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Papal visits have become precursors to stock market pullbacks

September 23, 2015

Brace yourself for the latest stock market indicator as the Papal visit gets under way. Turns out, those rare trips to the U.S. by a Pope have not always been good for stocks. The three most recent trips were ominous signs for the markets Sen....

New ETFs make slicing up the S&P by sector easier

September 22, 2015

Leave it to exchange-traded funds to give investors and advisers yet another way to overthink asset allocation. The latest instrument for tweaking diversification and likely baiting speculation comes from ProShares in the form of four ETFs that...

First Goldman Sachs ETFs are cheaper than some from Vanguard

September 21, 2015

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. made its debut managing exchange-traded funds Monday when its asset-management unit launched the first in a series of relatively low-cost index funds. Goldman is offering the new fund, the ActiveBeta U.S. Large Cap...

Market-cap-weighted ETFs: Not always what they're cracked up to be

September 16, 2015

Significant assets continue to flow into passively managed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds — a trend that shows no signs of slowing. Investors who want to “buy the market” have poured large sums into ETFs largely due to their low...

Dimensional Fund Advisors posts 77th consecutive month of positive sales

September 14, 2015

Last month, as investors responded to turbulent financial markets by trimming their stakes at the largest investment companies, one top mutual fund firm quietly posted its 77th consecutive month of positive net sales. Dimensional Fund Advisors...

Smart-beta upstart goes after the big boys wielding lower fees as a weapon

September 10, 2015

After eight years of struggling to outperform the S&P 500, Mike Willis has decided to use the benchmark against itself by equal-weighting all 500 stocks in the index. The strategy is a variation of so-called smart beta because it tweaks the...

Vanguard Group hires a smart beta expert from pioneer Research Affiliates

September 8, 2015

The Vanguard Group Inc., which has for years voiced skepticism about the fast rise of exotic index-investing strategies, has hired a top researcher away from one of the best-known promoters of smart beta, Research Affiliates. Valley Forge, Pa.-based...

The biggest market risk right now might be trying to time this market

September 2, 2015

The stock market is clearly shaky, but trying to time it is a fool's game. This could be over just as fast as it began Wearing your social beliefs in your portfolio can be a big drag on your ability to save for retirement. Giving up a lot for...

Advisers who fled Pimco Total Return pay a price in 2015

September 1, 2015

Advisers who fled the Pimco Total Return Fund are paying a price. So far this year, most of the mutual funds that compete directly with that Pacific Investment Management Co. product – once the world's largest mutual fund – are trailing...

Go-anywhere bond funds have failed to go anywhere positive over the past year

September 1, 2015

Nontraditional bond funds that sounded too good to be true are looking like a bust, so far. Taking on a lot of credit and emerging market risk Oil prices ride high on slower production data. In the wake of a 12% jump last week With China on...

As stock market enters correction, some advisers look to buy

September 1, 2015

With the stock market's correction no longer a matter of if, some market watchers and financial advisers have taken to preaching a sense of calm as investors hunker down for a heretofore rare bout of volatility. “We could argue that it is...

Vanguard, once thwarted, launches a muni-bond rival to BlackRock's iShares

August 27, 2015

The Vanguard Group Inc. was playing catch up when it was getting ready to launch its first municipal bond index fund in 2010. Its competitors had already successfully brought similar products to the market, including State Street Global Advisors...

Gloom overshadows Wall Street, but some economists still see a September rate hike

August 26, 2015

The mood on Wall Street is getting downright gloomy. The worst declines since 2011. Meanwhile, there are some economists who still believe the Fed will be able to raise interest rates next month. The SEC has jumped on the pay-ratio bandwagon....

Investors react to news of 1,000-point fall

August 24, 2015

The 1,000-point plunge of the Dow Jones Industrial Average when U.S. stock markets opened Monday grabbed investors' attention, even though many said they had been prepared to expect volatility. “A thousand points was certainly jolting and...

Precidian goes back to SEC for approval of active ETF plan

August 11, 2015

The backer of a first-of-its-kind ETF that would not disclose how its managers are invested sent a new proposal to regulators on Tuesday, accelerating a race that could allow active managers to strike back at the fast-growing index fund market....

The Fed's rate-hike plan now sees an obstacle in the form of China

August 10, 2015

China's flagging economy stands out as the only thing standing in the way of a Fed rate hike. It's always something. The new risk is tightening into a slowing global economy The freefall of commodities is not an exaggeration, but it is being...

Advisers say China drop isn't done yet, but calm clients on the downslide

July 27, 2015

The greatest one-day drop in Chinese stocks in eight years on Monday is not a signal that markets have bottomed out in China, according to financial advisers. “It would be best to stay away from Chinese stocks for now,” said David Kudla,...

Health care creates a bright spot for beleaguered stock-pickers

July 24, 2015

Daniel P. Wiener almost never uses mutual funds that zero in on a single industry and try to pick the very best companies within it. But when it comes to the health care, Mr. Wiener is making an exception. He's all in. And his tool of choice...

New highs not uncommon: S&P 500 achieves record in 53% of years

July 21, 2015

Is there any implicit reason to be worried just because U.S. stock benchmarks are near all-time highs? Not really, history suggests. This chart shows that since 1946, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index spent some part of 37 calendar years at levels...

Should advisers suggest that an algorithm do clients' saving for them?

July 15, 2015

Setting up regular automated deposits that zap money from checking right into a savings or investment account is the easiest — and often, most painless — way to save money. Once it's set up, you can save with zero effort every time a paycheck...

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