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Optical Illusions in Investing

Do you remember “The Dress”? From way back in 2015? Sure, hundreds of internet sensations memorable for one reason or another have gone viral over the years, but this one made a splash by any standard. Is the dress white and gold? Or is it really black and blue? Debate raged and The Dress forever earned a place in pop culture. It seems, though, that everyone at the time simply forgot about optical illusions and the tricks our brains can
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An Exceptional Value Premium

It’s probably not news to most value investors that the value premium has struggled over the past decade. What might be news is just how extreme an outlier recent value stock underperformance represents. The periodic returns for value versus growth in Exhibit 1 convey a stark contrast between recent years and the longer run of evidence, suggesting the past decade’s disappointing premium was disproportionally impacted by the last three years. Over the first seven years of the last decade (July
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Preparing Your Beneficiaries to Receive Their Inheritance

When you hire an estate planning attorney, you are often looking for help with preparing your accounts and property to ultimately pass smoothly and safely to your loved ones. This is a key component of estate planning. An experienced estate planning attorney will put much thought and effort into ensuring that an appropriate estate plan is created using a variety of legal documents including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives. These important tools can ensure that what
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Why Investors Might Think Twice About Chasing the Biggest Stocks

As companies grow to become some of the largest firms trading on the US stock market, the returns that push them there can be impressive. But not long after joining the Top 10 largest by market cap, these stocks, on average, lagged the market. • From 1927 to 2019, the average annualized return for these stocks over the three years prior to joining the Top 10 was nearly 25% higher than the market. In the three years after, the edge
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It’s (not) a small world after all!

Disneyland has a famous ride, accompanied by an identically named song, called “It’s a Small World (After All),” that was developed to celebrate peace and togetherness. While the ride is intended to remind us of how connected we all are, our beliefs about investing may not be as unified or accepting of differences as the ride and song celebrate. To be sure, some investors invest in a literal small world. They focus on investing in their local stock market and
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Tune Out the Noise

There’s a reason that investors tend to only hear about “looming” market doom or “imminent” market growth. While many news outlets have an incentive to draw viewer attention with wildly bullish or bearish predictions, these sensationalized views may be a distraction to a sound investment approach. When tempted to make a radical change to your investment portfolio based on these headlines, it is important to recall some basic fundamentals to keep your plan on track. Tune out the noise: “Markets
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Election Year Politics and Stock Market Forecasts

A recent New York Times article discussed the stock market impact of Joe Biden winning the 2020 presidential election. The article quoted Lori Calvasina, head of US equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, who said “The market is starting to worry that Trump will not be re-elected. Trump is consistently viewed as a positive for the stock market.” Before you make changes to your portfolio as a result of these predictions, consider the following three points: 1. Markets have already
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How Real Is Post-Pandemic Inflation Risk?

Governments around the world have made unprecedented efforts to support the global economy in response to COVID-19 by increasing spending and getting cash into the hands of both consumers and companies. Steps taken thus far may well have been necessary to help fight the pandemic’s economic fallout – but at what cost? Pundits are starting to point their collective finger at a potential dramatic increase in inflation, which is the idea that currency depreciates – buys less – as time
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Do You Have a College Student?

Once a child reaches age 18, he or she is an adult by law. Parents lose the right to learn about their child’s health, tuition bills and even their grades once their child becomes an adult. It can be rather worrisome if your child is miles away and becomes ill or suffers an accident and is hospitalized.  What if they need assistance with a bank account or filing a tax return? These unnecessary worries can be avoided if your child
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When It’s Value vs. Growth, History Is on Value’s Side

There is pervasive historical evidence of value stocks outperforming growth stocks. Data covering nearly a century in the US, and nearly five decades of market data outside the US, support the notion that value stocks—those with lower relative prices—have higher expected returns. Recently, growth stocks have enjoyed a run of outperformance vs. their value counterparts. But while disappointing periods emerge from time to time, the principle that lower relative prices lead to higher expected returns remains the same. On average,
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