In this issue

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

The Case for Investing in High-Quality Stocks

By Steven Goldberg

These shares tend to outperform low-quality stocks and the broader market—especially during downturns

JewishWorldReview.com | It turns out you can put a price on quality. A study finds that high-quality stocks beat lower-quality issues over the long term. What's more, high quality tends to do best when you really need it: in bear markets. Even better, the study concludes that high-quality stocks are cheap right now.

The Leuthold Group, a Minneapolis-based research firm, found that high-quality stocks returned an annualized 13.1% from the start of 1986 through March 2014. By contrast, low-quality stocks returned an annualized 10.0% over the same period, and Standard & Poor's 500-stock index returned an average of 10.6% per year.

What's "high quality"? Like so many investment terms, it suffers from imprecision. Almost everyone seems to define high-quality companies slightly differently, but healthy profit margins and low debt are always common threads.

Leuthold's current high-quality list includes such sturdy stocks as Apple (symbol AAPL), Berkshire Hathaway B (BRK.B), Costco (COST), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), ExxonMobil (XOM), UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and Whole Foods Market (WFM).

High quality doesn't win out every year. Far from it. High-quality stocks outperformed low-quality names in 16 of the past 28 calendar years, Leuthold found. Analyst Jun Zhu, who conducted the study, says that's not much better than the result you'd get by flipping a coin.

But quality has been a friend in stormy seas. In 2008, for instance, when the S&P 500 plunged 37.0%, low-quality stocks plummeted 49.4%. High-quality stocks were hardly unscathed, but they lost only 33.7%.

The 2000 tech explosion provides an even more dramatic contrast. Low-quality stocks tumbled 17.8% and the S&P lost 9.1% that year. Yet high-quality stocks gained 13.0%.

Leuthold categorizes companies as high quality or low quality based on return on equity (a measure of profitability), the ratio of debt to assets, and the stability of sales and earnings trends.

Leuthold finds high-quality stocks relatively cheap today compared with low-quality stocks. Based on price-earnings ratios, high-quality stocks are about 10% cheaper compared with low-quality stocks than their average over the past 28 years.

Generally speaking, it's easy to identify high-quality stocks. Just look for companies with healthy profit margins, low debt, and steadily growing earnings and sales. If you prefer to invest through a fund, rather than by buying individual stocks, here are three good choices:


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Akre Focus (AKREX), managed by veteran Chuck Akre, invests in the highest-quality companies Akre and his analysts can find. He looks for sturdy firms with sustainable competitive advantages. Top holdings include American Tower (AMT), Discovery Communications (DISCK) and MasterCard (MA). Returns have been streaky but quite good over the long term at Akre Focus and a previous fund run in the same manner. During the past three years, Akre Focus, a member of the Kiplinger 25, has returned an annualized 20.9%--an average of 5.6 percentage points per year better than the S&P 500. Expenses are on the high side at 1.36% annually. (Unless otherwise stated, all returns are through May 28.)

Market Vectors Wide Moat ETF (MOAT) is an exchange-traded fund that invests in Morningstar's best picks from among companies its 100-plus analysts view as having big sustainable competitive advantages. Holdings include Baxter International (BAX), Coca-Cola (KO) and Procter & Gamble (PG). The fund is too new to have a meaningful record, but over the past five years an identically managed exchange-traded note has returned an annualized 20.2%, beating the S&P 500 by an average of 1.7 percentage points per year. The ETF's annual expense ratio is a reasonable 0.49%.

Vanguard Dividend Growth (VDIGX) invests in companies that are both willing and able to hike their dividends regularly. This is a blue-chip fund that tends to invest heavily in consumer and health care stocks. Current favorites include Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), McDonald's (MCD) and Merck (MRK). Over the past ten years, it has returned an annualized 9.2%, an average of 1.5 percentage point per year better than the S&P index. Expenses are just 0.31% annually. (The fund is a member of the Kiplinger 25.)

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Steven Goldberg is a Contributing Columnist for Kiplinger.

All contents copyright 2014 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC