Category Archives: fees

Trends in the land of mutual funds

The 2016 Investment Company Institute (ICI) fact book is out, revealing a treasure trove of data about the world of mutual funds and ETFs. If this sort of thing interests you, keep reading and then make sure you get the whole enchilada from ICI here. Some incredible highlights: Traditional long-term mutual funds had net cash […]

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All your margin are belong to us

(If you don’t get the reference.) I suppose many will read this and say “Enough already, James” but here I go again. A big study came out this week on current average advisory fees. There aren’t really any surprises here and it is very much in line with what else I’ve seen, including the passive/”low […]

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When & How Active Managers Outperform

The debate over active or passive fund management is long in the tooth.  Proprietors of managed funds and advisors who sell them will always look for cracks in the data or a good narrative to keep selling their wares. And the financial media loves the debate, they know they will get clicks and readers by […]

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Q&A With NewRetirement.com

I did a pretty lengthy Q&A with the folks at NewRetirement.com about investment strategies, fee structures, goal setting and more. It was fairly thoughtful, I hope you enjoy it.  You can find the whole piece here: Expert Interview with James Osborne About Flat Rates And An Unbiased Approach

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Wealthfront thinks your HSA is dumb.

This weekend I stumbled across with Wealthfront piece titled “Think Carefully Before Signing Up For A High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP).”  For the uninitiated, a HDHP is a plan with a large enough deductible to qualify for the use of a Health Savings Account (HSA). An HSA allows the user to contribute up to $6,550 […]

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Alts: Like a Box of Chocolates

So news is circulating today about one the largest liquid alternative investments and its absolutely rotten year.   According to the fund’s website, Good Harbor financial’s Tactical Core US A (GHUAX) is a long-only (no short selling any stocks) US large cap strategy benchmarked to the S&P 500.  They even go so far to say […]

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Making my way

(Recently there’s been a good run of financial bloggers talking about their start in the industry, including Cullen, Ben and Patrick. I thought I’d take a turn as well.) I was 21 years old, just out of college and had just gotten married, and I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. […]

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The Trouble with “Active Share”

It is becoming a well-accepted fact that the majority of mutual fund managers underperform their respective benchmarks. There is simply too much data on the subject to be ignored.  Not less than quarterly Standard & Poors releases a “report card” on the industry and it consistently shows us that the wide majority of funds fail […]

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Really Expensive Beta

Investors, advisors, fund companies and the rest of Wall Street are always looking for a silver bullet.  Always.  We just can’t help ourselves.  We desperately need to believe that their is a better way to invest than our current strategy, regardless of our current strategy.  Right now (September 2014) it is pretty easy for investors […]

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2 Years Later

Two years ago this week I gave notice at my previous employer, moved my family across town, filed the registration for this firm and found out we were going to have our second little one. Without question it was the best professional decision of my life.  Apparent risks aside, I am now in an environment […]

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Art or Science?

Last week there was a great piece at ETF.com, “Inside Robo Advisor Asset Allocation.”  The author picks through the recommended portfolios from Wealthfront, Betterment, WiseBaynan and other new “roboadvisors.” It was an interesting look and revealed just how different multiple “passive” portfolios can be.   I had a few observations that I shared on Twitter: […]

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The Active Decisions of a “Passive” Investor

Recently my friend Cullen wrote a piece titled “Putting the “Underperformance” of Active Managers in Perspective” that spurred a bit of discussion between the two of us.  While Cullen and I may disagree to some degree about the benefit of a more “active” investment strategy (including how tactical one might be with a portfolio), one […]

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