Using Your Imagination Is the Key to Saving More for Retirement

By Tim Maurer, CFP® 

I have a proposition for you: I’d like to give you one of two gift certificates to your favorite restaurant. But first, please picture that inviting atmosphere, the thoughtful waitstaff, the right musical backdrop, and the perfect meal in front of you and your ideal dinner companion. Now, choose between a $100 gift certificate you would receive today or a $200 gift certificate you would receive 10 years from now. (more…)

Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

By Jarrett Simpson

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)

Hindsight is Clearer than Foresight

By Meir Statman

Predictions on November 7, 2016, the day before voters elected Donald Trump as our next president…

“As the historic 2016 U.S. presidential election approaches, major Wall Street analysts agree that the S&P 500 will likely sell off if Donald Trump wins, and at least hold gains if Hillary Clinton wins.” CNBC

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Active Management’s Persistent Failure to Persistently Outperform

Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published its biannual Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) reports, which compare the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. It also puts out a pair of scorecards each year that focus on persistence of performance. This is an important issue because if persistence is not significantly greater than should be expected at random, investors cannot separate skill-based performance (which might be able to persist) from luck-based performance (which eventually runs out). Following are some of the highlights from the just-released December 2019 Persistence Scorecard, with data through September 2019: (more…)

Directing Your Own Financial Destiny

Do you feel “in charge” of your financial life?  Or do you feel you are being swept along by a set of circumstances that are beyond your control?  Do you take responsibility for making your own financial decisions, or do you acquiesce to the plans and opinions of others?  Does fear, denial, or complacency keep you from taking a proactive approach to nurturing your own financial well-being? (more…)