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Why you may get different numbers -The Mathematics of Investing.

The imbedded report is a handy reference for those who want to calculate their own investment metrics such as yield and annual return. However, I must state … with important caveats. I would caution that calculating your own returns is fraught with miscalculations and misinterpretations! For example this article “Understanding the Link Between Volatility and Compound Returns” […]

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The cost of indexing – and an approach how to reduce those costs

There is a cost to indexing that most investors are unaware of. It is called “reconstitution.” What is reconstitution and how may the costs involved be solved? What is an index? An index tracks changes in the markets – think of it kind of like a weather barometer. The first article below discusses how the reconstitution effect […]

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DOW 20,000 … the more things change, the more they stay the same!

DOW 20,000. Is that good? Or is that bad? Guess what – this is simply another way point much like DOW 15,000 was, or DOW 10,000, or pick any DOW number. The Power of the Markets Markets don’t know your specific emotions and behaviors – so the markets march on ignoring them. It is best […]

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Investing long term? Don’t overlook the inflation factor.

Even a low inflation amount can lead to loss of purchasing power over the long term. So investing (not savings – see last week’s post) is for the long term because investing also should overcome this insidious effect. Savings typically fall victim to inflation, while prudent investing does not. Here is a short article on […]

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WHEN are investments for?

Most people understand to some degree, what investments are for – presumably for “their goal,” whatever that goal may be. Most people though, miss the difference between what and when investments are for. So, what is the when of investing? Investing by definition means money for the future; contributions buy shares for the future, and shares […]

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The Cost of Tracking any Index

Indexes were originally developed in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, as a barometer to what markets were doing overall, rather than trying to determine trends of the cumulative market by looking at different specific stocks making up the market; because, some stocks may fall, and others may rise in price, but what is the overall […]

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What about those Target Date Funds?

Target Date Funds (TDFs) – either you love them or you hate them. If you lack any tools within your 4o1k, or don’t want to use a qualified adviser, then I guess they’re better than nothing. However, they’re as arbitrary as where the International Date Line (IDL) is … more on arbitrary later in pros and cons … […]

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The Cost of a Perfect Market Timing Strategy

I recently read a Dimensional study* by the same name. “What if we could construct a strategy with a correlation close to 1 with a perfect market timing strategy? Can we estimate what its returns would have been? Can we use these estimates to understand what the market would have “charged” for a perfect market […]

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“Focus on Time in the Market, Not Market Timing”

Market timing relies on prediction, forecasts, market analysis, etc. What are the risks (besides the obvious – the fallibility of predictions)? The type of charts at the right tend to give one the illusion of “knowing where the animal” went by following its tracks. But real life and investing are two different things and our […]

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The “skittles chart” of country returns & country market sizes

Last week I discussed a skittles chart (periodic table of investment returns) for common indexes and broad asset class returns. Below you will see how returns of various countries compare year by year for both developed and emerging markets. From dfa matrix book us_2015 from Better Financial Education Yes – it is hard to see specific […]

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