December 11, 2014


paul-and-studentsDear Friends,

Last month I had the great pleasure to attend and present 3 workshopsat the national conference of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society(AISES). I was honored to receive, in a traditional ceremony of smudging and blessing, the Sequoyah Fellowship. Click here to read more about this.

Since 1977, AISES has worked to substantially increase American Indian and Alaska Native representation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields – as students, professionals, mentors, and leaders. AISES employs a “full circle of support” model that begins with pre-college programs, progresses into collegiate life, and then into the professional years of members and on into retirement.
AISES co-founder and Hopi artist Al Qöyawayma and Paul at the conference.
My friend Al Qöyawayma, renownedHopi potter, bronze sculptor, mechanical engineer and co-founder and first chairman of AISES, is an amazing human being. For years Al and I have been looking for a meaningful way to introduce my teachings to the students and young professional AISES members.


The response to my information was very encouraging. Even high school students reported their excitement in learning how to use investing as a way to change their future. Al and I, along with many of the AISES leaders, believe these high school and college students, along with the young professionals who are working in the STEM industries represent a group that are most likely to bring this important information to others in their families and communities.

I am very excited about the first step Al and I took together. I hope this is just the beginning of helping these bright young people take advantage of all the hard work they have put into their education.

Letter From A Reader 
I switched to a “Merriman” portfolio in December 2013 and have had great peace of mind throughout the year as a result. His advise is the distillation of all the best advise I have encountered over the years… most of which I ignored until I had learned the hard way that the alternatives don’t work.
– John Wilcox

Thanks John, your words are music to my ears. There are two things you said that are very important. I believe that a diversified portfolio like mine is guaranteed to produce “less than the best” returns. No one can build a broadly diversified portfolio and expect to have the best returns. But if you can find a portfolio that should produce reasonable returns and gives you peace of mind, I think that is a winning combination. I hope you continue to find peace of mind with the approach you have adopted.

The other important point is that my work is not the least bit original. I have tried to find “best practices” for every investment decision I can identify. I put them in a free e-book (, “101 Investment Decisions Guarantee To Change Your Financial Future.” In each case my recommendation is simply to choose the fork in the road that leads to the highest probability of success. That’s all I can do, and then the market does what it darn well pleases. I hope you will continue to suggest people take a close look at my recommendations, and the reasons I make them.

To Your Success,

Changes to 410(k) Plans:


Correction:In the last newsletter, I failed to be clear that all mutual funds have management fees. Index fund’s management fees are lower than actively managed funds, but there is a fee. I’m sorry for any confusion this may have caused.

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