The “best interest contract exemption” has profound ramifications for retirement plan participants. In its proposed rule requiring that all advisors to retirement plans act as “fiduciaries,” the U.S. Department of Labor includes a “best interest contract exemption.” In my view, this exemption is as significant – if not more so – than the proposed rule …Read More.
Permitting fiduciaries to accept payments from vendors will likely make the proposed rule ineffective. Washington bureaucrats seem to have a way of making everything complicated. Have you perused the tax code lately? According to The Washington Times, it has 4 million words, making it seven times the length of the novel “War and Peace.” On …Read More.
We tend to think in the short term, but it hampers our ability to invest intelligently. In order to invest successfully, you need to be skilled at decision-making. This is true if you are a do-it-yourself investor or if you rely on recommendations from your financial advisor. The many decisions you must confront include whether …Read More.
Your emotions are your portfolio’s worst enemy, more so than an actual market correction. By now, you’re no doubt familiar with the claim by author Michael Lewis in his book, “Flash Boys.” Lewis believes high-frequency traders have rigged the stock market, causing harm to Main Street investors. Many respected financial commentators disagree. They believe high-frequency …Read More.
Don’t be fooled. Advertisements can mislead investors on advisors’ responsibilities to clients. It’s funny that there’s even a “debate” over whether brokers should be required to act in the best interest of their clients. It’s even more nonsensical that many investment advisors to retirement plans don’t have this obligation. Much has been written on this …Read More.
Many index funds are smart choices for investors, but that doesn’t mean all of them are. I have long been a proponent of “evidence-based” investing. For many investors, this means investing in a globally diversified portfolio of index funds with low management fees, exchange-traded funds or passively managed mutual funds. In order to make this …Read More.
The securities industry is working itself into a frenzy trying to explain why you should ignore historical data that indicates most actively managed funds underperform their benchmarks. Some of the reasons they provide do not withstand scrutiny. Here’s a small sample of their lame excuses: 1. Last year was an aberration. According to Dan Culloton, …Read More.
One of the most difficult aspects of investing involves sifting through the daily barrage of advice offered by “experts.” More often than not, this advice is calculated to enrich the securities industry at your expense. One way to determine whether investment advice has merit is to ask for the data on which an assertion is …Read More.
An intriguing new book, “The Incredible Shrinking Alpha,” presents an overwhelming weight of research which leads to the inescapable conclusion that the pursuit of “alpha,” or returns above an appropriate risk-adjusted benchmark, is a fool’s errand. The book was written by my colleague Larry Swedroe, director of research at The BAM Alliance, and Andrew Berkin, …Read More.
Many of you have some fundamental beliefs about the process of investing. These beliefs understandably guide your investing behavior. Unfortunately, they are often dead wrong. This is not surprising, because the financial media and the securities industry have a vested interest in encouraging short-term thinking and other emotional behavior harmful to your returns. Here are …Read More.