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  1. The ABLE Act: A Game Changer for Special-Needs Planning?

    Video Reports

    Sun, 28 Dec 2014

    Recently passed legislation helps families invest money tax-free for members with special needs without losing government benefits, but implementation may take a while.

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    month called the ABLE Act. ABLE Act stands for Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act. This has some key provisions of interest to families with members with special needs and disabilities. Can you tell us why
  2. Economy Is Good, but Not 5% Good

    Video Reports

    Sat, 27 Dec 2014

    The third-quarter GDP revision showing 5% growth resulted from a perfect storm of good news that isn't all sustainable, says Morningstar's Bob Johnson.

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    and it seems to indicate that consumers are reacting to the lower gasoline prices . Stipp: Consumers are doing OK, but this 5% GDP is not going to be sustainable, and you don't expect to see a
  3. Why Vanguard Was Hard to Beat in 2014

    Video Reports

    Sat, 27 Dec 2014

    It was tough for active managers to outpace Vanguard's low-cost index funds in 2014, and many of its active funds also outperformed.

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    I think a lot of active bond fund managers [were] thinking that interest rates are going to continue to rise. Well, long-term interest rates fell in 2014, so that would have worked against an active bond fund manager who was betting that interest rates would rise, so they would have shortened duration. Secondly, one way to beat the most common bond benchmark, which is the Barclays Agg, would be to use some high-yield bonds. High-yield bonds are not included in that index, so that gives you a little bit of a performance edge over the long term, but not so in 2014, as we saw high-yield or low-quality bonds' credit spreads widen out a little bit, particularly among the energy high-yield bonds. So the bond index funds had a better year than they
  4. This Casino Operator Brings a Moat to the Table

    Video Reports

    Fri, 26 Dec 2014

    Long duration licenses furnish Crown Resorts with valuable barriers to entry and should allow the Australian casino operator to continue to earn returns above its cost of capital over the next decade and beyond.

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    Melco Crown Entertainment. It's one of only six concession holders allowed to operate casinos in Macau, by far the largest gambling market in the world. We have a narrow-moat rating on Crown Resorts for two reasons. Firstly, its Australian operations are underpinned by very long duration, 30- to 40-year licenses. Also, its Melco Crown's Macau license doesn't expire until 2022 with renewal
  5. Friday Five: Wide-Moat Outperformers From 2014

    Video Reports

    Fri, 26 Dec 2014

    Wide-moat stocks have performed better than the market overall as investors sought stability in a fully valued market.

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    good about the future of the firm over the long haul. Stipp: Home improvement retailer Lowe's started the year off slow but has really picked up here. Glaser: It was a tough beginning of the year for Lowe's, driven by two big factors--one being that the weather was just dreadful. It's easy to forget that it was just a year ago that we had the polar vortex, and a lot of people just were not shopping for anything, particularly home improvement items. And also the housing market was pretty stagnant, and no one really felt the need or the desire to invest in their home, or that they were
  6. Kinnel's High-Conviction Fund Picks

    Video Reports

    Fri, 26 Dec 2014

    Dodge & Cox International and a handful of Primecap-managed funds offer low costs, stable management, as well as a clear and consistent strategy, says Morningstar's director of fund research.

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    of battered but still has market share, still has potential." You'll see drug companies . You'll see some of the better financials. But it's a wide-ranging fund--not super exciting, not super focused--but really well run and also
  7. 2014 Leaders and Laggards in Fidelity's Lineup

    Video Reports

    Thu, 25 Dec 2014

    Two thirds of Fidelity's domestic-equity funds have beaten their category averages year to date, but some notable funds, including Contrafund and Low-Priced Stock, have looked more sluggish.

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    of the fund when the manager switch was announced. Reichart: [TICKER:FCPVX] Fidelity Small Cap Value (FCPVX) was recently downgraded from Silver to Bronze. Chuck Myers had run it for several years. He is handing that off to
  8. Will Rising Rates Buoy Bank Stocks?

    Video Reports

    Wed, 24 Dec 2014

    Some will benefit more than others from higher interest rates, but for the most part, those future gains are already priced into their shares.

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    lot of investors ask us whether now is the right time to buy bank stocks with interest rates likely to rise in 2015. We think the answer is more complicated than it may first appear. First, it's important to know that interest rates themselves don't drive bank earnings. What we look at is net interest margins. Net interest margins are the difference between the interest income that banks earn on their assets and the expense they pay to fund their liabilities. This tends to be much more stable over time than interest rates themselves. That said, as interest rates have approached zero for a long time, net interest margins have gotten squeezed. People don't generally pay the bank to take their deposits, and so there is some room for net interest margins to rise when rates do eventually increase. We think some banks are better positioned than others to take advantage of this increase. Of the U.S. big four, we think that JPMorgan (JPM) is the most well positioned. It has a lot of deposits ready to deploy when interest rates do rise. We also think that U.S. regional banks with good deposit bases--and especially those with non-interest bearing deposits--are going to see a nice bump in earnings when interest rates rise Banks like this are [TICKER:CMA] Comerica (CMA), [TICKER:BOKF] BOK Financial (BOKF), as well as the U.S. trust banks, such as [TICKER:STT] State Street (STT), BNY Mellon (BK), and [TICKER:NTRS] Northern Trust (NTRS). Overall, we do think that banks are going to benefit as interest rates rise some more than others. But we think that a lot of this is already priced into their shares.
  9. A Global-Stock Fund That Inspires Confidence

    Video Reports

    Tue, 23 Dec 2014

    Partially closed Oakmark Global Fund has a higher-quality tilt and an impressive risk-adjusted long-term track record.

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    Greg Carlson: The Medalist of the Week is [TICKER:OAKGX] Oakmark Global Fund (OAKGX). I should mention at the outset that this fund is closed to third-party investors. However, it can still be purchased directly
  10. Retirement Savings: 3 Ways to Play Catch-Up

    Video Reports

    Tue, 23 Dec 2014

    Consider ticking up your savings rate, working a bit longer (but maybe in a different job), and nudging your portfolio allocations, says Morningstar's Christine Benz.

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    still working, you are able to continue to make contributions to your retirement plan . Importantly, you are also able to delay tapping that portfolio. So, the fewer number of years over which you'll be tapping that portfolio, the less you'll need to accumulate. So, if you're able to shrink that time horizon, [that's one possibility]. And finally, if you are able to delay filing for Social Security --delay receipt of your Social Security benefits--that, too, can be a very, very impactful driver. It can help your portfolio plan be that much more effective because you
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