Broker Check


Our blog is designed to cover short investment and financial thoughts that we don’t include in the monthly Factors In Focus newsletter including links to other articles we find interesting.


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mutual fund and ETF research and rating firm Morningstar ran a piece yesterday titled "10 Funds That Beat The Market Over 15 Years." You don't see as many of these articles anymore -- many investors have wised up to the fact that, with...


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The next time you think about rejiggering your investment portfolio to overweight some of the recent winners (or losers) consider this patchwork chart. There's no discernable pattern amongst different asset classes.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We take for granted the superiority of index funds over active managers today. But there's a lot more to investing than just buying an S&P 500 fund.


Monday, April 24, 2017

The smartest investment approach has been to diversify broadly -- owning small-cap stocks, value stocks, and foreign stocks as well as US large companies (S&P 500 Index), but what works isn't always working.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Traditional brokerage firms have been bleeding assets at an unprecedented rate over the last 7+ years at the expense of independent, fiduciary-minded financial advisory firms like Servo.


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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Only one word that should convince you about the need to globally diversify your investment portfolio: Japan. Since 1990, we've lived through a 27-year stretch where Japanese large cap stocks (the equivalent of the S&P 500) have had a...


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Can you guess the best performing asset class since 2000? How about the worst? Of course you can't, and that's why you diversify.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

What would you do with a $315B investment portfolio? Chances are you haven't thought about it. But that's the "problem" faced by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CALPERS), the largest public pension fund in the US....


Monday, April 17, 2017

Despite the relative superiority of the US stock market over the last few years, no serious investor besides Vanguard founder John Bogle believes that you should concentrate all your investments domestically. David Booth explains why.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Returns on stocks around the world have been muted since the turn of the century, in large part because we've seen two of the worst 5 bear markets in 90 years occur since 2000. Despite these setbacks, holding on through the downturns...


Thursday, April 13, 2017

More time and effort is spent (wasted) on convincing investors that they can achieve good returns without experiencing the risk that comes along with those returns. Market timing, stock selection, black-box alternatives that supposedly...


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to take an ongoing income stream from a portfolio tends to be one of the more confusing concepts for retired investors. Here is the best way to do it.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Investors and some financial advisors were duped into believing alternative assets like commodities helped to boost a portfolio. Will you be fooled into investing in the latest round of alternatives?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Investors sometimes express a desire to reduce their overall stock allocation after a surge in prices or before retirement. In their minds, they are dialing down the risk of their portfolios. But are they truly accomplishing what...


Friday, April 7, 2017

Do you know the difference between a broker and a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)? You need to. The first is an employee of a brokerage firm, tasked with generating profits for their company through the sale of investment products...


Thursday, April 6, 2017

The best performing stock mutual fund during the decade of 2000-2009 was the CGM Focus fund, returning +18.2% per year. Investors in the fund actually lost an average of -11% per year. The Morningstar Domestic-Stock Mutual Fund Manager...


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Wall Street Journal had a chart showing the average growth rate of corporate earnings for S&P 500 companies since 1985. It's no surprise that stock returns look very similar.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The percentage of active managers who are beating the market this year is on the rise. I wouldn't quite call it a comeback.


Monday, April 3, 2017

A recent article stated that the average financial advisor in the US is 51 years old, and over a quarter (27%) of all advisors plan to retire in the next 10 years. For investors, this is a serious consideration when shopping for advice...


Friday, March 31, 2017

There is a significant difference between knowing how to invest and doing it consistently. Our March Factors In Focus newsletter explores this important topic further.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

One of the reasons why investors don't achieve better results with their wealth is that the don't understand the remote odds of successfully choosing investments that will outperform the market based on past performance.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

If I could use only one chart to explain investing, this would probably be it. Let’s consider, in just a few words, all that these five squiggly lines and labels tell us.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I recently sat down to review my parents' investment plan. Here's what I saw, and what I did about it.


Monday, March 27, 2017

If you think I'm unnecessarily tough on the financial media, consider this candid admission from Steve Forbes, speaking about the value of "advice" offered by financial publications.


Friday, March 24, 2017

One of the excuses you’ll hear from traditional “active” managers is that they’re not given enough latitude to beat the market. This meme spawned an entire mutual fund category, “Long/Short Equity.”...


Thursday, March 23, 2017

The recent run-up in stock prices isn't a "Trump Trade." Market gains and losses are always more complex than simple narratives imply.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unlike most financial advisory firms, Servo's investment approach is based on Nobel Prize-winning academic research, not Wall Street marketing or black box schemes. But you can't invest in research, you need real-world investment...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Wall Street Journal article yesterday brought attention to the significant strain within the $70B Puerto Rico bond market. If that doesn't sound like a problem for US-based investors, think again.


Monday, March 20, 2017

Remember this cartoon the next time you read or hear something from the financial media that has you overly concerned. It's funny but true.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

We can all learn from the investment mistakes made by Marty Bannon -- father of current White House counselor and chief strategist Steve Bannon -- during the 2008 stock market collapse.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Stocks have experienced strong gains in the last few months. We now have a better understanding why.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% yesterday, the third increase in the last 18 months. What does history say about investment returns during extended periods of rising interest rates?


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Imagine a scenario where everything you will spend money on in 10 years is twice as expensive as it is today. Now imagine that you'll have to guide your investment portfolio to generate the returns necessary to stay ahead of inflation.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eight years ago this month, the stock market free fall came to an abrupt end. Returns on major global stock asset classes since March of 2009 reminds us why we need to stick around in a tough market.