How to Invest in Commodities – Fund Spotlight Series – Part 1


Why invest in commodities? And why now?

If you are questioning why commodities would make a good investment, you are not alone. Here’s what Warren Buffett had to say about one of the most famous commodities, gold: [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series – Emerging Market Funds


Emerging market stocks have had a rough decade. 3 year annual returns are flat and even long term 10 year annual returns are barely over 1.5%. But there is new life appearing in the emerging markets. This year the FTSE Emerging Market Index is up 18%, breaking a long term downtrend:

Emerging Market ETFs

Are emerging markets turning the corner?

What’s the best way to invest in emerging markets? We take a look at a few options:

[continue reading…]

What Stocks Would Ben Graham Buy Today? Q1 2017


It’s a new year, and a new quarter! That means it is time to run our Ben Graham Value Screens again and see what companies have made the cut. [continue reading…]

Want to Invest in the Stocks Ben Graham Would Buy Today? There’s a Fund for that! Q4 2016



Our newest addition to our Fund Spotlight Series. Here we are building off of our Ben Graham Value Screen Series, and making those screens investable with just a click with the help of Motif Investing.

This is a collection of companies that most recently have passed Graham’s stringent value investing screen.

Of the whole investing universe, less than 25 companies make the list. What would Ben Graham buy today? this is probably a good start: [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Investing In Rental Property? There is an ETF (and a Motif!) For That


Fund Spotlight Series - Investing in Rental Property


The concept of owning rental property looks great on the surface. Borrow money to buy a home (or condo, or townhouse), rent out that property to someone else, and have them effectively pay your mortgage while you build up equity in the property and it (hopefully) appreciates in price.


Simple right?


Unfortunately as many rental property owners will tell you, there can be a fair amount of headaches in the process. Do you do all the work and maintenance, answer the 2 a.m. phone calls and market the property yourself? Or do you give up 10-15% of your rental income to have a property management company do the hard work?


Then there is the potential risks. There is a huge potential hidden liability in owning a rental house. When the roof needs work, do you have $5,000 ready to fix it? When the HVAC goes out, can you fork over another $5,000? The number of big ticket items that can break in a house is a bit scary.


And with the median home price at about $204,000, investing in rental property without taking out a mortgage is out of reach for most individual investors.


But Wall Street has made a much easier, and much less scary way of investing in rental properties. Today we look at one such exchange traded fund: iShares Residential Real Estate ETF – Ticker: REZ. – Then we show you a new, even better way to investing in rental property with Motif Investing. [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Charles Schwab’s Ultra Low Expense Ratio ETFs

The price war between ETF providers continues, and the winners are individual investors. Charles Schwab has once again reduced the expense ratios on several of its already low cost ETFs. Here we look at several of Charles Schwab’s “core” ETF offerings and see if they are worthy to replace your current ETF investments. [continue reading…]

Are Minimum Volatility Funds Living Up To Their Name?

Almost 8 months ago we featured minimum volatility ETFs in a Fund Spotlight Series article. Since then, these funds have had their first “test”, how have they performed? [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series – Guggenheim’s Equal Weight Index Funds

Investors in a simple S&P 500 index fund did tremendously well in 2013, beating a majority of actively managed investment strategies. But there is one strategy that has consistently outperformed a general market weighted S&P 500 index fund over the past few years and has been getting significant press the last few months. What is this strategy and is this strategy for you? [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Low Cost Emerging Market ETFs

Emerging market stocks are taking a beating, with many trading near their lowest levels in 2 years. Here are a few emerging market ETFs for investors looking to get in on the action (And all may be commission free depending on your broker!). [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Target Date Fund Comparison

I was inspired by an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weekends ago to look into the differences in Target Date Funds. Here we look at Vanguard, T Rowe Price, Fidelity and Charles Schwab’s target date funds.

[continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Low Priced, Diversified ETFs for Dividend Reinvestment

In a recent article on Scottrade’s new Flexible Dividend Reinvestment Program (FRIP) – found here  – we talked about how important security selection is in order to reap the benefits of a dividend reinvestment program, particularly for new investors. Today, we highlight some funds that will help new investors make the most out of dividend reinvestment programs.

[continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Low Volatility ETFs

The latest sign that the 2008 financial crisis is still fresh in investor’s minds? The overwhelming popularity of “low volatility” ETFs with investors today. These funds claim to offer the returns of stock index funds, with the protection of a low volatility strategy. Do they have a place in your portfolio? [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series – Defined Maturity Funds

New funds from iShares and Guggenheim offer investors a combination of investing in individual bonds and bond funds. Are they right for you?

Click to Find Out

Fund Spotlight Series: Vanguard vs. SPDRs Sector ETFs


Stocks from different sectors of the economy perform differently as the economy changes. During recessions, consumer staples, health care and utility stocks are often bought for their strong, stable business and/or dividend yields. During times when the market is flying high, technology stocks or consumer discretionary companies may rise faster than the general market.

Today we look at both Vanguard’s and State Street’s SPDR set of sector ETFs to determine how the different sectors perform in certain economic conditions and to determine which company offers the best funds for you. [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series: Preferred Share ETFs

This latest article in our fund spotlight series focuses on ETFs that own Preferred Shares. Preferred shares have become popular in today’s low interest rate environment as investors reach for higher yield. Preferred shares offer yields today in excess of 6%, but at what cost? [continue reading…]

Fund Spotlight Series – iShares “Core” ETFs

The price war between ETF companies may be hurting their bottom line, but for individual investors investing has never been cheaper. Today we spotlight some of iShares “core” ETFs that have recently become even cheaper and compare them to Vanguard’s counterparts.

[continue reading…]

Begin To Invest Fund Spotlight Series – Dividend ETFs


Today we take a close look at some of the most popular dividend ETFs to see if they are right for you.

[continue reading…]

Begin To Invest Fund Spotlight Series – S&P Index Funds

Today we look at multiple funds that track the S&P 500 index. There are numerous funds that claim to track the S&P 500 index, which one should you choose?

[continue reading…]

Begin To Invest Fund Spotlight Series – VGK


I will frequently spotlight index funds here on Begin To Invest, I think they offer beginning investors and investors of all experience levels the best possible mix of returns, low costs and protection from a serious loss of capital.


Today, we are taking a close look at Vanguard’s ETF which tracks the MSCI Europe Index – ticker VGK.

[continue reading…]