Monthly Archives: July 2013

Showcasing Lucky Stars: Mutual Fund Incubators

In 2012 the mutual fund industry launched 628 new funds.  This number wasn’t a record, it was simply in-line with average figures. Almost 500 funds were either liquidated or merged away into other funds. This pattern repeats year after year: new funds get launched, poorly performing funds disappear. In bad markets, the industry rushes to […]

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Exploiting the Colorado 529 Tax-Deduction Loophole

Colorado’s state-sponsored college savings plans are especially taxpayer-friendly.  The various 529 plans allow for a full Colorado state income tax deduction for contributions made to the plan by state residents, and funds withdrawn for qualified higher education expenses will be free of federal and state income taxes for any investment gains. While 529 plans can […]

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How I Became a Passive-ist.

While it probably appears that I was born a crazy-eyed, dyed-in-the-wool believer of index investing (aka passive investing), that is a bit short of the truth. In the beginning of my career in the investment world, I worked at a mutual fund company call center.  I knew dangerously little, but would also enjoy chatting up […]

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Quit Looking at Star Ratings

Oh, how we all love ratings systems.  With “Two Thumbs Up” and 100% ratings on RottenTomatoes we rate our movies.  We look for five-star restaurants on Yelp and five-star hotels for our next vacation. And we love them for mutual funds.  Fund companies advertise their Morningstar-rated four-and-five star funds over glamorous images of speed skaters, pro […]

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The incredible shrinking budget deficit

I’m just going to highlight a few pieces from this Advisor Perspectives article written by Schwab’s Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders.  In short, the federal budget deficit is shrinking rapidly thanks to improving personal incomes, corporate tax revenues and declining government spending.  The deficit has fallen from 10+% of Gross Domestic Product to under […]

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Maybe you shouldn’t be an investor

Let me ask you a few things: If you think the world is getting worse in the long run; if you think I’m a fool to believe my daughters will grow up to have full, rich lives in this country or another; if you think personal and professional innovation is dead; if you think any […]

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Failing to take my own advice

This weekend I had a… little mishap on the bike. It was just a little spill (up and over the handlebars) and I landed poorly. The irony of it all is that it happened on the stairs on the trail that I recently wrote about. And it happened because I did the exact opposite of […]

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Second Quarter in the Markets

In The Markets: Volatility returned this summer in both the global stock and bond markets, surprising many investors. Despite a very turbulent few weeks in June, US stock markets edged higher for the quarter, with the S&P 500 up 2.9%. International stocks struggled, led down by emerging markets. Measured by the MSCI Emerging Market index, […]

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You don’t have to be right

I’m going to let you in on a poorly kept secret in the investment management biz. Every day/week/month/quarter across the country financial advisors, fund managers, asset allocators, hedge fund magnates and pension consultants are making decisions for clients.  These professionals are recommending stocks or mutual funds to clients.  They are overweighting and underweighting sectors and […]

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