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

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

Looking at Your Portfolio Can Hurt Your Returns

Earlier this week, we examined a pair of studies that sought to explore the relationship between the equity premium puzzle and investor behavior, specifically a behavior known as myopic loss aversion (MLA). MLA describes the tendency of investors who are loss-averse to evaluate their portfolios too frequently, thus causing them to take a short-term view of investing. […]

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Topics: Advice, Investment Strategy, Investor Behavior

How to Make the Most of Working with a Financial Advisor

As someone who has long made a living as a financial advisor, I have an inherent bias toward retaining one. I even have one myself, because I believe personal finance is more personal than it is finance. However, paradoxically, I fear that the vast majority of those who retain the services of a financial advisor […]

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Topics: Advice, Investing, Investment Strategy