Payments to Wealth Advisers Shows Some Funds Aren’t ‘Fee-Free’

September 3, 2015

AlamyBy Jed Horowitz At least three wealth management firms that market themselves as objective financial advisers are getting payments for investing their clients’ money in certain mutual funds, a practice that even some of these firms say could create conflicts of interest. The firms, known as registered investment advisers, are typically paid by clients with fees tied to the growth or contraction of client assets, and not to specific products….


What Is Asset Allocation?

August 28, 2015

AlamyApril is Financial Literacy Month, and our goal is to help you raise your money IQ. In this series, we’ll tackle key economic concepts — ones that affect your everyday finances and investments — to help you make smarter choices with every dollar decision you face. Today’s term: asset allocation. In the most basic sense, asset allocation is simply how one’s assets are divided among different asset classes, such as…


Despite Surge in U.S. Stock Prices, Investors Remain Cautious

August 25, 2015

Five and a half years after the start of a frightening drop that erased $11 trillion from stock portfolios, the Dow Jones industrial average has regained all the losses suffered and reached a new high. (Richard Drew/AP)By MARK JEWELL BOSTON — The Dow Jones industrial average continues to set new records but average investors are still proceeding with caution. While they added to U.S. stock funds in the first two…


Gold Prices Plunge: Here Are 5 Ways to Buy It At a Bargain

August 19, 2015

Nelson Ching/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesA gold bust of Mao Zedong, former leader of China, right, is displayed for sale at a department store specializing in precious metals and stones in Beijing, China. The bull market in gold since 1999 has made many gold investors rich. But Monday’s big plunge in the price of gold — prices dropped more than $100 in a single day, sending gold below $1,400 per ounce…


Gold Is Cheap Again: 5 Ways to Get It Into Your Portfolio

August 16, 2015

(Getty Images)More than nearly any other investment, gold inspires strong opinions among investors. On one hand, superinvestor Warren Buffett has said that buying gold merely locks up your money in an asset that in his words is “neither of much use nor procreative.” On the other side of the coin you have advocates arguing that gold is the best choice to preserve purchasing power when central banks are pouring huge…


4 Ways ‘Free’ ETF Trading Could Cost You

August 11, 2015

Getty Images Investors have pumped well over $1 trillion into exchange-traded funds, steadily moving their money out of older-style traditional mutual funds and into this investing world darling. It’s no wonder: Investors prefer the lower costs, tax savings, and greater flexibility that ETFs offer compared to regular mutual funds. And ETF providers have done everything they can to bolster demand for their products. But even though financial companies are offering…


3 Things Investors Can Learn From March Madness

August 8, 2015

Getty Images It’s March Madness, that happy time of year when hoops fans are distracted and brackets are falling apart: Do you know where your top seeds are? In a valiant attempt to stick to advancing the cause of financial education (at a time when my alma mater University of Miami Hurricanes have a chance of actually making some noise this tournament) I figured I would tie the two together…


5 Dividend ETFs With 5 Very Different Strategies to Boost Your Income

August 3, 2015

Getty Images Income-hungry investors have been turning more and more to dividend ETFs — exchange-traded funds that focus on stocks that pay out healthy amounts of income to their shareholders. Although these funds share a common goal — boosting investors’ income — all dividend ETFs are not the same. In fact, they can have profoundly different methods for determining which stocks make the cut. Here’s a closer look at how…


Savvy Ways to Manage Your IRA Savings

July 28, 2015

AlamyBy MARK JEWELL BOSTON — When it comes to retirement planning, most of the focus is placed on 401(k)s. The reality is that individual retirement accounts represent the largest share of America’s savings. At the end of last year, IRAs had $5.4 trillion in assets compared with $5.1 trillion in 401(k)s and other defined contribution plans. Some 40 percent of U.S. households own at least one type of IRA, which…


5 Offensive and Defensive Funds to Strengthen Your Portfolio

July 22, 2015

Richard Drew/AP Investors are getting more excited about the stock market now that it has fully recovered from the financial crisis and started to set new record highs. But if you’re looking to invest now, you have to protect yourself from the possibility that the long bull market could reverse itself. It’s always tough both financially and psychologically to recover from immediate losses on investments you just bought, so taking…