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Competition between fund providers continues to result in lower fees on exchange traded funds (ETFs).

A very good thing if you are a proponent of cost minimization when investing.

I read a short article that discusses this subject and makes a couple of useful side points. 

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Portfolio Rebalancing Strategies

On 09/03/2012, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

Defining a target asset allocation is critical to investment success.

Equally important is ongoing portfolio monitoring and periodically rebalancing the actual asset allocation back to your target allocation.

The Wall Street Journal has a good article on strategies for rebalancing investment portfolios.

Worth reading in its entirety, buy I want to highlight a few points. 

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Planning to Start Investing?

On 07/11/2012, in Investment Concepts, by Jordan Wilson

Just starting to invest?

Perhaps you just graduated from school, got your first real job, and now want to start saving money and building wealth.

Or maybe you are older but personal issues precluded you from beginning to seriously invest for future retirement. Student debt, home mortgages, and children, are just a few things that greatly impact the ability to invest for individuals in their late 20s and 30s. But now you have decided to focus on wealth accumulation.

Regardless of where you are in the life cycle, today some good tips for those beginning to invest. 

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Money Tips for Young Adults

On 05/21/2012, in Asset Protection, Cash Management, by Jordan Wilson

In my post, Money Lessons From One’s Twenties, we saw some financial mistakes made by S.L. Bathgate while in her twenties. We also saw how these errors impacted her later life. And how she is trying to get back on course to better cash management and wealth accumulation.

Ms. Bathgate has a decent plan to strengthen her fortunes.

But if I was advising Ms. Bathgate, I have a few suggestion to improve on her stated plan. 

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Dangers of Dividend Funds

On 05/13/2012, in Equities, Mutual Funds, by Jordan Wilson

Dividend funds are currently very popular with investors.

In many parts of the world, interest rate yields are quite low on a historical basis. To enhance returns, fixed income investors have turned to riskier investments that may offer higher yields. Such as dividends on preferred shares or dividend paying common shares.

As well, general equity investors are turning to perceived “safer” equity investments. Common shares in large, dividend paying companies. Shares that provide capital gains potential over time, but are back-stopped by a (hopefully) steady stream of dividend income.

Sounds like a good strategy to me. But there are always risks when investing.

Here are a few things to consider when assessing dividend funds (or dividend paying shares). 

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Many readers are a long ways away from retirement.

Messing up on retirement is not yet on one’s radar.

But it should be.

And the sooner you realize how people mess up retirement, the easier it is to avoid problems. 

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Are You Saving Too Much?

On 12/08/2011, in Financial Advisors, Investment Concepts, by Jordan Wilson

I read an article entitled, “Are You Saving Too Much for Retirement?”

I think it is a good article to discuss. No, the article itself is not good. Far from it. Rather this type of article is good to discuss. A big difference. 

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Fiscal Lessons From Europe’s Crisis

On 11/19/2011, in Economics, by Jordan Wilson

A lot may be learned by studying the current fiscal crisis in Europe.

What policies caused today’s fiscal and economic situation in Europe?

What behaviour exacerbated the problem?

What can others learn so as to avoid getting into the same difficulties? 

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Rebalance Through Profit Taking

On 07/05/2011, in Investment Strategies, by Jordan Wilson

In How to Rebalance an Investment Portfolio, I stated that it is generally preferable to reallocate future acquisitions rather than divesting existing assets to get back to your target asset allocation.

A big reason for this is to defer capital gains taxes payable from selling outperforming assets. The longer you keep your wealth in your possession, the better your compound returns will be. This is a problem when triggering taxes on asset sales. 

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There are two simple ways to rebalance your investment portfolio.

While these methods work best for investments in diversified assets such as mutual and exchange traded funds, they can also be employed for non-diversified assets as well.

Perhaps your target asset allocation is 70% U.S. equities and 30% U.S. bonds. Within the target allocation you have an acceptable absolute range of +/- 10%. After your latest portfolio review, you find that your actual asset allocation in 55% U.S. equities and 45% U.S. bonds.

You need to bring your portfolio back in line with your target allocation.

What do you do? 

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