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Dan Solin
Dan Solin is The New York Times' best-selling author of the Smartest series of books. His next book, The Smartest Sales Book You'll Ever Read, will be published in March, 2014.

Entries by Dan Solin

The Secret to Higher Expected Returns

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 6:15 PM

Everyone wants higher returns. To many investors, success in investing means generating "alpha." If you are an investor in mutual funds, that means trying to generate returns in excess of the benchmark index designated by the fund.

There are still many investors who participate in the pursuit of alpha, but...

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Make the "Rigged" Markets Work for You

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 7:08 PM

The recent appearance by Michael Lewis on 60 Minutes and the publication of his book Flash Boys has generated a furor over the perceived inequities of high-frequency trading.

The idea that those engaged in high-frequency trading are permitted to "see" your trades, purchase stock ahead of your order and...

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Find the Needles in the Financial Pornography Haystack

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2014 | 7:19 PM

It's unfortunate that most of what passes for financial news is misleading and harmful to investors. It consists of supremely confident "financial gurus" predicting the future. They are either warning us of an imminent crash or observing that a bull run is just beginning.

We are inundated with conflicting...

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"Learning" From Timothy Sykes

(3) Comments | Posted March 25, 2014 | 7:13 PM

Timothy Sykes is offering you an opportunity to make big bucks. According to his website, he turned $12,415 into more than $3.7 million by trading penny stocks. He represents the following "verified" returns:

2014 (year to date): 90 percent
2013: 66 percent
2012: 38 percent

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The Anomaly of Greed

(3) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 7:16 PM

I was recently speaking with a colleague in the advisory business. The conversation turned to greed. We both share a fascination with the CNBC program American Greed. The program chronicles investment scams, with touching portrayals of victims.

The scams have a common thread: the promise of huge returns with...

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The Secret to Dealing With Market Volatility

(3) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 7:16 PM

A review of what passes for financial news provides sobering insight into why so many investors historically earn subpar returns.

Jim Cramer provides more of his "top stock picks." Many wrongly assume he has some special insight that permits him to identify mispriced stocks, despite compelling evidence to...

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A Thriving Export to Canada: Broker Misconduct

(1) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 5:41 PM

Most Americans have a high regard for our Canadian neighbors to the north. We respect their honesty, their integrity and, especially, their civility.

The statistics on crime in the U.S. and Canada show that Canadians live in a more lawful, peaceful society. Violent crime in the U.S. is...

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The Secret to Picking Actively Managed Mutual Funds

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2014 | 6:12 PM

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know I recommend against buying any actively managed mutual fund. Instead, I advise investing in a globally diversified portfolio of low-management-fee index funds, passively managed funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), in an asset allocation suitable for you.

Investors are looking...

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A Surprising Spin on a Bad January

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 6:16 PM

There was much hand-wringing about the poor stock market returns in January. The financial media engaged in its usual frenzy of speculation about whether these results meant we were in for a "correction" or worse.

Typical of the financial babble about the "significance" of January returns is

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An Investing Perspective

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 5:52 PM

It has long been my view that investors would be better off if they paid no attention to the financial news. Unfortunately, this is difficult to do and almost counterintuitive.

The core of the problem is the media need to fill up time and pages with fresh news or they...

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The Delicate Craft of Misleading Investors

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 6:13 PM

Proponents of alternative investments (like hedge funds) have a very effective presentation. They claim these investments have low volatility (risk), offer excellent risk-adjusted returns, and don't correlate well with stocks or bonds, thereby providing a "hedge" in troubled times. These proponents demonstrate the accuracy of these claims with compelling statistics,...

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Tips For Dealing With The Market Decline

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2014 | 5:53 PM

The recent sharp decline in the stock market has investors concerned. Apparently, many "investment pros" thought the market would continue its upward trajectory through 2014. The National Association of Active Investment Managers conducts a weekly survey with advisers and found that they have an astounding 98.3 percent of...

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Solving the Mystery of Passive Asset Class Investing

(2) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 6:15 PM

I am a proponent of evidence-based investing. The evidence is compelling that investors have higher expected returns when they reject actively managed funds and invest in a globally diversified portfolio of low-management-fee index funds, in an asset allocation appropriate for them.

This message is obviously resonating. According to...

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You Are Smarter Than a 7th Grader

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 6:22 PM

I recently came across a study that showed how easy it is to deceive seventh-grade students. Researchers in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut created a website and asked the students to review it. The website discussed a fictitious endangered species, the Pacific Northwest...

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Learn From Pension Fund Managers in Turkey

(1) Comments | Posted January 7, 2014 | 7:13 PM

Investing in stocks in Turkey is risky business. According to The Heritage Foundation, Turkey's gross domestic product is only $1.1 trillion. Its unemployment is 11.7 percent. Its judiciary is "subject to government influence." Although bribery is outlawed, "corruption continues to undermine perceptions of government integrity."


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Reflections on 2013 and Beyond

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 2:57 PM

I learned a lot this past year from reading your comments, doing research for my blog posts and talking to investors all over the country. It certainly was an extraordinary year for the stock market. The S&P 500 index was up an astounding 30 percent year-to-date as 2013 came to...

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Beware of Investment 'Pros'

(1) Comments | Posted December 24, 2013 | 9:38 AM

The financial media love to interview and write about the views of "investment pros." Here's one of many examples: On December 17, Forbes featured an article titled "The Pros Pick Three Green Income Stocks for 2014." The article set forth the stock picks of Jan Schalkwijk, a portfolio...

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What a Difference a Headline Makes

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2013 | 6:49 PM

I have to assume that Saturday, December 7, was a good day for Robert A. Olstein, the fund manager of the Olstein All Cap Value Fund (OFAFX). An article in the Business section of The New York Times featured a picture of a smiling Mr. Olstein. The headline...

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Dead Funds Walking... But Not Talking

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 5:39 PM

Everyone is familiar with the SEC admonition that "past returns are not indicative of future results." Mutual funds are required to post that disclaimer on any document discussing past performance.

It's unfortunate that investors pay little heed to that admonition. That's exactly how the mutual fund industry likes it....

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Learn From the Fama/Shiller "Disagreement"

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 6:03 PM

Much has been written about the significance and irony of both Eugene Fama and Robert Shiller being awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. The best source to define their areas of difference is Robert Shiller himself. In an article published in The New York Times, Shiller summarized...

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