A lot of you may already know this. This is for those who don’t.

I’m on facebook a lot. One of the annoying things about facebook is the content changes so quickly. I can be reading something, exit facebook, come back, and the article I was reading is gone.

Then, one day I discovered a way to save articles. This is a really useful feature that I don’t think a lot of people know about. I have an iPhone, iPad, and Windows computer. I know the feature is available on all on three of those, so I would think it would be available on Android products too.

Here’s how to save links, articles, posts, and videos in Facebook iOS app:

1. Tap or click on the down arrow.

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2. Save the article, link, video, etc.

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3. To access your saved items later, click on the menu icon in the lower right corner of the screen.

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4. Open the Saved Items folder.

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This comes to us from Thomas Sowell’s “Basic Economics”:

“…a New York Times reporter writing about the problems of a middle-aged, low-income woman said, ‘if the factory had just let Caroline work day shifts, her problem would have disappeared.’ But, he lamented: ‘Wages and hours are set by the marketplace, and you cannot expect magnanimity from the marketplace.’

“Here again, the inescapable conflict between what one person wants and what another person wants is presented in a way that recognizes only one side of this equation as human. Most people prefer working day shifts to working night shifts but, if Caroline were transferred to the day shift, someone else would have to be transferred to the night shift. As for ‘magnanimity,’ what would that mean except forcing someone else to bear this woman’s costs? What is magnanimous about someone who is paying no cost whatsoever—in this case, the New York Times reporter—demanding that someone else be saddled with those costs?”

The Index Card

I received a review copy of The Index Card: Why Personal Finance DoesnÂ’t Have to Be Complicated* by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack a couple of weeks ago.

As you can probably imagine from the title, this is a little book. It’s a book that can be read in one setting, which is nice.

The book is composed of ten rules (the authors even include an index card with the 10 rules), which are:

The Index Card

As you can see, they are pretty basic rules. Most of us would agree with all of them.

One rule that I definitely agree with is no. 6: Make your financial advisor commit to the fiduciary standard. That is a must in my book. If they won’t do that, then find another advisor.

The two rules I don’t agree with are no. 4: Never buy or sell individual stocks. and no. 9: Do what you can to support the social safety net.

Although I think index funds should make up the bulk of a person’s investment portfolio, I would stop short of telling people to never buy individual stocks.

The chapter on rule no. 9 left a sour taste in my mouth. Here’s an excerpt:

“When someone decries Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, remind him or her that many elderly would lead much poorer lives without it. When you hear someone say the government should keep its mitts of Medicare, speak up and say it is a government program.

“But it’s more than that. We need to admit we are the 96%. Be honest about not just what you pay in taxes but what you receive in return. Almost all of us have been helped—or have friends or relatives who have been helped—by unemployment insurance, Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants to attend college, or other government offerings. All too often, we take them for granted, but without them many of us would be in worse financial shape. Acting together, we can protect one another against financial and health risks that would crush anyone of us, were we forced to face them unassisted.

“We must take care of ourselves and our immediate families through better planning, saving, and investing. When we do that, we are in a better place. But we must take care of our fellow citizens too. That’s the best way to ensure that all the new changes we’ve adopted over the course of this book have the best chance for success.”

Sounds like a page right out of the Democrat talking points, doesn’t it? It’s not my intent to take this review down the political path. Let’s just say that I think the above excerpt from the book is absolute hogwash. The book could have easily been written without it.

Politics aside, this is a decent book. It’s a great primer for someone starting out.

Other reviews from around the web: Adam Chudy

*Affiliate Link

Yesterday’s 1.58% decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was the 6th worst first day of the year in the history of the Dow (going back to 1929).

If history is our guide, we’re in for a ho-hum year. I looked at the 20 worst first trading days for the DJIA and then looked at the return for that year. Please note that I used price returns for the DJIA and also included total returns for the S&P 500 because I don’t have total returns for the DJIA going back that far. Because I used two different indexes you’ll see instances where the total return is less than the price return.

20 Worst DJIA Starts

I miss the days when total return information for various indexes were available for download. For some reason, companies have decided to take their information offline. For data nerds like me, this is hard to stomach.

I always liked to follow the sector returns for the Dow Jones Total Market Index. Fortunately, iShares has had exchange-traded funds for all ten of the sectors since mid-2000. That data is easy to find.

To calculate these returns, I used the adjusted closing price from Yahoo!.

By far the best performing ETF of the group over the last 15 years was the iShares Consumer Goods (IYK), which had an average annual ROR of 8.44%. The largest holdings in IYK is Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, and Pepsico. This makes sense because consumer goods are usually defensive and hold up well during rough markets.

By far the worst performer over the same period was Telecom (IYZ), which returned only .68% per year. Ouch!

By far the worst performing asset class for 2015 followed by AFM was the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, which was down nearly 15%. Based on the numbers I found this morning, it’s a very volatile index:

MSCI Emerging Markets Index TR

Yet, even with all that volatility, it still performed a lot better than the S&P 500 over the same period. NOTE: The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) began trading on 4/14/2003. Since that day, it has had a 10.51% average annual rate of return vs. 8.95% for the iShares S&P 500 Index ETF (IVV).

Here is the up-to-date report through 2015 (click on the graphic to download the PDF).

Total Returns for Various Indexes - Dec 2015

The following is a screen capture of a comment exchange between BG (the same BG who comments on posts here at AFM) and Pamela Yellen:

Yellen Comment

Ms. Yellen doesn’t understand that compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the same as the average annual return.

The calculation is very simple. Using the VFINX adjusted closing price of $95.51 on 12/19/2005 and the closing price of $188.21 on 12/18/2015, we can calculate the CAGR or average annual return like this:

[(188.21 ÷ 95.51)1 ÷ 10] – 1

[1.970545.1] – 1

1.070184 – 1

.070184 or 7.02%

THIS is the return that investors should be concerned with.

The average return (also known as the arithmetic mean), which is simply adding up all the one-year returns and dividing them by the number of years, would have been a much higher, but misleading, 8.92%.

Be wary of anyone who calls themselves an expert.