Is Your Attitude Toward Work Killing Your Retirement Dreams?

Do you have a generally positive or negative impression of the word “retirement”? I ask because it dovetails nicely with a series of questions (inspired by Rick Kahler) that I use to begin most speaking engagements. These questions are designed to incite self-awareness, offering us clues about how our life experiences have shaped the (often unarticulated […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy, Retirement

The Irrelevance of Dividends

Research has established that dividend policy should be irrelevant to stock returns, yet investors have long demonstrated an irrational preference for them. Mutual fund providers are well-aware of this fact. Earlier this week, we reviewed a pair of studies showing that mutual fund managers exploit investors’ well-documented preference for cash dividends to attract assets by artificially “juicing” […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Retirement

Youth + Roth IRA/401(k) = Successful Retirement Planning

What makes youth and a Roth IRA such a great combination? Starting to plan for retirement early creates many possibilities for success. As young adults start their first job with retirement benefits, one of the initial questions they need to address is how to invest in the 401(k) or other defined contribution plan offered by […]

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Topics: Advice, Retirement

In Defense of the Home Mortgage: Not all Debt Is Bad Debt

I believe it’s time to take a fresh look at a timeless question: Is it better to own your home outright or maintain a mortgage? Given all the factors involved, an experienced wealth manager can really earn his or her keep on this one. When weighing the advantages and disadvantages of holding a mortgage, it’s […]

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Topics: Advice, Budgeting, Investing, Investment Strategy

Choosing Between Roth and Traditional IRAs

Among the most important decisions investors make is their choice of location for assets within the various alternatives available for retirement (tax-advantaged) accounts. Allocating between a traditional IRA (a pretax, tax-deferred account) and a Roth IRA (a post-tax, tax-free account) can have a pronounced impact on retirement outcomes, given the $14 trillion in tax-advantaged retirement […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Retirement

A Free Lunch for Investors

Nobel laureate Milton Friedman is generally credited with stating, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Actually, if you know what you are doing, you can get a free lunch in investing. Unfortunately, most investors get stuck with very expensive meals. Diversification is a free lunch Diversification is a free lunch. It basically refers to the […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy

It Takes Three: Are You in the Right Relationship

Studies show that 70 percent of women will leave their financial advisor after a major life change, such as the death of a spouse or divorce. Major life transitions bring enough stress and emotion without adding the need to find a new financial advisor or to master your finances. As women also generally outlive men, this longer […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy, Investor Behavior

Research on Luck versus Skill in Mutual Fund Performance Highlights Active Management’s Shortcomings

In many walks of life, trying to discern the lucky from the skilled can be a difficult task. For example, it seems like every time a professional sports draft occurs, debate again flares up over whether the evaluation of college (or even high school) athletes is an exercise in skill or in luck. Were the […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy

The Top 10 Places Your Next Dollar Should Go

There is no shortage of receptacles clamoring for your money each day. No matter how much money you have or make, it could never keep up with all the seemingly urgent invitations to part with it. Separating true financial priorities from flash impulses is an increasing challenge, even when you’re trying to do the right […]

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Topics: Advice, Budgeting, Investing, Investment Strategy, Investor Behavior