The Collapse of the American Net Worth

Geoff Considine

Many of you are painfully aware of how many friends or family members are out of work, now under-employed, or who have lost their homes. Geoff Considine, a leading contributor to the Portfolioist, provides his take on what we’re calling the “collapse” in household net worth, starting with a recently published report released from the… Read More


The High Cost of the July 4th Cookout

Geoff Considine

Many Americans will be feeling the effects of higher commodity prices this 4th of July. If you have been to the grocery store lately, you’ve probably done a double-take at the register as your outdoor grilling essentials are being scanned. Steak and ground beef prices are up almost 6% over the last 12 months and… Read More


Proving the Value of Risk Management in Retirement Planning

Geoff Considine

The Wall Street Journal’s recent article, “Same Returns, Less Risk” discusses different approaches to managing portfolio risk while maintaining exposure to potential returns available from stocks and other riskier asset classes. If you are a Portfolioist reader, you know that we’ve written about the importance of risk budgeting in the past. You also know that… Read More


Safety Not Guaranteed

Robert P. Seawright

I haven’t seen it yet,  but I love the conceit behind the indie film Safety Not Guaranteed, which has opened to excellent reviews.  The words of the title are found in a mysterious classified ad in a local paper seeking a partner for time travel.  The ad also states that applicants will need their own weapons and, ominously, “safety not… Read More


How Much Risk Should A 65-Year-Old Take?

Geoff Considine

Stacy Schaus, Executive Vice President at PIMCO and her colleague, Ying Gao, recently wrote a white paper titled, “Loss Capacity Drives 401(k) Investment Default Evaluation” that tackles some of the most important issues in retirement planning. The white paper discusses the development of asset allocation strategy over an investor’s working years and into retirement. (Schaus… Read More


The Case for Dividend-Focused Investing

Geoff Considine

Morningstar’s recently published article called “Our Favorite Dividend ETFs for 2012” makes the case for investing in stocks on the basis of dividend yield.  I also recently published an article in Advisor Perspectives on dividend-oriented funds called “Finding the Best Dividend Fund” that discusses why dividend-oriented investing makes sense. Both articles explore what makes an… Read More


Why Doesn’t Everyone Use Passive Investing?

Lowell Herr

If passive investing is so successful, why is it that so few investors actually use this approach to construct and manage their portfolios? Good question and one that likely has a score of answers. Here are a few to consider: There is a large collection of investors who are confident they can beat the market. … Read More


Are 401(k) Fees Consuming 30% of Our Lifetime Savings?

Geoff Considine

There is a story getting considerable coverage this week about a study that finds that an average family may end up having 30% less in total lifetime accumulated wealth in their 401(k) plans due to high fees and expenses. The study inspiring all of this attention is titled “The Retirement Savings Drain” and published by… 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