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Invest in passively managed index funds, not actively managed mutual funds.

A constant theme of mine for individual investors.

Today, a short video courtesy of The Motley Fool. 

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We looked at “How Investors Use ETFs”.

Today we consider how financial advisors use exchange traded funds (ETFs) in their business. 

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There are many variables that make successful investing a challenge.

And one of your biggest foes may just be you.

What do I mean by this? 

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Top 10 Best Things About Mutual Funds

On 02/03/2012, in Mutual Funds, by Jordan Wilson

Started reading Morningstar’s “Fund Spy” last night.

A gift from the nice folks at Morningstar, so thanks.

In it, Morningstar produces a chart with the top 10 best things about mutual funds.

An interesting list. 

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Vanguard Investment Funds

On 12/03/2011, in Exchange Traded Funds, Mutual Funds, by Jordan Wilson

I like Vanguard investment funds for long term individual investors.

Especially investors who follow a passive management style.

As I am not directly or indirectly compensated in any way by Vanguard I recommend them based solely on their merits.

That is not to say that other funds are poorer choices. I recommend a wide variety depending on a client’s investment objectives, desires, and available offering in their home jurisdiction. I believe in a “best of breed” approach for clients, not what is best for my revenue. And within the “best of breed” options, Vanguard funds pop up with regularity.

Why is this so?  

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Keys to Portfolio Reviews

On 06/17/2011, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

What are the keys to a successful portfolio review?

Depending on your investment skills and experience, you can assess a multitude of factors. But for most investors, there are some basics that should always be reviewed.

We have covered them in previous posts, but I shall provide a quick summary here. 

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One Way to Beat the Market

On 06/09/2011, in Investment Concepts, by Jordan Wilson

I have previously written that it is questionable whether professional asset managers can consistently beat their markets.

As such, I normally recommend passive investing for most individuals.

But I did recently read of one way to beat the market. 

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You should compare your portfolio’s performance against predetermined target benchmarks.

We have already covered a few useful benchmarks.

Arbitrary return figures such as nil, the risk-free rate, or a required rate of return based on your needs.

Relevant publicly available indices that reflect the composition and risk of your actual portfolio.

If investing in funds, comparing your portfolio returns and expenses against the funds’ peers.

There is one other important benchmark that we have not yet covered. 

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Compare Performance to Peers

On 05/18/2011, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

If you create a portfolio of individual stocks and bonds, it may be unique to you.

Creating a benchmark may take a little work.

If your invest in index funds, you will be able to easily find a relevant benchmark.

But I suggest you do not stop there in comparing your portfolio performance.

A great way to assess fund performance is to also compare results against the fund’s peers. 

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Index benchmarks for passive investment management are an ideal fit.

And quite easy to implement.

After all, with passive investing you are simply trying to replicate the market (as represented by the relevant index). So it is simple to find an index for comparative purposes.

But there are a few things to remember when benchmarking under a passive approach. 

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