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


Cheap Money + Share Buybacks = Bull Market?

Geoff Considine

-+*The market rally of the past twelve months may appear somewhat baffling in light of the fact that individual investors have been pulling money out of the market.  The S&P 500 is up 22.5% in the last year, while September marks the 17th consecutive month during which investors took money out of equity mutual funds. … Read More


Sector Watch: Spotlight on Utilities

Geoff Considine

-+*Utility companies are expected to provide fairly stable performance, without too much downside risk.  Utilities are also typically expected to provide lower average returns than the broader market.  In the last decade, however, utilities have out-performed the broader stock market as investors have become increasingly risk-averse and worried about the prospects for sectors that depend… Read More


The Power of Effective Diversification: Part II

Geoff Considine

-+*Last week, I posted an article discussing how diversification is one of the most misunderstood concepts in investing. In today’s post I continue with the second half of this two-part series titled, “The Power of Effective Diversification.” In Part I of this article, I discussed the difference between naive diversification (holding lots of stuff in a portfolio)… Read More