The Argument For International Stocks

International Stocks Annual Returns BreakdownInternational stocks are a great way to diversify away from the U.S. But when a home country bias is alive and well, it’s easy to ignore everything else. U.S. stocks have performed admirably in the past, but international stocks have too.

Since 1970, the S&P 500 performed at a 10.40% annual clip (with dividends). Did you know that during that same time, international stocks practically matched it?

You can try to hand-pick countries based on expected returns or go with a basket of countries that captures all that missed opportunity. The tables below show how international stock returns breakdown. Hopefully, it makes the argument to stop ignoring the big opportunity outside the U.S. Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Profitless Amazon and SPIVA

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Amazon Profits?

Too often, investors confuse little or no profits with not making money. As this post makes the case, Amazon has no problem making money. It makes piles of it.

Bezos uses all of it to test delivery drones, build phones, Kindles, warehouses, data centers, and whatever else he can come up with to grow market share and expand into new lines of business. Simply, Bezos believes the best use of capital is to plow it back into the business because it offers the best return on that money. Continue Reading…

Look Beyond Dividends To Shareholder Yield

Shareholder YieldDividends are the easiest way to return money to shareholders. This draw a big enough following that there’s a label for it – dividend investing. For investors who proudly wear that label, I’d argue you should look for companies with a different type of yield appropriately called shareholder yield.

For me, a dividend is a nice addition to a great investment not a prerequisite. If you’re searching for great companies, there’s a good chance you’ll find one that pays a dividend now or down the road, because good companies deal with the same question eventually.

What To Do With All That Cash?

Just like people, some companies are better at managing money than others. Those that do it best use the five tools below to efficiently increase shareholder value: Continue Reading…

Happy Hour: Taxman & Know What You Own

Welcome to the end of the week! Just sit back, relax, and enjoy this weeks roundup in another edition of Happy Hour.

Taxman Scam

As if the tax code isn’t hard enough deal with, there are tax scams you have to fend off too. You’d think common sense would prevail if it happened to you. The latest instance, reported by CNET, has scam artists impersonating an IRS agent, calling you, and threatening jail time if you don’t pay up. Continue Reading…

Index Fund Vs ETF: Does It Matter?

Index Fund vs ETF BattleGiven the choice between two funds – an index fund vs ETF – that meet the same goal, costs are a big deciding factor. The same principle works for the active vs index argument too. Why pay more for something when you get the same results for less somewhere else.

I think we can agree low costs matter. Once you decide on an all index portfolio, the next step is picking between similar index funds and ETFs. Both do the same thing, for the most part. So is one better than the other? Are there other factors to consider?

Index Fund vs ETFs Cost Debate

There are a number of ways to build a portfolio. For this exercise let’s use a sampling of asset classes to build two portfolios around – one with index funds and the other with ETFs. Continue Reading…