DR 111: What Should You Do With Your 401k When You Leave Your Job

What to do with 401k when leaving a job

What should you do with your 401k or 403b when you leave your job? This is a question that confronts more and more people. According to the Department of Labor young Baby Boomers held on average 11.3 jobs from age 18 to 46. So it was no surprise when I received the following email from […]

Published or Updated: December 2, 2014

How to Pass the Series 65 Exam

Inbox Zero

Earlier this month I took the Series 65 exam. The test is designed for those who want to become investment advisors to manage other’s investments. In response to a number of email from my newsletter subscribers (I mentioned the exam in a newsletter), I thought I’d share my experience studying for and taking the exam. […]

Published or Updated: September 24, 2014

DR 108: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest for Retirement?

Pay Off Mortgage or invest

Imagine you’ve just inherited some money. The amount just happens to match the outstanding balance on your mortgage. Now you have a decision. Do you pay off the mortgage or invest the money for retirement. That’s the question facing a podcast listener named Shelly. Here is her email to me: Great job on your podcasts. […]

Published or Updated: September 23, 2014

DR 107: Monthly Investment Update–September 2014

Asset Allocation September 2014

It’s time for our monthly investment portfolio update. In each update I run through the tools I use and the results of my investments. I show you the good and the bad. We’ll even cover some mistakes I’ve made and what I’ve learned from those mistakes. Let’s start with the tools and a high level […]

Published or Updated: September 21, 2014

DR 102: 4 Times Recharacterizing an IRA Conversion or Contribution Can Save Your Bacon (Literally)

IRA Recharacterization

One of the best retirement savings tools is often overlooked. The tool can save you thousands of dollars in taxes and sleepless nights if you made a mistake with your IRA. And yet according to a 2010 study by Fidelity less than one-third of investors are aware of this tool. I’m referring to what’s called […]

Published or Updated: September 3, 2014

How to Calculate Investment Returns–A Simple Approach

Personal Capital You Index

I‘ve had several readers email me about how to calculate investment returns. It seems like it should be a simple task. We all have ready access to our mutual fund and brokerage accounts. These accounts often report a performance measure of some sort. Surely we can bring all of this information into one place to […]

Published or Updated: August 28, 2014

DR 099: 5 Gotchas with Commissioned Based Brokers

5 year Roth IRA Rule

A reader we’ll call Frank recently emailed me about his advisor (we covered part of his email about dividends here). She had placed him in A shares of American Fund mutual funds. This told me he was working with a commissioned-based broker, as these mutual funds charge a sales fee of 5.75% to compensate the […]

Published or Updated: August 16, 2014

DR 098: Dividend Investing (Part 2): Mutual Funds and Dividends

VTSMX Dividend Yield

We began our series on dividend investing by examining the ins and outs of dividends. Today we continue the series by looking at how dividends work with mutual funds and whether the yield on a fund should be a key consideration in our investing decisions. This topic came to light from an email I received […]

Published or Updated: August 12, 2014

DR 096: Dividend Investing (Part 1)–What are Stock Dividends?

What are Stock Dividends

One of my favorite aspects of investing is receiving a dividend payment. Each month I look to see how much I earned in dividends, and I track this amount yearly. In fact, dividends play a significant role in my investment policy related to individual stocks. With the exception of Berkshire Hathaway, every business whose shares […]

Published or Updated: August 16, 2014