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Modern Portfolio Theory

Investing is fundamental to retirement planning. For many of us the long term growth from our investments is one of the primary sources of our income in retirement. So deciding how to invest is crucial. Since the financial markets are reasonably efficient, we can’t systematically beat the market. Deciding how we will structure our portfolio […]

Historical Market Returns – Part One

The primary subject of my book is comparing the risk premium with risk pooling as a source of funding for retirement goals. An important step is to first make clear what the risk premium is and how it relates to an investment portfolio. Fundamentally, investors prefer certainty to uncertainty. A bond provides a known yield […]

Overview of Stocks and the Stock Market

Stocks provide an ownership stake in a company. They provide access to company earnings based on its future performance. Companies can pay dividends to their stockholders to return profits to the owners, or they could reinvest profits into the firm to lay the foundation for better performance and even larger dividends to owners in the […]

Two Philosophies for Retirement Income Planning Part One: Probability-Based

Within the world of retirement income planning, the siloed nature of financial services between investments and insurance leads to two opposing philosophies about how to build a retirement plan. There is an old saying that if the only tool you have is a hammer, then everything starts to look like a nail. This tendency is […]

The Yield Curve is Inverted. Don’t Panic.

It’s pretty easy to make finance stuff sounds scary. What happens in the financial markets has a direct effect on our retirement – but those same financial markets are basically a black box for most people (and a very dark gray box for a lot more). So it’s very easy for the financial media to […]

Ignore the Financial Media

The financial media is omnipresent. Whether it’s hearing about what the Dow did today on your drive home, or a talking head pontificating about how the market’s are obviously about to tank, we are constantly immersed in a miasma of prognostication. Everyone has a take on what the markets will do next, and what you […]

Can TIPS Help You?

Inflation is one of the most pernicious risks facing retirees. While there are a lot of ways to manage inflation risk, TIPS, or Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, are one of the few investment options that directly hedge against inflation risk. They aren’t perfect, and there are certainly some things to consider when you use them […]

Should You Try Timing to Avoid Bad Markets?

WHAT IS OCCAM’S RAZOR? Occam’s Razor is a principle attributed to William Occam, a 14th century philosopher. He stressed that explanations must not be multiplied beyond what is necessary. Thus, Occam’s Razor is a term used to “shave off” or dismiss superfluous explanations for a given event. This concept is largely ignored within the investment […]

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