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ETF Resources

The choice to use index funds rather than actively managed funds is a significant one. Index funds tend to be rather straightforward, easy-to-own, and cost-effective investment vehicles. But, just like actively managed funds, index funds also have their differences that investors should be aware of.

Cost Still Counts. Different index funds can charge different fees. Funds that are…

It's one of the most important—maybe even the most important question—in the fund world. It is possible for investors to reach their financial goals using either approach, or by blending the two. Using an all-index portfolio is generally a low-cost, low-maintenance way to go. On the other hand, investors can also buy and hold active funds; the key is doing their homework and having the…

Do we have a winner? Ever since passively-managed funds like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) came into being, there has been much debate about active management versus passive management. Research published by industry professionals presents different arguments. Some studies show that only a fraction of active funds beat their respective benchmarks. Other studies show that, while active funds…

In the past, retirement planning used to involve two planning stages: the accumulation of assets, and the distribution of assets. Nowadays, there may be three periods to consider: accumulation, transition, and distribution. “Transition” can be defined as the period between full employment and full retirement when a person is working on a reduced or part-time basis.

Retirement (Photo…

Investors often ask the question, “Are money-market funds FDIC insured like certificates of deposit and savings accounts?” The short answer is no, money-market fund holders don't have the same guarantees that holders of CDs, money-market deposit accounts, and checking and savings accounts have. However, money-market fund investors were accorded extra protections when the financial crisis…

Stocks or Bonds: Which Are Better?

Conventional wisdom holds that investors should hold bonds in tax-protected vehicles like IRAs and stocks in their taxable accounts. Intuitively, that makes sense. After all, bonds throw off a lot of taxable income, which is taxed at rates as high as 35%. Meanwhile, stocks typically generate much less income, and that dividend income is taxed at a…

Tax (Photo credit: 401K)

Handing over a portion of your investment earnings to the IRS is never pleasant. Fortunately, a specific category of mutual funds, called tax-efficient funds, might help you keep the amount you send to Uncle Sam to a minimum. Here's how tax-efficient funds work. Mutual funds must pay you almost all of the money they make from interest, dividends, or capital…