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 08/22   Stick to low-fee fundsStingy Investing 
 08/22   OPEC of maple syrupGovernment 
 08/16   Stock buybacks draw scrutinyMarkets 
 08/16   Mind the gap 2015Behaviour 
 08/16   Buffett's winning wagerStingy Investing 
 07/30   Alpha woundsFunds 

Frugal News

Stick to low-fee funds
08/22/15   8:13 PM ESTStingy Investing
"Fund investors improved their market timing according to a recent study But they still underperformed their funds by an average of 0.54 percentage points annually from 2004 through 2014."
More Stingy Investing: Try the hot potato
Buffett's winning wager

OPEC of maple syrup
08/22/15   8:12 PM ESTGovernment
"While Mr. Trepanier studiously avoids calling the organization a cartel, he has described it as the OPEC of maple syrup in the past, referring to the group of oil-producing countries."
More Government: Wishful thinking
How Chicago used financial engineering

Stock buybacks draw scrutiny
08/16/15   12:24 PM ESTMarkets
"Is the government really going to outlaw buybacks, which over the past decade have become one of the business world.s favorite corporate finance tools? On its face, the issue may seem like a nonstarter. But a growing debate has emerged around the topic of buybacks that increasingly has Wall Street and corporate America worried."
More Markets: Inflation and market returns
A survey of equity valuation models

Mind the gap 2015
08/16/15   11:48 AM ESTBehaviour
"Overall, the average investor return across all funds was 5.61% for the cheapest quintile and 3.28% for the priciest. The gap was 80 basis points for the cheapest quintile and 179 basis points for the priciest."
More Behaviour: Timing poorly
A kinder philosophy of success

Buffett's winning wager
08/16/15   11:28 AM ESTStingy Investing
"Take a trip to Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon and you'll discover that all the children are above average. Similarly, most stock pickers believe they're above average, too. But the market has a habit of proving them wrong."
More Stingy Investing: Dividend stocks aren't immune from downturns
Ride out market tempests

Alpha wounds
07/30/15   10:01 PM ESTFunds
"Chief among the alpha wounds is that the benchmark tail wags the portfolio management dog. What I mean is that benchmarks were supposed to be the foundation for understanding a portfolio manager's performance after the fact. Instead the investment industry evolved so that benchmarks are now the navigational compass for investment managers before the fact."
More Funds: Advisors behaving badly
Cliff Asness interview

The minimum-wage muddle
07/25/15   :9:41 PM ESTEconomics
"Raising the minimum wage will produce winners among job holders from all backgrounds, but it will disproportionately punish those with the lowest skills, who are least likely to be able to justify higher employment costs."
More Economics: What's wrong with finance
A liberal heretic contradicts Piketty

Housing market still not rational
07/25/15   9:39 PM ESTReal Estate
"The housing market is another matter. It is far less rational than even the often irrational stock market, for a couple of important reasons. First, most investors find it difficult to understand how housing supply responds to changes in demand. Only a small minority of people think carefully about such things. Second, it is very hard for the minority of smart-money investors who do understand such matters to bet against bubble-level prices in real estate markets. In housing, the smart money has relatively little voice."
More Real Estate: What's scary about mortgages in Canada
Sell Oakville, buy Windsor

Index funds may work too well
07/25/15   9:37 PM ESTIndexing
"I have a good laugh every now and then about the people who think that index funds should be illegal because they make companies less competitive, but honestly it's a nervous sort of laughter. Those people are up to something, something so big and interesting that it makes them nervous too."
More Indexing: In defense of active investing
Is it time to dump market-cap weighting?

Ride out market tempests
07/12/15   10:09 AM ESTStingy Investing
"diversified portfolios often sail through storms in reasonably good shape. Sure, it can be hard to watch them slip underwater for a few years. But they'll likely emerge and grow again. It's something to keep in mind when you're on the beach this summer and the storms come in." [$]
More Stingy Investing: Extreme saving gone wrong
Check your risk

Extreme saving gone wrong
07/12/15   10:02 AM ESTStingy Investing
"At some point a fanatical devotion to saving is counter productive. After all, you can't take it with you. That's why extreme savers (with more than enough money in the bank) should have a spending goal rather than a saving goal."
More Stingy Investing: Check your risk
How to calculate dividend yield

In defense of active investing
06/28/15   8:45 PM ESTIndexing
"To the extent investment experts continue to do the important work of advising clients on investment policies to achieve their true objectives and values and sustain their commitments through various markets, our profession will be appropriately admired and well rewarded."
More Indexing: Is it time to dump market-cap weighting?
Misfit stocks

Wishful thinking
06/27/15   11:20 PM ESTGovernment
"There is little sign that states will face reality soon. A recent rule change by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board was intended to bring the deficit calculations of public plans closer to those of the private sector. In practice, however, the CRR found that only seven of 150 plans had reduced their discount rate by more than half a percentage point."
More Government: How Chicago used financial engineering
Red tape is strangling good samaritans

False assumptions by Ontario pension planners
06/06/15   11:24 AM ESTRetirement
"I believe that Canadians are reasonably well prepared for retirement. Most save more than the 5 percent household saving rate. Most can retire comfortably on less than the traditional 70 percent replacement target. The greatest challenges come early in their adult lives when the burdens of acquiring a home and supporting young children strain the family budget. After that, things get easier."
More Retirement: New math for retirees
The paradox of success

Woe betide the value investor
06/06/15   11:17 AM ESTValue Investing
"Alas, the fund manager's profession is abysmally depressing. You are regularly reminded by academic research that, on average, you destroy value, net of fees; a monkey randomly selecting stocks, or a cap-weighted index, outperforms you. (Sort of makes you question the value of your MBA degree and CFA designation.) Nor are the select few who have delivered long-term outperformance spared. New evidence suggests that your clients' decisions undo your work, so that, in the end, your contribution to their financial well-being is still quite negative. Your time-weighted returns may be superior, but the dollar-weighted, net-of-fee returns the clients actually receive are nonetheless adverse."
More Value Investing: History of price-to-sales
Tobias Carlisle talks at Harvard

Timing poorly
06/06/15   11:15 AM ESTBehaviour
"Value investing is viewed as a historically successful investment strategy. The literature generally agrees on the robustness of the strategy but disagrees on the explanations for the success. While the empirical research focuses exclusively on the time-series returns - or the buy-and-hold return - of a value portfolio, the investor experience is, of course, driven by the internal rate of return (IRR) - or the dollar-weighted average return. Although the buy-and-hold average portfolio return may be the proper way to document the anomaly, the dollar-weighted average return can shed light on some interesting questions which cannot be addressed by analyzing the buy-and-hold returns. In particular, examining the dollar-weighted returns allows us to ask whether investors have actually generated superior IRR consistent with the reported buy-and-hold outperformance of value strategies."
More Behaviour: A kinder philosophy of success
Another Gladwell mindworm dies

Frugal millionaires
06/06/15   11:09 AM ESTThrift
"While the popular perception of millionaires is that they are more ostentatious than frugal, recent research shows that single-digit millionaires, at least, are generally far more mindful about how they save, spend and invest their money."
More Thrift: Watch for traps on high interest savings
Budget-friendly entertainment ideas

Crisis in Illinois
05/27/15   10:21 AM ESTBonds
"Illinois has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the nation. Chicago also has a pension crisis, leading Moody's Investors Service to downgrade its credit rating to junk status on May 12, potentially threatening the city's ability to borrow. And the state faces an expected budget deficit of $6 billion, which it needs to address quickly. With just days before a legislative deadline, the new Republican governor, who ran on cutting costs and holding down taxes, is at odds with Democrats who hold a veto-proof supermajority in the legislature."
More Bonds: Nestle is getting paid to borrow money
High yield market is out of control

Q&A: Mawer vs Vanguard
05/27/15   10:17 AM ESTStingy Investing
"Should investors opt for low-fee active funds that have outperformed in the past. It's a good question. Here are a few of my thoughts." [video]
More Stingy Investing: Index roulette revisited
The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2015

Index roulette revisited
05/23/15   5:29 PM ESTStingy Investing
"Momentum is one of the biggest and most omnipresent forces in financial markets. Its fingerprints can be found in stock returns, across geographies and between asset classes." [$]
More Stingy Investing: The Top 200 Canadian Stocks for 2015
Big asset growth = big trouble

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