MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
Vanguard Founder and Index Fund Pioneer John Bogle Celebrates 65 Years in the Financial Services Industry
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 05:35 PM

There’s not many people in the financial world that have earned as much acclaim and adoration as the founder of Vanguard, John Bogle. Like his good friend Warren Buffett, these two men exemplify radical humility in an industry loaded with oversized egos.

Should I Use Vanguard’s Index Funds or Actively Managed Funds?
Mark Zaifman   |    Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 01:39 PM

To index or not to index - that is the question many investors ask themselves when building a durable investment strategy.

Vanguard’s John Bogle Thinks Indexing Has Gone ‘Too Far’
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Dec 13, 2013 @ 05:39 PM

John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, recently conducted an extensive interview with a financial insider publication called Money Management Executive. In this no holds barred interview, Bogle shares his opinions and wisdom on index funds, ETF’s and alternative investments and how they are being used and marketed to the public.

2 Alternative Strategies to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 12:28 PM

If you are looking to diversify your investment portfolio, (and you should be) here are two alternative investment strategies worth considering. But first, full disclosure: We have absolutely no affiliation to the firms mentioned below and receive zero compensation or any compensation, financial or non-financial from these firms. At times, we will recommend and acquire these investments to add to our investment management clients’ portfolios.  Both investments come with risk of loss, so you need to do your due diligence before investing.

Propser & Lending Club

Peer-to-peer lending has been popular in Europe for many years and it’s finally getting its due attention here in the states. The two leading companies in this space are Prosper and Lending Club

By creating a virtual platform bringing together borrowers and lenders aka-peer to peer- outside the conventional banking system, peer to peer lending is surely going to become more and more popular as word spreads.  NPR recently did a story on this new concept that you can read or listen to.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of Prosper at a recent breakfast meeting in San Francisco. His vision, strategy and track record left little doubt in my mind that this is an alternative investment that needs to be seriously considered.

Prosper for example offers 1, 3 and 5 year notes for investors with varying interest rate returns depending on the borrower’s credit score and overall risk profile. Monthly interest payments can be reinvested or deposited electronically into your checking account.

Lower risk seasoned returns at Prosper currently average 5.41% with higher risk notes earning 14.12% and higher. Investments in personal loans from qualified borrowers can be as little as $25. For fixed income investors seeking higher income, this could play a role in your portfolio. Being able to invest across different credit grades and estimated yields provides the diversity you need.

Perhaps it was my 3 years of experience working at Fair Isaac, home of the FICO credit score, that has me believing in this alternative investment so highly, yet peer-to-peer lending/investing in my humble opinion is the next big thing in the investing world. Check it out, make sure you fully understand the risks involved and see if it has a place in your portfolio.

Smart, Sensible Retirement Planning Advice by Nobel Prize Winner
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, May 10, 2013 @ 11:40 AM

A person saving for retirement who chooses low-cost investments instead of higher-cost ones could have a standard of living throughout retirement that's more than 20 percent higher”, says Noble Prize winner William Sharpe.

In a recent interview published on the Stanford Graduate School of Business website, Sharpe, a professor emeritus at the school, clearly illustrates how much more money retirees would have if they saved for retirement using lower-cost index funds rather than higher-cost actively managed funds.

Attempting to Outsmart the Stock Market is Not an Investment Strategy
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Jan 09, 2013 @ 09:36 AM

Back in the day, I considered myself an ‘outsmarter’. It was the mid-80’s, I was young and carefree and believed, as did the vast majority of my friends and colleagues, that we had the winning formula for stock market success.

5 Reasons Vanguard Index Funds are Top Choice for Smart Investors
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Dec 13, 2011 @ 10:08 AM
Vanguard Mutual Fund's John Bogle Discusses Investment Risks
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Oct 04, 2011 @ 07:10 AM

Bogle Discusses Investment Risk During Volatile Times

Rising Interest Rates and Your Bond Investments
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Mar 11, 2011 @ 02:53 PM
Index Fund Investing Just Got More Interesting
Mark Zaifman   |    Mon, Feb 28, 2011 @ 09:58 AM

As an avid John Bogle fan as well as a strong believer in the value of using low cost index funds for your core portfolio, these new kids on the block, fundamental index funds are, well - sexy!

As any fan of John Bogle would know, his esteemed leadership as the former head of Vanguard is one that has benefited investors worldwide. It was John Bogle that brought index fund investing to the masses.

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