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Index Investing

Dividend, Growth, Index and Value portfolio strategies
exclusively for Globe Unlimited subscribers.

Entry archive:

Meet Index Investor Andrew Hallam

Latest Columns

These Vanguard funds are perfect for an indexer. Here's the catch

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy LabGlobe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

When I was a kid, elementary school dances were a really big deal. The teachers set up two sets of benches on opposite sides of the gym. There were rules. Girls sat on one side of the gym. Boys sat on the other. Those with the guts to get off the bench actually got to boogie.

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Why you shouldn’t ‘try’ an investment strategy

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

It isn’t easy to pick the right investment strategy. For some, it could even be tougher than picking the right spouse. We put potential partners through trial runs. We date. If that goes well, we might consider a bigger test: perhaps a road trip or a vacation where we’re in each other’s bathroom space. If you keep catching metaphorical elbows at the sink, it might be best to bail. But if the trip goes well, the couple might eventually move into a shared nest. If they don’t often fall out, they might choose to get married.

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Want to beat the market? Dogs of the Dow is a strategy worth considering

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Back in 1991, Miami-based money manager Michael O’Higgins said it was easy to beat the market. He had been using a simple strategy to thump the index since 1978. Twenty-five years ago, he described it in his book, Beating the Dow.

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‘Smart beta’ ETFs may be getting too popular

ANDREW HALLAM

Warren Buffett says, “The dumbest reason in the world to buy a stock is because it’s going up.” He looks for stocks with strong business fundamentals. Then he buys when they’re selling at a really great price. A stock’s price might be falling when he buys it. It might be rising. But he always wants a stock to be a good deal, compared to its business earnings.

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First Asset ETFs: Making up ground, but can they actually beat the market?

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Marco Pantani was a former Tour de France cyclist. He often started races far behind his competition. But when the races hit the Alps, he caught rider after rider. He weighed 125 pounds. He was just 5 foot 6. When he first said that he could win the Tour de France, many people chuckled.

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TD’s Investor Series Index Funds could be the bank’s best-kept secret

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster is a harmless blue chap. He just can’t resist stuffing his face full of cookies. Most mutual fund companies are much the same. But they’re not devouring chocolate-chip delights. They’re gobbling other people’s money. This is great for financial services companies. But investors get the shaft.

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Just say no to currency-hedged ETFs

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can read more in the series at tgam.ca/strategy-lab.

Time magazine once compiled a list of the 50 worst inventions. My favourite was GLH Hair Treatment For Baldness. “Just spray GLH on and it instantly covers your bald spot.” Marketers loved it. But few people wanted to spray-paint their heads. It didn’t catch on.

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Enough with negative news: Rebalance your portfolio

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

The media loves bad news. To find out for yourself, use Google. Look for stories that say the Canadian dollar will rise or that Canadian stocks will soar. Good luck. News reporters know that if something bleeds, it leads. In the quest for clicks and eyeballs, doom and gloom is king.

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An index investor's best advice for 2016

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Each summer, the fortune teller with long dark hair sits in the dimly lit room, gold rings on her fingers, huge hoops in her ears. Every July, my wife and I stroll past a long line of her customers. They’re all itching to know their future. “Ten dollars for a two-palm reading,” says the sign. “Five dollars for a single.”

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Investing in emerging markets: Why I've held off (until now)

ANDREW HALLAM

I’ve spent 12 years in an emerging market sandwich. Based in Singapore, I work about 10 kilometres from Malaysia. Indonesia is just 30 km south. During the past year, I’ve lived in Mexico, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. You might think that I’m an emerging market junkie. But I’ve never owned such shares – until now.

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Canadian stocks may be frustrating, but patient investors will be rewarded

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Steve Perkins wonders what’s going on at home. The Canadian teacher works at an international school in Bangkok. He owns a portfolio of exchange-traded funds through an Asian-based brokerage. But part of his portfolio smells like an open sewer. His Canadian stock market index fund stinks.

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Avoiding the bandwagon: A guide for smart investors

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Warren Buffett once said, “If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.” That’s true for investors, too. But Pattsyville isn’t a place reserved for the dumb. Most of us live there. We gain citizenship, it seems, just by being human.

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Why real active management isn’t worth the price

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Warren Buffett might be the greatest stock picker the world has ever seen. But he can’t seem to find an actively managed mutual fund that he thinks will beat a stock market index after fees. He probably doesn’t think you could either.

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Actively managed funds still disappoint when stock markets drag

Andrew Hallam

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

When the stock market slides, active fund managers earn their fees. It’s a trader’s market when stocks go sideways. At least, that’s the common sales spiel. It does sound convincing. But real world tests says the rhetoric is bogus.

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Couch-potato index funds vs. jet-setter hedge funds: No contest

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Five-star resorts on tropical islands, exclusive golf club memberships and blazing red Ferraris are Gold Class member playthings.

It’s tough not to envy jet setters, especially when stocks teeter. That’s because the world’s super rich can invest in hedge funds. Clever managers with crystal balls can short the market before it tumbles.

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My Strategy Lab index portfolio, three years later: a smoother market ride

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Investing is much like a continental road trip. Sometimes, the sun shines and tailwinds make it easy. Other times, storms force a retreat.

Three years ago, we began our Strategy Lab journey. Four investors built portfolios. Chris Umiastowski’s job was to build a growth portfolio. In that journey across the continent, he takes a fast and sleek Kawasaki Ninja. Norman Rothery selected a portfolio of stocks based on low price-to-earnings and book values. His touring Harley-Davidson has more stability. John Heinzl’s portfolio of dividend paying aristocrats is a fully loaded BMW touring bike.

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Why U.S. stocks still aren’t a bargain

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

The S&P 500 has dropped about 10 per cent since July 20. That’s a promising start, if you’re looking for a market deal. U.S. stocks, however, need to fall further before bargain hunters dance.

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Why most Canadians should hope stocks keep falling

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Canadians cheered when sprinter Andre De Grasse won a bronze medal in the world championships on Sunday in Beijing. But his medal didn’t thrill everyone. Fans of American Mike Rodgers likely wanted him to collar the young Canadian. Instead, the U.S. runner finished fifth.

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It's easy to be a better investor than Donald Trump

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Donald Trump’s mouth has no censor. We get that. During his campaign for the U.S. Republican party leadership, he has insulted almost everybody who might get in his way. His popularity, however, hasn’t suffered.

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It's easy to diversify your portfolio. Why not do it?

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

It’s the ugly stain on the investment floor. We just pretend not to see it. Canadian stocks have averaged just 4.46 per cent over the past 15 years, according to Morningstar. Even bonds did better. The Canadian fixed income index averaged 4.78 per cent.

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This fund is a complete portfolio – a great way to teach kids about money

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Last weekend, the seemingly ageless Roger Federer was the second oldest man to play in the Wimbledon finals. Next month, he turns 34. He and his wife have two sets of twins: two boys, two girls. If he continues to defy age, Mr. Federer could end up playing tennis for his kids. He could enter teen tournaments under their names. He could help his kids eventually build ATP points of their own.

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These funds are taunting Canada's mutual fund industry, and I love them

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

I love Tangerine’s mutual funds. They’re cheap. They’re simple. They’re the bogeymen that taunt Canada’s mutual fund industry. If they don’t keep the industry up at night, they should.

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If you're still in mutual funds, it's time to switch

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Most Canadians don’t drive gas-guzzling cars that were built in the 1950s. Even if they could, such cars wouldn’t be practical. Technology has improved. Cars are now more efficient. Most actively managed mutual funds are like those gas guzzling jalopies. Our banks and fund companies love them because they’re profitable to sell.

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A Couch Potato ETF is long overdue

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Strategy Lab. Globe Unlimited subscribers can view his model portfolio here and read more in the series online here.

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He would have loved Couch Potato ETFs. Unfortunately, they don’t exist. But they should.

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Blended ETFs could help you outperform most index fund investors

ANDREW HALLAM

Warren Buffett once said, “If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.”

Index fund investors wouldn’t say they’re patsies – and for good reason. Index funds are cheap. They stomp the performance of most actively managed funds. But the word “patsy” could still describe most index fund investors.

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Welcome to Strategy Lab


Exclusively for subscribers of Globe Unlimited, Strategy Lab provides four investment strategies from investment experts: Dividend Stocks from John Heinzl, Growth Stocks from Chris Umiastowski, Index Investing from Andrew Hallam and Value Stocks from Norman Rothery. Whatever strategy you favour, Strategy Lab will give subscribers ideas and inspirations for their own investments.



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About Andrew Hallam

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