2019 Mutual Fund Landscape

Maggie Mayer Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning

Each year, Dimensional analyzes returns from a large sample of US-based mutual funds. Our objective is to assess the performance of mutual fund managers relative to benchmarks. This year’s study updates results through 2018. The evidence shows that a majority of fund managers in the sample failed to deliver benchmark-beating returns after costs. We believe that the results of this research provide a strong case for relying on market prices when making investment decisions.

Elevator Button Controls

Maggie Mayer Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning

How many of us have pushed the “Door Close” button on the elevator thinking it closed the door faster? Interestingly that button on most elevators is a placebo. It does not actually close the door faster. The sole purpose is to help impatient people have a better experience by giving them the illusion of control. Riders get to hit something to reduce stress without harming late arrivers. In addition, the doors will eventually close, so they get a feeling of accomplishment as well. Thus, our mental health is preserved without us knowing it was even influenced.

Getting To The Point Of A Point

Maggie Mayer Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning

A quick online search for “Dow rallies 500 points” yields a cascade of news stories with similar titles, as does a similar search for “Dow drops 500 points.” These types of headlines may make little sense to some investors, given that a “point” for the Dow and what it means to an individual’s portfolio may be unclear. The potential for misunderstanding also exists among even experienced market participants, given that index levels have risen over time and potential emotional anchors, such as a 500-point move, do not have the same impact on performance as they used to. With this in …

What Does The Inverted Yield Curve Mean?

Maggie Mayer Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning

We typically keep these newsletters light on technical details, but given the abundant news on yield curves we thought diving into this would help quell fears. The yield curve graph below shows the relationship between bond yields and bond maturity. Typically, investors require higher interest rates for longer maturity bonds. Back when we all visited physical banks 😊, we walked by the posted Certificate of Deposit (CD) rates. You might remember the longer-term CDs had higher rates. This makes sense. Investors want higher rates if the bank is going to hold their money for longer period of time.

Travel Safety

Maggie Mayer Financial Planning, Portfolio Management, Retirement Planning

With the recent tragedies involving the Boeing 737 Max airplane, travel safety is back in the news. The debate of flying versus driving is always a curious one. It says many things about human risk behavior. Most people know it is much safer to fly than to drive. Here are the latest United States fatality statistics for 2017[1]: