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  1. The Cheapest Alternative Fund Gives More for Less


    Jason Kephart: When it comes to alternative funds, the hardest thing to stomach is the high fees. The average fund charge is close to 2%. This week's Medalist doesn't have that problem, though. [TICKER:VMNFX] Vanguard Market Neutral (VMNFX) charges just 25 basis points. That makes it the cheapest fund in the category and gives it a big leg-up versus competitors. This fund is more than just cheap cost, though. It is run by Vanguard's quantitative equity team, and the team screens for stocks based on five criteria: valuation, growth, quality, momentum, and management. It then bets that within each industry a group of stocks that scores well on those metrics will outperform a group of stocks that scores poorly. So far, it has worked well for investors. Over the past three years, it has beaten the category by about two percentage points annualized. Market-neutral funds are generally a good way to diversify your bond holdings. So, if you're worried about interest rates, this fund could be a good choice.

  2. Top Starter Funds for Investors on a Shoestring


    Morningstar's Christine Benz highlights some of her favorite ETFs and low-minimum-investment funds for new investors.

  3. ECB Delivers a Rate Surprise to U.S. Investors


    Despite the Federal Reserve's tapering, U.S. interest rates have followed the downward trajectory of eurozone rates in 2014, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

  4. Scottish Referendum Could Reverberate


    Having one of the world's longest partnerships between countries dissolve could have large implications for the eurozone and beyond, says Newton Global Strategist Peter Hensman.

  5. The Perils of Our Lopsided Income Growth


    The Fed's latest U.S. consumer finance report showed decent income growth overall--but not across the board.

  6. 3 Yield Opportunities in the Utilities Sector


    With solid growth prospects and dividend yields above 4%, income investors would be wise to consider high-quality utilities such as Southern Company, Duke, and Public Service Enterprise Group.

  7. 2 High-Profile Funds Receive Negative Ratings


    Ivy High Income's recent manager turnover and Templeton Developing Markets' long-deteriorating performance have led to downgrades, says Morningstar's Russ Kinnel.

  8. Friday Five: Another Slice on the Apple Launch


    Apple's event this week burnished more than its own reputation. Plus, Lululemon sprints ahead, but what about the long run?

  9. Peters: Don’t Be Scared by Scotland


    The U.K. will remain a good hunting ground for dividend-paying stocks even if Scotland decides to become independent, says Morningstar's Josh Peters.

  10. Get Balanced Natural-Resources Exposure With This ETF


    Equal subsector weightings and attractive valuations make this an interesting choice for risk-tolerant investors.

  11. When You Wish Upon a Moat ...


    Wide-moat Disney has mastered the process of monetizing new franchises across its multiple platforms, deepening its content library and generating value over time.

  12. Apple Still Innovates, but Expectations Are High


    A successful product launch puts some fears to rest, but tremendous expectations are baked into the current stock price, says Morningstar's Brian Colello.

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