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 […]


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 […]


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) […]


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 […]


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

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, […]


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

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 […]