When the Index Beats the Algorithms

You might wonder why there wasn’t more media coverage of one of the most interest bets ever made in the investment world. We’re not talking about betting on a company; this bet was made between Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffet and a hedge fund called Protégé Partners, on whether a basket of hedge funds managed […]

Value of Diversification

It’s not always easy to grasp the value of diversification—why, in other words, it’s better to own many stocks inside a mutual fund than one or two stocks on their own. But recent research conducted by Arizona State U. finance professor Hendrik Bessembinder offers some insight.

Bessembinder is not afraid of numbers. He calculated every […]

’Tis the Season

The period between Thanksgiving and the end-of-year holiday season would seen like a sleepy time for financial planners, but in fact it is anything but. You might be surprised at how much activity takes place on behalf of you and your investments in the final month of the year.

For instance? Even though this has […]

Bitcoin Bubble

It is probably not a good sign for an investment when its largest clearing firm takes out an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal asking for more regulatory oversight and warning investors that its investment category is so volatile that futures contracts could create devastating losses. Yet this is exactly what has happened recently when […]

Bear Warning

One of the oddities of a significant bull market—and this one we’re in today qualifies, as the second-longest in modern American history—is that they tend to go on longer than you might expect from the pure market fundamentals. The last leg of a bull market tends to be driven by psychology; people have recently experienced […]

Multiplying Disasters

Does it seem to you that America is experiencing more than its share of natural disasters, and that there are more extreme weather events happening today than ever before? Turns out you’re right. Since 1970, the number of major storms, floods, earthquakes and heatwaves that cause at least ten deaths or prompt the declaration of […]

Gold Up, Gold Down

The enduring popularity of gold as an investment has to do with its tangible nature. Unlike a stock or a bond, you can feel and touch golden coins and larger ingots. The problem with such tangible assets, of course, is that there is nothing alive about them; that is, there is no claim on the […]

Roth Conversions and Mandatory Distributions

You probably know that the IRS requires you to start taking mandatory distributions from your IRA when you turn 70 1/2, even if you don’t actually need the money. But can you do a Roth conversion at that late date, and thereby defer distributions forever?

The answer is that you CAN do a Roth conversion […]

Retirement Contribution Limits Unchanged

In case you missed it, the contribution limits to your 401(k) plan, IRA and Roth IRA—set by the government each year based on the inflation rate—will not go up in 2017. Just like this year, you will be able to defer up to $18,000 of your paycheck to your 401(k), and individuals over age 50 […]

Election Impact on your Portfolio

By now, most voters have made up their mind about who they want to serve as their next President. But what can they look forward to, from an investment and tax standpoint, if their candidate wins or loses? How will the election affect their portfolio and future net worth?

Let’s look at the least predictable […]