According to a recent study by caring.com just 40% of U.S. adults have a will (including only 36% of U.S. adults who have children under the age of 18). What’s more only 53% of U.S. adults have a healthcare power of attorney (“POA”). What’s the big deal? Without a will or similar trust agreement decisions [...]
How did the DJIA perform in 2016? What were the drivers? How does that compare over the trailing 10 years? Let's have a look...
Many brokerage firms and insurance companies speak from both sides of their mouths. Surprised? We shouldn’t be. The marketing departments of these firms promote the idea that employees are trusted advisors providing personalized investment advice. Conversely in an attempt to avoid complying with the upcoming fiduciary rule (i.e. doing what’s in the best interest of [...]
The typical investor is almost always his/her own worst enemy. Overconfidence, behavioral biases and emotional decisions conspire to ensure investment returns trail not only most major asset classes but even inflation. Consider the ROR of the average investor over the past 20 years: 2 SOURCES: JPMorgan Asset Management, Barclays, FactSet, S&P, Dalbar. 60/40 and 40/60 [...]
Morningstar, the well-known (and respected?) name in mutual fund research, has announced its nominations for U.S. fund managers of the year for 2016. They are as follows: If you’re a performance chaser make sure to write down these names and throw a bunch of money at them. If you’re an investor then this comment from [...]
Advice from the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy to help investors make better informed investment decisions and avoid common scams in 2017: Always check the background of an investment professional—it is easy and free. You can find details of an investment professional’s background and qualifications through the search tool on the SEC’s website [...]
Religion and politics are not to be discussed in polite company. We get it. But indexing? It seems few topics draw the ire of the zealots and ideologues. Indexing is but a tool. It’s neutral. It has its pros and cons. It has its place. But to blindly marry oneself to an ideology? We are [...]
Retirement savers in Required Minimum Distribution status likely (or at least should) know some of the basics. Some retirement savers will have reached age 70 ½ this year and begin taking their first RMDs. A popular strategy involves aggregation. IRS rules state that an RMD should be calculated for each account separately. Then, where aggregation [...]
The sad reality is that financial planning for some means spending 6 hours finding the best Black Friday deal on an 85” TV vs. the 5 minutes spent understanding where they obtain financial advice. (That’s not true. I spent 10 minutes one rainy Sunday comparing my fund returns to the S&P 500 just like that [...]
The IRS recently announced mostly unchanged limits on retirement plans (i.e. 401(k)s) for 2017. Full details are available in Notice 2016-62. In a bit of "good" news, however, most of us won't have to increase funding of our retirements since we're dying sooner than previously expected.