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Faith-Based Funds Don’t Mean Divine Returns

Seeking Alpha

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has been referred to as “double-bottom-line” investing. The implication is that you are seeking not only profitable investments, but also investments that meet your personal standards. Faith-Based Funds (FBF) can be viewed as a subset of SRI. While SRI applies screens on secular social concerns, FBF screens investments based on the…

The Lies Of Private Equity

ETF

While embarking on scenic tours can make life both interesting and exciting, they’re best avoided when it comes to the world of investing. The reason is that most “interesting” investments fail to deliver on their promise of returns sufficient to compensate for their incremental risks. This has been especially true of hedge funds. And it…

A Close Look At Emerging Markets

ETF

There’s an interesting paper from Martijn Cremers, a professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame, on the performance of emerging market stocks that are the publicly traded affiliates of multinational companies. But like so much in the world of investing, Cremers’ findings, while certainly alluring, need to be examined closely before investors jump into…

Stock Pickers Fell Flat In 2013

ETF

Last year certainly provided active managers with plenty of opportunities to outperform, and it’s worth examining if they really did. For example, while the S&P 500 Index returned 32.4 percent, Netflix (NLFX), the top performer in the index, returned 297 percent. Two other stocks, Micron Technology (MU) and Best Buy Co. (BBY) returned more than…

7 Myths About Dividend-Paying Stocks

US News

The most common misconception among investors may be the value of investing in dividend-paying stocks. Almost every week, someone contacts me to extol the virtues of investing in what they call “high quality, dividend-yielding securities.” Often, their interest is spurred by the recent high performance of these stocks. According to one paper by Gregg S. Fisher, published…

The Delicate Craft of Misleading Investors

Huffington Post

Proponents of alternative investments (like hedge funds) have a very effective presentation. They claim these investments have low volatility (risk), offer excellent risk-adjusted returns, and don’t correlate well with stocks or bonds, thereby providing a “hedge” in troubled times. These proponents demonstrate the accuracy of these claims with compelling statistics, displayed in impressive marketing materials….

Lessons From 2013: Part III

Seeking Alpha

Day three of our lessons from 2013, we’ll dive right in with an examination of hedge fund returns. This one holds the title with the most repeat performances, appearing most years. The HRFX Global Hedge Fund Index earned just 6.7 percent. The table below shows the returns for various equity and fixed

Start Paying Attention to Tax Efficiency

Seeking Alpha

Much attention has been paid to expense ratios of mutual funds. Yet, despite the fact that taxes have a substantial impact on the long-term performance of taxable mutual fund investors, far less attention has been paid to the impact of taxes on after-tax returns. And while the evidence is clear that it’s difficult for active fund managers to create superior investment performance by picking stocks or by timing markets, it’s relatively easy to avoid destroying value for taxable fund investors by managing investment taxes. For example, tax-aware funds might attempt to reduce the tax burden by avoiding the intentional realization of any short-term gains and by accelerating the realization of capital losses. Tax management strategies might not only reduce the tax burden, they might also generate lower trading costs. For example, tax-efficient investment strategies exhibit relatively low turnover, generating lower trading costs. In addition, liquidating stock positions with embedded capital losses and holding on to positions with capital gains might generate superior before-tax returns due to the momentum effect.

Tips for Dealing With the Market Decline

Huffington Post

The recent sharp decline in the stock market has investors concerned. Apparently, many “investment pros” thought the market would continue its upward trajectory through 2014. The National Association of Active Investment Managers conducts a weekly survey with advisers and found that they have an astounding 98.3 percent of their clients’ portfolios allocated to stocks. This was a sharp increase over the average of 72 percent allocated to stocks in 2013.

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