Read More

  • Ian Liew

    SBBI: The Almanac of Returns Data

    17,042
    by Ian Liew and IFA Contributors — Updated: Friday, July 19, 2019

    Stocks, Bonds, Bills, and Inflation (SBBI) is often characterized as the Almanac of returns data. This magisterial work originally produced by Roger Ibbotson and Rex Sinquefield is considered the go to place when information is needed on the expected returns and risks of a ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Cash Withdrawal Considerations

    17,726
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2019

    IFA is often in the position of accommodating regular cash withdrawal by its clients. The question is how to best generate cash for ...Read More

  • mike

    Tax Mistakes Reported by Politicians

    873
    by Murray Coleman — Tuesday, July 16, 2019

    The warnings about potential dangers of trying to file your own tax forms are well-documented. Indeed, we've explored at IFA Taxes many of the biggest blunders taxpayers have made in the past working on even the most basic of IRS accounting ...Read More

  • Brad Steiman

    Paradox of Skill

    18,326
    by Brad Steiman — Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

    Manager selection is a process that requires analyzing noisy performance data, so it should lean heavily on the notion of statistical ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman

    Dimensions of Expected Return: Patience is a Virtue – 2019 Update

    5,621
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Monday, July 8, 2019

    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

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    The Funded Ratio: An Actuarial Approach to Retirement Spending

    20,569
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    In a recent Financial Professional Outlook, Russell Investments surveyed 234 financial advisors across 145 investment firms nationwide. According to their results, 60% of advisors said that more than half of their clients are near or in ...Read More

  • Rex Sinquefield

    Active vs Passive Management

    27,389
    by Murray Coleman — Updated: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

    Active management is the art of stock picking and market timing. Passive management refers to a buy-and-hold approach to money management. It can be applied to any asset class: big stocks, small stocks, value or growth, foreign or domestic can all be accessed by passive ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    The Gambler's Fallacy and the Misuse of the Law of Large Numbers

    21,950
    by Mark Hebner and Murray Coleman — Updated: Monday, June 3, 2019

    If you have ever spent any time in a casino, it is likely that you have seen supposedly random events that appeared to be non-random. Perhaps the roulette wheel came up red seven times in a row, for example. If your reaction was to place a large bet on ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner

    Calculations for t-Statistics

    58,770
    by Mark Hebner — Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    In calculating the t-stat, the first step is to determine the excess returns the manager earned above an appropriate ...Read More

  • Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors

    Profitability and a Four-Factor Model

    25,361
    by Mark Hebner and IFA Contributors — Updated: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    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. This model states that the expected return of a broadly diversified ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    2019 Q1 Market Review

    4,752
    by Murray Coleman — Wednesday, April 17, 2019

    Long-term minded investors shouldn't be surprised. Traders, however, could've been whipsawed by markets in ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    The Index Bogeyman

    2,152
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Tuesday, April 2, 2019

    Over the last several years, index funds have received increased attention from investors and the financial media. Some have even made claims that the increased usage of index funds may be distorting market prices. For many, this argument hinges on the premise that indexing ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Getting to the Point of a Point

    1,577
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Wednesday, March 6, 2019

    A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Deja Vu All Over Again

    1,570
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Tuesday, February 12, 2019

    Investment fads come and go. Letting short-term trends influence your approach may be counterproductive to pursuing your financial ...Read More

  • murray@ifa.com

    2018 Q4 Market Review

    2,462
    by Murray Coleman — Tuesday, February 5, 2019

    Emerging markets and global real estate stock indexes used in IFA portfolios outpaced U.S., developed international in ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    Too Few Investors Taking 'Big Picture' View: Study

    2,102
    by Murray Coleman — Monday, January 7, 2019

    How big of a difference can an objective set of professional eyes add to an investor's overall financial success outside of managing a portfolio? A new study takes a look at just that question. Instead of considering hypotheticals, however, this report goes directly to the ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Recent Market Volatility

    2,841
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Updated: Monday, December 24, 2018

    What should you make of recent ups and downs in the stock market? Here's helpful context on volatility and expected ...Read More

  • Murray Coleman

    2018 Q3 Market Review

    2,285
    by Murray Coleman — Wednesday, November 28, 2018

    With technology bellwethers Apple and Amazon becoming America's first companies with market capitalizations surpassing $1 trillion, blue chip domestic stocks turned in banner performances in 2018's third quarter. Robust economic growth and corporate profits overshadowed jitters ...Read More

  • Dimensional Fund Advisors

    Midterm Elections—What Do They Mean for Markets?

    1,770
    by Dimensional Fund Advisors — Monday, November 5, 2018

    It's almost Election Day in the US once again. For those who need a brief civics refresher, every two years the full US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on ...Read More

  • Jim Parker

    A Question of Equilibrium

    1,987
    by Jim Parker — Tuesday, October 30, 2018

    "Sellers were out in force on the market today after negative news on the economy." It's a common line in TV finance reports. But have you ever wondered who is buying if so many people are ...Read More