Apples to apples Comparing performance numbers

Remember back in school when the teacher handed back exams and you were delighted to get a 92 (unless you're from an overachieving family) But then you learned that the average on the exam was a 95. You still may have been pleased, but a lot of air was let out of your balloon. It's the same with mutual fund performance numbers They don't mean much until they're compared to the averages. A 15 percent return sounds great until you learn that the return from the relevant index market average was...

Mutual fund accounting 101

If you understand the concept of basis for your fund investments, it's time to put that understanding to work. Here I'm going to walk you through the different ways commonly used by taxpayers and approved by the IRS to calculate your basis when you sell your non-retirement account mutual fund investments. If you sell all your shares of a particular mutual fund that you hold outside a retirement account at once, you can ignore this issue. (After reading through the accounting options that the...

Rated 1 by the Hulbert Financial Digest

Mark Hulbert started a useful business in the 1980s. Almost every investment newsletter was making outrageous claims about the success of its previous predictions. But how could you, the potential new subscriber, know if a newsletter was telling the truth or blowing smoke Answer You couldn't. Not until Mark Hulbert came along, that is. He tracks the actual performance of the newsletters' investment picks. For each newsletter, he creates a portfolio based exactly on the newsletter's...

Schwabs index funds

Although their expenses are higher than Vanguard's, Schwab's index funds are worth mentioning for their tax-friendliness and low initial minimum requirements ( 1,000 for non-retirement accounts, 500 for retirement accounts). c.c, lCK The Schwab 1000 fund invests in a Schwab-created index of the 1,000 largest publicly traded U.S. companies. Its expense ratio is 0.5 percent. The Schwab International Index invests in another Schwab-created index of 350 large-company stocks outside the United...

Ownership investments our profit your loss

Now suppose that your buddy, Bob, starts getting a little more audacious in his requests for favors. Due to a strong local economy and real estate market, the landlord wants to increase Bob's rent 15 percent, so Bob asks if he can live with you. But you're a bit tired of lending Bob money, and you know that you don't want him to live in your spare bedroom for free. You begin to think that maybe it's time that you bought your own place to live rather than paying increasing rents yourself. So...