31 Mar 2016

When to Head for the Exits

Back in November, I wrote about the Sequoia fund (ticker symbol: SEQUX) on the losing side of a big bet on Valeant Pharmaceuticals (ticker symbol: VRX). Sequoia is a well-known fund, in part because when Warren Buffet unwound his hedge fund in the late 1960s, he recommended that his clients go to Sequoia, which was run by his friend Bill Ruane.  Sequoia had good results and wasn’t afraid to take… Read More

30 Mar 2016

Over-Promising and Under-Delivering

Back in the depths of the 2008 crisis, I remember hearing a radio spot for a newly launched series of mutual funds from a well-known fund family that promised ‘absolute returns.’ In the investing world, the term absolute return refers to investment strategies that are intended to generate positive returns regardless of market conditions.  Whereas most investments are judged relative to a benchmark like the S&P 500 or Barclays Aggregate… Read More

29 Mar 2016

Healthy Aging: Why Put Family First

This is the second part in a series on the successful transition to retirement.  The first article addressed The Challenge of Leisure and this one will dive a little deeper into the family dynamic, which typically effects everyone in the house, not just the person retiring. My parents had close friends (whom I will call George and Martha).  My dad and George served in the Navy together.  George went on to… Read More

28 Mar 2016

Brexit Basics

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union comprised of 28 countries from the tiny island of Malta with a population of 429,000 situated on 122 square miles to the obvious world powers like Germany, France and Britain. When combined, the EU represents seven percent of the worlds population and 24 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP, measured in purchasing power parity).  The idea behind the union,… Read More

22 Mar 2016

Healthy Aging: The Challenge of Leisure

The transition to retirement is a major milestone and Acropolis helps our clients make a successful transition.  Retiring is often equated with having more leisure time.  However, clients should have a strategy for healthy aging. Leisure is an important part of life which provides many benefits.  A few of these are: time to recharge our batteries, give us something to look forward to, and provides a change of pace in… Read More

19 Mar 2016

Does The Fed Control Interest Rates?

We at Acropolis spend a lot of time writing about what is going on inside the Federal Open Market Committee (the FOMC is the group within the Federal Reserve in charge of setting monetary policy for the central bank). Considering the amount of attention given to the FOMC in the media and investment industry, one might think the impact of the committee on financial markets is enormous. The committee meets… Read More

11 Mar 2016

Active Funds Still Struggle

Every six months, Standard & Poor’s does an analysis of how active funds compare to S&P indexes and it’s been a while since I’ve reported on the results.  Unfortunately for the actively managed funds community, things haven’t gotten any better since my last update. The report offers many details and if you want to look at the entire report, click here.  I think that if you aren’t going to look at… Read More

10 Mar 2016

King of Wall Street Remembered

I read a newsletter on and off that always features an obituary.  I know a lot of people read them every day, but I find that a little depressing.  I wrote about David Bowie’s passing back in January, and at the risk of writing too many obits, I thought I would note the death of John Gutfreund yesterday, who was dubbed the King of Wall Street by BusinessWeek magazine. Gutfreund… Read More

9 Mar 2016

Naming Names on Broker Misconduct

When we started this business more than 13 years ago, I maintained a scrapbook of article clippings that I called “The Big Book of Broker Misdeeds.” At the time, we were coming out of the tech wreck and there were tons of articles about how brokers steered widows and orphans into unsuitable hot technology funds during the bubble years that blew apart when they fell back to earth. I know a… Read More