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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

7 ETFs to Hold Forever

By Steven Goldberg





You can buy these exchange-traded index funds and never have to worry about replacing them


JewishWorldReview.com | Warren Buffett, probably the best stock investor of the past 50 years, made a big splash recently when he revealed that he has requested that 90% of his wife's share of his estate upon his death be invested in a low-cost fund that tracks Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

Buffett is nobody's fool. It's difficult, though hardly impossible--as his own example shows--to beat index funds. With index funds, you're practically guaranteed to beat roughly two-thirds of actively managed stock funds over the long term. What's more, picking among stocks or actively managed stock funds takes work and skill. Most people would rather invest in a portfolio of index funds--and get on with their lives--without having to constantly reevaluate their investments.

Where I part with Buffett is on his choice of index funds. The S&P 500 is a fine index, but stocks of large U.S. companies dominate it. Why not put your money in a better, more diversified portfolio? Diversification, after all, is the one free lunch in investing. Owning index funds that invest in small and midsize companies, as well as in foreign stocks, can boost your potential return.

Below are seven exchange-traded funds you can buy and hold for a lifetime. I've made some tweaks from a similar story I wrote a year ago; if you bought based on that piece, the tweaks are optional. All my picks are from Vanguard because its index funds cost little and are reliable--that is, they do an excellent job of tracking their benchmarks. I've provided the symbols for the seven exchange-traded funds, but it makes no difference whether you invest in the ETFs or the Vanguard mutual funds' Admiral shares, which require a $10,000 minimum investment; you'll pay the same minuscule expenses. If you buy the ETFs or regular funds from a brokerage firm instead of from Vanguard directly, you may also have to pay commissions.

This portfolio is designed for long-term, buy-and-hold investors. It's not intended to be my best picks for the current market. Indeed, just now I wouldn't invest much of anything in stocks of companies with small capitalizations; they're expensive relative to stocks of large companies.

Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI), 34% of the stock portfolio, tracks the CRSP U.S. Total Stock Market index, which covers the entire U.S. stock market. This fund has 19% of its assets in midsize companies and 9% in small caps. By comparison, the S&P 500 has 12% in mid caps and nothing in small caps. As with all the funds in this article, stocks are weighted by market value (share price times number of shares outstanding). The largest holding is Apple (AAPL), with 2.3% of assets. The average market value of the fund's holdings is $37 billion. The fund yields 1.9%; expenses are a mere 0.05% annually.

Vanguard Total International Stock Index ETF (VXUS), 22% of the stock portfolio, is the foreign twin of the ETF described above. It reflects the FTSE Global All Cap ex US index. Average market value is $21 billion. Developed markets account for 86% of the fund's assets, emerging markets the rest. Large companies dominate the fund, but 17% is in mid caps and 3% is in small caps. The ETF yields 2.8% and charges 0.14% annually.

Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index ETF (VIG), 12% of the stock portfolio, invests only in companies that have hiked dividends in each of the past ten years. It tracks the Nasdaq Dividend Achievers index, which also weeds out companies that fail tests of financial strength--chiefly because they have too much debt. Despite the dividend focus, this fund is not a high yielder; it yields just 2.0%, about the same as the S&P 500. Admittedly, Dividend Appreciation is an unusual index fund, but I've included it because of growing academic evidence that high-quality stocks--blue chips with attractive profit margins and dividends--have excelled over the long term. Annual expenses are 0.10%. (Note: Vanguard does not offer a mutual fund version of this ETF.)

Vanguard Extended Market Index ETF (VXF), 12% of the stock portfolio, tracks the S&P Completion index. The fund owns pretty much every tradable U.S. public company, excluding penny stocks and the like, that the S&P 500 doesn't own. Since 1926, small caps have returned an average of two percentage points per year more than large companies--albeit with greater volatility. All but 6% of this ETF is invested in mid caps and small caps. It charges 0.10% annually.

Vanguard Small Cap Value ETF (VBR), 12% of the stock portfolio, invests in small, undervalued companies by tracking the CRSP US Small Cap Value index. Research shows that small stocks and cheap stocks (those that are inexpensive in relation to earnings and other key measures) have delivered above-average returns over the long term. The average market value of this ETF is $2.7 billion. It charges 0.09% annually.


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Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index ETF (VWO), 8% of the stock portfolio, tracks the FTSE Emerging Markets index, which includes 850 stocks from 22 developing countries. Emerging markets have trailed U.S. stocks badly since late 2011, but, in my view, that doesn't mean these fast-growing economies don't deserve to be among your long-term investments. The fund charges 0.15% annually. What's in this stock portfolio, and how has it performed? Overall, it has 17% of its assets in small caps and 24% in mid caps. Foreign stocks account for 30% of assets, of which one-third is in emerging markets. Over the past ten years through April 30, the portfolio returned an annualized 9.0%. By contrast, the S&P 500 returned an annualized 7.7% during the same stretch.

The seventh ETF is a bond fund. I'd invest in Vanguard Intermediate-Term Corporate Bond Index ETF (VCIT). This pick is my answer to Vanguard founder Jack Bogle's complaint that many of Vanguard's bond index funds contain too many low-yielding Treasuries. The average credit quality of the fund's holdings is single-A. The fund charges 0.12% annually for expenses and yields 3.1%. As for how the fund would react to rising interest rates--the bĂȘte noir of most bond funds--Intermediate-Term Corporate would probably lose about 6.5% of its value if interest rates were to rise by one percentage point.

As far as allocation between stocks and bonds, most investors should probably have 70% to 75% of their portfolio in stock funds. But you'll want to gradually reduce that as you approach retirement. Even in retirement, though, most people should keep 50% to 60% of their investments in stock funds.

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Steven Goldberg is a Contributing Columnist for Kiplinger.



All contents copyright 2013 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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