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Thursday, 11 July 2024 14:30

How Indexing Gives a Tax Advantage

Direct indexing allows investors to access the individual stocks in their portfolio, providing opportunities for tax-loss harvesting. Unlike index funds, direct indexing offers the performance and diversification benefits of an index but with the ability to customize holdings. 


This strategy enables investors to manage exposure to specific companies or sectors and capitalize on market dips for tax-loss opportunities. While index funds offer simplicity and tax efficiency, direct indexing takes these benefits a step further by allowing more personalized portfolio adjustments. 


However, setting up a direct indexing account can be costly and involves higher fees due to its active management. Despite this, the customization and tax benefits can be worthwhile for certain investors, especially those in higher tax brackets or with concentrated stock positions.

Finsum: With fees and minimums getting lower and lower, direct indexing is becoming an option for a wider audience.

Vanguard’s low-cost ETFs are immensely popular, with options like Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF leading the pack. However, there are other notablev ETFs that can enhance your portfolio if you venture beyond these well-known choices:


VBR, a Gold-rated ETF, focuses on small-cap value stocks and charges an exceptionally low 0.07% expense ratio. This ETF has consistently outperformed its category peers, despite small-cap value funds being out of favor for many years.


BNDX, a Silver-rated ETF, offers exposure to the global bond market, complementing a U.S.-heavy bond allocation. It invests in a diverse portfolio of foreign investment-grade bonds, hedging against currency risk, with an equally low expense ratio of 0.07%.


Finally, VT provides exposure to nearly 10,000 stocks worldwide, including U.S., foreign, and emerging markets, making it one of the broadest stock ETFs available. With its diverse mix, it can serve as a comprehensive, standalone stock investment for long-term portfolios.

Finsum: The last one to consider might be a momentum fund as interest rates drop and growth picks up. 

Thursday, 11 July 2024 14:26

Summer Baseball Makes a Great Vacation

Planning a vacation around attending MLB games can be a thrilling way to experience America's pastime while exploring different cities. 


Start your journey at Wrigley Field in Chicago, home to the Chicago Cubs, where the historic charm and ivy-covered walls offer a nostalgic baseball experience. Next, head to Fenway Park in Boston, the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball, where the iconic Green Monster and passionate Red Sox fans create an electric atmosphere. 


If soaking in the history isn’t as much of a concern, travel to Oracle Park in San Francisco, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Bay while watching the Giants play. 


Beyond the games, these cities offer rich cultural experiences, from Chicago's deep-dish pizza to Boston's historic Freedom Trail and San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Planning your trip around these iconic ballparks ensures not only memorable games but also unforgettable adventures in some of America's most vibrant cities.

Finsum: Baseball’s new rules vastly improve the going experience as compared to the last couple of years. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 05:20

SMAs Getting a Boost Due to Technology

A recent Goldman Sachs survey reveals that investors are enthusiastic about separately managed accounts (SMAs). Financial advisors appreciate SMAs for their professional management, customization, transparency, tax efficiency, and diversification benefits. 


Chris Mankoff of JTL Wealth Partners finds SMAs advantageous for aligning with clients' preferences and optimizing tax strategies. While there have been challenges in the past with SMAs but the recent technological advancements have made them more accessible and effective. 


Direct indexing, a step beyond SMAs, leverages technology for customized tax management and ESG preferences. Despite their benefits, SMAs may not be suitable for all clients, particularly those with smaller portfolios or predominantly pretax investments.

Finsum: While SMAs might not be for all, with a sizeable portfolio technology makes them easier for advisors to manage. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2024 05:19

Rate Cuts Coming Switch To Active Funds

The conversation about rate cuts is heating up again as we move into 2024. Signals from the Fed hint at potential rate reductions, spurred by weaker job numbers and rising unemployment. With a lackluster June jobs report and unemployment up to 4.1%, a September rate cut looks increasingly likely. 


For investors, active ETFs offer a strategic response, providing flexibility and potential advantages over passive index funds. These ETFs can adapt to market shifts, benefiting from lower borrowing costs for smaller growth companies. 


As the market concentrates on a few mega-cap firms, active ETFs can diversify risk and capitalize on emerging opportunities. In light of these dynamics, active strategies present a potent option for investors adjusting to the evolving economic landscape.

Finsum: Active management could prove fruitful if interest rates fall and they can capitalize on, say, growth opportunities like tech. 

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