Is There Value In Morningstar Ratings?

Month: March 2012

March 26, 2012  |  

Is There Value In Morningstar Ratings?

Morningstar is a US-based research firm that publishes stock and mutual fund data. The firm is widely known for its mutual fund “star” rating system. The system rates mutual funds according to a five-star system, with five stars indicating superior performance for the time period. Although Morningstar warns against choosing funds solely on its star rating, many investors do just that in their quest for higher returns. But they should not expect their narrowly focused […]

March 20, 2012  |  

Rebalancing Your Portfolio: Staying on Course in Volatile Times

The saying “May you live in interesting times” is reputed to be an ancient Chinese curse. While the actual origin of this aphorism is in dispute, the saying itself is quite appropriate today. The past few years have seen spikes in volatility, dramatic swings in returns, and economic and political uncertainty. Beyond the emotional challenges they bring, these “interesting times” can quickly skew the asset allocation of a portfolio. Asset allocation is a primary determinant […]

March 12, 2012  |  

Charitable Giving Made Easy

A donor-advised fund offers an easy way for a donor to make significant charitable gifts over a long period of time. It’s similar to a private foundation but requires less money, time, legal assistance, and administration to establish and maintain. A donor-advised fund also enjoys greater tax advantages than a private foundation.   What is a donor-advised fund? Technically, a donor-advised fund is an agreement between a donor and a host organization (the fund) that […]

March 6, 2012  |  

The Perils of Market Timing

Missing just a few days of high returns in the stock market can substantially erode long-term performance. The harsh reality of market efficiency has not stopped speculators and other traders from attempting to read the future. On paper, market timing offers a seductive prospect: By predicting market direction ahead of time, a trader might capture only the best-performing days and avoid the worst. The first graph tells the other side of that story. Large gains […]