10 Investment Guarantees Every Investor Should Know

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This piece was produced for my 2012 “Financial Fitness After 50” PBS contributors premium package. Investors are challenged by what forces are controllable and what forces are out of their control. At a minimum investors should make sure they take advantage of the forces that are under their control. In this video Paul discusses 10 guarantees every investor should know.

Watch this podcast in video format

How did the Best-in-Class ETF portfolio do?

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Paul compares the asset class returns of his recommendations with the average returns of the same asset class funds. An understanding of the last 9 months may or may not give you a peek into the future performance of these ETF selections. He also discusses holding emergency money in a money market account or just as part of the long term portfolio. And he addresses the risk and return of his Monthly Income Portfolio at Vanguard. 

Evidence that could derail the value vs. growth debate

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“When I see a title that addresses the value vs. growth issue, you’ve got my attention,” says Paul. “A new article by Dr. Craig L. Israelsen titled, This piece of evidence could derail the growth vs. value debate, opened my eyes to the huge differences similar indices earn over similar periods of time. From his findings, it is easy to see how two investors – theoretically in the same index fund – could have substantially different returns.” For those interested in other research from Dr. Israelsen, check out his website. To review the SPIVA tables and report, click here.  

22 Ways to get more from your 401(k) and IRA

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Even just one idea from these 22, could greatly increase the money you will have for retirement. This recording is from the PBS Special Paul created in 2011, the information being evergreen. For more on Paul’s recommendations for 401k plans, at more than 100 major U.S. corporations and the U.S. Thrift Savings Plan, go to: https://paulmerriman.com/401k-landing/. And you’ll also find recommendations for ETFs and mutual funds at his website, www.PaulMerriman.com.

Our 401k Project and answers to investor questions

In this fun conversation between two old friends and colleagues, Tom Cock of Vestory.com and Paul discuss their 401k Project, John Bogel, and answers to listener/investor questions about newsletters, currency, IRAs, annuities and more. Tom and Paul produced a radio show together for more than a decade. You can also access Vestory’s free video courses on “Real Retirement Investing” online at TalkingRealMoney.com.
 
• What do you think of Motley Fool? Paul and Tom talk about the newsletter industry? (12:30)
• Why is the US dollar going down against the Canadian dollar? (19:05)
• About the 401k project that Tom and Paul are working on (21:45)
• Should I get out of American Funds? (24:15)
• Should I move a lot of money at once from my pension to an IRA? (26:50)
• Regarding the U.S. government Thrift Saving Plan, should leave it in or take it out as I enter retirement? (30:20)
• What happens if everyone invests in index funds? (34:20)
• Is my strategy OK regarding my employer match in 401k? (39:30)
• Is there a guaranteed vehicle for 6-7% returns? (41:55)
• How do I best defer or reduce tax liabilities in retirement? (45:30)
• My company is closing and I need to move IRA immediately. What should I do? (49:15) 

The case for the Total Stock Market Index and more

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The Case for the Total Stock Market Index and more
 
Paul begins this podcast with a response to this article by Alex Bryan, director of Passive Strategies Research, North America at Morningstar. The position of both Alex and Morningstaris that a total U.S. stock market index is a core holding. They go on to claim anything else is a form of active management, which appears to include any answer other than a cap-weighted portfolio.  
 
In a second topic Paul responds to another Morningstar article by John Rekenthaler, one of Paul’s favorite Morningstar experts. John is vice-president of research for Morningstar.  “What is the right Amount of International Diversification?” explores opinions on how much investors should allocate to international equities? The answers leave a lot to be questioned, so it isn’t hard to believe that Morningstar concludes, “The final choice ultimately, is arbitrary. It rests on intuition, not science.”
 
The final segment focuses on an article entitled, “Answer Three Questions and Be Among America’s Money Smartest.”  Many have written about the result of a survey that found that 70% of adult Americans couldn’t answer 3 very simple money questions.  Paul makes the case that successful investing is about much more than being financially literate.

How to Prepare for a Bear Market

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In this conversation with Rob Berger of Doughroller.netPaul discusses how to handle a bear market. How can we stick to our investment plan when our portfolios drop by 20% or more, and how should you be investing now? Among topics covered: 
  • My recent meeting with Vanguard founder John Bogle
  • Should one diversify beyond the S&P 500? 
  • What role does luck play in a person’s success?
  • Should investors wait to invest until the market comes down? 
  • What does it means to be a long-term investor?
  • Paul‘s retirement portfolio
  • How to defend against a bear market
  • How to invest a large sum of money
  • The role PE ratios play in valuing the market
  • How to stick to your investment plan when the market drops
  • How to invest 5 years before retirement 

 

The 4 Most Common investment Questions

Paul addresses the 4 most common questions he receives from readers and listeners:
Will indexing work as well in the future as in the past?
Will small cap and value asset classes produce higher than S&P 500 returns in the future?
How often should I rebalance?
How do I best put my money into the market at these historically high prices?
He also discusses an important lesson learned from a meeting with Dr. Hendrick Bessembinder.

Q&A with Ken Roberts of Ken’s Bulls & Bears

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Paul speaks with Ken Roberts in this episode of “Ken’s Bulls and Bears,” as they answer listeners’ questions:

7:55- How important are the expenses I pay on my investment portfolio?

10:06- Is diversifying really that important? What about loading up on winning stocks like Facebook and Apple?

19:54- What can investors do to manage risk in their fixed-income investments if interest rates start rising?

25:50- I’m in my early 30’s and for the last five years I have been putting all of my 401k into an S&P index fund; it has been doing very well. I want to add some international funds this year. What the best percentages?

30:00- I attended a seminar by an investment advisor who said he can use technical analysis to determine whether to be fully invested or sit in cash and be defensive during market downturns. Wouldn’t a strategy like that be better than buy-and-hold?

39:45 I recently retired and am invested in 60% stock funds and 40% bonds. How often should I re-adjust my allocation?

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