Investing in FAANG Stocks: Should You Expect Unexpected Returns?

by: Kenneth French, PhD
Director and Consultant

Investment returns have two parts: the expected return and the unexpected return. The expected return is the best guess of what will happen based on all the information currently available. The unexpected return is the surprise, the difference between what does happen and what was expected. Investors should base their portfolio decisions on expected future returns, not recent realized returns, and the two can differ by a lot.
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The Power of Thinking About Retirement

Individuals and retirement planning experts alike are recognizing that a successful and satisfying retirement experience depends on more than a healthy nest egg.  In fact, retirement should be thought of as a major life transition that deserves thought and preparation in all areas of life.

Nonetheless, many approach this stage of life unprepared for the many social and emotional challenges they will likely experience.  One reason is that a great number of  individuals are unhappy in their work lives, and so focus more on what they are “retiring from” rather than what they are “retiring to.”  They see retirement as the finish line, and give little thought to what life will really be like once they quit working. (more…)

Making Room in Your Life for What is Most Important to You

Bringing balance to a busy personal and professional life is truly challenging. In order to accomplish all that seems necessary, most people resolve to work harder and faster. As a result, many individuals express frustration about feeling overwhelmed and not having enough time to focus on what or who is most important to them. In addition, this mounting stress can lead to compromised health and vitality. (more…)

Connecting the Dots: From Climate Change to Economics and Investing

Climate change is all over the news. But do you know the latest scientific estimates and projections about climate change? How do the projected physical effects of climate change translate into economic costs? What are the costs and benefits of different actions to address climate change? And what are the implications of climate change for asset pricing and investing? (more…)

Weathering the stock market during all times

A Taoist story tells of an old man who accidentally fell into the river rapids leading to a high and dangerous waterfall. Onlookers feared for his life. Miraculously, he came out alive and unharmed downstream at the bottom of the falls. People asked him how he managed to survive.
“I accommodated myself to the water, not the water to me. Without thinking, I allowed myself to be shaped by it. Plunging into the swirl, I came out with the swirl. This is how I survived.”(1)

Special Needs Trust

The San Francisco Chronicle recently featured an excerpt of an article called “Onslaught of Autism: A Mom’s Crusade Could Help Unravel Scientific Mystery.” The full article by Jane Kay was published in the Environmental Health News and follows the fascinating journey of Jill Escher, a mother of two autistic children, as she tries to understand autism within her own family. (more…)

Common-Sense Cash-Flow Management Helps You Meet Your Financial Goals

Go With The Flow: Give Up Budgeting Forever And Embrace Cash-Flow Management

The traditional wisdom about smart money management is simple: You must create a budget and spend and save within its confines. It sounds so straightforward, right?

Yet budgeting remains a challenge for most people. Many of us, even those who pay their bills on time and have money in the bank, prefer to do it informally. If you’re one of them, please don’t berate yourself for a lack of discipline. (more…)

Changing Retirement Expectations

Over the past several years, many Americans have begun to question their ability to prepare for a financially secure retirement.  This awareness now begs the question, how will pre-retirees adjust their retirement expectations to match their economic realities?

The Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) is the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind in the United States.  It gauges the views, experiences, and attitudes of Americans regarding retirement preparation and related issues.  Results of a recent survey shed some light on how workers expect to adjust their retirement plans and expectations. (more…)

Reframing the Social Security Claiming Decision for Married Couples

By Jeffrey Levine, CPA/PFS, CFP®️, AIF®️, CWS®️

For many, correctly answering the question, “When should I begin to take my Social Security benefits?” is a critical step toward making sure their retirement income and savings last at least as long as they do. For others, who perhaps are lucky enough to have accumulated a more substantial nest-egg, the decision may have less of an impact on their ultimate chances of a “successful” retirement (as they may have enough income and/or other assets to overcome a poor choice). But let’s face it … nobody wants to leave Social Security dollars on the table because of a less-than-ideal claiming decision. (more…)