An intriguing entrant to the robo-advisory arena is Acorns, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor. The idea behind this firm’s approach is to enable investors to “invest the change” (aka “acorns” or relatively small amounts of money) that will build over time into a sizable portfolio.
Here you’ll find articles on traditional and not-so-traditional approaches to investing — primarily in individual stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and bonds. Along with my breakdown and scrutiny of general strategies are first-hand experiences in implementing these approaches. Specific topics include building an investment portfolio and possible ways to determine whether a stock is bargain priced. Information and insights in the Investing category can help you develop a framework for making investment decisions.
I learned a harsh lesson about portfolio turnover during a recession. I was forced to pay capital gains taxes on distributions of a long-term mutual fund holding, even though I didn’t sell any fund shares and even though the fund value had dropped more than 20% that year.
This experience taught me about portfolio turnover and related expenses, including taxes (along with the generally wise and tax-efficient approach of purchasing mutual funds for tax-advantaged accounts, not taxable ones). Since then, I have paid more attention to this notion, not in fear of turnover but recognition of its potential costs and benefits.
So, what is portfolio turnover and why does turnover matter?
Investors are often involved in a quest to beat the market. That is, they want to make investing decisions that deliver performance results better than a passive investing strategy, such as one involving the purchase of market-index funds.
The Dogs of the Dow represents an investing strategy developed with the goal of outperforming the Dow, a market index. It involves using a simple formula to identify the top 10 undervalued stocks among the Dow holdings, which consist of 30 blue-chip stocks. There are derivatives of this strategy, also designed in hopes of outperforming the market.
An economic moat represents a unique advantage that protects a business from intruders and upstarts, who may try to duplicate its business model in an attempt to capture customers and destroy profits. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is credited with coining the term, explaining that when evaluating a company, he looks for “economic castles protected by ‘unbreachable’ moats.”