Investing Articles for Beginners and Pros Alike

Here you'll find our articles on investing. We cover everything from asset allocation to mutual fund selection to investing in 401k, IRA and other retirement accounts. The goal is to help you become a better, more successful investor.

DR 090: Roth vs. Traditional IRA or 401k: The Math Behind This Important Decision

It’s without a doubt the most frequent question I receive from readers of this blog. People want to know whether they should put their retirement savings in a Roth vs traditional IRA or 401k. I’ve written a lot about these retirement options. If you are new to retirement accounts, I’d suggest you start by reading […]

Published or Updated: July 22, 2014

DR 086: How to Spy on Your Own Investment Portfolio

Portfolio Performance

Recently I’ve started receiving the Morningstar Portfolio Monitor. It’s a monthly pdf that Morningstar puts together for premium members who track their portfolio using Morningstar’s Portfolio Manager. Simply put, it’s an amazing look into an investment portfolio. In this article we’ll walk through a detailed review of the Portfolio Monitor (including screenshots). At the end […]

Published or Updated: July 10, 2014

DR 084: Where To Invest When You’ve Maxed Out Contributions To Retirement Accounts

401k

It’s a good problem to have. You’ve maxed out your 401k and IRA contributions for the year and you still have some more cash to invest. What are your options? That’s the situation a reader named Harout recently emailed me about: I am a little obsessed with your podcasts. I listen to about one a […]

Published or Updated: July 10, 2014

DR 082: How Much Should You Be Saving for Retirement?

Retirement Nest Egg

Exactly how much should you be saving for retirement? It seems that everybody has an opinion on this deceptively simple question. Actually, it is simple to answer, so long as you understand the implications of your choices. To address this question, we are going to look at the standard rules of thumb on retirement savings. […]

Published or Updated: July 1, 2014

DR 078: Are Low Cost Investment Advisors a Myth? [Interview with Mitch Tuchman of Rebalance IRA]

Optimized-Untitled design (1)

As regular readers know, I’m a big believer in DIY investing. One of my goals for this site, my free weekly newsletter, and the podcast, is to arm investors with the information they need to invest on their own. Some folks, however, will still want some help. For these folks, my goal is to promote […]

Published or Updated: June 18, 2014

DR 076: Is a Home a Good Investment? The Numbers Will Surprise You

CAGR 190 to 435

It’s a hotly debated question. Is it better to buy or rent? We covered this question in detail in Podcast 59. Many argue that buying is best because on average homeowners have a higher net worth than renters. Rather than looking at averages, however, today we are going to look at an actual case study. […]

Published or Updated: June 14, 2014

DR 075: The Reality of Dave Ramsey’s 12% ‘Reality’ (and why it really matters)

12 Keys to Making Smart Financial Decisions

Recently I reviewed what Dave Ramsey calls his Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs). As I was doing research for that review I learned of Dave’s view that historically the S&P 500 has returned 12%. I also learned that he believes it will continue to do so over the long run. This was curious to me for […]

Published or Updated: June 14, 2014

DR 073: Annuities 101–Interview with Tim Holmes of Vanguard

Timothy Holmes of Vanguard

Next to the tax code, differential equations, and why Gilligan and the other castaways could never get off the island, annuities are really difficult to grasp. Frankly, any time you mix insurance products with investing products the result is ugly. Yet annuities can be a smart way to save for retirement and to generate income […]

Published or Updated: June 6, 2014

DR 071: Dollar-Cost Averaging Versus Lump Sum Investing–Which is Best?

Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Lump Sum Investing

I‘ve always been suspicious of dollar-cost averaging. With DCA, rather than investing the cash you have all at once, you invest chunks of it over time. For example, you might invest $12,000 over the course of a year, $1,000 each month. In contrast, with lump sum investing, you’d put the full $12,000 to work right […]

Published or Updated: May 30, 2014