Fund Focus: Vanguard REIT Index Fund

Fund Focus: Vanguard REIT Index Fund

The vanguard REIT Index fund is one of the least expensive ways to gain exposure to the real estate equity market. Even though this fund has seen more volatility in the last twelve months when compared to the average REIT fund, the risk-adjusted return has also been higher. The index fund's performance has replicated this by being one of the leading performers in it's category for the 3, 5, and 10 year periods. 

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These Charts Can Help You See What The Fed is Doing

These Charts Can Help You See What The Fed is Doing

Since the Federal Reserve recently raised short term interest rates by .25%, there has been a lot of discussion on the impact that will have on the Domestic and International markets. Open this article and examine 7 charts that explains the decision making process of the Federal Reserve that brought the first rate hike since 2006.

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Investment Update December 2015

Investment Update  December 2015

November ended with slight declines for the month in target risk portfolios, but with healthy gains for the latest three month period, marking a recovery from the late summer and early fall correction.

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Why International Stocks

Why International Stocks

Take full advantage of the diversification and return potential of foreign stocks. 

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PowerShares QQQ ETF

PowerShares QQQ ETF

PowerShares (QQQ) is one of the largest and most actively traded ETF’s in the United States. The main objective of the fund is to track the 100 largest, nonfinancial stocks in the cap-weighted Nasdaq-100 index. This being said, QQQ has a strong presence in the technology (55.02%) , consumer discretionary (19.5%) and biotech (15%) sectors, offering a level of diversification that is desired and essential in many portfolios. Take a look in closer detail to the fundamentals of the ETF by clicking here!    

Retirement Savings -- Just 1% more can make a big difference

Retirement Savings -- Just 1% more can make a big difference

Increasing your savings by just 1% more now could mean living the retirement you want.

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Investment Update November 2015

Investment Update November 2015

Shaken Not Stirred

James Bond usually gets roughed up pretty good as he goes about his missions, but invariably comes out golden in the end. And like 007’s infamous martini, global stocks markets were shaken in August and September, only to recover vigorously in October as the S&P had its best month since 2011 with an 8.4% return. 

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DFA Commodity Strategy Fund

DFA Commodity Strategy Fund

The DFA Commodity Strategy Institutional fund’s objective is to gain exposure to the broad commodity market, by investing in both domestic and international intermediate term, fixed income securities.

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Embracing the Winners .... and the Losers

Embracing the Winners  .... and the Losers

Commodities and Emerging Markets have performed poorly in the last few years. Should you sell low?

While it would be fun to hold a Portfolio in which all of the asset classes were going up at the same time, it would be a nightmare if they were all moving down at once.

To protect against epic losses, investors seek uncorrelated returns — asset classes that behave dissimilarly so that a portfolio’s ingredients don’t all move in the same direction at the same time.

But diversified portfolios should be built with the knowledge that including uncorrelated assets means always having to endure pain in part of the portfolio. That part will be going down or remaining flat, since it tends to move differently from the uncorrelated part that is going up.

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Investment Update October 2015

Investment Update October 2015

Several years of unusual calm in equity markets gave way to a succession of sharp swings in the last quarter as investors reacted to a plethora of concerns. The net result was the worst quarter in four years with the Vanguard Total Stock Index tumbling 7.3%, and the Vanguard Total International Index losing 11.6%.

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Navigating Risk

Navigating Risk

When you weigh risk, you are attempting to predict future outcomes without knowing whether the results you expect will actually occur. With recent market volatility stemming from a myriad of issues, it may sometimes seem impossible to accurately foresee which risks will have the most impact. More than ever before, it is important to understand the nature of risk, how it affects you and your money, and what you can do to manage it.

By rethinking risk, you can set yourself up at the top of the food chain to beat the sharks at their own game and capture your share of investment returns.

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Rebalancing: Why and How

 

Portfolio rebalancing is like a tune-up for your car: it allows individuals to keep their risk level in check and minimize risk.

 

It also helps you to take advantage of differences in performance among investments in a diversified account by buying low and selling high. This article explains why rebalancing is important. For those participants not invested in a Target Risk Model Portfolio, it explains how to set up automatic rebalancing for your account at Ascensus.

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Nearing Retirement? Check These Blindspots

 

Proper planning can help you avoid financial shocks in retirement.

 

Thanks in large part to a bull market that has lasted the better part of six years, retirement may be looking more doable than you thought, sooner than you thought. Such happy thoughts are likely cycling through the minds of many 50- and 60-somethings these days. What seemed like a distant dream in the wake of the financial crisis--a financially comfortable retirement--is starting to look eminently possible. 

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1-in-10 American Workers isn't saving for retirement

1-in-10 American Workers isn't saving for retirement

One in 10 American workers isn't saving for retirement, according to a survey that accompanied Bankrate's Financial Security Index for August. And their numbers are increasing, even though the economy has improved.

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Why Boomers Should Review Their 401(k) Allocations Now

Why Boomers  Should Review Their 401(k) Allocations Now

The good news is that 401(k) contributions have increased, according to Fidelity Investments’ most recent quarterly retirement savings analysis based on data from the 401(k) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) it manages. The bad news is one glaring problem for Baby Boomers; the asset allocation of their 401(k)s is drastically out of balance.

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Participant Letter September 2015

Participant Letter September 2015

Market Whodunit
The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient: Warren Buffett.

After several years of rising prices and unusually low market volatility, the stock market and parts of the bond market have suddenly given way to a correction. After declining 6% in the last month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 5.8% so far in 2015, and 1% in the last twelve months. 

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Note about the Market

Note about the Market

The market has been brutal over the last few days as concerns over China, fed rate hikes, and commodity weakness have invoked worries that haven’t been felt so acutely since the financial crisis. Yet, as one of my colleagues said recently, the market drop is as surprising as a hurricane hitting North Carolina!

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Participant Letter August 2015

Participant Letter August 2015

Pardon the pun, but diversified portfolios have slipped in the last few months on oil. Moderate returns in the broad US stocks indexes have been pinched on one side by negative results in the bond market, and on the other by a retreat in international, emerging markets stocks and commodities, primarily oil. 

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Stable Value Funds

Stable Value Funds

Higher yields than cash, with low volatility and principal protection

Question: What are stable-value funds? Are they like money market funds with higher yields?

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Not Just for Newlyweds

Not Just for Newlyweds

Money can create the potential for disagreement among all couples.  Here is a great checklist to place and keep you both on the same page: 

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