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Investing Specialists

Weekly Wrap: The Bitcoin Bandwagon, Scary Stocks, and Tax Tips

We recap the week on Morningstar.com and note the most popular stocks, funds, and exchange-traded funds.

Editor's note: Read the latest on how the coronavirus is rattling the markets and what investors can do to navigate it.

Our three children are all seniors in high school. As such, our family is in the midst of a series of “lasts.” The kids have taken their last first day of school picture together. They’ve enjoyed their last high school homecoming dance and related traditions. And as members of the marching band, they’ve played their last halftime show. (Go Bears!)

We’re also in the last innings when it comes to saving for college. Increasingly, college savers have turned to 529 education savings plans as their go-to investment of choice. Morningstar published its just-updated 529 Education Savings Plan ratings this week; three plans earn our top rating of Gold this year. Those interested can find our ratings and more about all things 529 in our new guide.

And this weekend, our family will celebrate our last Halloween together; by this time next year, all three kids will be miles apart at their respective colleges. We’ve indulged in a few “scares” of our own on Morningstar.com this week. For starters, we revealed which stocks are trading at scary premiums to what we think they’re worth. And a few Morningstar editors and contributors shared their investing horror stories. Coincidentally, my colleague Christine Benz and I shared stunningly similar stories!

Some readers may think that I should keep my family out of these weekly communications. I’m getting too personal, they’d say. But that’s what investing is – it’s personal. It’s about having the money you need to live the life you want. For some, that may mean retiring early. For others, it may mean starting your own business. And for others like me, it means being able to help your kids pay for their first significant financial obligation, college – and maybe pick up the tab for a few family “lasts” between now and then.

--Susan Dziubinski

Editor's Picks

Bitcoin ETFs: Should You Jump on the Bandwagon?
Bitcoin believers have better options.

Financial and Tax Planning To-Do's Before Year-End
Tips for both pre-retirees and retirees.

10 Scary Stocks: 2021 Edition
These are the most overpriced stocks in our coverage universe today.

The Top 529 Education Savings Plans of 2021
Morningstar identifies 32 best-in-class 529 plans.

Investment Horror Stories--and the Lessons They Teach
March 2020. The oil-pocalypse. The emerging-markets party that never came. Gather round and hear these tales of horror, and learn from these mistakes.

As Climate Summit Begins, Analysts See Risks--and Opportunities--for Investors
Climate change is one of the thorniest challenges confronting investors, and one that will reshape the financial markets.

Portfolio Planning and Personal Finance With Christine Benz

Is the Door Closing on Backdoor Roth IRAs?
The 'mega-backdoor Roth IRA' is on the chopping block, too, but neither is a done deal.

The Good News About Retirement Income
A lower starting withdrawal rate doesn't guarantee you'll have to live on less.

Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds

Farewell, Mutual Funds in 401(k)s?
Behind the accelerating shift from mutual funds to CITs on 401(k) plans.

Strange Bedfellows in Model Portfolios
Firms are teaming up to unite their best features.

3 Growth Funds That Are Better Than They Look
These small- and mid-growth funds remain highly regarded even though they are struggling in 2021.

Big Risks for Big Yield
Investors should be cautious when expanding their search for income.

How to Find Actively Managed Funds That Outperform
All is not lost.

Why Investors Earn Less Than the Funds They Invest In
It's possible to close this gap in returns by remaining disciplined and holding for the long term.

T. Rowe Price to Acquire Oak Hill Advisors
The firm is making a move into alternatives.

Stocks

Hotel REITs Wait for Business Travelers to Check In
These companies have underperformed the industry, but we see years of solid growth ahead.

What to Watch for in This Week's Earnings Reports
We expect companies to deliver critical information about inflation and supply disruptions.

How Supply Chain Troubles Snagged the Fashion Industry
Fashion retailers are still experiencing delayed deliveries amid increasing online shopping.

Rekenthaler Report

The Bull Case for Bitcoin
An observation, not a recommendation.

With High Income, Don’t Believe Your Eyes
There’s always a catch.

The Long View Podcast

Fritz Gilbert: Early Retirement Made Simple
The author and blogger shares tips for finding balance, purpose, and friendship in retirement.

Sustainability Matters

The Number of New Sustainable Funds Hits an All-Time Record
Sustainable fund assets continue to surge higher in the third quarter.

Commentary

What Risks Remain in the Financial System?
Author Zachary Karabell on risk-taking in the financial-services sector and the folly of trying to predict the next crisis.

Who's Biting on Bitcoin and Why?
Decoding cryptocurrency investing trends.

Most Requested Stock Quotes

Facebook
Intel
Apple
Tesla
Microsoft

Most Requested Fund Quotes

Vanguard 500 Index
Fidelity 500 Index
Dodge & Cox Stock
Vanguard Total Stock Market Index
Fidelity Contrafund

Most Requested ETF Quotes

SPDR S&P 500 ETF
Invesco QQQ Trust
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF
Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF