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Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part III

Thursday, November 12th, 2009, by

Now that Schwab has dipped their toe in the water….take a look at the next four proprietary ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) that will be rolled out in December, bringing their total exposure to eight funds: SCHG:  Schwab U.S. Large-Cap Growth ETF This index represents half (375) of the 750 stocks that make up the Dow […]

Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part II

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009, by

Schwab had me already at “no commission”, on their new family of Exchange Traded Funds. Then I took a closer look, and was astonished to see that their expense ratio was not only well below the fees charged by I-Shares and SPDRs—but also matching Vanguard on three of their offerings. In fact, Schwab is the […]

Schwab Brings a Game Changer to the Market, Part I

Monday, November 9th, 2009, by

Charles Schwab and Co has dropped a bombshell into the crowded ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) marketplace. So, it looks like the price war that started with books and DVDs this fall has now, finally, come to Wall Street. First, some background. State Street brought the first ETF to market in 1993.  SPY.  The “spider”, so-called, […]

Gold and Silver, Part II

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, by

In our prior posts on precious metals, we have alluded to the hoarding of these “commodity currencies” in Exchange Traded Funds. Unlike direct ownership in common stocks, like most index funds, the precious metals ETFs actually require physical possession of the underlying gold or silver. I’ve never been a big fan, because when push comes […]

Man Bites Dog

Thursday, October 15th, 2009, by

In times past, the largest mutual fund extant was the Vanguard 500 Index Fund. Not now.  Every fund family seems to have its own index fund, and the novelty has worn off somewhat. Now, surprisingly—it’s not even a stock fund in the number one slot. The reigning big dog is (now part of the huge […]

Hazards of Gold Speculation

Thursday, September 17th, 2009, by

Longtime readers know of my longstanding bias against fiat paper currencies…easily inflated and manipulated by governments. But that does not automatically make me a gold bug. I’ve advocated for real estate as a more classic and efficient hedge against the erosion of paper currencies…since it not only hedges against the steady devaluation of fiat money, […]

The Illogic of Index Investing

Thursday, September 10th, 2009, by

Virtually every freshly minted new MBA has been indoctrinated into the cult of the efficient market hypothesis. In it’s simplest manifestation… …the efficient market says that all information–good and bad— about a security is implicit in its pricing, and that there is no sense trying to sort out winners and losers. It helps to understand […]

The BRIC is Back

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009, by

Well…that was quick. It was just a scant few months ago that risk averse investors dumped the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) emerging market stocks as global paralysis set in. That was then and this is now. Risk appetite is once again fashionable, as evidenced by the meteoric rise of these bellwether markets from their […]