Investing

Skarbeck: Risk measure stokes debate over merits of index funds

September 6, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
While the goal of many investors is to “beat the market,” it is a well-known fact that most investors (including professionals), underperform the market over the long run. Hence, the argument to buy index funds. Investors who invest in index funds accept the aggregate ups and downs (volatility) of the broad stock market.
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Kim: With colleges, higher cost doesn't mean greater valueRestricted Content

August 30, 2014
Mickey Kim
A college education is one of life’s costliest investments, so you want to maximize your return on that investment.
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Skarbeck: New rules could take shine off money market fundsRestricted Content

August 23, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
The Securities and Exchange Commission last month approved new rules for money market funds, which require institutional “prime” money funds and municipal funds to have a floating net asset value, or NAV.
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Kim: Investors--watch out for penny-stock 'wolves'Restricted Content

August 16, 2014
Mickey Kim
Accurate information about low-priced stocks issued by the smallest of companies can be difficult to find. This makes it easy for fraudsters to spread false information. It’s truly the Wild West of speculation.
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Skarbeck: Pension funds rethinking zeal for hedge fund betsRestricted Content

August 9, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the largest public pension fund in the United States, recently announced it would reduce its hedge fund investments by a dramatic 40 percent.
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Kim: Navy SEAL's training provides life lessons

August 2, 2014
Mickey Kim
Admiral William H. McRaven, a Navy SEAL and commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, spoke this May to the graduating class of his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin, with advice on “if you want to change the world.”
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Skarbeck: Bucking common jitters rewards stock investorsRestricted Content

July 26, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
When it comes to investing, some deep thinking can provide perspective on your finances. A reflective investor will find himself challenging some of the accepted beliefs held dear by the investment industry.
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Kim: Midterm election years challenging for stocksRestricted Content

July 19, 2014
Mickey Kim
A persistent seasonal anomaly for stocks is the “presidential cycle,” a pattern of performance coinciding with various years of a presidency.
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Skarbeck: Lots of reasons to avoid 'liquid-alt' mutual fundsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Considering that annual fees can run 3 percent or more, and investment performance for the vast majority of these funds has been subpar, if offered a liquid-alt mutual fund, our decision would be to pass.
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Kim: Investors fleeing market as stocks hit record highsRestricted Content

July 5, 2014
Mickey Kim
It’s amazing how the 24/7 media bombardment of random noise and sound bites on the economy and markets has investors continually on tenterhooks. It seems Armageddon is always lurking around the corner.
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Skarbeck: Multi-asset model risky for institutional investingRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Wall Street’s propensity to create arcane products and sell them to investors within broad asset-allocation programs has increased portfolio complexity and altered overall performance.
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Kim: Envy can be dangerous to your financial healthRestricted Content

June 21, 2014
Mickey Kim
If your employer offered to double your salary, would you jump at the chance? In a rational world, you’d take that deal 100 times out of 100. However, you’ll probably be surprised to learn how we make a “no brainer” decision like this depends on whether someone else is involved.
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Skarbeck: Hedge fund fees pile up despite bad performanceRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Investors continue to pour money into hedge funds, even though their performance has been downright awful.
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Kim: What is insider trading? It's time for clear answerRestricted Content

June 7, 2014
Mickey KimMore

Skarbeck: Trillions raised, invested by private equity playersRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
An estimated 2,700 private equity firms manage some $3.5 trillion in assets. Often called “buyout firms,” they solicit investments from pension funds and other well-heeled investors that are pooled into “funds” and used to acquire public and private companies.
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Kim: Target-date funds simple, but one size doesn't fit allRestricted Content

May 24, 2014
Mickey Kim
The popularity of target-date funds has attracted a bevy of providers fighting for market share, many trying to differentiate themselves by using unconventional strategies. This has led to wildly different performance for funds with the same target date.
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Skarbeck: Understand accounting--or pay the consequencesRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Throughout history, good accounting practices have promoted trust in government and capitalist systems, while inadequate accounting has led to financial chaos and even revolutions.
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Kim: Graduating from college entitles you to nothingRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
Mickey Kim
Despite your newly obtained degree, you don’t know anything. You have no skills. If you are really lucky, you will soon land your first job. You are not entitled to that job. If you get it, you should be grateful for your good fortune and make the most of it.
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Skarbeck: Companies using mergers to sidestep taxes in U.S.Restricted Content

May 3, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
Merger activity has exploded this year, and a key factor behind many of the deals is the ability to use cash stockpiles held overseas.
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Kim: Analysis of 2012 NFL draft offers investment lessons

April 26, 2014
Mickey Kim
Slow and steady wins the race” is a value-investing mind-set that’s also applicable to building an NFL roster. Choose overlooked or undervalued prospects, not the Heisman Trophy winner or Twitter.
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Skarbeck: Debt levels have shot higher in wake of financial crisisRestricted Content

April 19, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
According to the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements, aggregate global debt has ballooned more than 40 percent since the financial crisis and is estimated to have reached $100 trillion.
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Kim: Human nature stands in way of earning robust returnsRestricted Content

April 12, 2014
Mickey Kim
'Behavior gap' is the difference between what an average investment returns and what the average investor actually earns, because he or she can't leave investments alone long enough for them to prosper.
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Skarbeck: Being a company director can be a lucrative gigRestricted Content

April 5, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
As another annual report season arrives, the compensation tables in proxy statements clearly show that it pays to be a director of a public company.
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Kim: How Amazon bullied its way into retail dominationRestricted Content

March 29, 2014
Mickey Kim
In a 2013 cover story, Fortune magazine described Amazon as a “brass-knuckled battler for every penny of competitive advantage.” As state treasurers can attest, that portrayal is both well-deserved and important to understanding the rise of Amazon.
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Skarbeck: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac roil big investment firmsRestricted Content

March 22, 2014
Ken Skarbeck
In 2012, Fannie and Freddie started making money as the housing market rebounded and losses in their mortgage portfolios reversed. By the end of this month, the firms will have returned $203 billion to taxpayers. In the meantime, several hedge funds began acquiring both the preferred shares and common stocks of Fannie and Freddie.
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