The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Lessons From My 13 Year Old

In investing there is one gift that trumps all other gifts. It is a gift to the future that not nearly enough people take advantage of the way they should.

In this week’s podcast I invite my 13 year old son to join me and discuss the lessons he learned about this special present. He helps me walk through the principles and numbers that should be a key part of your financial strategy. The gift that keeps on giving.

I hope you enjoy the podcast below.

Head to head: the individual investor vs a financial advisor by the numbers.

In this week’s podcast I am talking about how individual investors, those who go it alone, do versus having a financial advisor. My data is from DALBAR’s annual survey of investors and their performance.

You’ll find it fascinating. I’d also encourage you to analyze your current performance versus that data. It will help you frame your investment decisions going forward.

See how you compare to the survey results in the podcast below:

Do you use the F word with your financial advisor?

A significant piece of news regarding Merrill Lynch’s advisor compensation plan came to my attention this week. Let me tell you it frustrated the heck out of me.

It reminds me that everyone needs to be using the F word when they talk with their financial advisor. Why because the F word is what drives a successful client/advisor relationship. If you don’t use it you’re too likely to be taken advantage of.

In this week’s podcast we’re talking about this recent news, what it means for your nest egg, what the F word in finance is and why using it with your financial advisor should be a top priority.

Listen to the podcast and see if you need to clean up your language when you talk with your advisor.

Your 401K Might Be Costing You A Lot

In past podcasts you’ve seen I’m a big fan of simple, straightforward ways to add substantial wealth to your portfolio.

Well today I’m giving you another very accessible but often missed method for building your wealth. It’s a little known loophole for 401ks, called in-service distrubitions, that was created as a result of the 2008 financial crisis.

If you have a 401k of any size you’ll find this information on in-service distributions extremely useful as you put together your financial plan. If the right choice isn’t made on a 401k at the right time, it could cost you a lot.

Listen below and let’s save you some money.

What I relearned when a thirty-two trade win streak came to an end.

What did I learn from the first losing options trade after a nine month streak of thirty-two profitable trades? This is one of the single most important lessons any investor can learn. And I’m reminded of it every time I defy this principle.

Listen to this week’s podcast and hear the story about what I relearned from the experience when my thirty-two trade streak came to a halt.

How Do You Compare To The Average American? Surprised At This.

CNBC recently ran a survey the call the “All America Survey” in which they go out and survey Americans across all income levels and backgrounds. They try to get a pulse on what the average American thinks about the markets, investing and other financial topics.

I found it quite insightful to see what the “average American” is thinking right now. How good an investment environment are we in? What are the best investments available today? How stocks compare to bonds or real estate to gold.

You have to compare yourself to this crowd for one great reason: it will tell you a lot about your investment savvy. And let me tell you, the “average American”, at least according to this survey, is not terribly savvy.

Today’s podcast dives right in and talks about these results and how you might compare. I hope you enjoy.

Conventional Wisdom About Retirement Age Allocations Is Likely Costing You

I absolutely LOVE this week’s podcast topic. Why? Because it is one of those areas where I am highly confident that with just a few simple adjustments and without much heartache I can help many, perhaps even most, people save a lot of money. And that is my job.

Today, we’re talking about age based allocation formulas that are preached by the financial masses. When you’re 60, it’s 60 percent bonds/cash and 40 percent equities, right? Today you’re going to hear me talk about just how wrong this can be. And it can be BIG wrong depending on the situation.

Click below to listen and enjoy.

The Sleep Easy Plan: Podcast

In my time as a financial advisor and portfolio manager I have seen many people come to the sudden realization that they haven’t prepared fully for their retirement. It’s not just that they didn’t invest properly, sometimes they did have a good investment strategy.

It’s more than that. Often it has to do with having not mapped out their financial future. How much will they need? How much are they likely to have? What type of lifestyle are they expecting? What are the implications of their current financial status projected into the future?

Suddenly they call me in a panic having not slept the past several days. They’ve felt “the jolt” from their lack of planning.

Today we talk about that “jolt”, how to prevent it, and what to do if, or often when, you face it.

I hope you enjoy and take the lesson to heart.

Do You Have Home Country Bias and Other Behaviorally Driven Investor Topics

In this week’s podcast I’m basing my thoughts on the string of client questions I have been receiving over the last couple of weeks. You may have heard me say before, as a financial advisor I consider myself a behavioral advisor as much as a markets advisor.

Investors are antsy and they’re asking questions like:

“The market is at an all-time high is it the time to sell?”

“This political environment is making me antsy, how do I trade it?”

I address these topics head on. What does history and what does probability tell us about them? The answers formulate our response.

Finally, I also address a critical behavioral weakness of many investors: home country bias. You like many others may have this. It can hamper your portfolio’s performance.

So click below to listen as we discuss these very important topics and see how you would grade yourself against our recommended approach.

This Client Asked Two Common Questions: Here’s Our Answer

A client recently asked me two questions:

1) What is the market going to do over the course of the next year?

2) What is the secret sauce that has led to our success in the markets?

What I did was walk him through why those aren’t the right questions to ask an adviser. I walked him through what I believe any client or potential client should ask their investment adviser.

The reasoning for my answer is deeply connected with why I believe a large number of investors, either on their own or with an adviser, don’t achieve the success they should be able to.

Today’s podcast is a simple review of that conversation. I hope you enjoy.

What We’re Reading

The first rule of Investing is . . . This is a fantastic, quick read that we agree with wholeheartedly. The key to any “rules” is to implement them. It’s one thing to know the rules, it’s another to implement them.

What Matters and What Doesn’t in Investing (and in Life) This echo’s a lot of what we discussed in our podcast. There are some things you shouldn’t waste your energy worrying about (even though the media sure does!).

Two Simple Ways to Trounce the Market – While trouncing the market is never “simple,” this article does point out some two important principles that we agree with. In fact, for a lot of our clients, this is how we manage their money.