An article that was recently published in the Wall Street Journal exposes a very unique technology tool that hedge funds use to determine future prices. A company called Planet Labs, Inc. has launched tiny, shoe-box sized satellites into orbit around earth with the mission of gathering data on “economically sensitive” spots like retailers’ parking lots, oil storage tanks and farmland. By analyzing the images they get back from these pint sized space machines data hungry hedge funds can offer clients “signals”—predictions on how prices will move for certain stocks. This analysis includes revenue predictions for big box stores based on changes in the number of cars in their lots and forecasts for oil inventories based on the height of floating lids in oil tanks.
In a world where we are bombarded with media hype about different stock picks, get rich quick schemes and claims that some managers have a crystal ball for how to beat the market, a wise investor is one who blocks out the white noise and pays attention to facts and science. A recent article written by Philipp Meyer-Brauns, PhD, an associate at Dimensional Fund Advisors, looks at reporting on mutual fund performance and reveals that there is often not enough perspective given to all of the factors that one must take into account when determining true performance.
You may have heard a common investment expression “It’s not what you make that counts. It’s what you keep.” Minimizing taxes from investment activities is important because it’s one of the few aspects of investing that an investor can gain significant control over. Paying attention to the tax consequences of investing can substantially increase long-term wealth and increase spendable income. This article will address various investment strategies and products for minimizing taxes.
A qualified retirement plan can provide many benefits for an employer and its employees. In order for the plan to run smoothly so that its usefulness can be maximized, the employer should be aware of the ongoing responsibilities related to the administration of the plan.
Once procedures have been established, the plan can function to its potential and remain within the qualification guidelines of the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") and the fiduciary requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). This newsletter will examine the basic responsibilities of the plan sponsor of a qualified plan.
Many academics consider the active-vs.-passive debate settled. Yet, despite the strong evidence supporting a passive approach, many investors still assume that skillful active management can increase returns, net of costs. In this three-part series, Brad Steiman offers fresh insight on the debate and provides content that advisors may find useful in their communication efforts. Part 1 features questions relating to the theoretical aspects of market efficiency and active manager performance. In subsequent columns, he will explore the implementation of active and passive strategies, and feature additional questions and comments submitted by readers.