My Annual Investment Portfolio Tune-up: Did I Beat the S&P 500 in 2007?

At the end of each year I calculate the performance of my investments and compare it to the S&P 500. Why? Curiosity more than anything. Some years I beat it, some years I don’t. Over the past five years, I’ve trounced the S&P 500. But I’ve been investing long enough to know that beating the […]

Published or Updated: March 23, 2012

My Annual Investment Portfolio Tune-up: Rebalancing

Yesterday we looked at building an asset allocation plan. We walked through my asset allocation plan as a guide, but you’ll obviously need to make investing decisions that are best suited for your situation. Today, I’m going to layout all of my investments, compare them to my asset allocation plan, and then discuss any rebalancing […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

Building a Sound Asset Allocation Plan

Year end is a perfect time to give your retirement and other investments an annual tune-up. Each year at this time I evaluate my 401(k), rollover IRA and taxable investment accounts to see if I should make any changes to my asset allocation plan for the next year. Generally, I look at five things: (1) […]

Published or Updated: March 30, 2012

A Cautionary Tale: The importance of asset location when ‘bad’ investors head for the exits

Image credit: OhioProgressiveAsset location involves dividing investments between taxable and tax deferred accounts in the most tax efficient manner. As a general rule, mutual funds that generate a lot of dividends or capital gains should be placed in 401(k), IRA or other retirement accounts. Those investments that do not generate a lot of dividends or […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014

To Make Good Financial Decisions, Think Like Mr. Spock but Act Like Captain Kirk

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Sound personal finance and investing decisions flow from two things: (1) knowing the numbers and knowing ourselves. If we know the numbers but not ourselves, our decisions will look good on a spreadsheet, until our real world decisions deviate from the plan. If we know ourselves but not the numbers, our decisions may feel right, […]

Published or Updated: March 22, 2012

Frontier Markets: To boldly go where few investors have gone before!

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Frontier markets and the mutual funds and ETFs that invest in them are quickly becoming a separate and distinct asset class from emerging markets. If you’ve never heard of frontier markets, you’re not alone. They’ve only recently become the hot new investment. The WSJ described them as “next year’s darlings in emerging-market investing.” Recent developments […]

Published or Updated: March 22, 2012

FAQs from The Ultimate Guide to Traditional and Roth 401(k) and IRA Retirement Accounts

Since publishing The Ultimate Guide to Traditional and Roth 401(k) and IRA Retirement Accounts, I’ve received a number of questions about retirement plans that weren’t covered in the article. I’ve responded to these questions in the comments to the article, but I thought it would be helpful to discuss some of them in a separate […]

Published or Updated: March 22, 2012

Do low cost mutual funds outperform high cost mutual funds?

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A reader recently asked whether the expense ratio of a mutual fund or the fund’s performance was the most important factor when selecting an investment. It’s an important question. What’s the point in investing in a low cost fund if it underperforms higher cost funds? Mutual funds report their performance net of expenses. So if […]

Published or Updated: April 29, 2012

Why do mutual funds close to new investors (and 3 funds that have reopened)?

Image credit: MobilFunk7The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that three mutual funds previously closed to new investors are reopening to accept new money. I’ll share the three funds with you, but first I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about why mutual funds would ever close to new investors. The primary […]

Published or Updated: April 3, 2014