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Stocks and bonds sending out divergent outlooks on economy

April 25, 2017

Markets are taking sides when it comes to the direction of the U.S. economy. In the green corner are stocks. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is just 0.3% away from a record high reached in March on bets that Donald J. Trump's administration...

Active fund managers underperform once again: S&P

April 12, 2017

Legendary Mets manager Casey Stengel once cried out, "Can't anyone here play this game?" Had he asked that about active fund managers, Standard & Poor's would once again reply, "No." S&P's semi-annual scorecard for active fund managers found...

Investors pour into bond funds in March

April 12, 2017

You'd expect that after an eight-year bull market and a massive first-quarter stock rally, investors would be pouring more money into stock funds than bond funds. You'd be wrong. Investors yanked an estimated $5.2 billion from U.S. open-ended...

A case of disappearing shares

March 22, 2017

Client shares parked at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. may not be as safe as you think. It's not that the threat is coming from potential theft of the shares. The problem is that the DTCC "sometimes can't keep pace," of them, according...

Post-election confidence leads to gains for domestic stock funds

March 3, 2017

This may no longer be the most hated bull market in history. The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index has roared to a 22.5% gain the past 12 months, yet investors have yanked an estimated $2.4 billion from domestic mutual fund and ETFs during that...

Markets looking for policy details in Trump's speech

February 27, 2017

Donald Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday is taking on the importance of a State of the Union speech when it comes to U.S. financial markets. For investors relying on more than a year of campaign promises of a pro-growth agenda to push U.S....

Why the calendar is making some advisers look smarter than they really are

February 8, 2017

If you want to prove your genius to clients, today would be a good day, provided you use the most recent 12-month figures available to you. While it may seem like a distant, dark memory, the first part of 2016 was awful. The Standard & Poor's...

Dow at 20,000 — is it time to double down or pull out?

January 25, 2017

Dow 20,000 — it's the talk of Wall Street and maybe even worth a tweet from the president. But what's it mean to professional investors? Mostly a call for caution, it turns out. The Dow Jones Industrial Average's taking out of the latest round-number...

Dow sails past 20,000

January 25, 2017

Thinking too hard about investing doesn't get you anywhere, wrote Jesse Livermore, legendary trader of the Roaring '20s. To make the really big money, you just need to “be right and sit tight.” Rarely has Mr. Livermore's advice been harder...

When it comes to investment returns, not all robos measure up

January 25, 2017

Just as no two financial advisory firms will provide a client the same results when it comes to investment performance, robo advisers vary greatly in performance for investors, a new analysis finds. Seeking to illustrate that the assumptions...

Even top notch firms feel sting from fickle investors

January 12, 2017

William Nygren has succeeded at a difficult task: picking stocks to deliver market-beating returns over long stretches of time. Both his $16.5 billion Oakmark Fund and his $5.6 billion Oakmark Select Fund have topped the S&P 500 by an annual...

Cyberattack threats to nation's utilities pose credit risk for investors

January 9, 2017

Utility stocks and bonds, long a safe haven for income investors, are increasingly risky investments because of cyberwarfare threats, according to Moody's Investors Services. The December attack on the electric department in Burlington, Vt.,...

How the biggest stock funds performed in 2016

December 29, 2016

For a year that started with a 10.5% decline in the Standard and Poor’s 500 stock index, 2016 turned out pretty darn good for most investors, with the S&P 500 recording a 13.43% gain. Morningstar’s database has 14 U.S. diversified, open-ended...

Stocks versus bonds: Which best help meet retirement goals?

December 22, 2016

At a conference hosted by Boston University in 2006, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul A. Samuelson asked the audience whether personal finance was an exact science. He answered his own question with remarkable wit and wisdom: “Of course,...

Piling up returns like Warren Buffett and George Soros might be easier than you think

December 7, 2016

What do George Soros, Warren Buffett and a computer have in common? Turns out, a lot. At least that's the view of AQR Capital Management, the program-driven investment firm whose founders made their names finding the math behind investment success....

Small-cap value funds crush their large-cap brethren

December 1, 2016

Small-cap value funds have soared 21.37% this year, vs. 2.66% for large-company growth funds, one of the largest disparities between U.S. diversified stock funds in recent memory. The biggest single factor: The election of Donald J. Trump to...

Alternative strategies fight index investors while longing for a 'black swan' event

November 17, 2016

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, when virtually every asset class morphed toward a suddenly singular correlation of declines, the case for diversifying into alternative investments has sounded logical. But, also ever since the financial...

Making sense of the stock market's post-election run

November 14, 2016

There are reasons the stock market went into rally mode in the immediate aftermath of the presidential election. The upside of sudden certainty. Right out of the blocks industrial stocks have rallied in the wake of the presidential election...

Donald Trump's transition team says scrapping Dodd-Frank is job one

November 11, 2016

On Day 2 as president-elect, the Donald Trump transition team is already talking about tearing apart Dodd-Frank. This will not sit well with Elizabeth Warren. With Donald Trump at the helm some ETFs will stand out in the crowd. GLD, IGF, RSX,...

Donald Trump win takes the stock market to hell and back

November 10, 2016

The wild ride of election night saw the Dow swing by more than 1,100 points from trough to peak. Will nothing derail this market? Markets recover as the shock of a Donald Trump presidency sinks in. The Fed might have yet another excuse for doing...

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