October 2006 | Posted By Matt Hall

Yale University recently announced a 23 percent return on its investments, swelling its endowment to a whopping $18 billion. The man behind that investment success is David Swensen. He’s made an average 16 percent annual return over 21 years — better than any portfolio manager at any other university.

Mr. Swensen has become passionate about trying to teach individual investors how best to save for retirement. When Mr. Swensen set out to write a book (Unconventional Success) explaining how the average investor could replicate his success at Yale, the research showed him that the odds of beating the market in an actively managed fund are less than one in 100.

We invite you to listen to or read this recent interview to learn more about Mr. Swensen’s experience and his advice. Many of the lessons should sound familiar. Click here for the article and audio.

September 2006 | Posted By Matt Hall

We were recently discussing the cable television show “Mad Money” because it takes a lively and entertaining perspective on the typical format of a show that dispenses financial advice/information. However, as with all such hot news, by the time the information has been disseminated, it is already incorporated into stock pricing within our highly efficient markets, and thus no longer useful information on which to base decisions about trading. Instead, we would suggest that, rather than following recommendations that may or may not match an individual’s ability, need and willingness to take risk, prudent investors continue to adhere to their well-developed plan based on their long-term financial objectives.

August 2006 | Posted By Matt Hall

On August 16th, about forty-five Anheuser-Busch executives heard Rex Sinquefield, co-founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors and one of the creators of the first index fund, present evidence from an important study conducted in the United States and Great Britain. Not surprisingly, the study reveals the dismal performance of active fund managers in both countries. Rex went on to explain how one can build a portfolio that captures better than market returns by adding small and value stocks to increase the expected return and lower the standard deviation.

Anheuser-Busch is just one of a growing number of corporations who have switched to a passive investment philosophy in their pension and 401(k) programs. When faced with the data presented by academic studies as discussed in this presentation, more executives are beginning to understand how capital markets really work.