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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

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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Smart beta ETFs: Look beyond the hype on market performance

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.

Investors are a lot like gold panners. Whispers about a profitable bend in the stream bring caravans to its shores. Such is the case with ETFs that claim to beat the market. Some people call them “smart beta” exchange-traded funds. Others call them “factor based.” I call them popular.

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Why index investing has never been easier

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.

You’ve probably heard at least one financial adviser say that you shouldn’t invest in index funds. “Our firm can beat them. Just look at the returns from these great funds.” The onscreen charts seem to scream one message. Only fools buy indexes.

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Why you shouldn’t pick mutual funds based on past performance

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.

In 1998, my friend Linda invested money in the Sprott Canadian Equity Fund. Between 1999 and 2006, she averaged, net of fees, about 35 per cent per year. The fund had another strong year in 2007. It dropped just over 40 per cent in 2008. But it roared back in 2009 and 2010, gaining 36 per cent and 57.6 per cent.

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Why switching from growth (or value) stocks is a foolish bet

Andrew Hallam

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

If value stocks were houses, they wouldn’t have much curb appeal. Their paint might be peeling. Their fences might be battered. Their roofs might have moss growing on the asphalt shingles. But value stocks are cheap when measured by price-to-earnings or price-to-book multiples. They just aren’t likely to boast the next hot tech gadget or promise a guaranteed cure for hair loss. So they don’t usually gush with record business sales.

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Why buy and hold still is the best way to gain the most

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Each year, the Dalbar Research and Communications Group dishes out artillery. Financial advisers who claim investors can’t effectively build their own portfolios receive it with open arms. They use that artillery on clients who plan to jump ship – those itching to manage their own money.

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Ten years in, controversial index proves its worth

ANDREW HALLAM

Andrew Hallam is the index investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Rob Arnott was excited to introduce one of his heroes, John Bogle, to what he hoped would be a better index fund. He called it the Fundamental Index. But Bogle, the Vanguard Group’s founder, said its higher costs would hurt investment returns. Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, also shared his doubts. He joins Larry Swedroe, author of The Incredible Shrinking Alpha, who says that Mr. Arnott’s creation is a marketing success that may not beat the market. That’s a tough trio of detractors.

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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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