Archived Newsletter Articles

All-Terrain Investing

150 150 Mia

Owners of all-purpose motor vehicles often appreciate their cars most when they leave smooth city freeways for rough gravel country roads. In investment, highly diversified portfolios can provide similar reassurance. In blue skies and open highways, flimsy city sedans might cruise along just as well as sturdier sports utility vehicles. But the real test occurs when…

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What Kids Can Teach You About Fianance

150 150 Mia

Many times the best advice is the simplest advice, and who better to dispense simple wisdom than children? Adapted from Navy Federal Credit Union’s website and an article on wisebread.com, here are ten important financial lessons you can learn from walking a mile in your kids’ light-up roller sneakers. Use your imagination. You can spend…

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Active Investing: 2014 Report Card

150 150 Mia

Standard & Poor’s recently released their semi-annual SPIVA Scorecard, which reports on results for actively managed funds, which includes all funds that rely on market timing, stock selection and sector rotation. The full year 2014 results are, as expected, bad. Unexpectedly, they are really, really bad. U.S. Stock Funds: More than 87% of all domestic…

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The Problem with Income Investing

150 150 Mia

I’ve written many times on these pages about the conventional wisdom of creating a retirement portfolio designed to generate income, through interest and dividends.  I find this strategy, while thoroughly conventional, isn’t exactly wise. Just last month, I wrote about investors being far too conservative, particularly young investors who have many years to weather short-term…

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Discipline – The Final Principle

150 150 Mia

A 54-year-old couple finally gets their last child out of college, has their mortgage paid off and begins the final run to retirement, about a dozen years down the road. They have diligently set up a beautifully diversified investment account of equity and bond funds and they set up automatic payments into the account, harnessing…

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The Risk of Being Conservative

150 150 Mia

Conventional wisdom used to hold that the common “do-it-yourself” investor tends to invest too aggressively, and take on unnecessary risk, usually through lack of diversification or overinvesting in complicated, illiquid or risky investments like derivatives, real estate or limited partnerships. For many investors, the decision to hire a financial advisor would be a step toward…

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MasterChef of Investing

150 150 Mia

In the popular TV program MasterChef, contestants face a series of cooking challenges. From low quality ingredients to inadequate preparation and poor implementation, so many things can, and do, go wrong. It’s a bit like investing. In the world of investment, there customarily are two broad approaches. The first is a traditionally active one: Managers…

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Just a Little Patience

150 150 Mia

We are not a patient species. It’s as if basic human nature, coded deep into our DNA, tells us that when something unexpected happens we must react. We must do something proactive about it. I suppose if early man were in the forest and heard the footsteps of a predator nearby… a predator that perhaps…

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Happy Anniversary, Apocalypse!

150 150 Mia

Coming up on March 9, we observe the sixth anniversary of the day The Apocalypse ended. It wasn’t a very fun Apocalypse. Most of them aren’t, I guess. But to the casual Apocalypse viewer, that 2008 Apocalypse felt just a little bit more Apocalypsy than all the previous Apocalypses. From October 2007 up until March…

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The Place For Yield

150 150 Mia

Among the many common investing maxims is this one: “Buy bonds for income.” It seems like common sense. Stocks may or may not pay dividends. The company issuing the stock can raise or lower the dividend. But a standard bond comes with a promise to make regular interest payments in a fixed amount. No wonder…

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You Gotta Have Faith

150 150 Mia

2015 marks my 24th year professionally advising wonderful people on their path to acquiring and retaining financial independence. I’ve met hundreds (if not thousands… I’ve never really thought about it until just now) of people who all basically had the same goal: To not outlive their money. Early in my career I thought there were…

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2014: Patience Pays Off

150 150 Mia

Forecasters often cite a figure of 8%–10% as a likely outcome for stock market performance in the year ahead, and 2014 was no exception. As sensible as this may sound, it is worth pointing out that over the past 89 years, the S&P 500 Index and its predecessors have never delivered a total return between…

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