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


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


3 Insights into the Millennial Investor

Millennial Investors and their Investing Strategies

Generation Y—also known as the Millennial Generation—refers to the population segment born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. Like most generational cadres, this demographic tends to have a different set of values and preferences than its predecessors, and research[1] indicates that these differences become especially clear when it comes to investing. Already, several themes… Read More


The Intricacies of International Investing

The Intricacies of International Investing

When aiming to create a diversified portfolio, many investors assume that international exposure is a necessary component. This makes sense, considering that roughly half of global stock market value is based inside the United States while the other half is generated abroad. International investing is important for some, particularly larger investors with long time horizons… Read More


How Much Do You Need to Save for Retirement?

Geoff Considine

In the financial advisory business, one of the most pressing and controversial topics is how much money people need to save during their working years in order to provide for long-term retirement income.  The research on this topic has evolved quite a lot in recent years, and a recent issue of Money magazine features a… Read More


Parsing the Drop in the Japanese Stock Market

Geoff Considine

One of the most interesting market stories in the last week is the big drop in the Japanese stock market.  Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, ranked by GDP.  The values of the Japanese stock market, as measured by the Nikkei 225 index, dropped by 7.3% on May 23rd, and then suffered another… Read More


Falling ETF Fees and What They Mean

Geoff Considine

Vanguard has just reduced the expense ratios of 24 of its ETFs.  The reductions are fairly substantial.  What I noticed, in particular, is that the reductions include sector-specific ETFs. The Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE), the Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT), the Vanguard Telecom ETF (VOX), and the Vanguard Utility ETF (VPU) each now have 0.14%… Read More


Do We Live in the Golden Age of Investing?

Matthew Amster-Burton

Do we live in the golden age of investing? Moronic question, right? Of course we don’t. The S&P 500 sits at about the same level it did five years ago. Bond interest rates have never been lower, and the Fed says it’s planning to keep them that way through mid-2015. Turn on any financial channel… Read More


Game Theory, Behavioral Finance, and Investing: Part 1 of 5

Geoff Considine

Watching the market this year has been like observing an exercise in game theory and behavioral finance, and the two fields are closely related.  Game theory is the study of how a rational person makes decisions in uncertain situations.  As the name suggests, game theory was developed with the intent of developing optimal strategies in… Read More