mutual fund

Is Style Drift Increasing Your Financial Risk?

Do you own mutual funds? If you do, there’s a hidden trap called “style drift” that could be increasing the risk of your investment portfolio. How does style drift happen? Style drift occurs when the fund’s portfolio manager begins to deviate from the fund’s investment objective. For example, a mutual fund that is labeled and categorized as …

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Portfolio diversification

Portfolio Report Card: A Poorly Designed $863,309 Advisor Managed Account

How can a person tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy investment portfolio? Naturally, it’s by how well (or poorly) a portfolio does at addressing crucial areas like taxes, cost, diversification, risk, and performance. Here’s the problem: Poorly constructed portfolios are usually ignorant about these first four things, which explain why unsatisfactory performance results …

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Do ETFs Tempt People to Become Daytraders?

ETFs seduce people to become daytraders! That’s the populist claim lodged against ETF investing, but is it supported by facts? What does the data show? To find out, a Vanguard study titled “ETFs: For the Better or Bettor?” examined more than 3.2 million transactions in more than 500,000 positions held in the mutual fund and ETF share classes …

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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 $171, 000 Retirement Portfolio Weighed Down by Cost

What is the optimal investment portfolio? Is it the one that contains the hottest performing stocks and funds? Actually, it’s the portfolio that perfectly represents a person’s psychology, life circumstances, financial needs, and future goals. My latest Portfolio Report Card is for K.B., a 49 year-old U.S. Marine Officer serving overseas. He told me he …

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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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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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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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