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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

5 Surprising Secrets of Investing

By Steven Goldberg





(Steven Goldberg, an investment adviser in the Washington, D.C. area, is a contributing columnist for Kiplinger.)


We all know the secrets of fund investing: Pick funds based on long-term returns, keep costs down, diversify your investments widely, and don't try to time the market.

But Sheldon Jacobs has a new book out that questions these long-held beliefs -- and other conventional wisdom.

Jacobs is well worth listening to. He edited The No-Load Fund Investor newsletter from 1979 until he sold it in the mid 2000s. The authoritative Hulbert Financial Digest ranked Jacobs's letter number one for risk-adjusted performance for the 15 years ending in 2006. (Risk-adjusted performance looks not only at raw returns but also at a fund's volatility.)

At 81, Jacobs has just written a new book, "Investing Without Wall Street: The Five Essentials of Financial Freedom." The book is especially provocative, in part because, in retirement, Jacobs has nothing to lose by being totally honest. (Buy it at a 34% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 52% discount by clicking here)

Here are the five most interesting and controversial points he makes in his book and elaborated on in a recent interview:

Pick funds based on relatively short-term performance.

When Jacobs selected funds for his newsletter, he looked at performance over three months, six months, one year and three years. He recommended the funds with the best returns over those periods. Jacobs considered risk because he separated his funds into aggressive growth, growth and growth-and-income categories.


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But he totally ignored long-term returns. "It's pointless to look at ten years of performance," he writes. "There's just too much irrelevant ancient history."

My take: Momentum can work in picking funds. Jacobs's record underscores that. But longer-term returns have value, too.

Employ a few market-timing moves.

Jacobs doesn't think you should try to predict the markets yourself, but he does think you should consider hiring someone to do it for you. Plenty of investment newsletters offer market-timing advice. The Hulbert Financial Digest is the best source for ratings of timers. A one-year subscription costs $59.

Jacobs urges readers to search for timers who ignore short-term moves and focus on longer-term trends. "The fewer the timer's calls, the better," he says. And he cautions against following more than one timer. Subscribing to two is a good way to drive yourself nuts.

Most important, Jacobs suggests avoiding drastic timing moves. Don't, for example, go from all cash to all stocks in one fell swoop. Instead, if you're, say, 60% in stocks normally, cut back to 50% in stocks when your timer turns bearish.

My take: I'm not sure that any timer can beat a buy-and-hold strategy on a long-term basis. But I like the way Jacobs recommends using a timer. In fact, it's what I do for clients.

Who's good? My current favorite is James Stack, editor of InvesTech Research, in Whitefish, Mont. A one-year subscription costs $175 .

Think outside the Morningstar style box.

Morningstar divides stock funds into nine categories -- by the size of the companies a fund invests in, from large to small, and by investing style, from growth to value. Looking at U.S. stock funds over ten years, Jacobs found that correlations among the nine style boxes were extremely high. Over that period, the style you favored would hardly have mattered much.

Says Jacobs: "I think the biggest benefit of this strategy [allocating among style boxes] is that it gives investment advisers the opportunity to justify their fees by forecasting which styles will be the best performers."

My take: There's a fair amount of truth to Jacobs's criticism. But I think there's money to be made by investing in areas of the stock market that are undervalued. Currently, I have a significant overweighting in the stocks of large companies, particularly large growth companies. They look cheap relative to their history.

Jacobs thinks most people can do well without an adviser. Instead of spending your money on one, you should simply invest your stock money in a broad-based index fund, such as one that invests in the entire U.S. stock market. That, of course, gives you the entire style box. He also recommends buying a small-company index fund to beef up the small-cap exposure in the total-market fund, because small-company stocks have outperformed big-company stocks over the long term.

Foreign stocks don't diversify away any risk.

Jacobs isn't against foreign stocks, but he notes that they tend to move in lockstep with U.S. stocks, particularly in bear markets. "The purpose of owning foreign stock funds is to invest in good foreign companies, not for diversification," he says.

My take: Agreed.

Index, but use "fundamental indexing," too.

In addition to recommending traditional index funds, Jacobs favors putting some money into fundamental index funds. Traditional index funds weight stocks based on their market value (share price times number of shares outstanding). Fundamental index funds weight holdings based on basic factors, such as a company's sales, profits, cash flow or book value (assets minus liabilities).

Jacobs notes that fundamental indexing was a bust in the 2007-2009 meltdown because funds that practiced that strategy tended to be more value-oriented than traditional index funds, and value strategies performed horribly during that market. Investors interested in fundamental indexing should consider PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000 ETF (symbol PRF), an exchange-traded fund.

My take: Look, I don't agree with everything in this book. But it offers some real wisdom. Even if you're a long-term, buy-and-hold investor, you can learn a lot by reading Jacobs. He did a superb job as a newsletter editor, and he has a lot to teach investors.

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