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Investing Blog Roundup: Still Chasing Performance

As research from Morningstar has shown, investors actually do an okay job at picking funds — not spectacular, but better than picking randomly. As Jason Zweig explains in The Wall Street Journal this week, where we really mess up is with our timing:

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Investing Blog Roundup: Dealing with Unplanned Early Retirement

I had the pleasure of being quoted this week in two articles that you might find helpful:

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Investing Blog Roundup: Brokers Selling Bonds

A few times each year, I hear from readers who ask me for my thoughts on a given individual bond. Without fail, it turns out that the bond in question is being recommended by a financial advisor working at a brokerage firm, with one of the selling points being that the brokerage firm does not charge any commission on the sale.

As you might imagine, this is one of those technically-true-but-still-misleading statements. While there is no commission, per se, the brokerage firm is selling the bond, at a markup, out of its own inventory. Larry Swedroe has more on the topic this week:

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Investing Blog Roundup: Big News Week

In addition to the obvious news about avoiding a Treasury default and ending the government shutdown, other big pieces of investing-related news this week include the Nobel Prize in Economics being awarded to Eugene Fama, Robert Shiller, and Lars Peter Hansen and an announcement of changes to a handful of Vanguard funds.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Is Rebalancing Essential?

This week, Penelope Wang of Money took a look at the pros and cons of the conventional wisdom of rebalancing your portfolio regularly. In addition to providing her own analysis, Wang includes thoughts from numerous experts such as Jack Bogle, Burton Malkiel, William Bernstein, and William Sharpe.

You may also want to see the related Bogleheads discussion:

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Investing Blog Roundup: When Should Your Stock Allocation Be at Its Lowest?

Of course, after a two-week hiatus, this week’s roundup is rather lengthy.

Perhaps the most interesting of the many worthwhile pieces of reading is a new research paper by Michael Kitces and Wade Pfau that takes a look at the counterintuitive idea of increasing one’s equity allocation throughout retirement. (That is, starting the accumulation stage with a high equity allocation, shifting toward bonds as you approach retirement, then shifting back toward stocks as you move through retirement.)

When looked at from a whole lifetime perspective, the idea is essentially to invest most conservatively (that is, to have your stock allocation at its lowest point) during those few years in which you would be most harmed by a period of very bad returns (i.e., the years immediately before and after retiring) rather than in the years at the very end of your life.

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