Is Investing an Art of a Science

January 19, 2017

“I love, love, love, listening to your podcasts. You turned me from an idiot to a good investor.”

Dear Friends,

The New Year is bringing changes and opportunities, and I want to share with you what’s up for us in the near future.

Retiremeet – Feb. 11, 2017

The annual Retiremeet conference takes place Feb. 11 at Bellevue, WA’s Meydenbauer Center. I am pleased to again to be a speaker at this popular event, and will be making three presentations including the keynote. I am also honored to be in the company of others in the industry whom I very much respect, like our own social security expert Andy Landis and author/educator Dan Solin. Click here to read about the presenters. I encourage you to register soon as tickets will sell out.

In my keynote address, “How to Avoid the Most Common Mistakes Retirees Make,” I will give several ways to avoid each of these huge mistakes. I’ll show how even the smallest mistakes can cut your retirement income by half. The presentation will also include answers to the 10 most common questions I have receivied about investing for retirement.

My other presentations at Retiremeet:

Understanding the science of investing: 10 decisions guaranteed to change your financial future.” This presentation will address the science and also the common myths about the science that can cost investors millions of dollars in retirement. Is investing an art or a science? Read the article…

“Buffett & Beyond: Everything you need to know about value investing” will discuss the pros and cons of value investing, how to pick the best value mutual funds and ETFs, and what makes value funds lead or trail the pack.

Another Seattle Area Live Event! Feb. 16, 2016

“Maximizing the Value of Your Retirement Account” is the title of my talk presented by the Bainbridge Community Foundation Feb. 16, 6:30-8:30, at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. Sign-in at 6pm. To register, click here.

The presentation will cover:

  • 10 biggest risks in your retirement portfolio
  • How much you need to retire
  • How much you can safely take out of your retirement investments
  • How to avoid the most common retirement mistakes
  • How to make your money last longer while taking out more
  • The best portfolio for retirees
  • The 3 best source of investment advice
  • Pros and cons of index funds
  • How much you should have in stocks and bonds
  • Eight strategies for taking money out of your investments in retirement

From Seattle it’s a 35-minute crossing on the Bainbridge ferry and a 5-minute walk from the ferry terminal to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Arts. The museum is free, open until 6 p.m. and is within a 5-minute walk of many fine restaurants. Suggested ferry schedule for this event: From Seattle to Bainbridge: 3:45 p.m., 4:40 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and return on the 9:00 p.m. from Bainbridge to Seattle.

Head’s up!

In the next 30 days we will announce the most exciting project I have been involved with in the last 50-plus years in the investment community. This is something almost every one of you can do on your own and with the push of one button. I’m eager to tell you all about it as soon as it’s ready to unveil.

MarketWatch Update

The WSJ’s MarketWatch has discontinued its RetireMentor program, but I’m pleased to report that Rich Buck, my co-writer, and I have been invited to continue contributing to the Retirement section that still exists. Our articles will appear every other week rather than every week, as they have since November 14, 2012.

MarketWatch has been a great avenue for educating people and sharing our information and recommendations. Your help in passing it along is extremely important to us growing our readership and helping more people become more successful investors, with less risk and more peace of mind. Thank you!

Below are some Questions and Answers. You can find hundreds more at my website.

To your success,

Questions & Answers

Q:  I have 30k in a Money Market. I pull out $1k every 2 weeks and invest it in your Vanguard Mutual Fund portfolio recommendation. Is there a better place I should put the $30k while I dollar cost average into the various funds?

A:  Consider the Vanguard Ultra Short-Term Bond Fund (VUBFX). There is very little risk and it currently pays more than 1% interest.

Q:  I understand ETFs can be more tax efficient than mutual funds, but if I want to become a mechanical investor, wouldn’t my best choice really only be mutual funds, since only mutual funds allow automatic investments?

A: Most brokerage firms don’t allow partial share purchases of ETFs so automatic investing doesn’t work with that limitation. allows partial share purchases of ETFs but at a cost of $4.95 per transaction.

Q:  Could you point me to an academic source showing that investing in diversified asset class index funds is more profitable than picking winning stocks — as you discuss in Financial Fitness Forever?  

A:  Check out this article by Larry Swedroe, one of the most trustworthy people I know in the industry:

Q:  In First Time Investor you cite model portfolios for Vanguard, Fidelity, etc. Do you have one for TIAA-CREF as well?  I could adapt one of your other model portfolios to TIAA-CREF, but if you’ve already done the research and recommendations that would be great.

A: I have put together TIAA-CREF portfolios of funds in the past but have not updated them for many years. I think you will find it relatively easy to figure out what my recommendations would be by looking at my other portfolios. Be sure and compare the expenses and returns of similar actively and passively managed funds at TIAA-CREF, as they offer both.


10 lessons from 2016 that will help you make better long-term investments

Many investors are asking what they should expect from the market this year, and the questions seem to go to just about anybody you might know. More






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