The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed new regulations for the marketing of target-date retirement funds (TDFs) recently — a development that, more likely than not, escaped most investors’ attention.
Betterment is betting that simplicity is a feature investors will pay for, and they’ve created a web-based product that makes investing as easy as opening a savings account. In doing so, they’ve earned plenty of fans (the company hit its summer goals in its first week), but also critics who say the site is misleading and overpriced.
Many first-time investors start out buying shares of mutual funds. They rely on professional management to select a portfolio of stocks based on whether they seek income or growth. However, most investors tend to pick which fund or funds to invest in by looking at past performance — and that isn’t necessarily the best way to make an investment decision.
Few things can kill a cocktail conversation like bond talk. Not only do most people think bonds are boring, they also find them incredibly confusing. If you want to be a smart investor, though, you should know where your money is going. That includes understanding bonds and their most confusing feature: pricing.
A well-managed company shows a trend of steady or falling debt over time, and not rising debt. Analysts are known to use an old favorite, the current ratio (comparing current assets to current liabilities) to judge how well a corporation is managing its cash flow. Over the long term, an analysis of total capitalization and tracking of the debt ratio reveals much more about corporate health.
Anyone can tell you what to invest in—and everyone will. Most of them are wrong. Here are five investments you should never waste your time on. Bull market, bear market, and anything in between, these are reliably bad ideas that will lose you money.