The Long View
The Long View
Oct 16, 2019
Ben Johnson: Index Funds Are Not 'Zombie Investors'
58 min

Our guest on this week’s episode of The Long View podcast is Ben Johnson. Ben is Morningstar's director of global passive research. In that role, Ben leads a team of analysts who conduct research on index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds and publish research on the global passive investing industry.

Before assuming his current role, Ben was director of ETF research for Europe and Asia and served as the editor of the Morningstar ETFInvestor newsletter. Prior to that, Ben served as a senior equity analyst at Morningstar covering the agriculture and chemicals industry. Before joining Morningstar in 2006, Ben worked as a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin, as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. In 2015, Fund Directions and Fund Action named Ben among the 2015 Rising Stars of Mutual Funds.

Background
Ben Johnson articles and videos on Morningstar.com

Growth of Indexing
Investors Still Pouring Money Into Passive Funds,” by Christine Benz and Kevin McDevitt, Morningstar.com, July 29, 2019.

Have Fee-Based Models Won the Battle ... or the War?,” by Ginger Szala, ThinkAdvisor, Feb. 21, 2019.

End of Era: Passive Equity Funds Surpass Active in Epic Shift,” by John Gittelsohn, Bloomberg.com, Sept. 11, 2019.

Retail Distribution Review: Effects on Fund Fees in the UK,” by Jackie Beard, Morningstar blog, Nov. 9, 2018.

Passive Investing Hasn’t Taken Over the World,” by Barry Ritholtz, Investment News, Oct. 1, 2019.

Risks in the Growth of Indexing
The Big Short’s Michael Burry Explains Why Index Funds Are Like CDOs,” by Reed Stevenson, Bloomberg.com, Sept. 4, 2019.

Market-Cap-Weighted Index Funds Not Broken,” by Ben Johnson and Jeremy Glaser, Morningstar.com, Oct. 3, 2018.

Bogle Sounds a Warning on Index Funds,” by John C. Bogle, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 29, 2018.

Passive Fund Providers Take an Active Approach to Fund Stewardship,” by Hortense Bioy, Morningstar.com, Dec. 6, 2017.

Indexing Impact Fears Overblown,” by Ben Johnson and Jeremy Glaser, Morningstar.com, Sept. 8. 2016.

Retirement Plans
Use of Index Funds in 401(k)s Increasing,” by Rebecca Moore, PlanSponsor, June 21, 2019.

Here’s the Real Reason Why Your 401(k) Fees Are Falling,” by Darla Mercado, CNBC.com, May 9, 2018.

Using ETFs in a Retirement Plan,” by Susan Dziubinski, Morningstar.com, Sept. 9, 2016.

Commissions and Fees
Fidelity’s Free Funds and the Changing Brokerage Business,” by John Rekenthaler, Morningstar.com, Aug. 8, 2018.

Looking Past the Fidelity Zero Headlines,” Christine Benz and Ben Johnson, Morningstar.com, Aug. 9, 2018.

"Schwab to Drop Commissions on U.S. Stock, ETF and Options Trades, Slamming Online Broker Stocks," by Ciara Linnane, Marketwatch, Oct. 1, 2019.

"E-Trade Drops Commissions on Trades, Joining Schwab, TD Ameritrade in Brokerage Fee War," by Maggie Fitzgerald, CNBC.com, Oct. 2, 2019.

Are No-Commission Trades Good for Investors?” by Christine Benz and Ben Johnson, Morningstar.com, Oct. 2, 2019, Morningstar.com.

Indexing Market Segments
Everything You Need to Know About Strategic-Beta ETFs,” by Ben Johnson, Morningstar.com, April 8, 2016.

Are High-Yield ETFs Junk?” by Alex Bryan, Morningstar.com, April 26, 2017.

Indexing in Less-Efficient Markets,” by Alex Bryan, Morningstar.com, Oct. 5, 2016.

An Overview of the Passive Bond Funds Landscape,” by Christine Benz and Alex Bryan, Morningstar.com, March 22, 2018.

Better Bond ETFs?” by Alex Bryan, Morningstar.com, Aug. 3, 2016.

Are There Viable Alternatives to Traditional Bond ETFs?” by Christine Benz and Alex Bryan, Morningstar.com, June 29, 2016.

Introducing Two New Morningstar Bond Categories,” by Sarah Bush, Morningstar.com, May 2, 2019.

Morningstar Analyst Report for iShares 20+ Year Treasury Fund TLT
Morningstar Analyst Report for iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF HYG
Morningstar Analyst Report for SPDR Bloomberg Barclays High Yield Bond ETF JNK

6 Questions about Low-Vol Investing,” by Susan Dziubinski, Morningstar.com, Sept. 8, 2017.

Morningstar Analyst Report for iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF USMV

A Checklist for Assessing Dividend ETFs,” by Ben Johnson, Morningstar.com, June 29, 2016.

Not All Dividend ETFs Are Created Equal,” by Ben Johnson, Morningstar.com, Aug. 25, 2017.

Morningstar Analyst Report for Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF SCHD
Morningstar Analyst Report for Vanguard Dividend Appreciation VIG

WEALTHTRACK
WEALTHTRACK
Consuelo Mack
Successful Investing: Timeless Advice
Can investing be simple? Can we stop worrying about what’s happening on Wall Street, in Washington, with Fed policy, inflation, corporate earnings, and numerous other headline-making concerns? Can we just get on with our lives and still invest successfully?  According to this week’s guest, the answer is yes, and we shouldn’t even care what the market is doing.   What should we care about? How should we invest? That is the focus of this week’s exclusive WEALTHTRACK interview.   Our guest is Charles Ellis, the author of the investment classic WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME, available now in its 2017 7th edition. Ellis is the author of 16 other books including the recently published 10th-anniversary edition of THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING, co-written with his good friend, Princeton economics professor Burton Malkiel.    Ellis is a globally recognized financial thought leader, investment consultant, and advisor to governments, institutions, and endowments. He also cares deeply about helping investors succeed, as he puts it “winning the loser’s game.” He will help us do that this week.  WEALTHTRACK #1721 broadcast on November 20, 2020 More info: https://wealthtrack.com/timeless-strategies-for-successful-investing-from-legendary-investment-consultant-charles-ellis/ WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME (2017 edition): https://amzn.to/379ODOP THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING: https://amzn.to/2UL96Dz --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/wealthtrack/support
26 min
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
Episode 027: Cliff Asness, host Rick Ferri
Dr. Cliff Asness is a Founder, Managing Principal, and Chief Investment Officer at AQR Capital Management, a quantitative money manager overseeing $186 billion in assets as of December 2019. Prior to co-founding AQR Capital Management, he was a Managing Director and Director of Quantitative Research for the Asset Management Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He is an award-winning researcher on quantitative investment strategies and has authored articles for many publications, including The Journal of Portfolio Management, Financial Analysts Journal, The Journal of Finance, and The Journal of Financial Economics. Cliff received a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.S. in engineering from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude in both. He received an M.B.A. with high honors and a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago, where he was Eugene Fama’s student and teaching assistant for two years. 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's free website is Bogleheads.org and the wiki site is Bogleheads® wiki. Bogleheads sites are operated by volunteers who contribute time and talent. Donations help defray operating costs. Since 2000, the Bogleheads' have held national conferences in major cities around the country and currently meet in Philadelphia in the autumn of each year. There are 56 Local Chapters in the US and three Foreign Chapters that also meet regularly. New Chapters are being added on a regular basis. 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.
59 min
Alpha Trader
Alpha Trader
Seeking Alpha
Bitcoin wins institutional acceptance, supplants gold - Dan Held joins Alpha Trader
This week's Alpha Trader podcast features hosts Aaron Task and Stephen Alpher talking Bitcoin (BTC-USD) with Dan Held, an old hand in cryptocurrency, who is currently growth head at crypto exchange, Krakenfx. Held has been in Bitcoin since it was $10, so what does he think about this year's run that has taken its value north of $18K, and how does it differ from the crypto's other major bull markets? Institutional acceptance of Bitcoin is the key, says Held, noting not just hedge fund legends like Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller as new hodlers (particularly Jones), but Rick Riedler, the CIO of fixed income for the world's largest asset manager, BlackRock. One hedge funder not yet convinced is Ray Dalio, who is of an open mind on Bitcoin, but wonders if governments could just ban it at some point. "You can't kill an idea," says Held, who addressed that very issue in a tweetstorm late last week. The very nature of Bitcoin and de-centralization, he says, makes it highly difficult for governments to outlaw it, even if they wanted to. Held suspects that if Dalio takes the time to further study Bitcoin, he'll become as big of a fan as some of his institutional brethren. Held also addresses Bitcoin as "Gold 2.0," i.e. similar but way better than gold (XAUUSD:CUR) in terms of being a hedge against money printing and an overreaching government. He reminds that Bitcoin's supply can never exceed 21M - increasing prices may result in increased attention, but it doesn't result in boosted supplies. The exact opposite is the case with gold - higher prices almost assuredly bring about higher supplies. Also, Bitcoin by its nature can be explicitly verified with very little effort. Gold? Do you fancy carrying a spectrometer around? Never mind the ease with which Bitcoin can be held in our own personal custody and transported. There's plenty more, including a discussion of Ethereum (ETH-USD), the "religion" of Bitcoin and why it's a good thing, and Held's thoughts on Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. Listen to or subscribe to Alpha Trader on these podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts Spotify Google Play Stitcher Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
43 min
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