Yearly Archives: 2011

Investing

The “best” place to put your money NOW for 2012

I have to admit up front that if you’re reading this blog based on the title, you’re in for a bit of a surprise, and I hope you won’t feel too bad about being hoodwinked.

Articles with titles like this … Read more

Investing

Irrationally rational or rationally irrational?

I remember first being introduced to the concept of market efficiency during business school. At the time, I was working for a large Wall Street firm in close proximity to the equity trading floor. As I thought about the precision … Read more

Investing

History — An imperfect guide to the future

There’s a good reason why regulators require financial firms to include, when mentioning the past returns or ratings of a mutual fund, the warning: “Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.”

The warning is true. History is an … Read more

Investing

Need proof?

In response to my most recent post, “Give ‘thoughtomation’ a try,” I received this helpful idea from a reader:

“Why don’t you post a spreadsheet with comparisons of saving early vs saving late in life? That is the most important Read more

Personal finance

Making investing more approachable for women

I recently attended the Pennsylvania Conference for Women with a group of Vanguard colleagues. The conference featured an impressive array of speakers who focused on a broad range of personal and professional development topics for women. Sessions were offered on … Read more

Retirement

Portfolios and the lost decade

My recent comments about the performance of retirement accounts elicited a wave of comments from Vanguard investors about poor stock market returns. Here are a few thoughts in response.… Read more

Economy & markets

Dividend-paying stocks are not bonds

A popular question from my friends is “Where do I go for income in this low-yield environment?” There isn’t an easy answer.

Here’s why: Yields on money market funds are near 0%, and long-term Treasury bond funds are yielding below … Read more

Personal finance

Tips for avoiding e-mail scams

Nowadays, e-mail inboxes are routinely flooded with scams—from missing pet and child notices, to official-looking IRS refund communications, to the infamous Nigerian money solicitations. Social media has opened up private lives to public viewing and also significantly aided identity thieves. … Read more

Investing

Stopping the silent killer of returns

There continues to be a lot of focus on the consequences of today’s low-rate environment. In such an environment, one of the most important things an investor can do is economize on the cost of the financial services they’re buying … Read more

Personal finance

Give “thoughtomation” a try

Yesterday, I pulled up to an automated teller machine (ATM) in my automatic-transmission car, opened my automatic car windows, and withdrew cash that had been automatically deposited in my bank account on payday. I then used some of the cash … Read more

Personal finance

Aging and financial decisions

Global aging is a familiar idea. Not only are populations in the advanced economies aging rapidly, but so are those in emerging countries. For investors, the aging trend poses a number of broad, sometimes philosophical questions—the sustainability of public benefit … Read more

Personal finance

I’ve loved you for years … now let’s talk money (again)

We received a strong response to my post “I love you…now let’s talk money,” which primarily focused on newer couples approaching the topic of shared finances for the first time. I was struck by the number of candid comments from … Read more

Economy & markets

The case for China

I was at a garden party recently, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in September, where talk centered around the economy, politics, favorite movies, and the latest in electronic gadgets. Yet one conversation that struck a particular chord with me was … Read more

Investing

Maybe a lost decade for stocks, but not for investors

In the past, I have expressed frustration with the financial press’s coverage of investment topics (Clearing the air on target date performance), and I’ve also blogged about how I feel investors are best served by ignoring financial pundits (Listening Read more

Investing

Ripped from the headlines—or just ripped off?

Many of my fellow bloggers have written about the recent turmoil in the markets. Rather than add my two cents to what has already been very well articulated, I’d like to take a different angle.

Have you noticed anything different … Read more

Retirement

Retirement and the market sell-off

When the stock market sells off, as it did in late July and early August, there is an inevitable surge in commentary on the riskiness of U.S. retirement accounts. The main worry is that retirement investors are taking on too … Read more

Investing

Our own devices

I have to admit, I can’t live without my smart phone. The ability to be constantly connected to my friends, take care of e-mails in between other tasks, or check the news from anywhere is an incredible convenience. It’s also … Read more

Investing

Market volatility and the "Rebalancing Frown"

Given all the market volatility, a lot of folks are wondering about whether now might be the right time to rebalance their portfolio.

Vanguard researchers present an in-depth discussion of rebalancing in this paper. This analysis emphasizes that historically, … Read more

Investing

Coping with stock market drops

I’ve been investing in stocks through mutual funds for more than 30 years. I’ve known all along that periodic swoons come with the territory. I’ve experienced the October 1987 crash, the 2000–2002 bursting of the tech-stock bubble, and the kerflop … Read more

Investing

98% stayed the course

I read the headlines, same as you. Investors are panicking. During the drive in to work today, I listened to a radio business show. A correspondent talked about the flood of selling and the deep sense of fear in financial … Read more

Investing

Sometimes, standing still takes the most courage

Investors have every right to feel anxious about the markets.

First, we had the endless drama and squabbling over the federal debt ceiling. An agreement was reached, but before we could take a collective sigh of relief, the equity markets … Read more

Economy & markets

Listening to the market—not the pundits

Everyone who is not on vacation appears to be focused on the uncertainty created by the lack of a resolution to the most recent government funding crisis. I wish I could add some value with respect to the discussion of … Read more

Investing

Gold fever

This morning I saw on a website that the spot price of gold had soared to $1,600 an ounce, up over 30% in the past year. What can we as investors say conclusively say about gold? Two things, I think: … Read more

Personal finance

I love you … now let’s talk money

In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Financial mistakes newlyweds make,”* the author and several financial advisors urge couples to have the “money talk” before walking down the aisle.

The article provides several practical tips for opening the dialogue … Read more

Personal finance

Why you need an emotional insurance policy

Many of us do a pretty good job of getting insurance on all the usual suspects: homes, health, cars, life. But I recently came to think about another kind of insurance—what we should do to help our loved ones prepare … Read more

Economy & markets

Monetary policy’s sacrificial lambs

A few months ago, my wife and I opened a small savings account for our young children to help teach them the power of saving. Compound interest. All that good stuff.

We talked about taking their pennies, dimes, and birthday … Read more

Retirement

Making retirement work

If you haven’t saved enough for retirement, one possible solution is working longer. But a new report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute* paints a somewhat bleak view of the benefit of doing so. The study suggests that if … Read more

Personal finance

Greed doesn’t take a holiday

I was having lunch the other day with a retired colleague and friend. We catch up periodically, filling each other in on our children’s activities and our lives. This time, he really wanted to spend some talking about the retirement … Read more

Personal finance

It’s never too early

We recently asked college students for their thoughts about retirement—when they want to retire, when they’ll start saving, and what they hope to do once they’re retired. Here’s what they told us.… Read more

Economy & markets

A pothole, not a soft patch

Every Wednesday night, my next-door neighbor and I tend to take out our garbage at about the same time. Don’t know how that happens, but we usually get to talking about the usual topics—our kids, sports, the weather. And every … Read more

Retirement

401(k) fee literacy

According to a recent survey, more than 70% of participants in 401(k) retirement plans think they pay no fees on their accounts. Less than a quarter got the answer right, acknowledging that they do, in fact, pay fees.

It’s … Read more

Retirement

Affording health care in retirement

In my last post, I asked if you have a specific number in mind when it comes to saving for retirement, how you arrived at that number, whether you’re on track to reaching it—and, if not, what it would … Read more

Retirement

New insights on retirement income

We’ve just launched some new content on vanguard.com designed to provide insights into generating and taking income in retirement, and we’re interested in hearing your thoughts about it.

Our new web content is based on 3 ideas. First, if you’re … Read more

Investing

Women and investing: room for improvement

I hate buying cars. Even though I’ve had the good fortune to not have it be a frequent experience, when the time comes for another car, I cringe at the prospect.

The worst was when a car dealer wouldn’t give … Read more

Personal finance

529s: College saving made simple

I recently overheard a remarkably in-depth discussion between two moms who were debating the features of several fairly expensive baby strollers. As the mom of two children, a toddler and an infant, I’ll sheepishly admit that I spent a ridiculous … Read more

Investing

Investor returns versus fund returns

There’s been a lot of back and forth about the differences between the posted performance of a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF) and the returns actually realized by investors taking into account cash flow.

Reading the discussion around this, … Read more

Personal finance

For those wearing caps and gowns …

My brother-in-law will be graduating from college in a few days, and that has me thinking back to when I started my career a few years ago.

As I set out on my own, I had many questions about finances: … Read more

Investing

The roots of index investing

In our own quiet way, we’re celebrating 35 years of indexing at Vanguard this year. (Hey, you wouldn’t expect party hats and champagne at Vanguard!)

Indexing is an amazing success story—and not just at Vanguard. From a controversial, much-derided idea … Read more

Retirement

Two futures

The “future of retirement” seems very much on the public’s mind. The topic is surfacing in the press, in the institutional marketplace, and will be the focus of a Washington, D.C., policy forum I’m attending in May. Here are some … Read more

Retirement

Retirement: What’s your number?

I’m at the stage in my career where I’m willing to contemplate the fact that retirement is on the horizon—probably in the next 10 years or so.

Increasingly, I find myself talking about “retirement readiness” with friends and colleagues who … Read more

Personal finance

What to do with “phishy” e-mail

Many of us—myself included—recently received alerts from banks and major retailers notifying us that our names and e-mail addresses had been “hacked” as a result of an attack on a third-party service used by these businesses to handle e-mail distribution. … Read more

Investing

A mood ring for the markets?

For as long as humans have been around, we’ve looked to patterns to help us understand the present and divine the future. Reading tea leaves and animal entrails are just two on a long list. Not surprisingly, using patterns to … Read more

Investing

On the origin of bubbles

I was traveling a few weeks ago to visit with institutional clients. For my travel reading, I downloaded Michael Lewis’s The Big Short. It’s a colorful look at some of the personalities during the great financial crisis of 2008–2009—in … Read more

Retirement

In passing: “Busting retirement myths”

Just saw this—Linda Stern punches holes in some of the more common misconceptions about retirement:

Stern Advice: Busting retirement myths

What she has to say lines up well with my own observations and thoughts. What about you?… Read more

Retirement

Retirement blues

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal tells a sad tale of retirement preparedness: The typical pre-retiree baby boomer has less than one-quarter of what he or she needs in a 401(k) plan to retire.

In my view, this … Read more

Investing

More target date “bubbles”

In my February 4 post, I complained about what I perceived as mischaracterization of the performance of target date funds because of reporting that focused on the spectacularly poor results of a few small, unusual outlying target date funds … Read more

Investing

Price war? Not exactly

You may have noticed news coverage in recent weeks about reductions in expense ratios for some of Vanguard’s funds. Most recently, for example, we reported that expenses declined for several of our international index funds.

As one who long … Read more

Retirement

Roth IRAs and tax deferral

With a new year well underway, at Vanguard our attention is turning to IRAs, 401(k)s, and tax planning. This year, I, like a lot of others, seem to have Roth IRAs on the brain.… Read more

Retirement

A tactical approach to retirement (part 2)

In my January 25 post, I looked at two tactical retirement issues: improving savings rates and evaluating portfolio risk levels. In this post, I’ll wrap up with three additional ideas.… Read more

Investing

Clearing the air on target date performance

Sigh … How many more times are we going to see articles like this, involving great wailing and gnashing of teeth over target date fund performance … in 2008?

Below you’ll see a summary of unvarnished data from Morningstar, … Read more

Retirement

A tactical approach to retirement (part 1)

In my January 5 post, I wrote about big developments shaping retirement in 2011. In this and an upcoming post, we’ll look at simple retirement planning tactics individual investors may want to consider.

1. Savings rates. There’s a … Read more

Personal finance

Give yourself credit (reports)

This time of year we are flooded with reminders, checklists, and predictions. Many are useful, but some are merely entertaining.

While there are many items related to your financial health that deserve attention at the beginning of the year, this … Read more

Retirement

Retirement themes for 2011

Here are several “big picture” retirement themes I expect to hear more of in the coming year. I’ll come back later in the month with a post on personal retirement tactics.… Read more

<Previous

Visit vanguard.com or contact your broker to obtain a Vanguard ETF or fund prospectus which contains investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other information; read and consider carefully before investing.

Vanguard ETF Shares are not redeemable with the issuing Fund other than in Creation Unit aggregations. Instead, investors must buy or sell Vanguard ETF Shares in the secondary market with the assistance of a stockbroker. In doing so, the investor may incur brokerage commissions and may pay more than net asset value when buying and receive less than net asset value when selling.

Investments in bond funds are subject to interest rate, credit, and inflation risk.

Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.

Foreign investing involves additional risks including currency fluctuations and political uncertainty.

Stocks of companies in emerging markets are generally more risky than stocks of companies in developed countries.

An investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other government agency. Although a money market fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in such a fund.

All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.

Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 141 other followers