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Posted February 2, 2003
A Well Disguised Marketing Ploy!
I agree with Bill Schledwitz's comments. The author did do a good job at presenting many different topics. However, a well informed investor will pickup on the subtle push toward DFA funds. DFA funds are sold only through pension plans and through fee only advisor. What wasn't mentioned in the book: The typical minimum investment to hire a fee only advisor is $100,000. A typical fee for investment of less than $500,000 is 1%/year in addition to the 0.6% fee charged by a typical DFA fund. Interesting...DFA funds are legally marketed as no-load funds yet the total charges are similar to loaded funds. I do agree that DFA funds are somewhat different from ordinary index funds but I seriously doubt it is worth more than 1.35%/year in additional expense over Vanguard's index funds. But the author did use a rather limited time frame (something like 5 years) to defend the merits of using DFA funds over index funds for his asset allocation methods. Why didn't he use 60+ years? Finally, the defense for tax efficiency of passive funds was rather week--it didn't use any real historic numbers--anyone who has researched several annual reports will know his numbers are way off. The reality is that passive investing isn't that much more tax efficient than active management. There even was an attempt to discredit the esteemed Professor Jeremy Siegel on the small cap outperformance anomoly theory. The author's defense was a recap using a decile company size as a bases of comparison over the same periods discussed by Dr. Siegel. What the author failed to do is to include a realistic cost comparison of these smaller companies--the final result would be closer to Siegel's finding. Even then, one could continue to argue that small company stock will outperform larger ones over longer periods of time but the numbers are actually much closer than what is suggested in this book. When reading this book or any other books on investing, note the time frame being used as a defense for the theory. Retest the theory at different time frame to verify its validity. Allow for some statisical noise. Then draw your own conclusions. I highly recommend those reading this book to also read Jeremy Siegel's "Stocks for the Long Run."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.