Monthly Archives: October 2012

What about your “incentive?”

(A little background – Bason Asset Management operates on a flat retainer fee schedule and not an asset-based percentage as is typical in this industry.  You can read more about this fee structure here.) Since I have been asked this on more than one occasion, I felt it appropriate to address here. “If you aren’t […]

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The High Cost of No-Transaction-Fee Platforms

For several years now the largest brokerage firms have been developing and marketing No-Transaction-Fee (or NTF) platforms for buying and selling mutual funds.  Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Pershing, Raymond James and others have created mutual fund supermarkets where it is “free” for their customers to buy mutual funds.  Previously the cost to buy mutual […]

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2013 Social Security Adjustment, Retirement Account limits verified

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finalized 2012 Q3 inflation, the Social Security Administration has announced cost-of-living adjustments for benefit recipients for next year.  Based on Twelve-month inflation (measured by CPI), Social Security payments will increase by a very modest 1.7% for 2013. Retirees should be prepared for the possibility that this 1.7% increase could be wiped out […]

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Musings on the ETF “Fee War”

Big news in the ETF space recently has come from announcements from major players: Blackrock (iShares) and Schwab announcing they are drastically reducing fees on broad-sector ETFs in an effort to keep up with Vanguard. Here’s the backstory.  Vanguard has been gobbling up core ETF market share at a rapid pace.  Investors (and their advisors) […]

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WSJ: Fund managers increase risk to offset costs, boost returns

How is your bond fund manager beating (or just keeping pace with) its benchmark?  Most likely by taking on more risk, according to a recent study conducted by Morningstar at the request of the Wall Street Journal. (Full story is here:, originally posted 9/20/12) While still comparing themselves to broad based, high quality benchmarks […]

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3Q 2012 Market Overview

As we wrapped up the third quarter of 2012we have seen global stocks making significant gains.  Large cap US stocks, represented by the S&P 500, have gained 6.4% for the quarter, putting the benchmark up 16.4% for 2012 so far.  Total market returns (including reinvested dividends) are now positive from the October 2007 previous market […]

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