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Passing Shots

The Fifth Set Blog

Topics: Active Management, Asset Allocation, Diversification, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Evidence-Based Investing, Index Investing, Long-term investing, Portfolio Management, Uncategorized

Will FAANG Stocks Continue their Dominant Outperformance?

Much has been made of the recent performance of large U.S. technology stocks.  In particular, the performance of the FAANG[1] stocks has captured the imagination of many investors. To frame the discussion, let us look at how FAANG stocks have performed compared to standard benchmarks  …read more »

The S&P 500 is at Record Levels…Five Key Takeaways for Investors

On February 19th, 2020, the S&P 500 index closed at 3,386.15.  That marked the highpoint before the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent global economic collapse drove the U.S. stock market down 33% in a little over a month.  On August 18th, 2020, amid the continuing twin  …read more »

“In Investing, You Get What You Don’t Pay For”

That was the title of a keynote address given by Vanguard founder John Bogle in February 2005.  For Bogle, a prominent evangelist of low-cost investing, the premise, simply stated, was that investment expenses directly erode investor returns. Investor Returns = Market Returns – Expenses Market  …read more »

“The Market” has Recovered its Coronavirus Losses, but Most Stocks are Down Year-To-Date

How we, as investors, define “the market” can obscure actual investment experiences.  To illustrate, look at the following four measures of 2020 year-to-date returns through June 16th. S&P 500 (Large U.S. Stocks): -2.4% Russell 3000 (Broad U.S. Stocks) -2.8% Russell 3000 median stock: -17.6% FAANG[1]  …read more »

The Coronavirus Market Correction – Two Ways to Place Volatility in Context – An Update

Since our March 9th note placing current market volatility in context, the market, as measured by the S&P 500, has continued to see major swings in both directions.  S&P 500 daily losses of 4.9%, 9.5%, 12%, 5.2% and 4.3% have occurred as well as daily  …read more »

What is Wrong with Selling Now and Getting Back in When Things are Calmer: Nothing! But Not for the Reason You Think.

Why not sell out and get back in when things are calmer?  That is the question many investors are asking as the Coronavirus-provoked market volatility continues.  At first glance, it may seem obvious why that is a bad idea.  The wisdom of holding on and  …read more »

The Coronavirus Market Meltdown Continues – Two Ways to Place the Volatility in Context

This morning global equity markets continued the recent volatility around the Coronavirus’ human and economic impacts.  As of this morning, the S&P 500 is trading down roughly 5% and since February 20th, 2020, the S&P is down roughly 17%.   The uncertainly around the virus and  …read more »

Six Quick Thoughts on the Coronavirus Market Meltdown

As I sit to write this post, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down just less than 1,000 points.  Concerns around the impact of the Coronavirus on both human lives and economic growth is dragging down global equity markets.  Investors are understandably concerned about what  …read more »

Long-Term Equity Returns – A Reasonable Expectation

As we begin the new decade, I thought this would be a good time to consider what a reasonable long-term equity return expectation might look like. While not particularly helpful for short-term strategies, setting long-term expectations has several benefits for investors including: Long-term planning –  …read more »

The SECURE Act – Congress passes significant new retirement plan legislation

In the final session of 2019, Congress passed and the President signed, the SECURE Act (The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), a significant piece of legislation that contains several important updates and changes for investors.  Among the most significant are the following:  …read more »