More Money Is Lost Waiting for Corrections Than in Them

We have data for 91 calendar years (or 1,092 months) of U.S. investment returns over the period 1927 through 2016. The average monthly return to the S&P 500 has been 0.95%, and the average quarterly return was 3.0%. With that background, here’s a short, four-question quiz: If we remove the returns from the best 91 […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy

Vanguard Debunks Dividend Myth

Dividend strategies have drawn increasing interest from investors around the world as central banks have pursued both quantitative and qualitative easy monetary policies, keeping interest rates at what have been exceptionally low levels since 2008. But this preference isn’t entirely new; it has long been known many investors have a preference for cash dividends. From […]

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Topics: Investment Strategy

An Integrated Investment Plan Is Key

Earlier this week, we looked at the importance of incorporating different types of risk—specifically, human capital risk—into an overall financial plan. Today I will focus on mortality and longevity risk, and using “tax alpha” strategies to improve the odds of achieving your financial goals. Mortality Risk For those families whose human capital makes up a substantial […]

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Topics: Investing, Investment Strategy

Lessons from 2016

Every year, the market provides us with some important lessons on prudent investment strategy. Many times, the market will offer investors remedial courses, covering lessons that it has already delivered in previous years. That’s why one of my favorite sayings is that there’s nothing new in investing—there’s only investment history you don’t yet know. Last […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy

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

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

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