'Tis the Season for Predictions

n the coming weeks, investors are likely to be bombarded with predictions about what the future, and specifically the next year, may hold for their portfolios. These outlooks are typically accompanied by recommended investment strategies and actions that are aimed at trying to avoid the next crisis or missing out on the next “great” opportunity.

No More Excuses

Active mutual fund managers continue performing badly, and they’re running out of excuses for their underperformance. Maybe they don’t have one.

Illiquid Intervals

When University of Chicago professor Eugene Fama says that Wall Street comes out with something like a new product per week, he’s not too far off. Most of the latest artfully designed investment products are not intended to help you as much as they are designed to help the sellers.

For The Next Four

We will soon have a new president. What should you do now? I know the temptation is to meet strong emotions with some kind of action, but hold on.

Active Delusions

As real investors (as opposed to speculators) have started realizing that actively managed mutual funds cannot, in aggregate, beat the market - because the math just doesn’t work, those who make a living picking stocks and timing the market are grasping for a lifeline.

Tricking Teachers

Some of the worst retirement plan investments are those offered to teachers. Who is to blame? The identity of one of the culprits may surprise you.

Ignore "History on the Run"

When news breaks and markets move, content-starved media often invite talking heads to muse on the repercussions. Knowing the difference between this speculative opinion and actual facts can help investors stay disciplined during purported “crises.”

CDeception

Most investors are familiar with Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Unfortunately, Wall Street’s product pushers have figured out a way to swipe the name from this traditional household workhorse and turn it into a monster money-maker … for themselves, that is.

On Elections and Equities

Next month, Americans will head to the polls to elect the next president of the United States. While the outcome is unknown, one thing is for certain: There will be a steady stream of opinions from pundits and prognosticators about how the election will impact the stock market

Is It Really Guaranteed?

Often making smart investing decisions is more about knowing what not to believe. Take the term “guaranteed.” What does it mean for real investors? In reality, a guarantee is nothing more than a promise.

We Don't Know We Don't Know

In this political season, I’ve read multiple reports that we are politically ignorant with large percentages of American’s unable to even name the three branches of US government. While this knowledge gap might lead to poor election decisions, there is another lack of knowledge that can ruin your life, financial knowledge.

This has been a crazy summer with the creation of the first printed magazine in the country devoted to real investing. The first issue of real investing journal - the magazine went out in late June and the second quarterly issue just went to press.

Dimensional Fund Advisor's global market experience is unmatched in the money management business so their perspective of the Brexit referendum and its potential economic impact deserves attention.

After last week’s Brexit referendum and its surprising outcome, it’s hard to watch the news without feeling your stomach twist over what in the world is going on. Whenever the markets scream bloody murder, your instincts deliver a sense of unrest ranging from discontent to desperation. Resist those emotions!

Sometimes something is so sad, you just have to laugh. John Oliver of HBO's Last Week Tonight is one of the few people that can make a serious and sad situation laughable. We we excited to see him focus on the sorry state of the financial advisory industry in America. 

One of the tricks used by the actively managed mutual fund industry is to close down a poorly performing or merge it into a better fund, thus erasing that fund's performance from the group's performance history. This results in misleading results and claims about the manager's past through what is called "survivor bias."

I started researching indexed annuities back in 2009 when my wife alerted me to an ad she heard on the radio. It was for an investment that claimed to offer incredibly high returns, around 12%, with no risk to your principal. She stated that it sounded a lot like an ad that Bernie Madoff might have run if he had used radio advertising.

Is investing riskier than usual these days? In our experience, probably not. If there is such a thing as “normal” in this world of ours, risk is certainly built into the definition. Besides, investors often love and hate risk in a mixed up, messed up relationship. How so? Let us count the ways

Most of what passes for investing information and advice isn’t. The majority of what you hear, see, and read about building wealth is designed to encourage you to turn to experts who claim to be able to predict the future or generate high fees for Wall Street. Financial soothsaying has no basis in science. It is more like money alchemy. Like the alchemists of the past, those we have believed to be investing “experts” have consistently been proven wrong.

Rather than stretching for extra yield with stand-alone solutions, we typically suggest taking a total-return approach, seeking an appropriate risk/reward balance among all sources for earning and preserving your investment returns. These include tending to share value, interest and dividends, and aggressive cost management.