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Why Investors Need to Embrace Bear Markets

Wall Street Journal

Suppose you had a friend whose lifelong dream was to travel overseas. But this friend was deathly afraid of experiencing turbulence on an airplane. So he decided to forgo his trip until a new plane was invented, one able to guarantee with absolute certainty that passengers would never feel turbulence. You might be thinking, “Good…

A Joyful Way to Look at Budgeting

Wall Street Journal

For most people the “B-Word” (budgeting) conjures up feelings of deprivation and self-denial. As such, when it comes to deciding how to allocate your hard-earned cash, I far prefer a concept I call “joy-based spending” to traditional budgeting. Here’s how it works. Instead of telling yourself all the things you shouldn’t spend money on, you…

How to Understand the Yield Curve

Wall Street Journal

The Federal Reserve has signaled that interest rates will eventually rise. It may be tempting to conclude that, with diligence and perseverance, you could uncover a way to profit from this knowledge. If you find yourself enticed by this possibility, the question you need to ask is, “What do I know about what the Fed…

The Most Important Factor in Picking a Fund Manager

Wall Street Journal

When choosing a fund manager, there are a wide variety of characteristics an investor can evaluate. Common points of assessment include: Educational background: What degrees has the fund manager earned, and from what schools? Is the fund manager a certified financial adviser (CFA)? Professional experience: Does the portfolio manager have previous experience on the research…

How to Calculate Where to Invest Abroad

Wall Street Journal

With the MSCI Emerging Markets Index up nearly 10% year-to-date through May 1, I think many people are wondering whether this area is the most attractive for investors seeking international exposure. Alas, history has taught us time and again that simply chasing the financial version of a “shiny new object” (recent performance, for example) is…

My Misguided Quest to Beat the Market

Wall Street Journal

During my first 15 years as a professional investor, I fully believed it was possible to identify individual securities through fundamental research that would outperform the market. That commitment to seeking alpha is the one investment decision I would most like to redo. As the result of my choice to employ an active approach, the…

Currency Hedging? Individual Investors Shouldn’t Bother

Wall Street Journal

As it has been so frequently noted in the financial press, last year the U.S. dollar appreciated significantly against most foreign currencies, including the widely quoted benchmark euro. For investors with a portion of their portfolio in unhedged international stocks, this caused some short-term pain. For illustrative purposes, let’s expand the discussion beyond the euro…

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