The Long View
The Long View
May 15, 2019
Don Phillips: We’re All in the Behavior Modification Business
Play • 1 hr 2 min

Our guest for this week's installment of The Long View podcast is Morningstar managing director Don Phillips. Don was Morningstar's first mutual fund analyst and eventually became CEO of the firm; he established Morningstar's independent voice and mentored scores of analysts. He also helped develop many of the tools that investors today take for granted, such as the Morningstar Style Box and the Morningstar Rating for stocks (also known as the star rating). Throughout his career Don has worked to enact positive change in the fund industry, speaking out on issues such as misleading advertising and high-fee funds as well as the need for better shareholder disclosures.

In this broad-ranging interview, Don discusses his path from a paper boy investor in Templeton Growth Fund to a job analyzing mutual funds at Chicago startup Morningstar in the mid-1980s. He also opines on the industry's evolution from the opaque, sales-driven culture that he encountered 30-plus years ago to its current emphasis on transparency and very low costs.

Early influences
• The paper-boy years: Don’s early investing influences (1:40) • The magic of mutual funds: “Sir John Templeton is my personal money manager” (2:45) • “I had gotten married”: How an aspiring literature professor became Morningstar’s first mutual-fund analyst (4:00)

Building Fund Research
• “Dark days”: What it was like in the fund industry of the 1980s (5:20)
• Democratizing data: When the freshest fund stats were nine months old (7:10)
• Getting them to answer the phone: How Morningstar’s fund database was built (8:30)
• “Putnam wouldn’t talk to us”: How pull demand (i.e., a reporter’s background notes) changed that (9:45)
• “My first job was to read 777 mutual fund prospectuses” (11:20)
• Don’s “el-train” indoctrination to investing (12:10)
• “Not interested (click)”: Opening doors in the early days (13:00)
• “It’s who you surround yourself with”: How to build a team (14:20)
• “Their funds are better than some, not as good as others…”: Morningstar’s approach to serving the financial journalists that called on it (16:10)
• “They found us”: Connecting with our audiences, finding our voice (17:00)
Analyzing Funds, Finding Our Voice
• “Let’s add a gold fund”: Behind the development of the Morningstar Style Box (18:00)
• “You had to be an insider to know that Windsor was a value fund and Janus was a growth fund”: Turning the tables on fund-company marketers (19:05)
• “Lies, Damn Lies, and Fund Advertisements”: Facing down a fund company’s libel suit (21:45)

Achieving Better Outcomes
• Low-cost trend means “better and better deals for the investor” but beware unintended consequences (23:00)
• It’s not the only thing: “You can have a low-cost portfolio that’s wildly inappropriate for an investor that leads to a disastrous outcome” (25:00)
• “We’re all in the behavior-modification business”: Helping people chart a path to their goals (26:40)
• “I would have closed the (Vanguard) Growth Index Fund”: How the experience you create for investors determines your success in the fund industry (36:30)
• Avoiding the “arms-dealer mentality”: How fund companies can ensure investors have better experiences (39:30)
• “The best thing I can do for my clients…is to go on vacation”: On the wisdom of investing without tinkering, and the hazards of information overload (41:00)
Active vs. Passive Investing (and Remembering Jack Bogle)
• “Passive is getting more active every day”: Finding ways to evaluate algorithms and indexes (28:00)
• “Jack is very much with us today”: Remembering Jack Bogle and his impact on investors and Morningstar (29:10)
• “You can’t get away from arithmetic”: If cost is the enemy then investors probably aren’t overdoing it in fleeing active funds for passive (31:30)
• “To me it’s not an either/or battle”: Don on the mix of active and passive funds in his personal portfolio (32:50)
• Personalization as the new active: “The art of investing is matching investment to investor” (35:00)

The Future of Funds, Advice, and Research
• Imagining the fund industry in 10 years (and its similarity to the music business’s radical transformation): “It may be that the mutual fund is like the old LP” (42:20)
• “Investors have a right to know” the ESG consequences of where their money is going (45:00)
• “Digitizing process”: Using big data to assess the investment process (46:10)
• “When you’re reading literature, you’re seeing the world through different eyes”: The importance of diversity to decision-making and life (47:30)
• “Put it on a little piece of paper and put it in a drawer”: How investment committees can avoid knee-jerk reactions and make better decisions (48:30)
• “The art of investing is the match between investment and investor”: New frontiers in fund research (52:00)
• “There is fee pressure, but there’s also a lot of satisfaction”: How the advice industry evolves amid automation and declining prices (56:30)
• “Fiduciary standards in general are hard to enact”: The intentions are good, but beware bureaucracy, red tape, and unintended consequences (58:30)

References
• Don Phillips, recipient of 2016 Matthew R. McArthur Industry Pioneer Award https://investmentsandwealth.org/news-room/2016/imca-awards-recognize-outstanding-achievement
• Sir John Templeton https://www.templeton.org/about/sir-john
• Wall Street Week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ADn7V_l4Ws
• Joe Mansueto https://www.morningstar.com/company/about-us/joe
• Don’s love of the liberal arts, literature, and business https://grahamschool.uchicago.edu/news/how-liberal-arts-thrive-business-world
• Don Phillips, “Reflections on Fund Management, Five Lessons from 25 Years” http://www.imas.org.sg/uploads/media/2012/10/31/519_100907_Reflections_on_Fund_Management_Five_Lessons_from_25_Years_Sep11.pdf
• The Wiesenberger Books https://www.ifa.com/articles/arthur_wiesenberger_morningstar/
• Morningstar Mutual Fund Sourcebook https://images.app.goo.gl/LgzRCxK9Q3Bu77WC9
• Charles Royce https://www.roycefunds.com/people/chuck-royce
• The Morningstar Style Box http://www.morningstar.com/InvGlossary/morningstar_style_box.aspx
• Vanguard Windsor Fund https://www.morningstar.com/funds/xnas/vwndx/quote.html
• Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7, California.; Morningstar, Inc., and Don Phillips, Petitioners, v. SUPERIOR COURT of the State of California, for the County of Los Angeles, Respondent. PILGRIM GROUP, INC., Real Party In Interest; No. B075691. https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1769980.html
• ESG Investing https://www.morningstar.com/company/esg-investing
• Morningtar Blog: Sustainable Investing https://www.morningstar.com/blog/tag/sustainableinvesting
• Janus Funds, Super Bowl XXXI (1997), “Eyes” ad https://adage.com/videos/janus-funds-eyes/1024
• “The Evolution of Robo-Advisors”, Morningstar blog (July 2018) https://www.morningstar.com/blog/2018/07/11/robo-advisors.html
• “The Importance of Asset Allocation” by Roger G. Ibbotson, Financial Analysts Journal, May/June 2010 https://www.cfapubs.org/doi/abs/10.2469/faj.v66.n2.4
• “Why Diversity and Inclusion Matter to Investors” by Dan Lefkovitz, Morningstar blog, Dec. 18, 2018 https://www.morningstar.com/blog/2018/12/18/diversity-inclusion.html
• Cathy Odelbo https://www.morningstar.com/company/about-us/catherine
• John Rekenthaler https://www.morningstar.com/articles/archive/208/articles-by-john-rekenthaler.html
• Lori Lucas https://www.ebri.org/about/staff/lori-lucas-cfa
• A Global Guide to Strategic-beta Exchange-Traded Products https://www.morningstar.com/lp/global-guide-to-strategic-beta
• “Strategic-Beta Exchange-Traded Products Continue to Grow, but Show Signs of Maturity” by Ben Johnson, Morningstar blog, Mar. 27, 2019 https://www.morningstar.com/blog/2019/03/27/strategic-beta-etp.html
• “Vanguard Founder Jack Bogle Passes Away” by Dan Culloton and Alec Lucas, Morningstar.com https://www.morningstar.com/articles/908054/vanguard-founder-jack-bogle-passes-away.html
• Invesco QQQ Trust (which tracks the Nasdaq 100 Index) https://www.morningstar.com/etfs/xnas/qqq/quote.html
• Jack Brennan, former Vanguard CEO [to find] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_J.Brennan(businessman)
• Sheryl Garrett https://garrettplanningnetwork.com/about/team

Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
Episode 029: Frazer Rice, host Rick Ferri
Frazer Rice is the author of “Wealth, Actually: Intelligent Decision-Making for the 1%”, host of the “Wealth, Actually” podcast, creator of the "Wealth, Actually" blog, and a Northeast Regional Director for Pendleton Square Trust Company. Frazer is an attorney and experienced trust officer. His wealth management career has included serving for over 15 years as a Managing Director at Wilmington Trust Company. We cover a lot of ground in this episode including estate planning, reasons for using trusts, selecting trustees, family dynamics, investing for 1%'ers, and much more! This podcast is hosted by Rick Ferri, CFA, a long-time Boglehead and investment adviser. The Bogleheads are a group of like-minded individual investors who follow the general investment and business beliefs of John C. Bogle, founder and former CEO of the Vanguard Group. It is a conflict-free community where individual investors reach out and provide education, assistance, and relevant information to other investors of all experience levels at no cost. The organization supports a free website at Bogleheads.org, and the wiki site is Bogleheads® wiki. Since 2000, the Bogleheads' have held national conferences in major cities around the country. There are also many Local Chapters in the US and even a few Foreign Chapters that meet regularly. New Chapters are being added on a regular basis. All Bogleheads activities are coordinated by volunteers who contribute their time and talent. This podcast is supported by the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, a non-profit organization approved by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity on February 6, 2012. Your tax-deductible donation to the Bogle Center is appreciated.
1 hr
Money For the Rest of Us
Money For the Rest of Us
J. David Stein
Is Student Loan Forgiveness A Good Idea?
Should the U.S. cancel $10,000 or more of student loan debt per borrower? What would be the economic and financial impact? Why the student loan system is broken and how to fix it. Topics covered include: * How large and what is the growth rate of U.S. student loan balances * What are the projections for student loan losses * What are the pros and cons of forgiving student loans * What would be the impact on federal finances of canceling student loans * Why the U.S. government is already technically insolvent * How student loan programs should be restructured Thanks to LinkedIn and Policygenius for sponsoring the episode. Show Notes Student Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding—Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louise Senate majority gives Biden path to student loan forgiveness by Sylvan Lane—The Hill Schumer pressures Biden to bypass Congress to cancel $50,000 in student debt per borrower by Annie Nova—CNBC Biden will call on Congress to forgive $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers by Annie Nova—CNBC Outreach From Borrowers Could Overwhelm Student Loan System When Pandemic Pauses End by: Sarah Sattelmeyer and Lexi West—PEW Financial Report of the United States Government FY 2019 Warren makes case to Fed chair for canceling student loan debt by Naomi Jagoda—The Hill Student Loan Losses Seen Costing U.S. More Than $400 Billion by Josh Mitchell—The Wall Street Journal Final Monthly Treasury Statement Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government For Fiscal Year 2020 Through September 30, 2020, and Other Periods—U.S. Department of the Treasury Average Student Loan Debt at Graduation by Mark Kantrowitz—Savingforcollege.com Profile Of The Labor Force By Educational Attainment by Vernon Brundage, Jr.—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Millennial life: How young adulthood today compares with prior generations by Kristen Bialkin and Richard Fry—PEW Research Center Forgiving Student Debt Isn’t a Great Stimulus Plan by Noah Smith—Bloomberg Average annual salary of bachelor's degree recipients employed full time 1 year after graduation, by field of study: Selected years, 1976 through 2001—National Center for Education Statistics NACE Salary Survey Winter 2020—National Associations of Colleges and Employers Australia’s student loan problem is a teachable moment for the U.S. by Jason Delisle and Alex Usher—Brookings
24 min
Sound Investing
Sound Investing
Paul Merriman
How do you invest in retirement when interest rates are so low? And 7 other important questions.
Paul introduces Don McDonald, Co-Founder of  Vestory Investment Advisory and co-host of "Talking Real Money" podcast, who will be producing “money minutes” for most of our podcasts. Don also produced the soon-to-be-released audio version for our latest book, We’re Talking Millions!. Paul discusses the upcoming Retiremeet America 2021 free online conference on Feb. 20, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PT. See the list of speakers, topics, speaking times and registration form at https://retiremeet.com  Paul and David Booth, Co-Founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, are keynoting the conference. Before addressing the Q&A's Paul discusses an article, “Deep Risk in the United States of America,” by Ben Carlson. Ben is on Paul’s list of Truth Tellers and highly recommends Ben's articles and podcasts at https://awealthofcommonsense.com/. * Larry motivates Paul to discuss the question: What changes should a pre-retiree make to their portfolio when they have saved enough to retire, even though they are planning to work longer? 19:00 * What asset allocation should I have when I reach retirement but don’t need the money to live on? 23:40 * How would you suggest someone who is currently in cash get back into the market? 31:22 Don McDonald’s “Talking Real Money” — The risks in owning bonds * With bond yields so low do you expect retirement returns to be significantly lower than in your tables?  38:57 * In a recent newsletter we mentioned a presentation by Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice. The focus of the presentation was what happens when people are offered too many choices. We linked to a college presentation that got into other topics not of interest to us.  Here is a shorter presentation and very popular TED Talk with over 15 million views: https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_the_paradox_of_choice?language=en   45:10 * In your 2012 book, First Time Investor, you were not in favor of target date funds. What has changed that you now recommend them? 60:40 * Do you really think the S&P is going to beat Berkshire Hathaway over the next 10 years? 57:45 * I know an investment advisor who made 29% a year over the last 2 years and he has all of his own money in the portfolio he wants me to use —individual stocks, not index funds. Is this investment philosophy a fool's errand and am I falling for a siren’s song? 1:06:35
1 hr 21 min
Excess Returns
Excess Returns
Jack Forehand and Justin Carbonneau
Why Dividend Investing May Be Overrated
Dividend based investing strategies are very popular among investors. The ability to receive regular cash payments from the equities they own and a belief that dividend paying stocks outperform the market are both major drivers of this popularity.  But this preference for dividend stocks often exceeds the reality of the benefits they provide. In this episode, we take a look at the facts behind dividend investing. We look at how dividend-paying stocks perform over time and why the source of their outperformance may be different than many investors think. We also look at alternative ways to accomplish the goals of strategies based around dividends.  ABOUT THE PODCAST Excess Returns is an investing podcast hosted by Jack Forehand (@practicalquant) and Justin Carbonneau (@jjcarbonneau), partners at Validea. Justin and Jack discuss a wide range of investing topics including factor investing, value investing, momentum investing, multi-factor investing, trend following, market valuation and more with the goal of helping those who watch and listen become better long term investors. SEE LATEST EPISODES https://www.validea.com/excess-returns-podcast FIND OUT MORE ABOUT VALIDEA https://www.validea.com FOLLOW OUR BLOG https://blog.validea.com FIND OUT MORE ABOUT VALIDEA CAPITAL https://www.valideacapital.com FOLLOW JACK Twitter: https://twitter.com/practicalquant LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jack-forehand-8015094 FOLLOW JUSTIN Twitter: https://twitter.com/jjcarbonneau LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jcarbonneau
19 min
Alpha Trader
Alpha Trader
Seeking Alpha
The 2021 market outlook and some new stock picks - Ryan Detrick and Eddy Elfenbein join Alpha Trader
This week’s Alpha Trader podcast features hosts Aaron Task and Stephen Alpher speaking with LPL Financial’s Ryan Detrick and Eddy Elfenbein, editor of the Crossing Wall Street blog and portfolio manager of the AdvisorShares Focused Equity ETF (CWS). Before getting into the outlook, Detrick (who was bullish on stocks at the March bottom) puts last year’s remarkable rally in perspective: The reversal from down more than 30% to up in the teens is unprecedented. While some may be tempted to view things as overdone to the upside, Detrick believes the strength we’ve seen is consistent with the beginnings of a years-long bull market. In addition to the positive technical signs he’s seeing, Detrick reminds that even more fiscal stimulus is likely on the way, and the Fed looks to be on hold at zero for quite some time. Given all that, Detrick does acknowledge some bubbly signs in things like IPOs, cryptocurrencies, and certain stocks. He reminds that his long-term bullishness doesn’t mean there won’t be sizable setbacks along the way, but investors ought to consider those downdrafts to be buying opportunities. Elfenbein’s 25-stock Buy List has consistently topped the S&P 500 over the past 15 years (though it did trail by a handful of basis points in 2020). Each year, Elfenbein discharges five names from the list, and adds five others. Out this year, are Becton, Dickinson (BDX), Eagle Bancorp (EGBN), Globe Life (GL), Hormel Foods (HRL), and RPM International (RPM). Four of the names were notable underperfomers in 2020, so like any good portfolio manager, Elfenbein isn’t shy about cutting losers (and letting his winners run). Maybe more interesting are the additions: Abbott Labs (ABT), HEICO (HEI), Miller Industries (MLR), Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO), and Zoetis (ZTS). Peter Lynch said to look for companies that do something dull, says Elfenbein introducing perhaps everyone to Miller Industries. Based in Ooltewah, Tennessee, Miller makes and sells towing and recovery equipment. The company experienced a Covid-related slowdown in business in 2020, and the stock was similarly punished. Its recovery bounce since has been limited. Elfenbein likes management, likes the business’ “moat,” and likes that exactly zero sell-siders cover the name despite the company’s strong long-term success. There’s plenty more, including a discussion of the 10-year yield rising above 1% for the first time since March, whether the dollar is set up for contrarian bounce higher, and why it’s always a better idea to look for good stocks to own rather than trying to time a bubble. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
44 min
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