retirement plan

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 …

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Tough Financial Questions that Require Honest Answers

With 2016 now officially history, a new year is upon us. And the great part about each new year is the opportunity for a fresh start. But before completely ignoring or forgetting what happened in 2016, the beginnings of a brand new year offer more than just a clean slate, but an opportunity for all …

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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. …

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4 Moments When “Stay the Course” is the Wrong Investment Advice

The worst January start for U.S. stocks since 2009 should get your attention. If you’ve been hiding underneath a rock or hibernating in a cave-like dwelling, it’s time to come out. “A little sunlight is the best disinfectant,” as Judge Brandeis might say. Most global stock yardsticks from China (NYSEARCA:ASHS) to Japan (NYSEARCA:EWJ) and even the United …

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Monster Tax Bills

Portfolio Report Card: Analyzing a Frugal $1.15 Million Account

Today, there is a singular focus by certain investors on minimizing investment cost. In their world, cost is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, this exceedingly narrow view fails to acknowledge that curtailing your portfolio’s cost is only part of the overall puzzle for obtaining satisfactory investment results. What do I mean? Think about it …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $850,613 Portfolio with Sluggish Results

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of who you are. In other words, it’s a personal statement about how you approach financial risk, investment cost, diversification, and taxes. If you’re disorderly when it comes to these aspects of your investment plan, the unwelcome consequences will be a disorderly portfolio with disorderly results. …

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Portfolio Report Card: One Doctor’s Sick $503,929 Retirement Plan

Some illnesses can go undetected for many years. Others are accompanied by obvious warning signs like coughing, sniffling, shortness of breath, and other red flags. Similarly, we can distinguish between a healthy investment portfolio versus a sick one by how each deals with important matters like taxes, investment cost, diversification, risk, and performance. My latest …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A Misaligned $182,000 Retirement Plan

What does the optimal investment portfolio look like? Is it the portfolio with the hottest stocks and ETFs? Is it the portfolio managed by famous money managers? Actually, the optimal portfolio is perfectly compatible with you. Furthermore, optimal portfolios deliberately minimize investment cost and taxes, diversify across a variety of asset classes, and deliver investment …

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Race Cars 2

Portfolio Report Card: A $496,000 Investment Plan with an Adventurous Flair

All investment portfolios are comparable to a novel, where each individual chooses their own personal genre and classification. If your investment portfolio was a novel, what genre would it be? Adventure? Comedy? Drama? Mystery? Horror? My latest Portfolio Report Card is for MD in Temecula, CA and he’s got an adventurous portfolio. He’s also 61-years …

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One Trick Pony

Is Your Investment Portfolio a One-Trick Pony?

One-trick investment portfolios are everywhere.  Do you have one? What is a one-trick pony portfolio? It’s the kind of investment mix that is over-weighted or concentrated in one stock, one asset, or just one asset class.  This is a common condition with company founders who have the bulk of their net worth tied up in …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $569,742 Retirement Plan with Sluggish Performance

Why do we take unnecessary risk with our investments? Is it because we’re gluttons for punishment or is it because we’re incredibly brave? Often, it’s because we’re simply distracted or unaware. Although the S&P 500 is still hanging on to its year-to-date gain, stock market volatility or “VIX” has advanced more than 30% over the …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A $200,598 Retirement Plan Stuck in Neutral

Whenever we begin a journey, the excitement of getting started frequently overtakes us. We begin with unrealistic expectations and end disappointed. The investing experience of many people follows this unfortunate pattern. If you’re in this situation, there’s hope. Before I do a Portfolio Report Card for J.W. in Nashville, TN, here’s some background on him: …

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What’s the Proper Way to Measure Your Portfolio’s Performance?

Have you ever wondered why mutual funds that have 80% of their exposure to U.S. stocks (NYSEARCA:SCHB) and the other 20% to international stocks (NYSEARCA:EFA) are still measuring their performance versus the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO)? Shouldn’t they be using a blended 80/20 passive benchmark to do a proper apples-to-apples measurement? Why don’t they do this? …

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How Much Money is Enough for a Comfortable Retirement?

In 2011, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation reached retirement age and over the next 15 years, around 8,000 Boomers per day will turn 65. And as more Americans contemplate life in retirement and preparing for it, they need to have a clearer picture of what their income (NYSEARCA:AGG) needs will be after …

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