Top 10 Truth Tellers: George Sisti

April 24, 2019

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Over the next nine months Paul plans to introduce podcast listeners to the work of his “Top 10 Truth Tellers.”  These are writers and/or podcasters who produce educational materials that Paul believes will help investors improve their long-term results. In this first of 10 introductions, Paul reads an article and “in the news” items that hopefully will reinforce an investor’s commitment to buying and holding index funds, even if big firms try to convert you back to actively-managed funds from the past. Paul reads and comments on George’s observations about the famous S&P’s Indexes versus Active (SPIVA) Scorecard. He also highlights why major mutual funds management companies have paid millions in settlements for the funds they chose to offer to their employees, in their own 401k plan.

Here is the link to George’s newsletter. To subscribe, just email George and ask him to put you on his mailing list, George Sisti.

George Sisti is also an “expert” contributor to Paul’s site and his articles can be found here.

by Paul Merriman

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Q&A for DIY and Professionally-Advised Investors

April 17, 2019

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In this podcast, Paul addresses these questions from his listeners and readers.
  • As investors age, how do they make the conversion from equities to fixed income?
  • How does a saver make the transition to being a spender?
  • Where can I find a professional, who bills by the hour, to help me evaluate my cost of living in retirement?
  • Is paying a DFA advisor worth the 1% fee, when I could just do it myself at Vanguard?
  • I am stuck in Total Market U.S. and International Index funds but want to invest some money in a couple of funds outside my retirement account.  What 1 or 2 funds would you recommend?
  • Can market history tell us anything about what the market should do today?
  • Was this advisor competent and ethical, competent and unethical, or incompetent and unethical?  You be the judge!

by Paul Merriman

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How realistic are your expectations for future returns?

April 10, 2019

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One of the biggest challenges for investors is developing reasonable expectations for future returns. Do you expect hot markets to continue to produce market-beating returns? Do you expect big bear markets to continue to rob investors of their life savings? If so, you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment. In this podcast Paul looks back at 5 decades.
• What can an investor learn from the past?
• Might the best lesson be to keep your hands off your investments?

To get the most from this podcast, see:
The S&P 500 FTYAA table
Monthly investments over 49 years

by Paul Merriman

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What every investor should learn from the Fine-Tuning Tables 

April 2, 2019

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Along with this year’s updated Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation article and updated Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Table for the S&P 500,  Paul shares this “best lessons” podcast. He walks investors through the best and worst of returns, along with the corresponding worst losses over 6 different time frames. The case is clear: one decade does not tell us much about the next decade. However, what seems to hold up is the much lower losses that flow from adding bonds to the portfolio. His suggestion is to take 2% a year off the 49-year results for planning purposes. Would you meet, or have met, your goals while making 2% less each year?

by Paul Merriman

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Is it time for Bitcoin, value and small caps to be the big winners?

March 27, 2019

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Just because an investment doesn’t work out as well as expected does not mean the investment decision was a mistake.  In this podcast Paul discusses the recent failure of evidence-based investing.  He questions the assumptions investors make about investments that have been successful over both short and long-term periods.  His comments are in response to information found in,The 20 Craziest Investing Facts EverandWhen Evidence is Solid and the Returns Aren’t.”  

Paul also questions the many assumptions we make about the long term, such as investors who are counting on grossly underfunded state pension plans even though they may not be able to meet their future pension obligations. Or, that Bitcoin is once again a viable investment now that it has fallen 75% from its peak, or whether we should even consider it an investment.

by Paul Merriman

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10 more things you need to know about the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy

March 20, 2019

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The annual Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Strategy article and podcast are among the most important pieces Paul and Rich produce (with a lot of help from Daryl Bahls in creating the updated tables). This podcast addresses topics not covered in the Marketwatch article.  Paul answers such questions as: Are returns reasonable? What is the impact of annual and monthly rebalancing? What is the impact on the return if the portfolio is not rebalanced? What are the main differences between UBH strategy and the most prominent/popular Vanguard strategy? And what decisions should you make regarding the balance of U.S. and international equity holdings?

Here are links to relevant tables:
50/50 Ultimate Buy-and Hold table  
Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio (50/50) without rebalancing 
70/30 Ultimate Buy-and-Hold table

by Paul Merriman

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Are you better off investing in bonds or stocks paying dividends?

March 13, 2019

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1. If I need income from my investments, am I better off investing in stocks paying a good dividend rather than bonds? 1:45
2. Is a 60% stocks/40% bonds balanced fund better than a target date fund? 11:35
3. How does VBIAX (Vanguard Balanced Fund) compare to the 2 Funds for Life Strategy? 22:28
4. If I use M1, will the bid-ask spread cost of trading ETFs eat into my profits? 29:10
5. Will there be duplicate holdings if I use your ETF or mutual fund recommendations? 32:45
6. What is your favorite large-cap value ETF? 34:18
7. Why do you need so many ETF holdings in your best-in-class portfolio? 35:35
8. What are all the fees you have to pay if you use the M1 platform? 37:12
9. Where on your website do I find the symbols for all the ETFs you recommend in Portfolio #8? 40:45
10. How have listeners motivated young investors to learn the lessons from your website? 41:45

by Paul Merriman

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Best-in-Class ETF Portfolio Recommendations: 2019 Update

March 6, 2019

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In this special podcast Paul interviews Chris Pedersen about the 2019 changes to the Best-In-Class ETF Portfolio recommendations. This will be helpful to those who want to understand the details of how Chris made the decisions to select the best in each asset class, changing many from the previous year. The discussion includes comparing the long-term results of these recommendations  vs. Vanguard ETFs, as well as DFA mutual funds.

• To read the article and tables supporting Chris’ decision-making process, click here  His article also answers many of the most commonly asked questions regarding our Best-In-Class recommendations.
• Click here to see the newly recommended ETF Portfolios.
• To implement these portfolios using M1 Finance commission-free services, Click here.

 

by Paul Merriman

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What successful investors know about performance in risky times

February 27, 2019

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What information is really meaningful to be a successful investor, especially in light of conflicting, enticing and scary reports? In this podcast, Paul asks and explores the questions: Will a list of 10 likely catastrophic events be enough to keep you out of the market?  Will a newsletter, produced by an ethical organization, likely give you better performance in the long term?  And, how much of is your return is due to good luck or bad?

by Paul Merriman

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Paul’s best investment advice for first time investors

February 19, 2019

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In this special podcast, Paul discusses his list of “A Dozen Million-Dollar Decisions.” This advice for college students was recorded this week for students at Western Washington University, Paul’s alma mater and where The Merriman Financial Education Foundation funds the development and presentation of Personal Investing 216, an accredited course since 2014.  The 12 Decisions include: saving vs. spending, stocks vs. bonds, degrees of diversification, taxes, expenses, target date funds, and more

For young investors to better understand equities (stocks) and fixed income (bonds), see this Table   Here also are some sites that appeal to young investors trying to deal with the realities of student debt and transitioning to the “real world” while maintaining a budget that leaves room for some saving:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com

https://thinksaveretire.com

https://www.choosefi.com

by Paul Merriman

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