Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Index Universal Life: A Product to Avoid?


Index Universal Life: A Product to Avoid?
Index Universal Life is cash value life insurance that uses interest crediting based upon an index, typically the S&P 500. This article reviews the pro and cons of such a policy.
Dumb Beta Picks on Smart Beta, Underperforms
Debated over whether it is fact, fiction, marketing or all of the above, "Smart Beta" had been a growing point of contention in the asset management industry recently. Our view, based more on the math than the marketing, is that these strategies are deserving of the attention and assets they are garnering, and advisers would be well served to consider them. The term "Smart Beta" refers to the gray area that strategies which aren't quite active management, but aren't quite indexing, occupy.
Where to Invest Money and Where Not To for 2015 and Beyond
With stocks and bonds both pricey the question of where to invest money for 2015 and beyond becomes a major issue. Here we look at where to invest money in stocks, bonds, and funds by focusing on pitfalls to avoid in 2015, 2016 and perhaps beyond. Stocks have recently hit all-time highs and this gets lots of investors excited.
Best Investment Strategies - Strategies That Will Yield the Most Benefit for You
High flyer stocks are thrilling and newsworthy. On the other hand consistent value of monthly debt income is sound and steady. Should I choose one or the other? How bout both!
What Are the Largest Brownfield Developments in the UK, and Why are There so Few of Them?
Brownfields can be more costly to build on and sometimes fail to provide the kind of housing needed. Occasionally, however, they provide a good return on investment.
Halal Investment Options for Muslims in Canada
I've always been a huge advocate of avoiding Riba (Interest), either earning or paying. There are definite financial, social and religious reasons for this and we, as Muslims, are aware of them. There has always been a concern among the Muslim community in Canada of where they should put their extra money in terms of Savings or Investments, earn money from that or at least hedge against the Inflation and other factors.
2015 Best Stock Investment Strategies
For over five years now one of the best stock investment strategies has been to simply buy and hold. Is it time for you to consider other investment strategies for 2015 and beyond? Many long term investors will ignore their stock investment strategies until they start to see their losses mount.
A Tale of Two Alphas: Investment Selection Vs Opportunistic
Alpha benefits all investors. Reallocating some of the focus from investment selection alpha to opportunistic alpha could have significant, positive impacts on portfolios.

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Four things we learned from the U-19 World Championships"

The FIBA U-19 World Championships concluded Sunday with a dramatic title game rife with clutch shots, jaw-dropping highlights and end-to-end action.

Croatia's Luka Bozic could have given his team the lead when he went to the free throw line trailing by one with four seconds left in regulation, but instead he offered the U.S. new life by sinking only one of two foul shots. The heavily favored Americans responded by seizing control in overtime and escaping with a well-earned 79-71 victory.

Give USA Basketball credit for winning gold at the past two U-19 World Championships because that age level has traditionally been the most difficult for the Americans to dominate. Before its victory in 2013, the U.S. had only held the U-19 world title once since 1995, a product of other nations sending more cohesive teams and top American prospects passing on the chance to play to focus on preparing for college or the NBA draft instead.

Besides delivering heartache for Croatia and a mixture of jubilation and relief for the U.S., this year's U-19 tournament also gave viewers a chance to see some of the world's most coveted prospects play against one another. Here's a look at what we learned with an emphasis on stuff that will impact college basketball in years to come:

1. The top of the Class of 2016 is incredible

The tournament confirmed the already popular opinion that the top players in the Class of 2016 have a chance to be special. Not only did guard Josh Jackson and forwards Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum each make the U.S. roster as high school seniors-to-be, the young American trio was the story of the tournament from start to finish.

Giles dominated in the paint with his length and athleticism, averaging 14 points and 10.6 rebounds despite logging only 21.2 minutes per game. Tatum scored in double figures in all seven games and nearly took the head off a late-arriving Greek defender with a dunk in the semifinals. And Jackson showcased the versatility that is his trademark, sinking 50 percent of his threes, finishing at the rim and spearheading the U.S. full-court press with his defensive prowess.

The success of Giles, Tatum and Jackson against older competition made up for the absence of many of the Class of 2015's top players. Rivals.com's highest-rated 2015 prospect on the team was Arizona-bound Allonzo Trier (No. 12), though Kentucky signee Isaiah Briscoe (No. 10) would have been a key player had he not gotten hurt just before the team left for Greece.

2. Villanova's Jalen Brunson will be an impact freshman

Even though Villanova returns one of the nation's better point guards next season in Ryan Arcidiacono, there is no way the Wildcats will be able to keep incoming freshman Jalen Brunson off the floor. Rivals.com's No. 20 prospect emerged as the victorious U.S. team's most indispensable player by the end of the tournament, earning MVP honors after averaging 14.0 points and 5.6 assists.

Brunson was at his best in the two closest games the U.S. played, a semifinal win over host Greece and the overtime title game victory against Croatia. He consistently displayed poise under pressure, erupting for 30 points against the Greeks and following that up with 14 points and 7 assists in a team-high 40 minutes against Croatia.

How will Villanova integrate Brunson next season? The perimeter-oriented Wildcats will probably go with a two-point guard look as they have at times in the past under Jay Wright. While Arcidiacono's erratic outside shooting is a concern if he plays off ball, multi-point guard lineups have a good recent track record — the past two national champions both used them.

3. Oregon has reason to be excited entering next season

The coach who emerged as the big winner from the U-19 tournament might be Oregon's Dana Altman after two of his players turned in brilliant performances.

Six-foot-7 sophomore-to-be Dillon Brooks emerged as Canada's top player, leading his team to a fifth-place finish by averaging a team-high 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. Incoming freshman Tyler Dorsey showcased the scoring prowess that made him one of California's top high school players the past few years, leading Greece to a semifinal appearance by averaging 15.9 points, shooting 55 percent from the floor and burying 52 percent of his threes.

These developments bode well for a talented but undersized Oregon team that will have to absorb the loss of high-scoring lead guard Joseph Young next season. Expect Brooks to make a big leap next season after starting 33 of 36 games as a freshman and expect Dorsey to emerge as one of the Pac-12's highest scoring newcomers from the onset.

4. Other international college prospects also showed promise

Oregon's staff probably wasn't the only one that came away from the U-19 tournament encouraged about next season's roster. Coaches at UNLV, St. John's, Nebraska and Wake Forest also surely were pleased with what their players accomplished.

UNLV-bound forward Justin Jackson and guard Jalen Poyser were two of the Canadian team's best players besides Brooks. The 6-foot-7 Jackson became a fixture in Canada's starting frontcourt by averaging 14.8 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds, while the aggressive Poyser emerged as a high-scoring reserve by putting up 7.9 points per game despite only averaging 13.9 minutes off the bench.

Six-foot-10 Spanish center Yankuba Sima showed why he could see immediate playing time for St. John's next season by posting 9.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Nebraska-bound Jack McVeigh had a nice tournament for Australia, averaging the second most points on his team. And Wake Forest rising sophomore Konstantinos Mitoglou was effective at power forward for Greece, turning in double-doubles in victories against Spain and the Dominican Republic.

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Cincinnati lands three commitments in less than 24 hours"

Already well positioned next season with its top six scorers returning from a 23-win NCAA tournament team, Cincinnati took a big step Wednesday toward securing its long-term future too.

The Bearcats landed three commitments in less than 24 hours, a pair from promising recruits Nysier Brooks and Jarron Cumberland and the other from coveted transfer Kyle Washington.

The most impactful addition might be Cumberland, a muscular 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Wilmington, Ohio, who is Rivals.com's No. 65 prospect in the Class of 2016. Cumberland had interest from the likes of Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Xavier and Butler, but a blue-collar, hard-nosed program like Cincinnati ought to be a good fit.

A 6-foot-8 big man from New Jersey who thrives on doing the little things, Brooks is another good fit for the Bearcats even if he is less heralded than Cumberland. He seldom scores any other ways besides tip-ins and dump-off passes, but he is an effective interior defender and rebounder.

The last among the three additions is Washington, a 6-foot-9 forward who transferred from NC State after he averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore. Washington will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2016-17 season and will provide a potential replacement for top big man Octavius Ellis, who will play his final college season next year.

Next season's Cincinnati team has a chance to contend for the American Athletic Conference crown and advance deeper into the NCAA tournament if young stars Troy Caupain and Gary Clark can become more efficient scorers.

And with Brooks, Cumberland and Washington all set to debut the following season, there's good reason to believe the Bearcats can sustain their momentum.

- - - - - - -

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Cincinnati lands three commitments in less than 24 hours"

Already well positioned next season with its top six scorers returning from a 23-win NCAA tournament team, Cincinnati took a big step Wednesday toward securing its long-term future too.

The Bearcats landed three commitments in less than 24 hours, a pair from promising recruits Nysier Brooks and Jarron Cumberland and the other from coveted transfer Kyle Washington.

The most impactful addition might be Cumberland, a muscular 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Wilmington, Ohio, who is Rivals.com's No. 65 prospect in the Class of 2016. Cumberland had interest from the likes of Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Xavier and Butler, but a blue-collar, hard-nosed program like Cincinnati ought to be a good fit.

A 6-foot-8 big man from New Jersey who thrives on doing the little things, Brooks is another good fit for the Bearcats even if he is less heralded than Cumberland. He seldom scores any other ways besides tip-ins and dump-off passes, but he is an effective interior defender and rebounder.

The last among the three additions is Washington, a 6-foot-9 forward who transferred from NC State after he averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds as a sophomore. Washington will have two years of eligibility remaining beginning in the 2016-17 season and will provide a potential replacement for top big man Octavius Ellis, who will play his final college season next year.

Next season's Cincinnati team has a chance to contend for the American Athletic Conference crown and advance deeper into the NCAA tournament if young stars Troy Caupain and Gary Clark can become more efficient scorers.

And with Brooks, Cumberland and Washington all set to debut the following season, there's good reason to believe the Bearcats can sustain their momentum.

- - - - - - -

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Eight noteworthy stats from the NCAA's annual attendance report"

Syracuse is college basketball's attendance kings for the second straight year.

The Orange edged Kentucky and Louisville for the crown, drawing an average of 23,854 fans a game despite an uncharacteristically mediocre season and a self-imposed postseason ban. The Wildcats were second at 23,572 fans per game and the Cardinals were third at 21,386.

The NCAA released its entire attendance report from the 2014-15 college basketball season Monday. Here's a look at some of the stats that stand out:

• Highest attendance per game: 1. Syracuse (23,854), 2. Kentucky (23,572), 3. Louisville (21,386)

Comment: Syracuse's two-year run as average attendance leaders is notable because Kentucky had long been the kings in that category. Before the 2013-14 season, the Wildcats finished No. 1 in 17 of the previous 18 years.

• Lowest attendance per game: 1. Grambling (305), 2. St. Peter's (442), 3. Chicago State (477)

Comment: How did Grambling manage to draw smaller crowds than most high school teams last season? It had a lot to do with the product the Tigers put out on the floor. They went 2-27 with their lone two wins of the season coming against lower-division Lyon College and Selma University.

Highest per-game attendance among non-power five conference schools: 1. Creighton (17,048), 2. BYU (16,125), 3. New Mexico (14,571)

Comment: It's impressive that Creighton and Nebraska drew so well considering neither was remotely close to contending for an NCAA tournament bid last season. It's also telling that Memphis fell out of the top three. The Tigers' attendance declined from 16,121 in 2013-14 (No. 9) to 13,915 in 2014-15 (No. 22).

Lowest per-game attendance among power five conference schools: 1. Washington State (3,190), 2. USC (3,552), 3. TCU (4,123)

Comment: It has to be alarming for Washington State to be last for a second straight year despite making a coaching change in between. USC also can't be thrilled to be in the bottom five for a second straight year when coach Andy Enfield was hired in part to restore interest in basketball at the school. He'll need to make strides on the court and in the stands in the coming years.

Highest per-game attendance among non-Division I schools: 1. Northern State (3,402), 2. Augustana (2,697) 3. Fort Hayes State (2,656)

Comment: The only change from last year is Augustana replacing Dixie State in the top three.

Largest average attendance increase from last year: 1. NC State (+2,795), 2. Auburn (+2002), 3. Virginia (+1,978)

Comment: Virginia's second consecutive appearance in the top three in this category is a result of its rise in the ACC pecking order under Tony Bennett. Auburn's appearance is undoubtedly a product of the Bruce Pearl effect as the Tigers enjoyed an attendance surge in his first year on the job.

Best average attendance per conference: 1. Big Ten (12,781), 2. ACC (11,368), 3. SEC (10,819)

Comment: The Big Ten topped this category for a fourth straight year despite the addition of basketball-bereft Rutgers, but the ACC closed the gap considerably. The Big 12 was fourth in this category, followed by the Big East and Pac-12.

Highest attendance in all games (home, road and neutral): 1. Kentucky (845,594), 2. Wisconsin (711,115), 3. Duke (664,146)

Comment: Duke's appearance speaks to how big a draw the Blue Devils are when they're away from home. Cameron Indoor Stadium seats less than 10,000 fans, so they're not getting the same bump from home games that some of the other top programs are.

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Four things we learned from the U-19 World Championships"

The FIBA U-19 World Championships concluded Sunday with a dramatic title game rife with clutch shots, jaw-dropping highlights and end-to-end action.

Croatia's Luka Bozic could have given his team the lead when he went to the free throw line trailing by one with four seconds left in regulation, but instead he offered the U.S. new life by sinking only one of two foul shots. The heavily favored Americans responded by seizing control in overtime and escaping with a well-earned 79-71 victory.

Give USA Basketball credit for winning gold at the past two U-19 World Championships because that age level has traditionally been the most difficult for the Americans to dominate. Before its victory in 2013, the U.S. had only held the U-19 world title once since 1995, a product of other nations sending more cohesive teams and top American prospects passing on the chance to play to focus on preparing for college or the NBA draft instead.

Besides delivering heartache for Croatia and a mixture of jubilation and relief for the U.S., this year's U-19 tournament also gave viewers a chance to see some of the world's most coveted prospects play against one another. Here's a look at what we learned with an emphasis on stuff that will impact college basketball in years to come:

1. The top of the Class of 2016 is incredible

The tournament confirmed the already popular opinion that the top players in the Class of 2016 have a chance to be special. Not only did guard Josh Jackson and forwards Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum each make the U.S. roster as high school seniors-to-be, the young American trio was the story of the tournament from start to finish.

Giles dominated in the paint with his length and athleticism, averaging 14 points and 10.6 rebounds despite logging only 21.2 minutes per game. Tatum scored in double figures in all seven games and nearly took the head off a late-arriving Greek defender with a dunk in the semifinals. And Jackson showcased the versatility that is his trademark, sinking 50 percent of his threes, finishing at the rim and spearheading the U.S. full-court press with his defensive prowess.

The success of Giles, Tatum and Jackson against older competition made up for the absence of many of the Class of 2015's top players. Rivals.com's highest-rated 2015 prospect on the team was Arizona-bound Allonzo Trier (No. 12), though Kentucky signee Isaiah Briscoe (No. 10) would have been a key player had he not gotten hurt just before the team left for Greece.

2. Villanova's Jalen Brunson will be an impact freshman

Even though Villanova returns one of the nation's better point guards next season in Ryan Arcidiacono, there is no way the Wildcats will be able to keep incoming freshman Jalen Brunson off the floor. Rivals.com's No. 20 prospect emerged as the victorious U.S. team's most indispensable player by the end of the tournament, earning MVP honors after averaging 14.0 points and 5.6 assists.

Brunson was at his best in the two closest games the U.S. played, a semifinal win over host Greece and the overtime title game victory against Croatia. He consistently displayed poise under pressure, erupting for 30 points against the Greeks and following that up with 14 points and 7 assists in a team-high 40 minutes against Croatia.

How will Villanova integrate Brunson next season? The perimeter-oriented Wildcats will probably go with a two-point guard look as they have at times in the past under Jay Wright. While Arcidiacono's erratic outside shooting is a concern if he plays off ball, multi-point guard lineups have a good recent track record — the past two national champions both used them.

3. Oregon has reason to be excited entering next season

The coach who emerged as the big winner from the U-19 tournament might be Oregon's Dana Altman after two of his players turned in brilliant performances.

Six-foot-7 sophomore-to-be Dillon Brooks emerged as Canada's top player, leading his team to a fifth-place finish by averaging a team-high 18.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. Incoming freshman Tyler Dorsey showcased the scoring prowess that made him one of California's top high school players the past few years, leading Greece to a semifinal appearance by averaging 15.9 points, shooting 55 percent from the floor and burying 52 percent of his threes.

These developments bode well for a talented but undersized Oregon team that will have to absorb the loss of high-scoring lead guard Joseph Young next season. Expect Brooks to make a big leap next season after starting 33 of 36 games as a freshman and expect Dorsey to emerge as one of the Pac-12's highest scoring newcomers from the onset.

4. Other international college prospects also showed promise

Oregon's staff probably wasn't the only one that came away from the U-19 tournament encouraged about next season's roster. Coaches at UNLV, St. John's, Nebraska and Wake Forest also surely were pleased with what their players accomplished.

UNLV-bound forward Justin Jackson and guard Jalen Poyser were two of the Canadian team's best players besides Brooks. The 6-foot-7 Jackson became a fixture in Canada's starting frontcourt by averaging 14.8 points and a team-best 8.0 rebounds, while the aggressive Poyser emerged as a high-scoring reserve by putting up 7.9 points per game despite only averaging 13.9 minutes off the bench.

Six-foot-10 Spanish center Yankuba Sima showed why he could see immediate playing time for St. John's next season by posting 9.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Nebraska-bound Jack McVeigh had a nice tournament for Australia, averaging the second most points on his team. And Wake Forest rising sophomore Konstantinos Mitoglou was effective at power forward for Greece, turning in double-doubles in victories against Spain and the Dominican Republic.

Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!