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Hedge Funds’ Scandalous Behavior

Several academic studies have shown hedge funds to be poor investment choices for prudent investors. Now, several scandals have added to the evidence on this being a poor asset choice. The investing world was rocked with the news of another hedge fund scandal, as Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam was arrested with five others in…

The Performance of Funds of Hedge Funds

One of the risks of investing in hedge funds involves tying up large amounts of assets in a single investment vehicle. The advent of funds of hedge funds supposedly provided advisors with a means of diversifying the risks of investing in hedge funds. Have investors been rewarded? The following article summarizes a study showing that…

Lessons from 2010

Every year, Larry Swedroe takes a look back at the investing lessons the markets provided in the past year. While 2010 was a fine year for the markets, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a thing or two about investing. In fact, we can be just as likely to lose our discipline in good times…

Travel Plans

Overview : A typical vacation planning checklist is bound to include the usual considerations: booking a rental car, making hotel reservations and testing how much can really fit into that carry-on luggage. But not as many travelers consider what they would do if a serious health crisis were to occur on their trip. Following is…

Retirement Plans: Crucial Conversations

Overview:Co-authors Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence wrote Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement based on a decade of research and interviews with more than 200 retirees. In this article, Alan and Keith discuss the crucial conversations that people should have as they consider retirement. Have you discussed your retirement…

Planning Through Generations

Overview: Multigenerational planning involves the transfer of wealth, but it also extends to intangible concepts such as family values and legacy wishes. Conversations about multigenerational planning begin with the first generation.The success of an estate plan can depend on whether the details of that plan have been properly communicated to family members. Therefore, it is…

Retirement Account Basics

Is it a good idea to keep multiple accounts from previous employers? It is not unusual for an individual to acquire several retirement plan accounts over different phases of a career. When it comes to retirement accounts, simplicity is key. Having several plans may seem like a fail-safe in troubled times, but from a personal…

Effective Diversification in a Three-Factor World

Overview: Following is a discussion of professors Eugene F. Fama’s and Kenneth R. French’s three-factor model, which appeared in the landmark 1992 Journal of Finance article, “The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns.” Introduction The June 1992 Journal of Finance article “The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns” revolutionized the way many individuals think about investing. Prior…

Saving for College With a 529 Plan

Overview: When saving for a child or grandchild’s college education, many individuals choose 529 college savings plans because of their tax advantages. 529 Plan Basics A 529 plan is similar to a Roth IRA in that you contribute after-tax dollars that grow tax free. Earnings from the plan can be withdrawn free of federal taxes…

Putting Recent Events in Perspective

Overview: The following provides some perspective on many of the issues that have worried investors throughout 2012. Patient, disciplined investors with well-developed plans are subject to the same noise and concerns that plague other investors. Over the past year, most investors have noticed or been concerned about: Our continuing federal budgetary deficits and our ability…

Variable Annuities

Overview: Following is an overview of variable annuities (VAs), including other options to consider prior to purchasing one and what to do with a VA you already own. Introduction In many cases, VAs do not provide adequate compensation for the costs involved, can be costly to surrender and might be prudently replaced by a low-cost,…

Equity Indexed Annuities

Overview: Very often, equity indexed annuities (EIAs) have significantly high surrender charges. For this and other reasons, we feel that it is not prudent for investors to purchase EIAs for their portfolios. Introduction The typical EIA, often referred to as a fixed indexed annuity, has the following characteristics: A link to a portion of the positive…

Choosing a Trusted Advisor

Overview: Following are 10 principles we have adopted to help us serve as a trusted advisor. Act in the best interest of the client We provide advice and recommendations that are in the client’s best interest. Period. Not because we are legally obligated to (although we are). Not because it works well as a business…

You Can Be Too Conservative

Overview: As investors approach retirement, many consider whether they should lower their allocation to equities. Some have even questioned whether they should exclude equities altogether. However, it is rarely necessary to completely remove equities from a portfolio. The following article discusses how a prudent approach is to build a globally diversified portfolio of passively managed…

Advanced Planning

Overview: Following is an exploration of the elements and importance of advanced planning. Wealth management works hand in hand with portfolio management, adding value beyond the importance of a prudent investment philosophy. The experience begins with crafting a holistic plan designed to help you in achieving your vision of financial success. That customized plan should…

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