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Investing Specialists

Great Diversifiers, 401(k) Oddities, and Vanguard's New Fund

We take a numerical look through this week's Morningstar research. Plus, our most popular articles and videos for the week ended May 31.

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Inspired by Harper's Index (with a tip of the hat to FiveThirtyEight's Significant Digits blog), Morningstar Runs the Numbers uses a numbers-based approach to highlight recent Morningstar research.

2.12% vs 1.82%
That's how much the median stable-value fund in Morningstar's database returned versus the median money market mutual fund during the past 12 months. Christine Benz takes a look at stable-value funds and other oddities that investors might find in their 401(k) plans.

$181
That's our new fair value estimate on Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL). We've also downgraded its moat to narrow from wide. We think the market is unfairly treating the stock.

38%
That's how much fixed-rate annuities sales are up versus this time last year. Contributor Mark Miller examines what's driving these sales and the pros and cons for retirees.

$40 billion
That's how much Vanguard Health Care (VGHCX) has in assets. We take a look at three great sector funds for the "mad money" part of a portfolio.

70.5 years old
That's the age at which you can make a qualified charitable distribution, or QCD. Christine Benz talks with tax expert Ed Slott about mistakes to avoid.

9.9%
That's the rate at which low-cost, direct-sold 529 plans have grown annually over the past five years. We take a look at trends in the 529 plan landscape.

June 4
That's when the subscription period to invest in Vanguard Global ESG Select Stock VEIGX ends. Morningstar's head of sustainability research Jon Hale gives his take on this new ESG entrant.

1%
Investors shouldn't invest in a large-cap fund with an expense ratio higher than this, according to Russ Kinnel. He shares three of his favorite actively managed large-cap funds.

25%
That's what John Rekenthaler estimates is the annualized return of the "Bubble Portfolio," a hypothetical collection of oft-derided securities. He examines whether there's money to be made by inverting the professional consensus.

2
That's how many funds  Vanguard Balanced Index (VBIAX) invests in. The fund is coming off its best decade of risk-adjusted returns. We take a look at the merits of simplicity.

In excess of 50%
Those are the returns on invested capital that  Polaris Industries (PII) generated this decade. We take a deep dive into the wide-moat company.

8.9%
That's how many employers offered some form of annuity in their retirement plans last year. Christine Benz reviews some questions to ask before investing in an annuity in a 401(k).

More than 13%
High-quality, long-term bonds are excellent diversifiers, if you can handle the risk. To wit: The average fund in the long-term government Morningstar Category lost in excess of 13% in 2013. We name some of our favorite long-term bond funds.

400%
Student loan debt has increased by that amount from 2001 to 2016. Policy specialist Aron Szapiro takes a look at the relationship between student loan debt and retirement savings.

Access all recent article and video content in our archive.

Most Popular Articles
Vanguard's Two-Fund Portfolio Just Had Its Best Decade  
7 Defensive Stocks on Sale
Primecap's Golden Lineup: Its Six Funds Come in Pairs
3 Ways to Diversify Equity Risk
Grading on a Curve: Leaders and Laggards in the Evolving 529 Market

Most Popular Videos
3 Top Large-Cap Funds
2 Stock Picks in a Surging Industry
Avoid This QCD Mistake
3 Funds That Exhibit Bear-Market Brawn
3 Mad-Money Funds

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Apple
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