Friday, June 20, 2014

Short Takes: Indexing Effects on Markets, 4% Rule, and more

I wrote only one post this week:

Which is the best credit card?

Here are some short takes and some weekend reading:

Chris Philips at Vanguard gives some of the best answers I’ve seen to questions about the effects of indexing on markets. One thing I would add is that not all money allocated to index funds is truly passive. Many investors trade index funds actively leading to the creation and destruction of index fund units. This is a form of market timing that competes with other active investors.

Norman Rothery points out that the 4 per cent rule for retirement withdrawals each year is based on the assumption that you pay no investment fees. This fact is rarely mentioned. I recreated the study behind the 4 per cent rule and then studied the effect of fees.

Boomer and Echo have a thoughtful list of 5 investing lessons learned. To the first lesson I‘d add that distinguishing skill from luck goes beyond comparing returns to an appropriate benchmark. Even if you beat a benchmark over a year or five, you may have been just lucky and have no expectation of beating the benchmark in the future.

Rob Carrick says “don’t sell your stocks if you’re worried about a market decline.” That’s good advice, and the second paragraph has a good lesson as well: “The market will fall at some point, but it’s pointless for most investors to try and predict when.” However, the rest of the article focuses on opinions of whether the market is overvalued and whether other investors are scared. Most investors should simply ignore such things and focus on their long-term plans.

My Own Advisor lists his picks for the top Canadian equity ETFs. My favourite from the list is VCN.

Big Cajun Man is no fan of the land transfer tax. He gives an Excel formula for calculating this tax in Ontario.

Million Dollar Journey is looking for people interested in writing about their own journeys to a million dollars now that Frugal Trader has finished the trek. I wonder if he would be interested in hearing from someone who is heading back down to a million dollars through living the good life in retirement.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the mention, Excel (and s/s in general) are the ultimate financial tool.

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  2. Thanks for the mention. I fear my luck may be running out, so expect some big changes in my portfolio soon.

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  3. Thanks for the mention Michael. VCN is a great product, It will be interesting to see if the fees for this one come down to rival ZCN and XIC at some point.

    Have a great weekend!
    Mark

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