Index Funds, Mutual Funds, & ETF's

Index Funds, Mutual Funds, & ETF's

There is a common misconception that mutual funds, index funds and ETFs are all the same type of investment vehicles. And while there are similarities, there are also some significant differences for investors to know about. Let’s explore.

Active vs. Passive

Investors can select from two main investment strategies: active and passive portfolio management. Active portfolio management is exactly how it sounds: the portfolio manager(s) focuses on outperforming an index by “actively” making buy/sell decisions, adjusting asset allocation ranges and employing other portfolio management techniques.

Passive portfolio management on the other hand simply aims to replicate an index – not to outperform and not to underperform – but rather replicate. Therefore, there is no portfolio manager making buy/sell decisions.

Mutual funds are either active or passive – if passive, then they are called index funds. ETFs can also be considered either passive or active.

"Sell in May and Go Away?"

"Sell in May and Go Away?"

One of the oldest stock market strategies is to “Sell in May and Go Away.” But what does this phrase mean?  Is there any supporting reason for selling stocks in May and leaving the market?  What are the risks?

The Strategy

“Sell in May and go away” is a well-known trading adage that counsels investors to sell their stocks in May to avoid a seasonal decline in the stock market.  An investor selling his or her stocks in May would then buy stocks again in November because the November through April period shows significantly stronger growth in the market than the other half of the year.  However, this seasonal strategy flies in the face of the buy-and-hold strategy of investors like Warren Buffett, the wildly successful “Oracle of Omaha.”

Financial Action for Divorced Women

Financial Action for Divorced Women

Managing your finances effectively will become a high priority during a major life transition. Money can’t buy happiness but your ability to manage your finances will play a large role in your financial future, and to a large extent, your ability to live the life you choose.

It doesn’t necessarily require a huge amount of time to get your finances moving in the right direction. It’s often a matter of focusing on the “fundamentals” and taking the following steps can help you get on track.