Stock Pickers Fell Flat In 2013


Last year certainly provided active managers with plenty of opportunities to outperform, and it’s worth examining if they really did. For example, while the S&P 500 Index returned 32.4 percent, Netflix (NLFX), the top performer in the index, returned 297 percent. Two other stocks, Micron Technology (MU) and Best Buy Co. (BBY) returned more than…

7 Myths About Dividend-Paying Stocks

US News

The most common misconception among investors may be the value of investing in dividend-paying stocks. Almost every week, someone contacts me to extol the virtues of investing in what they call “high quality, dividend-yielding securities.” Often, their interest is spurred by the recent high performance of these stocks. According to one paper by Gregg S. Fisher, published…

The Delicate Craft of Misleading Investors

Huffington Post

Proponents of alternative investments (like hedge funds) have a very effective presentation. They claim these investments have low volatility (risk), offer excellent risk-adjusted returns, and don’t correlate well with stocks or bonds, thereby providing a “hedge” in troubled times. These proponents demonstrate the accuracy of these claims with compelling statistics, displayed in impressive marketing materials….

Lessons From 2013: Part III

Seeking Alpha

Day three of our lessons from 2013, we’ll dive right in with an examination of hedge fund returns. This one holds the title with the most repeat performances, appearing most years. The HRFX Global Hedge Fund Index earned just 6.7 percent. The table below shows the returns for various equity and fixed

Start Paying Attention to Tax Efficiency

Seeking Alpha

Much attention has been paid to expense ratios of mutual funds. Yet, despite the fact that taxes have a substantial impact on the long-term performance of taxable mutual fund investors, far less attention has been paid to the impact of taxes on after-tax returns. And while the evidence is clear that it’s difficult for active fund managers to create superior investment performance by picking stocks or by timing markets, it’s relatively easy to avoid destroying value for taxable fund investors by managing investment taxes. For example, tax-aware funds might attempt to reduce the tax burden by avoiding the intentional realization of any short-term gains and by accelerating the realization of capital losses. Tax management strategies might not only reduce the tax burden, they might also generate lower trading costs. For example, tax-efficient investment strategies exhibit relatively low turnover, generating lower trading costs. In addition, liquidating stock positions with embedded capital losses and holding on to positions with capital gains might generate superior before-tax returns due to the momentum effect.

Tips for Dealing With the Market Decline

Huffington Post

The recent sharp decline in the stock market has investors concerned. Apparently, many “investment pros” thought the market would continue its upward trajectory through 2014. The National Association of Active Investment Managers conducts a weekly survey with advisers and found that they have an astounding 98.3 percent of their clients’ portfolios allocated to stocks. This was a sharp increase over the average of 72 percent allocated to stocks in 2013.

Giving Your Child an Allowance

I earned my first allowance of $2 per month by doing weekly chores. As an 8-year-old, my chores included making my bed, emptying my garbage can, dusting and vacuuming my room. My dad would have surprise “military” inspections to check that we were doing our chores properly. When parents consider giving their children an allowance,…

Retirement Plans: Crucial Conversations

Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence wrote Your Retirement Quest based on a decade of research and interviews with more than 200 retirees. For more about Alan and Keith and their book, go to In this article, Alan and Keith discuss the crucial conversations that people should have as they consider retirement.  Have you discussed your retirement…

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