The Wash Sale Rule: It’s Easy to Get Caught

Don't let the wash sale rule impact your tax loss harvesting.

Many investors engage in tax-loss harvesting towards the end of the year. The crux of this exercise is to sell securities at a loss to offset taxes due on investment gains or other income items. Part of the harvesting process often involves replacing a sold security with a similar security, in an effort to maintain… Read More

3 Famous Investors Who Followed Simple Rules—and Got Rich

Technology makes planning their evening easy

If you open a newspaper and read about people who’ve made millions investing in hedge funds or private equity investments, you might think it takes a complicated investment strategy to make money in the market. But that’s not always the case. In fact, there are several famous investors who became very rich by following some… Read More

Smart-Beta ETFs: Offering Headway or Hype?

Are Smart-Beta ETFs here to stay in investor's investment portfolios? Time will tell with these ETFs.

We have written in the past about new trends in the ETF marketplace and one of those trends is the emerging popularity of “smart-beta ETFs.” Smart-beta ETFs weight holdings by factors other than market cap—factors such as dividends or earnings—in an attempt to produce superior long-term results. According to the July, 2015 issue of ETF… Read More

Analyzing ETF and Mutual Fund Options for Your Investment Portfolio

Analyzing mutual funds and ETFs for your investment portfolio.

Sorting through your list of 401(k) options or looking at ads for mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you may feel overwhelmed by all the choices. But knowing how to approach basic fund analysis can make the universe of fund options a little less daunting to navigate. Let’s say you hear about a broad market… Read More

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