In our last post, we introduced two investment terms that are a little more technical than we normally prefer, but worth knowing when you want to accurately measure your portfolio’s performance:  Time-Weighted Rate of Return (TWR) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Since calculating rates of return and portfolio performance requires complex formulas and computer software that may not be readily available, we often see investors turning to an investment’s cost basis...

If you’ve been reading our blog posts for a while, you know that we try to avoid financial-speak whenever possible. But until the rest of the world follows our lead, sage investors are best served by familiarizing themselves with two weird, but worthy terms: Time-Weighted Rates of Return (TWR) vs. Internal Rates of Return (IRR). We’ll explain what we’re talking about in a moment. But first let’s talk about why it...

February 2015 Weather vs. Climate By Jim Parker Vice President DFA Australia Limited "Notice how TV news bulletins put finance next to the weather report? In each, talking heads point at charts and intone about intraday events that are quickly forgotten. Meanwhile, the long-term wealth building story gets overlooked." To read more: OPEN PDF: Weather vs. Climate...

According to Dimensional Fund Advisors’ 2014 Review, two non-U.S. developed countries (in the MSCI Index) experienced 2014 annual returns of +22.77% and –22.04% in seesaw fashion. Can you guess which two these might be? Since there are so many to choose from, let’s narrow it down. Those highest and lowest returns came out of Israel and Norway. Now, which was which? You’d be correct if you guessed that Israel experienced the...

In our previous post, “How to Hold a Financial Fire Drill,” we discussed the importance of understanding your true risk tolerance and routinely practicing how it applies to your investment plans. That way, when market risks arise for real, you’ll be less likely to abandon those best-laid plans. A key tool to help you stay on course is your Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Your IPS: A Living Document Your IPS is a...

Former director of financial services at Dimensional Fund Advisors, now retired, Dan Wheeler continues to share financial insights on his personal blog. In his post, “Fire Drill,” Wheeler recommends practicing what you will do the next time the markets drop, especially if the declines are as precipitous as they were during the financial crisis in 2007–2008. Otherwise, he observes, now that the pain we experienced then has started to fade,...

October 2014 Living with Volatility, Again By Jim Parker Vice President DFA Australia Limited "Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think markets only ever move in one direction, the pendulum has swung the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good." To read more OPEN PDF: Living with Volatility, Again...

To all humor there is an element of truth, especially in Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig’s recently published Devil’s Financial Dictionary. Inspired by late 19th century satirist Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary,” Zweig’s devilish definitions take on a range of Wall Street’s financial jargon, which often seems meant more to deceive than inform investors: ASSET GATHERING, n.  The term that asset managers use, when no one is listening, to describe...

I will be in Austin, TX this week attending a Dimensional Fund Advisors Conference. Speakers include their Co-Chief Investment Officers, Eduardo Repetto and Gerard O-Reilly (both rocket scientists, really!) as well as Portfolio Managers and other brilliant people. While I’m away, I wanted to leave you with some suggested reading in case the return of volatility to the stock market has you frazzled, or you are worrying that we are...

Depending on how you measure it, the U.S. stock market has been relatively calm now for somewhere between 2– 3 years, with no noteworthy corrections to report. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been plenty of alarming news that could have triggered a “head for the hills” correction, but so far, nothing has. Not yet. This has left many investors a tad jumpy, fearing that it’s only a matter of time. As...