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Investing Blog Roundup: Which Bond Fund?

This week Jim Dahle did a great job answering the question of which bond fund you should use in a portfolio. Perhaps my favorite thing about the article though is the introduction, in which he makes it clear that this isn’t a critically important question.

Which bond fund to use is an important question in the sense that, when constructing a portfolio, you do have to pick something(s) to use for fixed-income (unless you’re going with an all-stock allocation). But your likelihood of meeting your financial goals is extremely unlikely to be significantly affected by whether you use a Total Bond fund or, for example, an intermediate-term Treasury fund. It’s not even close to one of the most important financial planning decisions.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Long-Term Care Needs

Long-term care is one of the trickiest topics in financial planning. The potential costs are quite high, yet the available insurance products leave something to be desired.

Three researchers with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College recently sought to answer a few of the questions that you have likely asked yourself: how likely are you to need long-term care? And how likely are you to need a severe level of care as opposed to a more minor level of care? And how long is your need for care likely to last?

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Investing Blog Roundup: Index Funds’ Voting Power (And What to Do About It?)

As I’ve written before, I’m not especially enthusiastic about socially responsible funds (a.k.a. SRI or ESG funds) in their most common form. It has always seemed to me that, if I wanted to influence a company’s behavior, conscientiously excluding that company from my portfolio — thereby giving up my right to vote on important issues facing that company, giving up my right to speak at that company’s shareholder meetings, and giving up my right to vote on membership of that company’s board of directors — is precisely the opposite of how I would go about it.

Voting gives you power. Right now, index funds have a lot of that power.

Last month I linked to an article by Boris Khentov, arguing that index funds should tell us how they’re voting their shares. This month, Morningstar’s John Rekenthaler takes that discussion further:

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Investing Blog Roundup: Moving from Google/Feedburner to “Follow.It”

As I mentioned in the roundup article on 5/28, due to Google/Feedburner closing down their email newsletter service, I have had to switch to another provider (“follow.it”).

If you would like to continue receiving the newsletter, please do click the confirmation link that they provided if you have not yet done so. (When a publisher imports a list of subscribers, follow.it will temporarily send emails to everybody imported on the list. But they need to be sure that people confirm the subscription. It’s their way of making sure that I didn’t simply purchase a list of email addresses without the recipients’ actual intent to subscribe.)

Again, thanks for your patience with the transition. Hopefully things are roughly back to normal from here on out.

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Investing Blog Roundup: New Email Platform

As you’ve probably noticed, today’s email looks somewhat different. With the recent news that Google/Feedburner will officially be ending their email newsletter service in July, I have switched to the “follow.it” platform.

I hope to get everything sorted so that, from your perspective, it works the same as it has for the last 13 years (i.e., since the beginning of this blog), but there may be some glitches/hiccups along the way. My apologies in advance, and thanks for your patience.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Investors Pulling Money Out of DFA

Dimensional Fund Advisors is known for its “factor” funds (e.g., funds with heavy tilts toward small-cap stocks and/or value stocks). Collectively, investors pulled $37 billion out of DFA funds last year, and the negative fund flows have continued in 2021. In a recent article for ETF.com, Allan Roth takes a look at why that might be the case.

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