One of the better articles of 2007 was this Michael Lewis piece for Conde Nast Portfolio: "Evolution of an Investor."

Lewis profiles investment adviser Blaine Lourd, who went from a stock picker and salesman to a convert to the efficient market hypothesis. What caught my eye about the article was the prominent role played by Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Their mutual funds are targeted at investors who believe in buy-and-hold, passive index funds, diversified portfolios, the type of investing philosophy touted by people like Larry Swedroe. They don't sell direct to individual investors but only through select advisors who they feel espouse the same investing philosophies as they do.

I just happen to have most of my savings invested in DFA funds. I used to do a lot of individual stock investing, and I enjoyed it, but over time, I realized there were other things I enjoyed doing more keeping track of public companies. It's a lot of work to stay on top of a portfolio of individual stocks. I still keep a portfolio on the side of individual stock investments, but it's mostly for fun and invested in the only category I feel I have some more insight than most, which is in some premium Internet or tech brands. Other than that, I don't worry about my savings other than an occasional rebalancing.

DFA's funds are really low-cost, and they provide some very unique index funds that are hard to find on the open market, helping you to build a really broad, diversified portfolio. Being able to diversify into very particular markets has proven its value again and again. Last, year, for example, was not a strong one for U.S. equities, but my portfolio was helped by the strong returns in Emerging Markets.

If you're interested, you can find an investment advisor who has access to DFA funds through this webpage. I'm a firm believer that most people would benefit from not just DFA funds but the type of investment philosophy that their funds are associated with, and in making that statement I'm putting my mouth where my money is.

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