Mutual Funds

iStockphoto Can a factor approach better help investors identify good fixed-income plays, like “fallen angel” bonds? As the bond bull market grinds on, investors increasingly see fixed income as fertile ground for factor investing. “Factors” are broad characteristics of securities, such as volatility, momentum, and quality, that can be quantified and harnessed to achieve a
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If you’re wondering whether environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is taking off, consider this: the term ESG was used during 100% more S&P 500 corporate earnings calls in the second quarter of 2019 compared with the first quarter, according to FactSet. And while the actual number of mentions was only 24 (compared with 12
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One factor that makes responsible investing difficult for investors is the linguistic anarchy that surrounds it. Investors, asset managers and advisers tend to liberally apply terms like ESG, even when it may not fully reflect the investment strategy or fund in question. The resulting terminology soup unfortunately provides the perfect breeding ground for investor confusion
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A recent critique of sustainable investing on MarketWatch by Alicia Munnell offers a highly skewed analysis with conclusions that simply aren’t justified by the facts. I am the chief executive of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a membership organization with the objective of advancing sustainable investing. Sustainable investing does not exist
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When the “Woodstock of Capitalism” took place a few weeks ago, aka Berkshire Hathaway’s BRK.A, -0.96% BRK.B, -1.53%  annual meeting, the Warren Buffett fetishists came out in full force and saturated investing websites, CNBC and YouTube with their gee-whiz commentary. I respect Buffett and I have learned a lot from him. But I’m getting tired
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Everywhere you look these days, it seems to be bad news for folks who invest overseas. From the fallout caused by a continuing trade war with China to the continued uncertainty posed by Brexit to ever-present geopolitical risks in the Middle East, the headlines don’t inspire confidence. And besides, with the S&P 500 index SPX,
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Investors in health-care stocks could be forgiven for asking: “What rally?” While the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index have both soared more than 20% from their Christmas Eve lows, health-care stocks have gained less than half as much. As the S&P SPX, +0.06%  sets new all-time highs and the Dow DJIA,
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“Seinfeld” episodes do not usually turn up in speeches by SEC commissioners. But when Hester Peirce addressed the Council of Institutional Investors in March, she alluded to the scene where George’s father gathers a motley crew around the dinner table for Festivus, a made-up holiday featuring an “Airing of Grievances.” Said an angry Frank Costanza:
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It’s proxy voting season again, when companies hold their annual shareholder meetings and let their investors vote on resolutions on everything from board candidates to diversity to parental leave. This year, investors are gearing up to vote on 303 resolutions that touch on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. But if 2018 was any indication
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Global index provider MSCI recently announced it would quadruple the percentage of China A shares—shares of companies that trade on mainland exchanges like Shanghai and Shenzhen and were previously available only to Chinese investors—in its China, global and emerging market indexes by November 2019. By then, A shares will have what MSCI calls a 20%
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Dangers may lurk in index funds, a popular area of the stock market known for their recent and consistent record of outperformance against actively managed funds, according to experts. A recent op-ed in the New York Times cautions that passive index funds may be vulnerable to bias, and possibly manipulation, as interest in those funds
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Economist Burton Malkeil has called the index fund “the most important financial innovation that has been created for the individual investor.” And one look at index-fund pioneer Vanguard’s performance over the past decade shows that many individual investors agree. For the past 12 years, Vanguard has taken in more money on a net basis than
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A popular instrument used to manage exposure to volatility is going away as investors face a number of potentially market-rattling uncertainties, even if a late-2018 rout for stocks has given way to a state of more recent calm. The exchange-traded iPath S&P 500 Vix Short-Term Futures ETN, which trades under the ticker VXX US:VXX is
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One of the most common assertions made against Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) and other types of Responsible Investments (“RI”) is that, while it may be good for your conscience, it isn’t good for your wallet. Over the years, everyone from pension-fund gurus to high-powered billion-dollar asset managers have weighed in with the same pessimistic
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