February 20, 2014


Dear Friends,

We are all aware of the challenges facing not only our current economic, environmental and social systems, but also the debt and despair felt especially by the generation of recent, current and soon-to-be college students.

There are many articles about the lack of jobs for them and the enormous debt they are inheriting, but little positive information about how to manage and maximize whatever financial opportunities they will have. To this end, I will start offering podcasts specifically directed at young adults and first-time investors (no matter what age), in addition to my weekly podcasts on a wide variety of topics for seasoned investors. I hope you will share these “basics” with the young people in your life to encourage saving and investing for long-term results.

This idea was inspired by the first year of students who’ve completed the course “Personal Investing” at Western Washington University, funded by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. I believe it is critical to continue to support their learning about sound investing, and that of all first-time investors.

One of many comments from the students who were in the Fall Quarter class read, As a future Western alumni, I want to thank you for offering this class. Even though I think this sort of thing is incredibly interesting, empowering, and also quite fun, many of my fellow students know absolutely NOTHING in terms of investing for their retirement. I think it is absurd that we put so much time and money into training ourselves to get employed to make money, but don’t know the first thing to do with that money! For future generations, including my own, I think an emphasis on saving would serve our country greatly in the fast-changing global economic landscape.”  Click here for more comments.

Speaking of comments, I encourage you to read the comments at my weekly MarketWatch column. Sometimes I am asked, “Are you crazy?” or called “an idiot!” but I try to respond to every comment and question. While I apologize I am not finding much time to answer all the personal emails I receive, my answers to comments at MarketWatch often address similar personal questions.

To Your Success,


7 dumb risks retirement investors take

Whether we like it or not, investing is about taking risks. That’s what we get paid for. However, as I wrote last month, if you aren’t careful you can become your own worst enemy by misunderstanding and mishandling risks. More



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