Study: Index Funds Top Mutual & Hedge Funds

Index funds may sound boring, but in his latest New York Times column, Mark Hulbert offers some data that indicates index funds may, in the end, actually yield higher net returns than mutual funds and even hedge funds. Hulbert details a study performed by Mark Kritzman, president and CEO of Windham Capital Management and a professor at M.I.T. In the study (presented in the Feb. 1 issue of Economics & Portfolio Strategy), Kritzman developed an… Read More

A Crisis Crash Course from The Gurus

Forbes has put together an extensive guru-inspired special report entitled “Sage Advice to Save Your Portfolio”, explaining, “Extraordinary times require a special dosage of sage advice.” The feature includes pieces about the strategies of such great investors as Warren Buffett, Ben Graham, Philip Fisher, Peter Lynch, William O’Neil, John Templeton, James O’Shaughnessy, Martin Zweig, and Joseph Piotroski. In addition, the special report features articles from John Reese on what you can learn from the similarities… Read More

Want to Avoid Another Depression: Stop Talking About It

They say that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. But, when it comes to the “Great Depression” comparisons now springing up amid this terrible economic climate, an equally fitting adage might be that those who dwell too much on history are doomed to repeat it — that’s essentially what Robert Shiller, the Yale University economist who predicted the housing bust and much of the current financial crisis, says. “The attention… Read More

Rodriguez on Energy Stocks, The Demise of The Style Box, and The Trouble with The Stimulus

Robert Rodriguez of First Pacific Advisors, who deftly avoided financials last year and earned praise for the strong performance of his bond fund, tells Barron’s that he remains hesitant about stocks, and thinks the government’s stimulus package is missing the point. In 2008, Rodriguez’s FPA Capital equity fund lost 34.8% for the year despite his avoidance of financials, in part because energy companies got hit hard in the second half of the year. But he… Read More

Why You Can Be Good — But Probably Not Great

Todd Sullivan often posts some great speeches or client letters from successful investors on his ValuePlays web site, and he recently featured a particularly interesting speech that former hedge fund star Mark Sellers gave to Harvard Business School students. In the speech, Sellers tells these top students that they “have almost no chance of being a great investor”, the type who can compound money at 20%+ a year for the long run. “You have a… Read More

The “Expert on Experts” on Who You Can — And Can’t — Trust in Today’s Market

“Expert”. It’s a term that gets thrown around an awful lot in parts of our society, and the financial world is no exception. But in an interview with Money magazine, researcher Philip Tetlock warns not to trust someone just because they’re called an expert, and explains why so many of these supposed “experts” failed to see the market crash and economic crisis coming.

A Little Consistency, Please

Earnings: It’s been a dirty word for the past several months, as companies across the country have been posting some ugly results and slashing estimates of future earnings. Standard & Poor’s is now projecting $54.70 in 2009 operating earnings per share for the S&P 500, and just $41.88 per share in as-reported earnings for the index’s components. By comparison, as recently as 2007, operating earnings for the S&P 500 were $82.54 per share, and as-reported… Read More

Kass Turning Bullish?

It appears that Doug Kass — the money manager and columnist who has been particularly bearish in recent years and predicted some of the economic crisis — is turning a bit bullish. On his RealMoney blog, Kass says he sees “tentative signs, but positive signs nonetheless,” for the stock market. “On multiple fronts, equities appear to have incorporated the bad news and are undervalued both absolutely and relative to fixed income.” Kass says that… Read More

Buffett Cut J&J Stake, Other Holdings in Fourth Quarter

Berkshire Hathaway has released the list of its holdings for the fourth quarter of 2008 — and it looks like Warren Buffett has made some substantial changes to his company’s portfolio. While Buffett has recently said he is “buying American” with his personal portfolio, the biggest news from Berkshire’s filing doesn’t involve new purchases, notes Alex Crippen of CNBC’s Warren Buffett Watch, “Instead of asking what Buffett has been buying,” Crippen says, “we should have… Read More