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Why Should You Diversify?

As 2019 begins, and with US stocks outperforming non-US stocks in recent years, some investors have again turned their attention towards the role that global diversification plays in their portfolios. For the five-year period ending October 31, 2018, the S&P 500 Index had an annualized return of 11.34% while the MSCI World ex USA Index returned 1.86%, and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index returned 0.78%. As US stocks have outperformed international and emerging markets stocks over the last several years,
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Here’s the Prescription

Take, for example, a friend of mine, who was experiencing some troubling medical symptoms. Typing her symptoms into a search engine led to an evening of research and mounting consternation. By the end of the night, the vast quantity of unfiltered information led her to conclude that something was seriously wrong. One of the key characteristics that distinguishes an expert is their ability to filter information and make increasingly refined distinctions about the situation at hand. For example, you might describe
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Midterm Elections— What Do They Mean for Markets?

While surprises can and do happen in elections, the surprises don’t always lead to clear-cut outcomes for investors. It’s almost Election Day in the US once again. For those who need a brief civics refresher, every two years the full US House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for reelection. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on is that plenty of opinions and prognostications will be floated in the days
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MFG Q3 2018 Market Commentary

MFG’s Asset Class Investing portfolios are strategically invested with a focus on long-term performance objectives. Portfolio allocations and investments are not adjusted in response to market news or economic events; however, we evaluate and report on market and economic conditions to provide our investors with perspective and to put portfolio performance in proper context. Strong corporate profits, a healthy global economy, and the absence of major geo-political issues in the third quarter resulted in developed stock market gains. For the
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Timing the “Market” Without Timing the Market

A common question of late centers around whether it is a good time to invest in the “market”, taking into consideration the all-time highs we’re experiencing. It is understandable to have this concern. Although there is conclusive evidence to suggests that attempting to “time” the market does not work over the long term, there is a way to overcome this common fear. A key note: When you hear all the talking heads on TV, or the news headlines, or even your friends
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Do Mutual Funds Outperform Benchmarks?

Our analysis of US-based mutual funds shows that only a small percentage of funds have outperformed industry benchmarks after costs—and among top-ranked funds based on past results, only a small percentage have repeated their success.  

Alternative Reality

Diversification has been called the only free lunch in investing. This idea is based on research showing that diversification, through a combination of assets like stocks and bonds, could reduce volatility without reducing expected return or increase expected return without increasing volatility compared to those individual assets alone. Many investors have taken notice, and today, highly diversified portfolios of global stocks and bonds are readily available to investors at a comparatively low cost. A global stock portfolio can hold thousands
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MFG Q2 2018 Market Commentary

In a year where stocks should be basking in the light of corporate tax reform, healthy consumer spending, and an expanding global economy, investor returns are not what we would expect to see. For the quarter, U.S. stocks advanced, with the S&P 500 Index gaining 3.4%, while non-U.S. stocks declined. Emerging markets, as measured by MSCI Emerging Markets, declined -8.0%, and non-U.S. developed markets, as measured by MSCI World Ex US, declined -0.8%. Despite robust earnings for U.S. companies during
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4 Charts Every Investor Should Know. #4: Stop Changing Lanes

Average Investors Underperformed: Major Indices 1998 – 2017   Stop Changing Lanes What This Chart Means to You: Don’t try to time getting in and out of the market. It’s like trying to go faster on a crowded freeway by constantly changing lanes, only to discover you are going slower than if you had just stayed in the lane you were in. Over the past 20 years, the S&P 500 returned an annual average of 7.20% but average U.S. stock investors
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4 Charts Every Investor Should Know. #3: Own Great Companies Around the World

Ranking of Stock Market Performance Around the World: Based on Ten-Year Performance in U.S. Dollars Annualized Returns Year Ending December 31, 2017   Own Great Companies Around the World What This Chart Means to You: America may be #1 in our hearts, but there are many other countries with great companies to invest in. The average U.S. investor has a portfolio made up of about 75% U.S. stocks1, which seems patriotic, but can mean missing out on a world of opportunity.
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