Making Sense of Economic Data

Making sense of economic data provided by the government, markets, and media.

The Non-Farm Payroll Report. Crude inventories. The Federal Open Market Committee Minutes. If you aren’t an economist or passionately devoted to the financial media, you might have no clue what those are. But the reality is, if you’re an investor in the global marketplace and you own stocks and bonds, your money is likely reacting… Read More


5 Ways to Improve Your Cash Flow and Invest More

There are multiple ways to increase your cash flow to invest more.

For some people, deciding how to invest is the hard part. But for others, finding extra money to put toward investments is even harder. You know investing is important, and you know the more consistently you do it, the better off you’ll be over time. Luckily, there are steps you can take to make that… Read More


Are Equal-Weight ETFs Here to Stay?

Are Equal-Weight ETFs here to stay?

Given the growing number and popularity of ETFs—and given their reputation as a low-cost tool for diversification—it’s important to understand how these investments track the indexes they represent. You may have an ETF that invests in the S&P 500, the Nasdaq 100, or the Russell 2000. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sufficiently diversified in… Read More


Growth vs. Value: A Tale of Two Investment Strategies

Growth vs. Value Investing: Which of the investment strategies leads to long-term success?

Building an investment portfolio for the long term means finding a strategy that will work in both the best of times and the worst of times. And with so many investment styles to choose from, it pays to understand the basics. One of the most fundamental characteristics of a stock is whether it favors growth… Read More


Better Choices for Investors Help Put the Squeeze on Mutual Fund Fees

Mutual fund fees appear to be on the decline in recent years

With all the talk about how fees can negatively impact investment returns, particularly over the long run, it’s nice to see the new research showing that mutual fund fees have started to come down. According to a recent article in Morningstar magazine (March, 2015), the average investor in open-ended mutual funds paid 0.71% in expenses… Read More


Long-Term Investing: Avoiding the Urge to Trade

Diversification and Long-Term Investing can help you achieve investment success

It’s easy to talk about ignoring short-term market events and to recommend focusing your attention on the market’s long history of positive returns. It’s another thing entirely to sit through the daily volatility of the market, watching your account values jump around, without succumbing to the temptation to trade your portfolio holdings. The urge to… Read More


ETF Expense Ratios: Their Impact on Long-Term Performance

ETF Expense Ratio

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are commonly recognized as a low-cost way to achieve a diversified portfolio. That makes sense: because ETFs are passively managed, they don’t incur the research and analysis expenses borne by actively managed mutual funds. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that not all ETFs cost the same. In fact, some charge… Read More


Income Investors Are Feeling the Squeeze

How Income Investors Can Manage Their Investment Portfolio in Today's Economic Environment

Investors have been finding it increasingly difficult to generate income in their investment portfolios. This is a problem that impacts many people who rely on portfolio income to live on or to supplement the income they receive from other sources, such as social security and pensions. When interest rates are higher, options for investment income are… Read More


The Volatility of Volatility: What You Need to Know About the VIX

Volatility and its long-term effect on your investment portfolio

Volatility is often perceived by investors as a negative. No one likes to think about the likelihood that their stock prices will move in the wrong direction. And a high level of volatility can act as an impediment to successful investing, especially when it causes people to make irrational portfolio decisions based on short-term events…. Read More