Here's our mid-February assortment of interesting reads on investing and other money-related topics. Read, learn, and enjoy!
Roundup: New Salvos from Schwab & Fidelity in the Brokerage Price War, CD Rates Start to Fall, and More
President Trump's declaration last week that "America will never be a socialist country" (video), followed by the release of the Green New Deal plan endorsed by many Democrats, has given rise to much discussion re: the relative merits of capitalism and socialism.
As you know, SMI focuses on investing and personal finance, rather than the larger context of economic theories and models. Still, it's important to have a general understanding of the assumptions and goals of the competing approaches to economics and government.
We've just updated SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and our monthly Fund Performance Rankings report to reflect mutual-fund performance data through Jan. 31, 2019.
The Portfolio Tracker: The online Tracker personalizes SMI's fund rankings to your specific situation. You can take the full universe of 20,000+ mutual funds we follow and transform the data into a concise report covering only the funds available in your 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan(s).
Typically, we update the Tracker with month-end data from the investment research firm Morningstar by the 8th of the new month. (The month-end numbers in Morningstar's database are subject to revisions during the first few days of the new month. By the 8th, the numbers have solidified and are trustworthy.)
Fund Performance Rankings (FPR): The FPR report is a PDF file containing performance data — along with SMI's momentum rankings — for more than 1,600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability.
Check page 2 of the FPR report to learn how to use it. Page 3 includes an overview of the 70+ risk categories that will help you compare "apples to apples." Page 4 has explanations of the various data-column headings.
Happy February! Here's our latest Roundup of interesting articles on investing, personal finance, and stewardship.
Just as there is “more than one way to skin a cat” (apologies to cat lovers), there is more than one way to manage one’s cash flow. Last month in this space, we highlighted four popular online money-management systems and touched on a few of the attributes of each. This month, we focus on the approach to budgeting that three of these systems (You Need a Budget, Every Dollar, and Tiller) have in common — namely, an emphasis on “zero-sum” budgeting. (Tiller can be set up to use either zero-sum budgeting or another approach.)
People age 65 years or older account for more than half of all flu-related hospitalizations in the U.S., as well as most flu-related deaths. In many instances, these cases of influenza could have been prevented by simply taking advantage of a benefit offered by Medicare: a flu shot provided at no cost to the recipient.
The federal health-insurance program for people 65 and up pays the full tab for such shots, as well as nearly 20 other screenings and preventive services, including yearly “wellness” exams. And yet millions of people eligible for such benefits — including about a third of people who could get a free flu shot — don’t take advantage of them.
Thirty-three years ago today, Jan. 28, 1986, I was working for the Associated Press Radio Network in Washington, D.C. Part of my job was to make closed-circuit announcements to our member stations regarding upcoming special coverage.
"Attention stations: AP Network News' special live coverage of the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger will begin at exactly 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida."
Compared to stocks, bonds can seem rather dull and uninteresting. But bonds can play an important role in your portfolio, as SMI executive editor Mark Biller explained yesterday on Moody Radio's MoneyWise Live. He also answered caller questions.
To listen, click the play button below — or, if you prefer, scroll down for a transcript. (And for more radio appearances by members of the SMI team, visit our Resources page.)
MoneyWise Live, with Rob West and Steve Moore, airs daily at 4:00 p.m. ET/3:00 CT.
Here's our weekly collection of interesting articles on investing, personal finance, and stewardship. Grab a mid-winter cup of hot cocoa and settle in!
Vanguard's decision last summer to adopt a largely no-fee model for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) was welcome news for SMI Upgraders, as well as for Vanguard account holders following our premium-level Dynamic Asset Allocation (DAA) strategy.
The company's move to no-fee ETFs also was a plus for SMI members implementing our 50/40/10 approach, which combines DAA, Upgrading, and Sector Rotation.
Unfortunately, Vanguard has just unveiled a policy change that isn't good news for SMI investors, specifically those following Sector Rotation or 50/40/10. As noted in a company news release, the change takes effect next Tuesday.