Financial Wellness @ Work

How to Invest: A Tale of Two Investment Theories

My first exposure to investment theories was during an economics class I took in college. I was always sort of a geek when it came to graphs and numbers—which I guess explains my degree in statistics—so I was captivated when the professor drew an example of the efficient frontier on the chalk board. It made perfect sense to me.  Read more

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Can You Beat the Market…With Index Funds?

Last week, I wrote about different types of index funds and how some “index funds” aren’t as diversified or as low cost as they may seem. However, there’s also a case for certain types of diversified index funds that are designed to outperform traditional index funds. They come in two flavors: equal weight and fundamental index funds. Read more

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Stock Investing Made Easy

Last week, I wrote about some of the benefits of investing directly in individual stocks. However, it can be challenging to decide which stocks to invest in. Here are some tools that can help simplify that process.      Read more

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Time to Dump Your Mutual Funds?

No, I’m not talking about “sell in May and go away.” If you invest in stocks, you probably do so through mutual funds. After all, they’re available in your employer’s retirement plan and you get a degree of instant diversification even if you don’t have much to invest. But here are some reasons you might want to consider investing directly in individual stocks: Read more

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Yes, Bonds Are a Lousy Investment Right Now

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Michael Smith, wrote a blog post defending bonds called “What’s All the Fuss About Bonds Being a Lousy Investment?” With all due respect, I do think bonds are a lousy investment right now. Let’s take a look at each of Michael’s points as to why you shouldn’t avoid them:  Read more

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Could Asset Location Make Your Investments More Tax Efficient?

What happens when you get a group together that consists of financial planners, CPAs, estate planning attorneys and investment managers? Usually when that happens for me, it means that a bunch of my friends are getting together to go watch one of our friend’s bands play or we’re playing poker. And, it also means that the topic is eventually going to become a financial one and inevitably there will be people on opposite sides of an issue so debate is a certainty.  The great thing about the debate is no matter what side you’re on, you learn something you didn’t know before the debate. One of our recent debates was about asset location.  Read more

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How to Invest for Income When Rates Are Rising

One of the biggest challenges facing current and future retirees is shifting from investing for growth to investing for income. This is especially difficult in today’s environment of low and possibly rising interest rates. Let’s start by taking a look at some options for getting investment income in retirement:  Read more

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Should You Invest in a “Motif?”

A friend of mine recently asked me what I thought of a site called Motif Investing. The idea of the site is that it allows you to buy a basket of up to 30 stocks or ETFs based on an idea or “motif.” Some popular examples are stocks benefiting from things like the rise of 3D printing or biotechnology, stocks  that have recently suffered a sharp decline, or stocks with good dividend payouts. The weighting of each motif can be customized and individual stocks or ETFs can even be removed. It costs $9.95 to purchase, sell, or re-balance each motif. So is this a good way to invest in stocks? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons: Read more

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Have You Outgrown Your Mutual Funds?

When it comes to investing, many of us stick to mutual funds. After all, they’re generally the only option in employer retirement plans (except perhaps for company stock) and financial advisers like to sell funds because they’re relatively easy for them to manage. They also make a lot of sense when you’re just starting out with investing and don’t have enough to purchase in individual securities. However, as your portfolio grows, you may want to consider purchasing individual securities, especially if your portfolio is taxable. Here are some reasons why: Read more

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All in the Family: Intra-Family Loans

The current low level of interest rates can be either a bane or a boon, depending on your perspective. If you are in the market to borrow for a major financial purchase or investment and have decent credit, the situation is looking mighty good. New car loans are running between 3 and 4 percent, mortgages are now as low as less than 3%, and some federal student loans have again been pegged by Congress at 3.4 percent. Read more

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