In the first part of this series, I wanted to test the claim that dollar cost averaging (DCA) was an effective strategy for protecting your investments. Too often I’ve heard claims against investing within the media saying that if you had bought stocks (particularly) during “The Lost Decade” between 2000 and 2010, then you would have had a -23% return on your money. After crunching the numbers, we determined that dollar cost averaging would have beat a static investment in the S&P 500 and returned a -6.8% return instead of a -23%. That’s great, but who wants a negative return?! Why didn’t we just hide our money under the mattress and do nothing? Unfortunately, that may be true. But remember that when it comes to investing: Defense … [Read more...] about Would Dollar Cost Averaging and Bonds Have Saved You From “The Lost Decade”?
Is It Time to Change Up My Retirement Portfolio?
If you believe at all in the January Barometer (financial-folk-lore that if markets do well in January, the year will be good), then we’re in for a great year! The S&P 500 is up approximately 8% this year and most of the economic reports seem to be more upbeat than they have been in recent years. So what is there to worry about? Well, in the words of Warren Buffett: • “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful”. Looking for Safety: When my 401k dropped nearly 50% during the Great Recession, I decided it was time to stop playing offense and beef up my defense when it came to how I invest my money. … [Read more...] about Is It Time to Change Up My Retirement Portfolio?
Book Review: “Higher Returns from Safe Investments” by Marvin Appel
This isn’t another book of “buy a bunch of stocks, hold them for 30 years, and hope for the best” type of investment advice. “Higher Returns from Safe Investments: Using Bonds, Stocks, and Options to Generate Lifetime Income” by Marvin Appel delivers an alternative perspective on the risks and returns from other types of investments; namely bonds. However, he doesn’t just stop there. The book also covers a broad range of other under-appreciated investments such as high-dividend stocks, preferred stocks, and covered call options. I’ll be the first to admit: There is nothing sexy about reading a book about bonds. But after experiencing the evaporation of money during the Great Recession of 2008, I think a book with this sort of title … [Read more...] about Book Review: “Higher Returns from Safe Investments” by Marvin Appel
Help! I’ve Got 401k Questions! – Your Complete 401k Guide
Let me be the first to say “Congratulations”! Despite the intimidating packet of papers you need to review and fill out as well as the dozen 401k questions you probably have, this is a great opportunity for you! Not only will you be starting down the road to financial freedom (in other words: retirement), but you'll also be given the opportunity to make FREE MONEY! Yes, I said free money! Why is it free? 1) The money you put away comes out of your paycheck BEFORE taxes and it grows tax free until you retire! 2) Your company will likely (as a lot of companies often do) kick in a little bit extra cash in addition to the money you plan to put away. Who wouldn’t take a little extra money for free! Without further ado, let's see if we can … [Read more...] about Help! I’ve Got 401k Questions! – Your Complete 401k Guide