Financial Literacy: State of the Union in 2013

Geoff Considine

April is financial literacy month.  I believe that lack of financial knowledge is one of the most critical problems that our country faces. It is well understood that someone who is illiterate in the traditional sense (reading, writing) is severely handicapped in terms of work and opportunities available to them.  The person who cannot read… Read More


Getting Help in Choosing and Managing a Portfolio

Geoff Considine

There is currently $5 Trillion invested in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), $4.7 Trillion invested in self-directed retirement plans provided by employers (401(k), 457, and 403(b) plans), and $2.3 Trillion invested in traditional pension plans offered by private companies.  These numbers are stunning for a number of reasons.  First, self-directed retirement plans (IRAs, 401(k)’s, etc.) dramatically… Read More


Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part Five

Geoff Considine

Effective Actions in an Uncertain World: Part Five of Our Special Five Part Series There are a number of factors that we need to predict in order to come up with saving and investing strategies for retirement.  The values that we assign to these factors will have a huge impact on whether or not we… Read More


Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part Two

Geoff Considine

Figuring Out Whether You Are On Track: Part Two of Our Special Five-Part Series Fidelity just came out with a study that estimates that people will need about eight times their final salary level, assuming they work until age sixty seven, to be able to retire and subsequently to have 85% of their pre-retirement income… Read More


Saving and Investing for Retirement: Part One

Geoff Considine

We Are In Trouble: Part One of Our Special Five-Part Series As the presidential election season of 2012 has gotten underway, there is a massive issue that has gotten very little attention: how Americans will sustain themselves in retirement.  In 2010, there were 40 million Americans over the age of 65.  By 2030, that number… Read More


The Golden Rule of Investing

Lowell Herr

The Golden Rule of Investing is simply, “Save as much as you can as early as you can.” The operative word is early. William J. Bernstein lays it out in stark language in his book, “The Investor’s Manifesto“ when he writes, “Each dollar you do not save at 25 will mean two inflation-adjusted dollars that… Read More


Investors’ 10 Most Common Behavioral Biases

Robert P. Seawright

Barry Ritholz (of The Big Picture and a Sunday Business columnist at The Washington Post) recently contributed Investors’ 10 most common mistakes to The Washington Post Business Section quarterly investing section. It’s a commentary that he has been working on for a while — the ten topics are listed with links to longer discussions of each common mistake here. I created my… Read More


We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us

Robert P. Seawright

Psychologist Walter Mischel’s famous 1972 marshmallow experiment, was designed to study children’s ability to defer gratification.  In the actual experiment, the researchers analyzed how long each child resisted the temptation to eat a marshmallow placed in front of them in order to obtain a second marshmallow later and whether or not doing so was correlated with future success. The kids’ struggles … Read More


Does “Low Risk” Outperform?

Robert P. Seawright

A new paper by Robert Haugen, president of research house Haugen Custom Financial Systems, and Nardin Baker, chief strategist, Global Alpha, Guggenheim Partners Asset Management, claims that low risk (really low volatility) stocks consistently delivered market-beating returns in all of the 21 developed countries they studied between 1990 and 2011 (video here). Their research showed the same was… Read More


Retirement: Demographics and Destiny

Geoff Considine

In a recent interview in The Wall Street Journal titled “Bad New for Boomers,” Rob Arnott presents a fairly grim view of the retirement income that investors can expect to generate from their investment portfolios.  His thesis is that aside from all of the economic turmoil that may constrain future earnings growth, there is an… Read More