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Investing Blog Roundup: Why Not Annuitize?

I’ve written before that I think too few people annuitize their savings. Or, said differently, I think many people would benefit from exchanging a portion of their liquid assets for a guaranteed stream of lifetime income (most often by delaying Social Security, but also in some cases by purchasing an actual lifetime annuity). This week, Christopher Farrell of The New York Times provides several very reasonable counterpoints to that idea.

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Investing Blog Roundup: How Long Do Bear Markets Last?

This week, I enjoyed two articles that each take a look at how long bear markets tend to last. For me, the biggest takeaway is that there’s a lot of variation. Just because a market decline has lasted a given length of time (or hasn’t yet lasted a given length of time) doesn’t mean that we should/shouldn’t expect anything in particular in the near future.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Suing for Lower 401(k) Costs

After last year’s ruling by the Supreme Court in Tibble vs. Edison International, lawsuits have been brought against several large 401(k) plans, alleging that the plan fiduciaries have not done a good enough job of selecting the lowest-cost share classes available.

As Morningstar’s John Rekenthaler wrote in a recent article, participants in Anthem’s 401(k) plan have brought an especially ambitious suit, alleging that the plan’s funds are more expensive than they need be, despite the fact that they are mostly relatively low-cost Vanguard funds. It will be interesting to see how such cases play out in the next few years — and whether or not they bring any significant changes to the industry.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Picking Funds with High “Active Share”

Over the last few years, one strategy that has been proposed for finding actively managed funds that are likely to outperform index funds has been to find funds with a high “active share” — that is, funds that have holdings very different from the index to which their performance is compared. A recent bit of research from Vanguard suggests exactly what you might expect: Yes, picking funds with a high active share results in a greater chance of finding one that outperforms, but it also increases the likelihood of selecting funds that significantly underperform.

Of note, the Vanguard research only looks at a relatively brief period of time, so more work is needed. But it’s a start in the right direction.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Things to Do When the Stock Market Drops

The past week hasn’t been a good one for the stock market, with declines in both domestic and international “total market” indexes. Author and financial planner Roger Wohlner provides us with a few good reminders this week about how to deal with a stock market decline.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Why Rebalance?

Many investors believe that rebalancing enhances returns by automating the “buy low, sell high” process. As Michael Kitces explains this week, that’s not usually the case — but rebalancing is likely to be a good idea anyway.

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