January 22, 2015

paulDear Friends,

One of our readers, Bainbridge Island-based investment advisorBryan Rogowski, made me aware of a new iPhone app called Acorns, which he points out is a great way for young people to get started investing.

The concept of the app is to invest your “acorns”, or spare change, $5 at a time. Because many young (and older) people never seem to have the minimum required – $1,000 (for ETFs) or $3,000 (for most mutual funds) – to start investing, they wait and miss those early years, or never get started.

Bryan explains, “I signed up with the app a few months ago. So far I have had about $250 drawn from my checking account in “round-ups”. Anytime a credit card purchase is less than $1, the app sees that and rounds up the balance to a dollar and marks that amount for investing in the model portfolio. Once $5 of round-ups have accrued the app withdraws the funds from the client’s checking account.

“The sign-up process and investment selection is easy, which is no small feat from a compliance standpoint. The portfolios (5 to choose from) seem somewhat different from what you or I would recommend, but not altogether bad either. They are using Vanguard ETFs.”

While I have not yet personally downloaded the app, it sounds like an easy and fun way for anyone to start saving and investing, or add to their investments. We are in the early stages of new products that will make saving easier and offer better investments in terms of expenses and asset class management. It all adds up. For more information on getting started as an investor, don’t forget to download your free copy of “First-Time Investor – Grow and Protect Your Moneyat my website.

Updates Coming Soon

Several readers have asked when I will update Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocations. My goal is to have it,The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, and theRetirement Distribution tables updated by the end of March.

Mark Your Calendar
Paul’s upcoming presentations:

March 10San Miguel de Allende Midday Rotary Club, SMA, Mexico

May 5Bellevue Rotary Club, Bellevue, WA

May 7 – AAII Santa Barbara Chapter, Ventura, CA

July 11 – AAII Portland Chapter, Portland, OR

American Association of Individual Investors chapter presentations are 3 hours.

Thanks and A Request
I appreciate the many comments and questions I receive daily at info@paulmerriman.com. While I’d love to answer them all, time simply does not permit, and I simply cannot respond to personal situations. I am attempting to address those questions pertaining to a number of investors via my podcasts this week and next, and will do more in the future.

To make it easier to find a question of interest to you, you will find each question and its start point in the description that accompanies the podcasts. I hope you listen in and let me know if you find this helpful.

To your success,

8 reasons investors don’t plan for retirement
One of the most fundamental forces that separate investors from success is that they don’t plan ahead. More

Why an S&P 500 fund is a poor long-term investment
Here’s a little advice to equity investors: The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index should not be your best friend. It’s an OK friend, but not your best buddy. More



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