How Do You Beat Your Benchmarks Over the Long Haul? – A look at Dimensional Fund Advisors



This week we have been looking at one of the fastest growing companies in asset management – Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Our Quote of the Week looked at the CEO’s key principal for successful investing, our Chart of the Week looked at DFA’s outperformance. Today we look and see how they do it. [continue reading…]

Want the Active Manager Without the Expense Ratio? Here’s How to Use Motif Investing to Copy Your Favorite Investor’s Portfolio


Investment fees – the bane of every individual investor. Everyone has seen the numbers on how even moderate expense ratios lead to investors losing out on tens of thousands of dollars over the course of their investments. Just yesterday we highlighted a quote from Meb Faber on how just average fees can ruin a successful investment strategy.


But these fees seem impossible to avoid for investors looking for any specific concentrations or active forms of management.


But for investors in a select number of ETFs and Mutual Funds, there is a simple way to reduce those fees to a level much closer to 0 – Here’s how: [continue reading…]

Quote of the Week: Just Average Investment Fees Can Turn a Top Performing Strategy into a Loser

shareasimage is out with a really good interview with Meb Faber discussing topics from his new book: Global Asset Allocation: A Survey of the World’s Top Asset Allocation Strategies Topics of the interview include Asset Allocations, the effects of taxes and fees on your investment returns and more.

But what really jumped out to me was his answer to the question: Would ETFs change that equation if the best-performing portfolio were allocated primarily to low-cost ETFs?

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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…]

Broker Comparison – Commission Free ETFs

This is some great information out of today’s Wall Street Journal for investors looking to save a few dollars with commission free ETFs. How do the big 5 brokers compare in their offerings of commission free ETFs to investors?


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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…]

2012 Mutual Fund and Hedge Fund Returns


The numbers from 2012 are in. How do the returns from Wall Street’s “Best and Brightest” compare to the returns of the major stock indexes?

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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?

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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.

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