Academy Login

How Long is the Long Term?

Everyone always talks about investing (and planning) for the long term. But they’re usually vague about what the “long term” actually means. Does that mean 5 years? 10 years? More? (Spoiler: the answer is definitely more). And frankly, talking about how you need to focus on the long term can feel like a bit of […]

Occam’s – Do the Midterm Elections Matter to the Market?


The 2022 midterm elections are coming up (remember to vote on November 8th). With every election, there’s always a lot of talk about how important it is to vote (true), and that if the other side wins it means the end of the world (potentially less true). There are always important issues at play, and […]

Occam’s – How Do Interest Rates Affect Stock Returns?

The financial media loves to talk about interest rates. There are a lot of good reasons for this, but two of the big ones are that interest rates are really important, and they’re relatively understandable and have a direct connection to most people’s lives. They are tied to the mortgage rate you can get, the […]

Lessons For The Next Crisis

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” I gotta say, we agree with Darth Vadar on this one. When times of crisis arise, people naturally have a range of emotions, including fear, panic, and mistrust. This can lead to behaviors that directly contradict long-term saving strategies. It’s important to take a moment, and remember your […]

A Warning to the Advisory Profession: DALBAR’s Math is Wrong

Boston-based DALBAR has published updates of its “Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior” study annually since 1994. The study is meant to educate investors about how the returns they earn generally lag behind the returns for market indices widely reported in the media. The study analyzes the sources of poor investor performance, finding that the bad […]

Common Investor Behaviors That Hurt Investments

In my post from last week, “behavioral coaching” was suggested to have the biggest impact on real-world investor returns. In Vanguard’s analysis, being able to overcome your own behavioral quirks could add more than 1.5% to your returns, as opposed to falling victim to your own human tendencies.

The Value of Sound Financial Decisions: From Alpha to Gamma

David Blanchett and Paul Kaplan at Morningstar created a similar study about the value of good decision making. Their results and approach are different from those of Vanguard, but the goal is the same: to quantify the costs of poor and good decision making. Naturally, many assumptions must be made regarding good financial decisions and the impact of poor financial decisions.

The Value of Sound Financial Decisions

Good financial planning decisions extend well beyond where and how you invest. Two major research efforts have attempted to quantify how good financial decision making can enhance your lifetime standard of living. It is important to understand what this research means, because this may not always equal a higher portfolio return in the short term.

How Do Presidential Elections Affect The Markets?

With the presidential election coming up, people are naturally curious about what the elections mean for the stock market – and, more importantly, for their investments (and everything those investments represent).