12 Nov 2014

Finding Meaning in the Morningstar Star System

The Morningstar Star system is, by far, the most popular way for individual investors to assess a mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF). While the system is fairly straightforward in theory, it can lead to odd, and often confusing results. As always, it pays to understand how the system works to understand what the stars are telling you. The case in point is the Vanguard Total Bond Market funds… Read More

11 Nov 2014

WSJ: One Story, Two Bad Headlines

When it comes to reading the newspaper online, I was an early adopter. While I miss the physical paper sometimes, I don’t miss the massive recycling effort and I appreciate getting up to the minute news throughout the day. I don’t like some of the tricks that they play online, though. Yesterday, I was looking at the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) online and saw the headline, ‘Small Cap Stocks Especially… Read More

10 Nov 2014

Mano a Mano with Ben Bernanke

The highlight of last week’s Schwab Impact conference for me was seeing, and then meeting, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Initially, Bernanke came to the stage in front of nearly 5,000 attendees and gave a 10-15 minute speech about the Federal Reserve’s response to the 2008 financial crisis. He then did a 45 minute question and answer session with Schwab’s Chief Investment Strategist, Liz Ann Sonders, who did a… Read More

4 Nov 2014

The Perils of Non-Traded REITs

You may not be surprised to know that there is a steady stream of salesman that come through our doors talking about their mutual funds, exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) and other products that they want us to buy on your behalf. The vast, vast majority of meetings do not sway how we invest your money, but I do like to listen just in case there is something out there that we haven’t… Read More

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