April 2, 2015


Dear Friends,

Our continuing series on “Performance” is drawing many comments and, as always, it gladdens my heart that increasing numbers of readers and podcast listeners are benefitting from my experience and many resources we offer at PaulMerriman.com.

This from Will H., a school teacher in Seattle, WA: “Your continuing series on performance and its in-depth analysis through each asset class is the best thing you’ve done yet. Don’t let the naysayers dissuade you; if you’re touching nerves, you’re probably on the right track.”

In last week’s MarketWatch article, “When it pays to go all-in on small-cap value,” I provided four Q&As and referred readers to six more. All of these can be found at the main Q&A link on my website. I recommend you use this resource to find answers to some of your questions 

Recommended Articles 

Besides having the privilege of writing forMarketWatch each week under its “RetireMentor” section – many thanks to my collaborator Rich Buck! – I find at least one article of interest every day. Recently, I enjoyed and want to share with you “3 Reasons to Use a Roth IRA to Save for College, which discusses the excellent choices we have between Roth IRAs and 529s.

Most advisors suggest investors should not make a trust the beneficiary of an IRA. In my case, my entire IRA goes to charity. But I think trusts are a great way to protect the proceeds from creditors and divorce settlements. Here’s a quick read from Ken Roberts, one of the many RetireMentors.

George Sisti, one of my favorite RetireMentors has a wonderful collection of good advice. Here are 25 great examples in his article, “A Decade’s Worth of Investment Wisdom to Ponder.” Whenever George and I have lunch, I walk away with at least one piece of paper filled with ideas for future articles or podcasts. The world of financial advice needs more truth-tellers like George.

I have received many questions about the long-term returns of small cap value vs. mid cap value, mostly focused on asking why mid caps had done better in past years. My friend Larry Swedroe wrote a piece on this subject that includes more than one good lesson about the performance of asset classes. (For full disclosure, his firm, Buckingham, and Merriman Wealth Management are owned by the same parent company, Focus Financial Partners).

Upcoming AAII Presentation in Ventura, CA

May 7, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., I will be presenting “Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money” to the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) Santa Barbara/Ventura Chapter at the Ventura City Hall, 501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA. Non-members are welcome but pre-registration is advised. Click here for more information and to contact AAII.

I will cover The 2015 Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, how to select the best funds, how to determine the right asset allocation considering your need for return and risk tolerance, what funds you should dump now, and how much you can take out of your investments in retirement and not run out of money. For young investors I will offer 10 simple steps to early retirement. Hope to see some of you there!

To your success,


When it pays to go all-in on small-cap value
My recent articles on performance generated considerable reader feedback, with lots of people wanting help with applying the facts to their portfolios. More
Why REITs belong in your retirement portfolio
Almost everybody understands the attraction of investing in real estate; “the family home” is often the best long-term investment many households ever make. More



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