Author: Weston Wellington, DFA Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur. The plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff was averted. The euro zone did not fall apart. China’s economy and stock market did not crash. The bond …Read More.
For the majority of 2012, events both economic and political have left Americans with more questions than answers. Most investors would agree that recent times have been fraught with uncertainty. How should we approach the uncertainty associated with financial matters, such as what will tax rates be in 2013, or when and how will the Eurozone crisis be resolved? Investors can approach this from three different perspectives. …Read More.
Overview: Author Carl Richards, director of investor education for the BAM ALLIANCE, shares his views on New Year’s resolutions. The New Year’s holiday is a great time to reflect on what’s really important to us. Spending time with family and friends can help us get focused on where we’re at right now and where we …Read More.
Overview: Each year, author Larry Swedroe, director of research for the BAM ALLIANCE, takes a look back at the investing lessons the markets provided in the past year. Introduction Over the majority of 2012, our collective attention was focused on several events: Our continuing fiscal deficits and our ability to continue to fund them What …Read More.
Our process for managing credit risk in individual municipal bonds goes well beyond the credit ratings that they are assigned by credit rating agencies. While we believe these ratings have value, and they are one piece of information we consider, we also evaluate other parameters such as the bond issuer’s municipal market sector, municipality revenues …Read More.
In the past few years, some investors have asked us whether they should replace a portion of their high-quality bonds or bond mutual fund holdings with strategies ranging from high-dividend stocks to oil and gas master limited partnerships because “rates are low.” We have generally counseled investors that every one of these strategies involves substantially …Read More.
Vanguard recently announced that it would be closing its high-yield corporate fund “effective immediately” and that the fund had received “approximately $2 billion” of flows over the past six months. While growth of Vanguard’s assets under management is almost always a good thing, a fund shuttering its doors to new flows makes one wonder just …Read More.
The financial and economic environment of the past few years has been challenging. To name just a few headline-grabbing items, investors have had to stare down a ratings downgrade of U.S. Treasury bonds by Standard & Poor’s, the European debt crisis (see sidebar on this page), high unemployment report after high unemployment report and very low rates of interest on bond investments. With all of these stories, which are incessantly focused on negative developments, it can be easy for investors to miss the good news. With the turbulent financial markets of 2008 and early 2009 now several years past, we can begin to put these developments in context. …Read More.
The Eurozone debt crisis is now in its third year, and we want to share our perspective on recent developments. It now appears more likely than ever that Greece may exit the Euro currency, and you may be wondering how such a development would affect the markets and our approach to investing. If Greece were …Read More.
Last year was challenging for globally diversified stock portfolios. While the S&P 500 Index was up 2.1 percent in 2011, the MSCI EAFE Index, which is basically the international equivalent of the S&P 500, was down 12.1 percent. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index was down 18.4 percent. …Read More.