What We're Reading



The Perils of Planning on the Basis of Economic Forecasts
Alas, there is no answer to all this. Economic forecasting is an art, not a science. Of course, we have to make some guess. The average citizen would be well advised, however, to treat all forecasts with a bucket (not just a pinch) of salt.

Would you let a Mystic Manage your Investment Portfolio?
It’s that time of year again when the mystics peer deep into their tea leaves, entrails and crystal balls to divine what’s ahead. Which means it’s also time for my annual reminder: These folks cannot tell the future. Ignore them.

Short Term Memory can Threaten Success
When it comes to the market's peaks and troughs, investors often don't react as rationally as they might think. In fact, in times of extreme volatility or poor performance, emotions threaten to commandeer our common sense and warp our memory.

7 Deadly Sins for Distribution Portfolios
Those who specialize in retirement planning have an additional, special burden: They must distinguish between the math of accumulation and the math of decumulation.

Ron Lieber NHPR Interview
Of all the difficult conversations between parents and children, talking about money may be the one parents are the least prepared for.

Paying for Financial Advice Makes Sense
If you are lucky to earn more money than you need each month, there was probably a time when you could have used some advice about how best to spend, save and protect it.

My Biggest Financial Lesson
Most of us have one, or sometimes more than one: a turning point or a moment when our feelings about money crystallize. When that happens, we know it and resolve to think about our finances in a different way while saving, spending or giving away money much more carefully.

Diversification: The Sane Alternative
You made a huge mistake last year with your money. You know this now, right? The only investments in your portfolio that did very well were probably United States stocks.

S&P Beating World - Time to go Global
This year’s record-setting rally in U.S. stocks is good news for the rest of the world. Pushed higher as momentum builds in the American economy, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has advanced 12 percent in 2014, compared with a dollar-denominated decline of 6.5 percent for equities everywhere else.

Lessons from Financial Crises
The world has experienced one financial crisis after another over the last few decades — runaway inflation, the stock market crash of 1987, the East Asian crisis of the late 1990s, the popping of the dot-com bubble in the face of accounting scandals and, finally, the crisis that led to the Great Recession.

Beliefs that Contribute to Investors' Failure
After a nearly two-year study that aimed to answer the question, What does true investment success look like?, Suzanne Duncan, global head of research at State Street’s Center for Applied Research, and her team found that the way individual and professional investors made investment decisions was so skewed that achieving both high returns and long-term objectives was nearly impossible.

The Most Important Question to Ask an Asset Manager
After a recent talk to a small investment club in eastern Massachusetts, I was asked what one question I would ask a fund manager—if only allowed one question—before deciding whether to buy the fund.

Investors Should Know More About Their Advisors
When Elaine and Merlin Toffel, a retired couple in their 70s, needed help with their investments, they went to their local U.S. Bank branch. The tellers knew them by their first names. They were comfortable there.

The Hidden Costs of Retiring Early
Retiring early may sound really tempting. But leaving the workforce just a few years early can saddle you with tens of thousands of dollars in additional medical costs.

Solving the Investment Tax Puzzle
Diane Pearson recently met with a client who was upset about the amount of taxes he had paid on investment gains in 2013. “He wanted to know why his stock funds, which reported substantial taxable gains, were held in his taxable account,” says Pearson, personal CFO with Legend Financial Advisors in Pittsburgh.

Tips to Manage Spending in Retirement - New York Times
Advisers put a considerable amount of effort into talking to clients about accumulating a life savings. But advisers and their clients tend to devote less thought to how to spend that money when it’s time.

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College


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