8 Great Investment Questions and Answers


Following are Paul’s answers to some great investing questions. Sometimes he needs to ask a question before he can answer your question, so please include your phone number in your “Ask Paul” questions sent to info@paulmerriman.com  Also, keep in mind that due to the number of emails received, Paul can only answer a portion of them, and they must be of a general nature, not a personal situation.

1.  I have been dollar-cost-averaging into my 401k. Should I quit putting money into stock funds and put it into money market funds until the market has gone through a big decline? 1:34

2.  Is now a good time to buy a house? 14:50

3. Should we hire a Vanguard personal advisor to move our investments from Fidelity to Vanguard? 19:55

4. Why not put all of my money in the best long-term performing funds rather than owning 7 or 8 different funds? 29:30

5. How many stocks do you need in a fund to be properly diversified? 35:25

6. I am going to hire an investment manager to manage my money.  Do the returns in your Ultimate Buy and Hold include a 1% investment advisor fee? 39:25

7.  Are stable value funds better than bonds? 44:40

8.  What are the risks of market timing compared to buy-and-hold? 48:45

34 ways to get more out of your 401k


For more than 90% of working adults, the most important investment decision is how to invest their 401k, 457, 403b or IRA. Each of the 34 points in this podcast addresses a way that is likely to produce better returns. In this podcast Paul mentions several articles: How to Turn $3000 into $50 Million30 Reasons to Fall in Love with Index Funds and The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy.

Is it time to get more conservative? And 9 more interesting questions…


On November 18, 2017, Paul spoke to 170 investors.  Some were clients of Merriman Wealth Management and others followers of Paul’s online educational efforts.  The following 10 questions were left to answer in a special podcast.

1.  This bull market duration is unusually  long. Is it time to get more conservative?
2.  Is the next bear market imminent?
3.  What can you tell us about DST’s (Delaware Statutory Trusts) used in a 1031 exchange)?
4.  Is the recent market move due to the deregulation of our industries and tougher trade policies?
5.  What do you think of Schwab Intelligent Portfolio?
6.  For a 25 year old, what is the best online source of information on investing?
7.  Do the results of the Bessembinder study include the dividends companies made?
8.  What do you think of Bitcoin?
9.  Since index funds do not experience permanent loss, is there some other measure that captures permanent loss as with individual companies?
10 .We have two grandsons ages 5 & 7 being home-schooled.  They visit us one day a week.  How can we teach them about investing?

12 Answers to Investor Questions


Paul answers 12 questions from his readers and listeners concerning REITS, bonds, gold, investment risks, portfolio management, asset class allocation and emerging markets:

1.  Is it a good idea to own both U.S. and international REITs?  5:45
2.  Should REIT percentages change if we buy real estate? 8:55
3.  How much should we invest in bonds now? 10:40
4.  When should we start investing in bonds?
5.  When we invest in bonds what asset classes should we sell to buy the bonds? 16:05
6.  Should we have commodities, gold or other sectors in the portfolio? 19:10
7.  Do you think investors really understand the risk they are taking? 21:30
8.  If you were managing our portfolio, what asset classes would you invest less in and what asset classes would you invest more in? 24:15
9.  Why do U.S. investors tend to favor domestic funds?  Is there any data that shows “home bias” is common?  36:10
10. Are investors getting sufficient international exposure by investing in large multinational corporations? 42:43
11. What is the appropriate allocation of domestic, international and emerging market funds? 44:40
12. What are the risks of investing in international and emerging markets? 49:30

Lessons learned at AAII Conference


The AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) Conference was a treasure trove of investment history and advice for amateur investors.  In fact, Paul felt a lot of the information should be meaningful to professionals as well.  Paul was impressed with the presentations from Meb Faber, Larry Swedroe, Dr. Craig Israelsen and Mark Hulbert.  The one thing that all four experts agree on is  that investors’ emotions are their biggest enemies.  After listening to all these experts Paul is now  convinced what he believes is the biggest decision investors make—and most aren’t making it!

Introducing The Merriman Ultimate Target-Date Portfolios

Chris Pedersen joins Paul to talk about their latest research on getting better returns from Target-Date portfolios. The discussion includes the pros and cons of Target-Date Funds (TDFs), how to make the best use of TDFs, recommendations for D-I-Y investors at Vanguard, and the easy solutions they created at Motif for those following Paul’s work.

To enable investors interested in exploring and/or implementing this approach, The Merriman Target Date Portfolios are available at Motif Investing.

You can read Chris’ related article, Achieving Success with Target Date Funds”.  You can also dive deeper into Chris’ research and analysis at the Merriman Target Date Portfolio Glide Path Asset Allocations.

For more about Motif and other portfolios recommended by Paul Merriman, click here

Paul and Chris wish to thank Daryl Bahls for his valuable research in creating these new portfolios.


What’s wrong with target date funds?


Target-Date Funds are the most important financial product since mutual funds were first offered in 1924. With pensions a thing of the past, target-date funds should be the investment of choice because they are the most likely path to financial independence for most investors. Unfortunately, many target-date funds lack the appropriate fire power to super charge their growth — especially for young investors. The comments in this podcast are offered as preparation for the next podcast featuring Chris Pedersen, the brains behind the new Merriman Target-Date Portfolios.

How to Avoid the 20 Most Common Investment Mistakes Retirees Make


Warren Buffett says, “You only have to do a very few things right in your life, so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” Yes, there are only a few things you have to do right… but the list of possible mistakes is long. Here are 20 common mistakes that can make a big hole in your retirement income. Don’t let it happen to you!

Watch this podcast in video format

15 Risks of Managing Your Money


Risk is not limited to the pain of a big bear market. Sometime a risk can be a mistake of omission rather than commission. Join Paul to learn about 15 real investment risks that need to be managed.

Watch this podcast in video format

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