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Your Question

Which stock-market sectors should I invest in?
How to choose between growth or value, small or large, energy or real estate or tech or health care.

Jason's Answers

There`s no stock like home
06/17/2004: Money Magazine
How should you diversify the risks of owning your house?

What Would Jesus Buy?
05/01/2003: TIME Magazine
Can an investor become more righteous, and richer, by avoiding \"unholy\" stocks?

Momentum Mori
05/01/2003: Money Magazine, Vol. 32 No. 5
What should we make of Garrett Van Wagoner?

Get Smart About Sectors
12/01/2002: Money Magazine, Vol. 31 No. 13
There\'s a right way and a wrong way to use focused funds.

Online chat at Morningstar.com
03/01/2002: www.morningstar.com
Among other things, Jason discusses investment risk, diversification, index funds, market timing, and how the mutual fund industry should get its act together. (Note: free registration required.)

Give Us Our Dividends
02/01/2002: TIME Magazine
Technology companies like Microsoft and Cisco are piling up cash. Shouldn`t they pay some of it out to shareholders?

“I don't know, I don't care”
08/29/2001: 4:44 p.m. ET
Indexing lets you say those magic words.

Is the S&P 500 Rigged?
07/13/2001: Money Magazine
The ultimate market measure has been turned inside out -- and may never be the same again. Investors beware.

New Year\'s Play
12/01/2000: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 13 Special Double Issue
Can you make big bucks on small stocks by buying in December?

Hunting eggs
09/14/2000: money.com
How to diversify away the risk of too much company stock.

Performance Review: Part 2
07/25/2000: money.com
I've been answering your questions in Mutual Fund Mailbag for just about a year now, and I think I've gotten things mostly right. Just to be sure, though, I've asked some of the investing world's top minds for their two cents. In this three-part series, I square off with Vanguard's John Bogle, efficient-market theorist William Bernstein, and finance professor Terrance Odean on the issues you've written in most about. This week: Bernstein gives me a bashing.

To buy, or to build
05/11/2000: money.com
How many stocks make up a diversified portfolio? The debate rages on, but there are some rules you can live by. (See also July 25, 2000.)

High concentration
04/11/2000: money.com
The Vanguard Growth Index fund has nearly half of its assets in just 10 stocks. How much is too much?

Do health-care funds make sense?
03/10/2000: money.com
Depends who you ask--but if it's a financial journalist, think twice.

Questioning your faith
03/02/2000: money.com
Should you abandon those once-great value funds?

Do the Experts Get the Future Right? Does Anybody?
02/01/2000: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 2
Before you put all your money in that tech fund, consider how far off our expectations have been over the past decade. Jason Zweig With additional reporting by Erica Garcia

Diversity training
01/06/2000: money.com
You can't know when tech stocks will end their bull run. But you should start preparing now.

The Tyranny of Style
12/01/1999: Money Magazine Vol. 28 No. 12 Special Double Issue
Is a mutual fund's label more important than its returns?

Is a green fund a good fund?
11/11/1999: money.com
Jason weighs in on the merits of socially-responsible mutual funds.

Don't try this with your 401(k)
11/04/1999: money.com
Why loading up your retirement plan with shares in even a high-flying employer is a dangerous thing to do.

To weight or not to weight?
10/28/1999: money.com
Jason advises a reader who wonders if he should weight certain sectors of the market more heavily than others, and debunks the idea that small cap stocks tend to outperform large caps over time.

1974 and 1999: History Turned Upside-Down
In this speech to the Foundation Financial Officers Group (a club for major institutional investors), Jason looked back exactly 25 years to late 1974 -- when the outlook for investing was the polar opposite of late 1999. With internet mania at its most euphoric, Jason warned that investors always get carried away at market extremes. This speech combines a historical viewpoint with insights from behavioral finance to create a perspective that may be useful even today.

Which one of these funds is not like the others?
09/24/1999: money.com
Jason answers a reader who wants to know about tools to evaluate how much overlap there is in his funds' holdings.

How many funds are enough?
09/17/1999: money.com
Jason explains why most investors shouldn't own more than a handful of mutual funds.

Cast a wide net
08/03/1999: money.com
Jason explains the logic behind investing in a fund based on a total stock-market index like the Wilshire 5000.

False Profits
08/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 8
You now have all the tools you need to pick your own pocket. (A critique of the stock-picking “strategies” of the Motley Fool.)

In defense of diversification
07/28/1999: money.com
Zweig answers critics who wonder why anyone would possibly want to invest in anything other than U.S. stocks.

Fools and their money
07/21/1999: money.com
Reaction is swift, strong (and more than a little foolish) to Zweig's Money column criticizing the Motley Fool.

Don\'t Sell Value Short
06/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 6 Special Issue The MONEY 100
How would you like to be a highly intelligent, experienced, skilled professional--and come in to work every day and have somebody tell you that you\'re a moron?

05/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 29 No. 5
Don\'t believe the hype about Internet stocks and funds.

Risks and Riches
04/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 4
Over the full sweep of time, mutual funds have shown that they are probably the greatest contribution to financial democracy ever devised. But like every democratic structure, they are far from perfect.

Look Back and Learn
04/01/1999: Money Magazine, Vol. 28 No. 4
Booms And Busts, Fashions And Binges, Have Been Part Of The Mutual Fund Experience Almost Since The Beginning.

Public Radio's "Marketplace"
02/01/1998: “Marketplace”
An interview with David Brancaccio of Public Radio’s “Marketplace” on stock-market volatility and the importance of patience.

The trouble with timing
12/01/2003: Money Magazine
We\'re always told to buy low and sell high. Sounds simple and it makes sense. So why is such an easy rule so hard to follow? (Note: Full online access to this article is available only to MONEY Magazine subscribers.)

12 Deadly Fund Myths -- and How to Profit from Them
02/01/1996: Money Magazine
Like the Ancient Greeks, fund investors believe in myths. Here we debunk the biggest and give you advice to make you a richer shareholder.

Why Socially Responsible Investing Is Not Quite As Heavenly As It Might Sound
06/01/1996: Money Magazine
A column that raised questions about whether mutual funds can really appease your investing conscience.

How to Build a Portfolio
12/01/1996: Money Magazine
Advice on how to assemble a mutual-fund portfolio one building block at a time.

The Nonconformist
06/01/1998: Money Magazine
A brief profile of swashbuckling money manager Ken Heebner.

Swept Away by Index Funds
12/01/2004: Money Magazine
Is fundamental indexing the answer to a fundamental problem?

Why the January Effect Is Just Slush
01/01/2007: Money Magazine
The idea that small stocks beat big ones in January melts away once you examine it closely.

Winning the Home Run Hitter`s Game
02/01/2007: Money Magazine
An argument for swinging for the investment fences from Ralph Wanger, the legendary manager of the Acorn Fund.

Bottoms-Up Analysis
04/01/2007: Money Magazine
What the ultimate liquid asset -- wine -- can teach us about investing. (With Asa Fitch.)

Mr. Worst-Case Scenario
05/01/2007: Money Magazine
Robert Shiller called the tech stock crash just as NASDAQ peaked. Where does he think the real estate market is headed now? Uh-oh.

Markets Where Only Fools Rush In
08/01/2007: Money Magazine
Why emerging markets are not a `no-brainer.`

Why to Steer Clear of the New Gold Rush
04/01/2008: Money Magazine
Stampeding into commodities right now is one of the stupidest things an investor could do.

Is It Time to Tiptoe Back into Financial Stocks?
07/26/2008: The Wall Street Journal
No, and here`s why

What to Do When Your Fancy ETF Goes RIP
08/02/2008: The Wall Street Journal
The coming wave of closures in the ETF business

1930s Lessons: Brother, Can You Spare a Stock?
02/14/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Just in case we are in for a repeat of the Great Depression, it can`t hurt to look back and see which stocks did best in the worst of times.

How Managing Risk with ETFs Can Backfire
02/28/2009: The Wall Street Journal
Why the hottest investments around -- leveraged ETFs -- are too hot for just about anybody.

If You Think the Worst Is Over, Take Benjamin Graham’s Advice
05/23/2009: The Wall Street Journal
In the market rebound, the worst investments have had the best returns. Don`t get carried away.

Wall Street Clearance Sale Leaves Few Bargains
06/06/2009: The Wall Street Journal
With the market recovering, where can investors find good values?

Can Angel Investors Earn Heavenly Returns?
10/31/2009: The Wall Street Journal
It`s a very good time to become a mini-venture capitalist. It`s also a good time to think twice before you do.

Tech Companies Won, Investors Lost
03/10/2010: The Wall Street Journal
Ten years on, the lesson of the Internet bubble: Uncertainty is good.

Watch Out for Hidden Tax Traps Inside ETFs
04/17/2010: The Wall Street Journal
A look at the tricky tax rules on commodity and currency ETFs.

Unlikely Superstar: How a Forgotten Fund Got Hot in a Hurry
09/18/2010: The Wall Street Journal
The meteoric rise of the Permanent Portfolio says more about investors than about investments.

Why Your Stock Portfolio Is Acting Like a Commodity Basket
11/20/2010: The Wall Street Journal
What makes common stocks behave like sugar and crude oil?

That`s Oil, Folks: Why You Don`t Need More in Your Portfolio
03/05/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Should you rush to buy energy stocks or funds?

The Next Google -- or the Next Debacle?
04/09/2011: The Wall Street Journal
Regulators are loosening the rules under which private companies can reach out to investors. Watch out.

Why So Many Blue-Chip Investors Are Still Singing the Blues
04/16/2011: The Wall Street Journal
What has been keeping great companies from producing great stock returns?

Hi Ho, Silver: Some Fund Investors Could End Up Tarnished
04/23/2011: The Wall Street Journal
The hazards of buying a silver fund at a premium to its net asset value.

Can Annual Reports Save Lives?
12/17/2011: The Wall Street Journal
In one of the oddest outcomes of the financial crisis, U.S. securities regulators are now in the business of policing human rights in Africa.

Gold Even Reigns on the Stock Market
08/23/2011: The Wall Street Journal
A brief shining moment: SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) becomes the world`s largest exchange-traded fund.

Is Gold Cheap? Who Knows? But Gold-Mining Stocks Are
09/17/2011: The Wall Street Journal
It`s hard, if not impossible, to tell what gold is worth. But you can value gold-mining stocks, and they are cheap.

In Real Estate, Simple Wins
10/29/2011: The Wall Street Journal
A look at so-called tenancy-in-common deals, a real-estate wrinkle gone bad.

Caging Raging Contagion
11/12/2011: The Wall Street Journal
With markets around the world moving in lockstep, which investments offer some semblance of diversification?

The Dividend-Fund Dilemma
04/07/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Do the investors who have poured billions of dollars into dividend-oriented funds understand the risks?

A Flaming Buy? Natural Gas Won`t Stay Low Forever
04/28/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Natural gas is very close to being given away. Investors should sniff opportunity.

Protecting Your Bucket
09/15/2012: The Wall Street Journal
What`s in the `Buckets of Money` that well-known financial planner Ray Lucia recommends?

Inefficient, Schminefficient
01/11/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
What evidence is there that markets other than blue-chip stocks are easier to beat? Not much.

Housing Recovery? Not So Fast
06/20/2012: WSJ Online: Total Return blog
How sure should we be that the real-estate market has turned the corner?

In a Low-Rate World, Everything Is a Real-Estate Play
10/27/2012: The Wall Street Journal
Real-estate investment trusts are hot, and just about everything imaginable is turning into a REIT.

Have Investors Finally Cracked the Stock-Picking Code?
03/01/2013: The Wall Street Journal
New findings about `quality` stocks suggest that highly profitable companies outperform the averages.

The Japan Syndrome: Rising Rates and Risky Exposures
05/25/2013: The Wall Street Journal
When the Tokyo stock market tanks 7%, what does it mean for U.S. investors?

Other Resources

Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters

Link to Warren Buffett's annual letters to shareholders, 1977 to date. If you want to learn how to think logically and clearly about all the issues that confront investors -- from inflation to stock options to diversification to index funds to the true meaning of risk -- Buffett's brilliant letters are the first (and often the final) word. He will never steer you wrong, and the learning is free and without obligation.

Efficient Frontier

Link to William J. Bernstein's "Efficient Frontier" online newsletter, where he serves up opinion that is, at one and the same time, both biting and mathematically rigorous, both challenging and fun to read. Full of righteous anger at the knaves and nincompoops who dish out most financial advice, Bernstein is an invigorating breath of fresh air.

Bogle Financial Markets Research Center

This site, featuring John C. Bogle's speeches and research papers, enables you to keep up with the latest thinking of the founder of the Vanguard Group. Jack Bogle is probably the best friend the individual investor has ever had, and the materials archived here are rich with insights into how the money management business really works and how you can take control of your own financial destiny.

Return to Your Questions by Topic

JasonZweig.com is my place to tell you what I think about a whole lot of investing stuff. I’m the only one responsible for my opinions, but I can’t guarantee they’ll always be right. If you don’t like what I say or it turns out to be wrong, I’m sorry; you can’t sue me. The material you find here is not meant as specific investing advice for you, and if you use it that way and something goes wrong, that’s your problem, not mine. To get individualized investing advice, you need to do your own homework or else hire a financial advisor, a tax professional, or a lawyer to do it for you (and even then, you’d better watch like a hawk!). If you think anything on this website is an invitation for you to buy or sell any investment, you need to get your head examined. What’s more, I’m not soliciting business of any kind, because I don’t have any business to solicit. (Believe it or not, I don’t want your money.) I’ll do my best to avoid any conflicts of interest in running this website, but I don’t have silvery wings and a halo, and somebody might manage to corrupt me. If that happens, it’s your job to notice and to be disgusted by it. In short, none of my best efforts to be honest, sensible, and trustworthy exempt you from your constant duties to treat what I say with the same skepticism you should treat anyone’s pontification about investing. I wish you good luck!

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