Indexes: What you should know

I field a lot of questions about indexes. What’s the S&P 500? How is it different from the Dow Jones? What is the Russell 2000 and why does it regularly outperform its peers? I think this is important information for the average investor to know. I had one client call me on a day when the Dow Jones was down over 100 points to ask how poorly his stocks were performing. I explained that while the market averages were trading down that day, his individual portfolio was actually up. How is this possible? Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average only represents 30 companies out of thousands which are publicly traded. On a separate note, indexes are also growing in popularity because of the explosion of exchange-traded funds–investments which track indexes. Let’s talk more about indexes and what you should know.*

Continue reading

Part II: Costs, Fees, and Expenses in Corporate Retirement Plans

My last post asked the question “Are Corporate Retirement Plans a Bad Deal?” My response, as in most of my posts, is not simply yes or no. I prefer to break down the question such that plan sponsors and business owners can better reach their own conclusions. In my experience, the costs associated with corporate retirement plans seem to be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” type of issue. Unlike most, I always ask and gladly tell all.

Continue reading