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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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October's commentary is posted.

@David and the MFO team, Thank you very much.


  • edited October 2021
    Wood has attracted lots of detractors or “haters”

    Interesting observation. I doubt it’s due to her success - as Peter Lynch was nearly idolized by the investing community during his time.

    My best guess is it’s a combination of Wood’s ingrained personality (public demeanor) plus society’s tendency to underrate the significance of females in positions of power or authority - more so perhaps in the field of finance.

    Thanks @David for the great commentary!
  • the significance of females in positions of authority or power - perhaps more so in the field of finance.
    I totally agree with that assessment. While I may not agree with some of her individual stock picks, her forward thinking of the landscape is unique and it has proven itself since the pandemic started last year.
  • edited October 2021
    "No such principled action [to resign] from the seven members of Congress – a rare, bipartisan group of four Democrats and three Republicans – who made hundreds of unreported financial trades despite (or perhaps because of?) the fact that five of the seven sit on the powerful House Financial Services Committee. Their actions violate the STOCK Act, which was designed to eliminate insider trading by members of Congress.
    That’s not entirely “old guys acting badly,” since one of those involved is Cindy Axne (D-Iowa)."

    Congressholes (since "Congressmen" is too narrow a term) only care about electability (i.e., what their base thinks). They have tapped fully into the primal psyche of their base who are in a Party love induced coma. But what are the media (Press) doing not expressing outrage until the Congressholes resign? The media is also tapping into the same primal psyche of their reader base for profits / gainful employment and does not stand to gain to try to hold the Congressholes accountable, especially when both parties are abusive. Can not help but wonder if US Press as a noble democratic institution is no more.

    Thanks @David for another month of great commentary.
  • edited October 2021
    What on earth is it? It’s the financial communities latest innovation in their ongoing efforts to separate you from your wealth, without ever having you notice (Cf “Where are the customer’s yachts?” and “portfolio manager” in The Devil’s Financial Dictionary for details.) Direct indexing allows you to directly and easily own all of the stocks in an index, rather than owning them indirectly through shares of a fund or ETF. And because you own the individual shares, you can also rebuild the index to suit your individual whims, passions, and insights.
    Not really sure why the attack on direct indexing. It is almost universally lower cost than owning actively managed mutual funds and comparable fee-wise to many ETFs. But as important, the target audience at this point isn't the "you" as individual investor but sophisticated financial advisors using these accounts for tax optimization for their high net worth clients so accounts are not for an ostensibly uneducated individual investor just randomly picking stocks.
    Also important, these direct indexed accounts are optimized via their algorithms in many cases to have as little tracking error with their chosen benchmarks as possible. Tax optimization is the primary end goal for investors in these accounts while ESG is an important secondary goal at this stage. It is not invidual investors just building portfolios to suit their individual whims. In fact if a client of advisors wants to leave too much out of their direct index account for their ESG goals that it will cause significant tracking error with the initial benchmark, the direct indexers will notify the advisor and clients of that fact and likely discourage it or at least warn the client. These accounts can also be tilted factor-wise towards value or momentum or other factors but that really isn't much different from the factor ETFs on the market today. So I don't get the rationale here.
  • Remarkable straightforward journalism reporting by Charles
  • @davidrmoran: Agree. Highly informative. Thank you, Charles!
  • Ha! Thank you. Really enjoyable event. Very grateful Morningstar went through with it!
  • From a long time subscriber and Chicago resident ... this one is tough to watch, but important I think:

  • edited October 2021
    Thanks, @Charles, for the excellent reporting and thanks for posting Ken's interview.
  • @Charles,

    Thanks for the excellent synopsis of MICUS 2021!
  • yet another reason
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