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

Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
Bogleheads On Investing Podcast
bogleheads
Episode 028: Roger Lowenstein, host Rick Ferri
Roger Lowenstein reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade and is also an award-winning book author. His work has appeared in Bloomberg, The New York Review of Books, Fortune, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. His best-selling books include Buffett, When Genius Failed, Origins of the Crash, While America Aged, and The End of Wall Street. In this episode, we discuss Roger's books and lessons he learned writing them. 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. 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.
44 min
WEALTHTRACK
WEALTHTRACK
Consuelo Mack
Medicare & Lockdown: Better than Ever? (U.S.)
According to Medicare benefits expert, Dr. Katy Votava COVID-19 has altered several aspects of Medicare coverage and procedures. She will tell us what’s different and how to take advantage of the changes. She will also help us meet the deadline for Medicare’s annual enrollment period which ends on December 7th and allows medicare beneficiaries to evaluate their Medicare Advantage Plans and part D, prescription drug plans, and shift to different providers if it makes sense.  Votava is a Medicare expert who advises individuals, small businesses, and financial planners from her healthcare consulting business, GOODCARE.com. She is also the author of Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers, now in its 7th edition and an Amazon bestseller. It is a straightforward, easy to navigate guide to Medicare which is a very complex multi-part system that frequently does warrant annual updating by its beneficiaries. An estimated 90 percent of Americans pay too much for their Medicare coverage.  WEALTHTRACK # 1722 published on November 27, 2020 More info: https://wealthtrack.com/how-covid-19-has-changed-medicare-coverage-and-procedures-with-benefits-expert-katy-votava/ Medicare.gov – The official U.S. Government site for Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE Shiptacenter.org – The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site that directs consumers to free Medicare counseling and assistance Eldercare.acl.gov - Eldercare locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration of Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families. 1-800-677-1116    Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers: https://amzn.to/33mW4Rs --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/wealthtrack/support
19 min
Sound Investing
Sound Investing
Paul Merriman
Supercharge Your Retirement and Make Millions More
In this insightful interview by Doc G of Earn & Invest, authors Rich Buck and Paul Merriman talk about their new book, We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement. They cover topics such as their long-time professional collaboration, simplicity in investing, risk, beating the market, portfolio recommendations and the magic of compound interest over time. Buy We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement in Kindle or Amazon Print editions. (Soon to be available at other outlets and on Audible). Watch Paul’s video about the book. Visit the book’s website. Doc G was an internal medicine physician when he discovered the personal finance community through Dr. Jim Dahle’s “The White Coat Investor.” He left clinical practice to pursue his passion for deep conversations about money and life and has found the meaning of “enough” through the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early). This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
57 min
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