Financial Planning

Beefing up Your Investment Portfolio’s Tactical Side in the Coronavirus Era

The Coronavirus outbreak has turned out to be more than just a Black Swan – it’s a totally random Black Piano from the sky that takes the Black Swan by complete surprise, landing on the poor bird. The global pandemic has penetrated nearly every element of society, totally upending healthcare, politics, business and education. What …

Beefing up Your Investment Portfolio’s Tactical Side in the Coronavirus Era Read More »

Retirement Pro: Think Cash Flow, Not Rate of Return

This is an excerpt from the video titled Think Cash Flow, NOT Rate of Return with Lynn Dolan at ETFguide and Mark Mappa, CFP and Author of Cash Flow is King. Lynn: Cash flow is important for everyone. But it’s especially important for retirees as income from working turns off and income from retirement savings …

Retirement Pro: Think Cash Flow, Not Rate of Return Read More »

Investing great John Bogle: “Here’s how to use ETFs!”

Note: This 2013 interview between Ron DeLegge at ETFguide and John Bogle from the Vanguard Group is from ETFguide’s archives of investing greats. Bogle passed away on January 16, 2019. Hi everybody. I’m Ron DeLegge with ETFguide.com and we’re pleased to have with us John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, author of many books, …

Investing great John Bogle: “Here’s how to use ETFs!” Read More »

Is Your Retirement Cushion Adequate?

As we get closer to retirement, we need to have an adequate cushion, or would I like to call, a margin of safety? Why? Well, because as we age, our investment time horizon compresses, meaning we have less time to recover should the stock market suffer a severe decline. Now, I’m not the one who …

Is Your Retirement Cushion Adequate? Read More »

3 Strategies for Managing Higher Volatility

“Everyone has the brain power to make money in stocks. Not everyone has the stomach,” once observed legendary fund manager Peter Lynch. His point was that most people don’t have the stomach – or emotional stamina – for sticking to an investment plan when market conditions get choppy. What makes 2018 remarkably different from the …

3 Strategies for Managing Higher Volatility Read More »

Avoiding the Mutual Fund Tax Trap

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) observed a problem that our readers have long known: mutual funds have a major structural flaw that exposes shareholders to unwanted and unnecessary tax liabilities. Moreover, this flaw should be of acute interest to anybody anywhere that owns a mutual fund – even ones that purport to …

Avoiding the Mutual Fund Tax Trap Read More »

The Right Context for Active Management

Actively managed portfolios are not a device of nefarious origin. And neither is it a “dead exercise” as the vox populi has declared. Nevertheless, to be successful at active investing, there are some big time hurdles. Before we discuss these obstacles, let’s first clarify the term “active investor.” An “active investor” is somebody who is …

The Right Context for Active Management Read More »

5 Building Blocks for Your Investment Portfolio

The difference between well-built and poorly designed buildings can be strikingly drastic. Take for example, I.M. Pei, the Chinese-American architect, who is a legend in his profession and has won many prestigious awards, including the Pritzker Prize. Among all the illustrious structures he’s designed, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH is the …

5 Building Blocks for Your Investment Portfolio Read More »

How to Hedge in a Rising Market

Hedging, for some investors, sounds complicated. In reality, it’s not because it’s all about reducing investment risk. Who can’t understand that? Sometimes stock prices go up, sometimes they go down. That’s how financial markets work. But over the past 8 years, stock prices have enjoyed consecutive yearly gains by making one all-time high after another. How can …

How to Hedge in a Rising Market Read More »

Is Style Drift Increasing Your Financial Risk?

Do you own mutual funds? If you do, there’s a hidden trap called “style drift” that could be increasing the risk of your investment portfolio. How does style drift happen? Style drift occurs when the fund’s portfolio manager begins to deviate from the fund’s investment objective. For example, a mutual fund that is labeled and categorized as …

Is Style Drift Increasing Your Financial Risk? Read More »

Portfolio Rebalancing: Should You Do It?

Everything in life that surrounds you requires maintenance. This includes your home, your automobile, the software application on your mobile device, and even your health. Unfortunately, your job for maintaining stuff doesn’t stop there. Why? Because your investments – whether they are held in taxable accounts or tax-deferred retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k), and 403(b) …

Portfolio Rebalancing: Should You Do It? Read More »

How Safe are Bonds?

News flash: Investors who assumed their investments in conservative bonds and bond funds (Nasdaq:LSBRX) were safe from losses are learning otherwise. Since mid-2016, the performance for U.S. bonds (NYSEARCA:BND) with top credit grades have sunk almost 4%. For perspective, the 12-month yield on ETFs tracking the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Bond Index is just 2.40%. Put another …

How Safe are Bonds? Read More »

3 Risks that Could Derail Your Retirement Plan

Funding your retirement is a big financial obligation that no one can escape. How big? While other expenses like paying for college education or a home are also large, they aren’t necessarily in the same league. Why? Because buying a home or paying for a family member’s education isn’t something we necessarily have to do. …

3 Risks that Could Derail Your Retirement Plan Read More »

Risk and Volatility: Know the Difference

On financial networks and in finance classrooms around the globe, stock market volatility is routinely mis-classified as “risk.”  Unfortunately, this erroneous view causes people to make investment mistakes. Elroy Dimson, a London Business School professor once wrote, that risk “means more things can happen than will happen.” It’s an eloquent way for describing risk, which …

Risk and Volatility: Know the Difference Read More »

Is Your Portfolio’s Performance Satisfactory?

What’s your investment portfolio’s performance? Do you know? Just 57% of U.S. adults are “financially literate,” according to a study from Standard & Poor’s titled the “2015 Global Financial Literacy Survey.” Another study by a large insurance company found that people are more frightened by planning their finances than dying.  What’s wrong? Part of the problem …

Is Your Portfolio’s Performance Satisfactory? Read More »

This Multi-Trillion Dollar Freight Train is Due for Arrival

This year’s presidential election has been so drenched with public bickering and controversy, it’s left very little airtime for the multi-million freight train that’s on course to crash everybody’s party: U.S. public debt. In July, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that federal debt held by the public skyrocketed to 75% of U.S. GDP compared to …

This Multi-Trillion Dollar Freight Train is Due for Arrival Read More »

Sexy vs. Boring: Who’s Winning?

Higher investment risk leads to higher investment returns, right? It’s a Wall Street axiom that we’ve heard so many times it’s become ingrained in us. But conventional wisdom and reality have the peculiar habit of departing from one another. And what’s happening in 2016 is a noteworthy example of this grand departure. With the year already …

Sexy vs. Boring: Who’s Winning? Read More »

Lagging Small Cap Warning Sign For Stock Market?

The Performance of Active Managers Keeps Getting Worse

Years ago John Bogle once quipped, “If the data do not prove that indexing wins, well, the data are wrong. ” Here’s the latest: There’s no need to second guess Bogle on this particular matter because a) the data proves indexing wins, and b) the data is completely right. The table below shows the 1, 3, …

The Performance of Active Managers Keeps Getting Worse Read More »

Retirement Plan

Is “Saving More Money” Always the Cure?

Wall Street’s remedy for fixing whatever problems that afflict your investment portfolio is simple: “Save more money.” And if you happen to be among the godforsaken group that always manages to have unsatisfactory investment results, regardless of whether the pesky stock market is up or down, Wall Street’s solution is invariably the same: You need to “save …

Is “Saving More Money” Always the Cure? Read More »