As a dedicated financial educator and retired investment advisor, Paul Merriman welcomes questions from his readers and listeners. Please email your questions (stated as succinctly as possible) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Title the subject line: ASK PAUL. Be sure to include your name and phone number so Paul can reach you if further discussion is required. While time does not permit Paul to answer every question personally, or even specifically, we do our best to address common questions. We may post your question and Paul‘s answer here on this site. We will not post your name or personal information. Thank you!
These many Q&As form an extensive knowledge base, adding to the resources, recommendations, podcasts, articles and books also found on this website. You can use the search box on the right-hand column to enter a search phrase (such as “mutual funds” or “asset allocation”) and receive all the information on the site related to that topic.
Q: You mentioned in your newsletter that DFA Funds are significantly better performers then Vanguard Funds. So why you recommend in your column only Vanguard funds and ETFs without a word of better DFA funds?
Q: There has been a change at Vanguard that changes our status on the Developed Markets Fund. The question I have been getting is: What do you recommend now that the Vanguard Developed Markets Fund is closed?
Q: Do you think that it is worth it, in the long run? (I plan on working overseas for the next 4-5 years at least) Or should I skip on diversifying into real estate until I am able to do so in an IRA? Would an REIT ETF fund be a better move over an REIT mutual fund?
Q: Thank you so much for your MarketWatch article about “The Ultimate Buy & Hold Strategy”. I was wondering: Should I wait for a pull-back in the market before switching our retirement funds to your strategy?
Q; I follow your recommended Vanguard portfolios and wonder what you think about the recent addition of two International Bond funds – the Vanguard Total International Bond Index Fund and the Emerging Markets Government Index Fund?
Q: Wow, you are extrapolating the past into the future there. Very creative analysis! Or wait… wait a second! Wasn’t all this extrapolating the past into future one of the behaviors that led to massive losses during the financial crisis?
Q: Your recommended bond funds include Tips and Treasuries. What do you think about allocation to foreign bonds, such as Australia or Brazil? Some even recommend bank loans, e.g., BKLN. Or am I just reaching for yield?
Q: I’ve noticed that my recent investment performance has been significantly lower than the recent performance of the S&P 500. Does it still make sense to stick with your recommended Vanguard Index Funds vs. the simple Vanguard S&P 500 Index?