January 13, 2013

Posted by orrinj at 12:43 PM

Posted by orrinj at 9:44 AM


Vanguard's $130 Billion Year (Roben Farzad, December 11, 2012, Business Week)

The $5 footlong. The $340 laptop. Free two-day shipping. All hallmarks of our economic times.

Vanguard, the 38-year-old low-cost investing pioneer, brings you the Great Deflation.

The fund company is not just having its best year ever. (It shattered that record in September.) The $130.4 billion in deposits in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that Vanguard has taken in through November is the most ever for the industry, according to data from Strategic Insight. That beats the $129.6 billion that JPMorgan (JPM) clocked, mostly for money market funds, in 2008. This year's not over.

You've no doubt heard of the "Wal-Mart (WMT)effect." Now the market is watching--with equal parts gratitude and trepidation--the rapid escalation of the "Vanguard effect." It's asymmetric warfare, as Vanguard's sole ownership and constituency is its fundholders, the savings it wrings from its buying power are passed on to them, not to shareholders or partners. BlackRock (BLK), Charles Schwab (SCHW), Fidelity, and State Street cannot say the same.

"No one should be shocked," says Josh Brown, the Manhattan investment adviser who blogs as the Reformed Broker. He says that Vanguard is selling the lowest-cost bond funds in an environment in which every basis point counts, as well as "the plainest-vanilla indexes" in an era whose most expensive stock-pickers, he says, have been "rendered impotent."

The average equity mutual fund investor pays $1.24 for every $100 invested, compared with just under 36¢ for equity ETFs, according to Lipper. Vanguard ups (lowers?) that ante by offering a firm-wide average expense of 20¢ per $100 invested. 

Posted by orrinj at 9:37 AM


B's schedule: Beast of the East (Joe McDonald, 1/13/13, ESPNBoston.com)

The B's schedule is loaded with divisional opponents and conference foes over 48 games in the span of 99 days. Boston begins its quest against the New York Rangers on Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m. at TD Garden. That matchup could very well be a precursor to the Eastern Conference finals since both teams are built to dominate the East. 

The Bruins will play division foes Ottawa and Buffalo five times apiece and face Toronto and Montreal four times each. A total of 30 games will be played against Atlantic and Southeast Division teams, with the Bruins facing each team three times. 

Start the season on Halloween Night and the playoffs on February 1, so your real season coincides with the end of football and you're done before baseball starts.

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Posted by orrinj at 9:33 AM


Bull market rolls on as global financial markets overcome fears (Tom Petruno, January 13, 2013, LA Times)

Global financial markets overcame a torrent of fears in 2012 to post strong gains nearly across the board.

Returns on most categories of stock mutual funds were in double digits. The average domestic equity fund generated a total return (price change plus dividend income) of 15%, after losing 2.5% in 2011, according to investment research firm Morningstar Inc.

It was the third calendar-year gain in the last four years, as the bull market that began in March 2009 rolled on.

Bond mutual funds also posted positive returns as market interest rates continued to slide, boosting the value of older bonds issued at higher rates.

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Posted by orrinj at 9:26 AM


Sol Yurick, author of The Warriors, dies at 87 ( Martin Chilton,  11 Jan 2013, Telegraph)

The book became a cult film and, later, a popular video game in 2005 for Xbox and PlayStation 2.

Yurick, who died in Manhattan, had grown up in the Bronx, the son of Communist activists. He later worked as an investigator for the New York City Department of Welfare. He was 40 when he finished The Warriors, his first published novel. It's the violent tale of a New York gang escaping from the Bronx to Brooklyn, often using the subway, on the the Fourth of July after a pact for gang unity has broken down. During the escape, there is a rape and the casual killing of a bystander.

His tale was based on the Greek story on Anabasis, written by the soldier Xenophon, about the retreat of 10,000 Greek soldiers after the failed conquest of Persia around 400 B.C.

Did any film that HBO had the rights to in its early years not become a cult classic?

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