OCTOBER  2017 The Uncommon Average “I have found that the importance of having an investment philosophy—one that is robust and that you can stick with— cannot be overstated.” —David Booth The US stock market has delivered an average annual return of around 10% since 1926.[1] But short-term results may vary, and in any given period stock returns can be positive, negative, or flat. When setting expectations, it’s helpful to see the range of...

SEPTEMBER 2017 Lessons for the Next Crisis  We recently experienced the 10-year anniversary of when, in early October 2007, the S&P 500 Index hit what was its highest point before losing more than half its value over the next year and a half during the global financial crisis. Over the coming weeks and months, as other anniversaries of major crisis-related events pass (for example, 10 years since the bank run on Northern Rock...

AUGUST,  2017 Quit Monkeying Around! In the world of investment management there is an oft-discussed idea that blindfolded monkeys throwing darts at pages of stock listings can select portfolios that will do just as well, if not better, than both the market and the average portfolio constructed by professional money managers. If this is true, why might it be the case? TO READ MORE: OPEN PDF ARTICLE ...

If there’s an investment instrument that has withstood the test of time, it’s the good, old U.S. savings bond. Since their 1935 debut under “New Deal” President Franklin D. Roosevelt, they’ve never been known for their get-rich glamour. But to this day, investors still turn to them when appropriate. When do savings bonds still make sense, and what are best practices for managing them these days? The Enduring U.S. Savings Bond As...

We all have our symbolic security blankets, right? Mine is Madeleine L’Engle’s “Wrinkle in Time.” I first read it when I was a young adult, shortly after it became a Newbery Medal winner and I was still the book’s target audience. It was such a bull’s eye that I continue to revisit it every few years, wrapping myself up in its satisfying triumph of good over evil. For investors, one of...

Here’s a trick question: When does 5,000 = 3,600? The answer is: when you’re counting how many companies the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index is actually tracking these days. The name suggests there are at least 5,000 publicly traded, U.S.-listed companies in the total market, but that number has been shrinking for a couple decades. That’s one of several fascinating insights shared in a recent report from our friends at Dimensional...