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Dividends and ‘The Magic Pants’

Seeking Alpha

Summary While dividends may comprise a significant portion of total returns, they don’t add any explanatory power to future returns. Approximately 60 percent of U.S. stocks and 40 percent of international stocks don’t pay dividends. The total returns to investors come from capital gains. Corporate dividends can be replaced with self-made dividends. Seeking Alpha blogger…

Expected Stock Returns Around the Globe

Seeking Alpha

In order to rationally develop an investment plan you need to estimate long-term returns for the asset classes in which to invest – without doing so you cannot determine how much to allocate to risky stocks and how much to safer bonds. When estimating returns we know that current valuations provide valuable information. As good…

Are Demographics Really Destiny?

Seeking Alpha

I recently came across an article on Seeking Alpha by The Statistical Investor entitled “Demographics Are Destiny: World Population Trends“. The article begins: “As they say, demographics is destiny. Just ask Japan. The longer your investment horizon, the more exposed you are to demographic trends.” The author continues with what we might call “conventional wisdom”…

Reversion To The Mean Phenomenon: Part IV

Seeking Alpha

This final post of the RTM series will explore the importance of discipline. The academic evidence demonstrates that the determinant of almost all of the risk and return of a portfolio is its asset allocation. It’s important to add that because of recency, the most important determinant of the return that an investor’s portfolio actually produces might…

Reversion To The Mean Phenomenon: Part III

Seeking Alpha

Our last post looked at the issue of what is expected to happen as a country migrates from frontier to developed markets. We should expect to see the cost of capital fall in such a country. Among the reasons is that regulatory regimes, including protections for foreign investors, are typically strengthened. The falling equity risk premium demanded…

Reversion To The Mean Phenomenon: Part II

Seeking Alpha

My prior post explored the ninth wonder of the world: reversion to the mean. Today, we continue the discussion on this phenomenon. Forecasting stock returns is a more difficult task than forecasting bond returns. While the relationship only holds at long horizons, what we do know is that valuation metrics such as P/E ratios have had an…

Reversion to the Mean Phenomenon: Part I

Seeking Alpha

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is a list of remarkable constructions of antiquity. They are the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos of Alexandria.   Benjamin Franklin…

Faith-Based Funds Don’t Mean Divine Returns

Seeking Alpha

Socially responsible investing (SRI) has been referred to as “double-bottom-line” investing. The implication is that you are seeking not only profitable investments, but also investments that meet your personal standards. Faith-Based Funds (FBF) can be viewed as a subset of SRI. While SRI applies screens on secular social concerns, FBF screens investments based on the…

Lessons From 2013: Part III

Seeking Alpha

Day three of our lessons from 2013, we’ll dive right in with an examination of hedge fund returns. This one holds the title with the most repeat performances, appearing most years. The HRFX Global Hedge Fund Index earned just 6.7 percent. The table below shows the returns for various equity and fixed

Start Paying Attention to Tax Efficiency

Seeking Alpha

Much attention has been paid to expense ratios of mutual funds. Yet, despite the fact that taxes have a substantial impact on the long-term performance of taxable mutual fund investors, far less attention has been paid to the impact of taxes on after-tax returns. And while the evidence is clear that it’s difficult for active fund managers to create superior investment performance by picking stocks or by timing markets, it’s relatively easy to avoid destroying value for taxable fund investors by managing investment taxes. For example, tax-aware funds might attempt to reduce the tax burden by avoiding the intentional realization of any short-term gains and by accelerating the realization of capital losses. Tax management strategies might not only reduce the tax burden, they might also generate lower trading costs. For example, tax-efficient investment strategies exhibit relatively low turnover, generating lower trading costs. In addition, liquidating stock positions with embedded capital losses and holding on to positions with capital gains might generate superior before-tax returns due to the momentum effect.

Lessons From 2013: Part IV

Seeking Alpha

Over the last few years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in interest in dividend paying stocks. The heightened interest has been fueled by both the media hype and the current regime of interest rates that are well below historical averages. The low yields available on safe bonds led even many once conservative investors to shift their allocations from safe bonds to dividend paying stocks. This is especially true for those who take an income, or cash flow, approach to investing – as opposed to a total return approach, which I believe is the right approach.

Lessons From 2013: Part I

Seeking Alpha

Every year the markets provide us with lessons on the prudent investment strategy. Many times markets provide remedial courses covering lessons it had provided in prior years. That’s why one of my favorite statements is that there’s nothing new in investing, only the investment history you don’t know.

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