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Deflation Not Bad For Economy Or Stocks

ETF

The standard definition of “deflation” is “a fall in prices.” A common assumption among investors is that deflation is bad for real economic growth and, therefore by extension, also for real dividend growth. However, that may not necessarily be the case. For example, deflation can be separated into good deflation, which typically follows a positive …Read More.

Thinking Can Hurt Your Investments

ETF

One of the most common arguments I hear against passive investing (which we can define as the use of a systematic approach to gain exposure to a factor or factors) goes like this: How can good management that is “thinking” not be superior to “nonthinking” management? I have found most investors harbor a strong opinion …Read More.

American Pension Crisis: How We Got Here

My adopted home of Charleston might have been ranked the “Best City in the World,” but the state of South Carolina is earning a less distinguished label as a harbinger of the country’s worst pension crises. And yes, that’s crises—plural—because U.S. state and local government pensions have “unfunded liabilities” estimated at more than $5 trillion and …Read More.

‘The Ultimate Retirement & Estate Plan’

ETF

Jim Lange is the author of “Retire Secure,” a book I would highly recommend. While the book doesn’t address investment strategies (asset allocation) or the question of a safe withdrawal rate, it does cover a wide variety of important financial issues. Lange, a CPA and an attorney, shows investors how the right decisions increase the …Read More.

Give More, Stress Less This Holiday Season

The holidays are stressful enough. Why add to that strain by botching a prime opportunity to give more generously? That’s right. Research suggests that being more generous in the act of giving actually reduces stress — and increases happiness — for the gift-giver. In fact, new Harvard and Georgetown studies seem to prove the ancient …Read More.

The Fairy Tale Behind Structured Products

One of the most well-known and most beloved forms of literature is the fairy tale. Although not every fairy tale is actually about fairies, they do tend to be fictitious and highly fanciful tales of fabled deeds and creatures. They are frequently derived from oral folklore based on myths and legends. And fairy tales are …Read More.

Why I’m Hoping the Trump Administration Doesn’t Kill the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Advisors to President-elect Donald Trump have been vocal about rescinding the Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, introduced earlier this year to protect retirement savers from advice that isn’t fully in their best interests. The rule has already been under fire from the securities industry, and lack of presidential support could spell its ultimate demise. …Read More.

American Pension Crisis: How We Got Here

My adopted home of Charleston might have been ranked the “Best City in the World,” but the state of South Carolina is earning a less distinguished label as a harbinger of the country’s worst pension crises. And yes, that’s crises—plural—because U.S. state and local government pensions have “unfunded liabilities” estimated at more than $5 trillion …Read More.

Which Factors Really Matter To Investors

ETF

In a recent article, I discussed the findings from a study by Brad Barber, Xing Huang and Terrance Odean, “Which Factors Matter to Investors? Evidence from Mutual Fund Flows,” which appeared in the October 2016 issue of The Review of Financial Studies. In their paper, the authors investigated whether investors tend to consider common equity …Read More.

Income Level Affects Your Investing

ETF

One of the risks investors should consider is how their human (or labor) capital correlates with equity risks. Given the risk of correlation, it is logical to conclude that human capital could have explanatory power when it comes to stock returns. Sean Campbell, Stefanos Delikouras, Danling Jiang and George Korniotis contribute to the literature on …Read More.

The Fairy Tale Behind Structured Products

ETF

As a general rule of thumb, the more complexity that exists in a Wall Street creation, the faster and farther investors should run. – David Swensen, “Unconventional Success” One of the most well-known and most beloved forms of literature is the fairy tale. Although not every fairy tale is actually about fairies, they do tend …Read More.

Investors Prefer ‘Gambling’ Stocks

ETF

Behavioral finance is the study of human behavior and how that behavior leads to investment errors—including the mispricing of assets. I find it to be the most interesting area of financial research, as it provides us with important insights we can use to improve investor behavior and produce better investment results. If investors are made …Read More.

Bias Can Override Knowledge

ETF

The introduction to the new book I co-authored with Andrew Berkin, “Your Complete Guide to Factor-Based Investing,” begins: “If a poll was taken asking investors to name the greatest investor of all time, it is safe to say that the vast majority would likely respond, ‘Warren Buffett.’ Thus, we could say that a major goal …Read More.

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