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Tag: dow jones
Beyond Index Fund Investing: Building on a Good Thing
As we described in this related article, we’re fans of taking a rules-based approach to investing instead of trying to actively forecast a market’s next move or a stock price’s next swing. Attempts to outsmart the market are more likely to waste your energy than deliver higher long-term returns.
So, this begs the question: Why don’t we recommend index funds exclusively for our clients?
We really like aspects of the indexing philosophy. Passively managed index funds typically employ a rules-based strategy to capture returns by tracking a popular index at a low cost. So far, so good. But, as we focus in, like we did in this piece, we start to find some inefficiencies that point to why index funds may not be the optimal vehicle for clients looking to maximize market returns. Curious to learn more? Give us a call.
What is the ‘Market’ Really Made of?
It’s certainly not the “Dow” as Allan Sloan so excellently covered in his recent piece. (You can also find the perfect summary by The Week here.) It’s not even the S&P 500—which is just the 500 largest companies in the U.S. Add in nearly all US, International, and Emerging Market stocks, bringing your total in the neighborhood of 12,000 companies, and then you’ll have a feel for what we call global capitalism. That’s also what we at Hill consider to be the true market. The image above shows the percent that each country represents in world market capitalization as of December 31, 2014. Note where some markets might be much smaller that expected. Even the U.S. only represents 52% of the total, whereas most investors we meet come with portfolios that have little other exposure outside of that.