By Stan Choe The Associated Press Fri., Nov. 16, 2018 NEW YORK—Even the most balanced investors have been knocked on their heels this year. Typically, spreading one’s bets across several different types of investments has helped deliver steadier returns. When U.S. stocks slide, say, bonds and gold can hopefully help offset the losses. Or maybe stocks abroad will hold up better than their U.S. counterparts. Not so this year. U.S. stocks have endured some breathtaking drops the last several weeks, slicing the S&P 500’s year-to-date return to 2.2 per cent after including dividends. Article Continued Below But markets in Germany, South Korea, Hong Kong and elsewhere are solidly in the red year-to-date. Even worse for investors who carefully built up balanced portfolios to protect themselves from potential downturns: The investments that are supposed to offer safer returns have also struggled at the same time. It’s a rude reminder that … [Read more...] about Stocks, bonds and gold continue to struggle in markets across the globe
Total bond market index fund
By Derek Horstmeyer The Wall Street Journal Sun., Nov. 4, 2018 For older investors considering which allocations to overweight and underweight in their retirement accounts, the advice most frequently given by financial advisers for years has been to favor the bonds. This was good advice once. But not any longer. No one is saying bonds shouldn’t play a big role in our investment portfolios, especially as we get older. Bonds are less subject to big price swings than stocks. They also spin off cash with their regular interest payments, and so can produce much-needed income in one’s later years. But bonds no longer hold big tax advantages when it comes to choosing the contents of an IRA or other tax-sheltered/tax-deferred account. Recent research suggests that the best type of investment to overweight in a tax-advantaged retirement account is an actively managed REIT or small-cap equity fund. This isn’t surprising given that actively managed funds tend to … [Read more...] about The case against having a bond-heavy retirement account
By Jeff Brown The Wall Street Journal Mon., Oct. 22, 2018 Fidelity Investments recently escalated the cost-cutting wars among index-fund giants such as Vanguard Group, Charles Schwab Corp. and State Street Corp. by launching four index funds that charge no management fees. The zero-fee funds are the latest salvo in a years’ long price war among fund firms seeking to attract cost-conscious investors who have been flocking to plain vanilla funds that track indexes like the S&P 500, instead of spending big money on funds run by hotshot managers. But the race to zero has also left some investors wondering: In a world where fees are so low already, should cost be the most important factor when choosing among funds that track the same index? Investing experts say funds tracking the same index aren’t necessarily clones, which is why investors shouldn’t base their buying decisions on fees alone. Indeed, some funds do a better job mirroring the returns … [Read more...] about Why fund investors should look beyond fees
Why is the Phl stock market dropping? After staging a decisive breakout past 8,000, the PSEi touched an intraday all-time high of 9,078 on Jan. 29. Since then, the PSEi has plunged 14.9 percent from its all-time high, closing at 7,727 last Friday. The index is now down 9.7 percent year-to-date. Factoring in peso depreciation, the PSEi has dipped 13.6 percent year-to-date in US dollar terms. Why have Philippine stocks fallen so sharply? Return of volatility in global stocks In a recent article, we explained that the PSEi’s drop was partly a result of heightened volatility in global markets (Return of Volatility, April 2). This was caused by a potential trade war between the US and China (Trade wars, March 26), political noise in the US, the sharp drop in tech stocks, geopolitical tensions arising from the war in Syria, and concerns on the Fed’s interest rate hikes. These events determined the direction of global markets, which in … [Read more...] about Why is the Phl stock market dropping?
By Gordon Pape Special to the Star Fri., April 13, 2018 The other day a friend asked me where to put some inherited money. My reply was to put it in a high-interest savings account and leave it there for now. I admit, that was a little flippant but let’s be realistic: 2018 has not been a good year for stock investors, at least not so far. The markets are more volatile than we’ve seen in years, with big swings up and down that are directly tied to the latest headline news coming out of Washington, Beijing and Moscow. The net result has been more down than up. The first quarter was doused with red ink almost right across the board as far as the major indexes are concerned. In New York, the Dow fell 2.5 per cent in the three months to the end of March while the S&P 500 slipped 1.2 per cent. Nasdaq managed a small gain of 2.3 per cent but gave back almost all of that in the first week of April as Facebook, Amazon and other big tech stocks came under … [Read more...] about Looking to emerging markets to boost your portfolio? Here’s what you should know