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  • On Staying The Course: Sep 15, 2013

    John Gorlow | Sep 18, 2013

    Five years ago, the demise of Lehman Brothers shook global financial markets. This marked the start of a dreadful six month period for investors. Returns on the S&P 500 plummeted 52%, the MSCI Int’l Developed Market Index (EAFE) gave back 53% and the MSCI Emerging Market Index lost 47%.

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  • Actively Managing Your Returns Away: Sep 12, 2013

    John Gorlow | Sep 12, 2013

    Financial Analyst John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group, estimated in an upcoming paper that the total costs paid by investors in actively managed US funds is 2.25%. Those costs include portfolio turnover expenses, sales loads, operating expenses and advisory fees. Passively managed index funds, on the other hand, are now available at fees at and around five basis points for institutions and 20 basis points or less for individuals.

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  • Market Update: Sep 2, 2013

    John Gorlow | Sep 03, 2013

    U.S. stocks took a step backwards over the month of August due to three sources of economic uncertainty: the potential intervention in the conflict in Syria, the plan on the part of the Federal Reserve to scale back its stimulus program, and the prospect of another congressional debt ceiling debate. Volatility spiked and the S&P 500 shed 3.1%, amounting to its worst monthly performance in over a year—pulling YTD returns down to 16.15%. Slowing new home sales, falling durable goods orders and sluggish retail compounded the turbulence. The 2.5% upward revision for second quarter U.S. growth came as bright spot amongst the other news.

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  • On the Growing Popularity of DFA Funds: Aug 26 2013

    John Gorlow | Aug 26, 2013

    B. Goodman, in a Barron's article published on August 5th and titled "Where the Smart Money is Headed", relates that DFA Funds top the list of where financial advisors are likely to put their money.Click here to read more.

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  • Warren Buffet's Investment Advice: Aug 16 2013

    John Gorlow | Aug 16, 2013

    One thing that surprised people about the recent $250 million sale of the Washington Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was the health of the Washington Post's pension plan. At a time when most pension plans are struggling, the Post has $1 billion more than it needs. That billion-dollar surplus, it turns out, can be traced back to a memo Warren Buffett, age 44 at the time, sent the Washington Post's then chairman and CEO Katharine Graham about problems developing in pension plans and suggestions for how to avoid them. In the memo Buffett, who built his fortune buying individual stocks, acknowledged the inanity of trying to outguess the stock market and the wisdom of a passive investment approach. For more on the story see http://qz.com/116075.

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  • Should Gold Be A Part of My Portfolio?: Aug 10, 2013

    John Gorlow | Aug 10, 2013

    Although the year is far from over, it’s been a rough period for gold enthusiasts. A sharp sell-off beginning in mid-April sent bullion prices down to $1,192 on June 28th. Since then Gold prices bounced back to $1,309 but the price remains down 22.72% for the year to date and 31% below the peak of $1,895 reached in early September 2011. For the 10-year period ending July 31, 2013, gold enthusiasts have a more positive story to tell: The annualized return for gold spot prices was 13.99%, compared to annualized total returns of 7.64% for the S&P 500 Index, 7.97% for the MSCI EAFE Index, 13.10% for the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and 2.47% for the S&P Goldman Sachs Commodity Index.

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  • Market Update: August 4, 2013

    John Gorlow | Aug 04, 2013

    The U.S. equity market closed out July with its best monthly gain since January and thus rebounded powerfully from its June decline. The S&P 500 rose 5% and achieved a new high thereby pushing the YTD return for the broad market index to 19.62%. Smaller companies outperformed the broad market, the S&P MidCap 400 and S&P SmallCap 600 gained 6% and 7%, respectively. Within US asset classes, small growth outperformed small value while large value outperformed large growth.

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  • You’ve Been Warned: July 28, 2013

    John Gorlow | Jul 28, 2013

    With two bad rules adopted earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission has all but invited hucksters, rip-off artists and other bad actors to prey on individual investors. The new rules are another disturbing sign that under the leadership of the new chairwoman, Mary Jo White, the S.E.C. will pursue deregulation at the expense of investor protection. Read Full Article at: New York Times

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  • Market Update: July 11, 2013

    John Gorlow | Jul 11, 2013

    Prices of domestic and foreign stocks, bonds and other investments fell sharply towards the end of the 2nd quarter. Still, the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index posted positive results, returning 2.91% for the quarter and 13.82% for the first half. All major US asset classes, with the exception of REITs, maintained positive performance in the quarter, with the broad market returning 2.69%. Asset class returns ranged from 3.74% for small growth stocks to 2.06% for large growth stocks.

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  • Putting The Bond Market Jolt In Perspective: June 30, 2013

    John Gorlow | Jun 30, 2013

    Fixed-income funds are where investors traditionally look for safety and low volatility. Yet, the months of May and June were challenging for many fixed income investors, especially for those who have been reaching for higher yields. For example, mutual funds that invest in long-term U.S. Treasury bonds lost on average 6.25% in May and 3.25% in June. And funds that borrow to increase returns or that invest in higher yielding sectors such as privately issued mortgage backed securities and emerging market debt securities got hit even harder during a rough patch for bonds overall.

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