Category Expenses

FINRA warns about 401(k) Rollovers – Let’s talk again about conflicts of interest!

  FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the securities industry’s self-reglatory organization.  They do the various test, deal with broker and advisor registration and monitoring, etc. And FINRA has recently started cracking down on advisors and brokers who are giving questionable advice to investors about how to deal with their 401(k)s and rollovers.  In […]

Ritholtz: “A hedge fund for you and me? The best move is to take a pass” “A hedge fund for you and me? The best move is to take a pass” Barry Ritholtz on Hedge Funds   The math is compelling.  Hedge fund managers get rich – “2&20” as they say.  The investors? Rarely.  And the hedging?  A lot less than you might think, since the name “hedge fund” has […]

John Steele Gordon on the Carried Interest Loophole

The always-worth-reading John Steele Gordon, on the absurdity of the carried-interest tax loophole (which mainly benefits hedge-fund managers): <; He also describes a bit of the way hedge fund managers are paid.  What isn’t mentioned is that the investors themselves are often getting fleeced, too.  Recently we’ve seen how some of these funds end up […]

Buy Facebook? You may already have!

When Facebook (FB) went public, several folks immediately asked if they should buy it.  My response was, uniformly, “no”.  It was not that I thought FaceBook was overvalued (I did), not that I thought the price was going to drop soon (I did – IPOs frequently go down in the short term, and a spectacularly […]

Malkiel: Buy Stocks, not Bonds

Burton Malkiel has been speaking up a lot lately, and with much the same message – repeated several times over the last few months (at least since an op-ed back in April).  While hitting on some of the same themes he’s hit on for 40 years (index funds, low costs, broad diversification, don’t time the […]

Ten most common mistakes

Totally worth reading. I’d have said exactly these same things and I tell them to clients all the time. So good I’m thinking of mailing this link in my next On The Spot email. A really great “top 10” list by Barry Ritholtz: Investors’ 10 most common mistakes I seriously recommend reading the whole […]

Choosing a financial planner: 5 red flags A nice article from CBS’s MoneyWatch site. Summary – Watch out for the following things (notes which follow the bullet points are my own): Variable Annuity pitch – sometimes these may be appropriate, but certainly they are not something anyone should suggest at a first meeting.  If they are suitable, they require a detailed […]

WSJ/Burton Malkiel: Where to Put Your Money in 2012

WSJ/Burton Malkiek: Where to Put Your Money in 2012

Another excellent op-ed piece by Burton Malkiel, author of the classic “A Random Walk Down Wall Street”.

Malkiel makes the following points (summarized – but you should really read the article):

  • Bonds, especially US and Europe, are not positioned to do very well in the future
  • Stocks, especially the US and Emerging Markets are
  • Emerging Markets, in general but especially Brazil and China and even India look good (natural resources, demographics, etc)
  • Single-family houses in the US are less expensive and with ultra-low mortgage rates (see “Bonds” above — a mortgage is the opposite side of buying a bond – it’s borrowing rather than lending!) look good.  (“Housing affordability has never been better.”  Though, of course, that’s contingent on good credit and probably a job.)
  • Costs matter – this was the final paragraph and it’s always worth repeating: “Control the thing you can control — minimize investment costs.  That is especially important in a low-return environment.  Make low-cost index mutual funds or ETFs the core of your portfolio and ensure that any actively-managed investment funds you purchase are low-expense as well.”

Rick Ferri says “Mutual Fund investors should Occupy Boston” Following all the Occupy This and That out there (WallSt, mainly, but there are satellite protests), Rick makes some great points.  They’re the same ones he makes on a regular basis, but it’s still nice to see them tied down so cleanly. Summary – the mutual fund industry has been raking in huge amounts […]

Study: 401(k) participants who had “help” outperformed others 401(k) Study: Workers who sought help improved annual performance by an average of 3 percent DES MOINES, Iowa – Sometimes it pays to get help. A new study of 401(k) accounts provides further evidence that workers who get help pocket higher returns than those handling their own investment choices. The study by human resources […]