Mutual Funds

Investing great John Bogle: “Here’s how to use ETFs!”

Note: This 2013 interview between Ron DeLegge at ETFguide and John Bogle from the Vanguard Group is from ETFguide’s archives of investing greats. Bogle passed away on January 16, 2019. Hi everybody. I’m Ron DeLegge with ETFguide.com and we’re pleased to have with us John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, author of many books, …

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How Safe are Bonds?

News flash: Investors who assumed their investments in conservative bonds and bond funds (Nasdaq:LSBRX) were safe from losses are learning otherwise. Since mid-2016, the performance for U.S. bonds (NYSEARCA:BND) with top credit grades have sunk almost 4%. For perspective, the 12-month yield on ETFs tracking the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is just 2.40%. Put another …

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A $1.3 Million Portfolio Report Card for JPG in Maryland

What are the hallmarks of a well-built and financially sound investment portfolio? For some, it’s simply owning the top performing stocks or mutual funds (Nasdaq:AMCPX). For others, it’s owning the funds or ETFs (NYSEARCA:SCHB) with the lowest cost. And yet for many others, their definition of a well-built investment portfolio is to own whatever securities popular …

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3 Lies about ETFs

As U.S. stocks register new highs and bond yields register new lows, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) marketplace keeps humming along. This is true of ETFs in virtually all asset classes, including not just equities (NYSEARCA:SCHB), but currencies (NYSEARCA:FXE), commodities (NYSEARCA:DBC), and real estate (NYSEARCA:ICF). The total assets in U.S. listed ETFs and ETPs reached a record $2.25 …

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(Podcast) How to Predict Fund Performance

The phrase “past performance is not an indicator of future performance” is a frequently written and spoken legal disclaimer for virtually all investments sold by Wall Street. Yet, hardly anyone from individual investors all the way to investment sales people really act like they believe it. Asset flows inevitably gravitate into funds with the hottest historical performance. And …

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Fund Shareholders with SunEdison Get Zapped by Bankruptcy Filing

SunEdison now joins the endless parade of defunct stock market ex-darlings like Enron, eToys, IndyMac, and Washington Mutual. Yes, the circumstances are different, but the results are the same: bankruptcy. Once the largest renewable energy developer in the U.S., the Missouri-based company listed $16.1 billion in debt in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing on April 21. SunEdison might …

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The Cost of Investment Advice is Still Too High

There are 118 million U.S. households and 108 million have under $500,000 of investable assets while 100 million have less than $100,000 to invest. What does it mean? It means the vast majority of the investing public still doesn’t meet the dollar minimums required to work with a licensed financial advisor. And for those who …

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Roller Coaster Ride 2

Portfolio Report Card: A Risk Heavy $696,000 Investment Plan

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of you. Put another way, it’s a personal statement about how you view risk, taxes, diversification, and investment cost. If you’re negligent in building an investment portfolio that fails to correctly address these key areas, your performance results are likely to suffer. My latest Portfolio Report …

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PRC Calculation

The Long-Term Investing Fallacy

The financial services industry likes to preach the benefits of compounding returns and long-term investing. Have they overstated or even misstated their cause? It’s common for industry types to illustrate unrealistic long-term time horizons of 100 or 200 years of equity returns (NYSEARCA:DIA) to prove that we should be long-term investors. The problem with this …

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Portfolio Chart 1

Worst Performance for Stock Pickers in 30 years? Here’s What to Do About It

Isn’t it more than ironic that of all the times stock picking fund managers would post their worst multi-decade performance – that it would be smack dab in the middle of a raging bull market? Never mind how the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) is about to record its fifth consecutive yearly gain and ninth gain out of the …

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Headache

3 Signs Your Mutual Fund is a Looming Tax Headache

Even if you don’t sell your mutual funds in 2014, you could still be on the hook for a hefty tax bill. The good news is you can limit the tax bite by paying attention to what’s going on with the funds you hold in your taxable investment account. Fund companies regularly distribute dividends (Nasdaq:VDIGX), bond …

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One Trick Pony

Is Your Investment Portfolio a One-Trick Pony?

One-trick investment portfolios are everywhere.  Do you have one? What is a one-trick pony portfolio? It’s the kind of investment mix that is over-weighted or concentrated in one stock, one asset, or just one asset class.  This is a common condition with company founders who have the bulk of their net worth tied up in …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $569,742 Retirement Plan with Sluggish Performance

Why do we take unnecessary risk with our investments? Is it because we’re gluttons for punishment or is it because we’re incredibly brave? Often, it’s because we’re simply distracted or unaware. Although the S&P 500 is still hanging on to its year-to-date gain, stock market volatility or “VIX” has advanced more than 30% over the …

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Warren Buffett is Once Again Doing the Opposite of the Crowd

The disdain for cash is nearly universal. Cash instruments like money market funds are yielding around 0%. And nobody needs or wants cash because stocks are up. The S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:IVV) just rallied 3.8% in August, almost one-third its year-to-date (YTD) gain of 9.73%. AUDIO:  Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show Performing …

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6 Really Bad and Sad Portfolio Types

We live in a Golden Era of misaligned investment portfolios. These are rogue, poorly designed portfolios (401k, IRA, Roth IRA, UGMA, 529 plans, etc.) that are architecturally unsound. And for whatever reason, the people who own them are intent on self-destruction. The Portfolio Report Card method I invented for analyzing and grading portfolios uncovers most …

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What’s the Proper Way to Measure Your Portfolio’s Performance?

Have you ever wondered why mutual funds that have 80% of their exposure to U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) and the other 20% to international stocks (NYSEARCA:EFA) are still measuring their performance versus the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO)? Shouldn’t they be using a blended 80/20 passive benchmark to do a proper apples-to-apples measurement? Why don’t they do this? …

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One Trick Pony

Portfolio Report Card: A $512,000 One-Trick Pony

Diversification means different things to different people. In some cultures, diversification means having large families to diversify so that when mom and dad get old, there will be plenty of children and grandchildren to care for them in their old age. For the individual investor, diversification boils down to spreading your risk across a variety …

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Don’t Make These Widespread Mutual Fund Mistakes!

“People should only buy mutual funds with experienced portfolio managers that have good long-term track records.” “Investing in highly rated mutual funds with at least 4 or 5 stars is a sure-fire way to choose the best fund.” “Our firm screens thousands of mutual funds to help our clients find funds and managers that have …

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