Felix Salmon

Beware those S&P 500 benchmarks

By Felix Salmon
March 26, 2010

Next time a fund manager brags of outperforming the S&P 500, remember this:

A favorite index for advisers has been the S&P 500, because its performance has been below every other major asset class over the past decade. Virtually any portfolio diversification away from large-cap U.S. stocks would have outperformed the predominantly large-cap S&P 500. All an investor needed was a small allocation to international stocks, small-cap stocks, REITs or bonds–or even cash–and his portfolio would have “beaten the market.”

The vulture fund debate

By Felix Salmon
March 2, 2010

Greg Palast is back bashing vulture funds again: his Newsnight piece (web story here) is airing tonight, in slightly different form, on BBC World News America. The last time he mined this particular vein, I responded with a 5,500-word blog entry in defense of vulture funds, and I’m determined not to disappear down that particular rabbit hole this time, especially since all concerned — including Palast — seem to be much more constructive this time around.