U.S. Real Estate

ETF Battles: REZ vs. XHB (Homebuilders vs. REITs) – Who Wins?

This is an excerpt from ETF Battles on ETFguide TV with REZ vs. XHB – two U.S. real estate focused ETFs.  Who wins the battle? REZ and XHB go against each other in key categories, including cost, performance and a mystery battle category Both ETFs cover the U.S. real estate market, but with a radically …

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Factors that Should Influence Your Investments

If you asked a thousand different people about the key factors that should drive their investment choices, you’re bound to get a thousand different answers. Some, for example, might be inclined to argue that U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) have increased for eight consecutive years and there’s no reason to make any portfolio changes because stock prices …

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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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A $1.58 Million Portfolio with No Captain

Has your financial advisor contacted you lately? Although global stock markets (NYSEARCA:VT) have recovered from their earlier in the year losses, it could’ve revealed flaws with your investment portfolio’s design. Often, flaws that are camouflaged by rising markets are exposed and exploited in rocky markets. (Audio) Why Robo “Advisors” are Hazardous to Your Wealth Ultimately, advisors should take responsibility for …

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Improving Bogle’s 50/50 Portfolio

Jack Bogle has made changes inside his personal investment portfolio. In a news interview last week, the legendary indexer revealed that his 60% allocation to U.S. stocks and 40% to bonds via index funds (Nasdaq:VBINX) has shifted to a more conservative asset split of 50/50 in each group. Bogle is the 86-year old founder of Vanguard Group, the …

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S&P 500 Investors Get New Choice for Direct REIT Exposure

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have long been buried inside the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) but have now received a giant promotion. S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI — the index providers who jointly maintain the GICS system for organizing industry sectors — decided to create a stand-alone real estate sector. As a result, S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched …

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Portfolio Exam: A Hyper-Aggressive $1.29 Million Portfolio with Flaws

It’s commonly and incorrectly presumed that people with large investment portfolios are smart investors. But as counterintuitive as it may sound, this false presumption is simply not true. How do I know? Because I’ve analyzed and graded many multi-million dollar investment portfolios ($27 million is the largest one I’ve graded so far this year) using …

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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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Gambling Roulette

What Does a Professional Gambler’s Investment Portfolio Look Like?

I’ve always wondered what a professional gambler’s portfolio would look like. Would it be a broadly diversified portfolio of penny stocks with a Kenny Rogers box set and a shot of whiskey to boot? Or perhaps, it would contain none of these worldly possessions. How would a gambler invest his or her winnings? I recently …

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Industry Sectors

3 Industry Sectors Vital to the Stock Market’s Health

Performance divergences, especially in key industry sectors, are either supportive or non-supportive of the broader stock market’s move. Although the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) have notched new highs this year, small cap stock ETFs linked to the Russell 2000 (NYSEARCA:IWM) and S&P SmallCap 600 (NYSEARCA:IJR) continue to lag. The fact …

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Falling Bricks

A $725,000 Portfolio on Shaky Ground

Having a six or seven figure sized investment portfolio doesn’t automatically make it smart. Such is the case with a $725,000 investment portfolio that I recently graded. An investment Portfolio Report Card request was made to me by a mid-40s software engineer who described himself as an “aggressive investor.” Software is a pretty aggressive business and …

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2 Times When Diversification Becomes Di-Worsification

Diversifying your investment portfolio: It’s a dull exercise that people repeatedly hear, yet a chore they execute with consistent imprecision. Are there times when diversification can actually become “Di-Worsification”? Variety is the Secret Diversification boils down to spreading your investment risk across multiple asset classes. It works because of something called “covariance,” which basically means …

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Why Do So Many Investors Self-Destruct?

“The investor’s chief problem—and even his worst enemy—is likely to be himself,” once quipped the great Benjamin Graham. The truth of Graham’s observation is seen in the consistent pattern of mutual fund investors to self-destruct. AUDIO: Listen to Ron DeLegge @ The Index Investing Show Over the past 30 years, the typical stock mutual fund investor’s performance has …

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Fearful Lady

Building Your Investment Portfolio Shouldn’t Be Scary

How frightened to invest are people? So frightened, they’d rather die! A poll taken by Harris Interactive for Nationwide Financial found that 62% of surveyed respondents are afraid of investing in the stock market while just 58% are afraid of dying. Building your own investment portfolio from scratch is a fearful task for many people, …

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Portfolio diversification

3 Steps to Beating the Retirement Income Shortage

One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. This is an apt description of retirement income investors who definitely want and need more dividends, but are going about it in the wrong way. For bond investors (NYSEARCA:BOND), yields on 10-Year U.S. Treasuries (ChicagoOptions:^TNX) have slid almost …

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A Portfolio Strategy Warren Buffett Would Approve

What are the attributes of a world-class investment portfolio that even Warren Buffett would bless? Buffett’s 2013 letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders gives us a clue: “The ‘know-nothing’ investor who both diversifies and keeps his costs minimal is virtually certain to get satisfactory results. Indeed, the unsophisticated investor who is realistic about his shortcomings is …

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Smart Beta Investing: New Paradigm or Word Trick

Is so-called smart beta investing a new and improved way to invest or just another one of Wall Street’s fancy sales pitches? Smart beta strategies (formerly known as “fundamental indexing”) in the investment world generally fall into two camps: 1) Indexes that use a one-dimensional or simple formulas, like equal weighting all the stocks within a benchmark like the …

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Portfolio diversification

Are Covered Call Funds a Smart Income Play?

What’s better? A covered call options strategy executed by the individual investor or a covered call ETF or fund that proposes to do the heavy lifting? Selling covered calls is a popular investment technique used by investors with high income or cash flow as their primary goal. The investor is “covered” because they own the …

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