Financial Wellness @ Work

What’s Your Real Risk Tolerance?

With panic sweeping the stock market, it’s time to check your risk tolerance score. (You did take a risk tolerance quiz like this before investing your money, right?) The whole purpose of determining your risk tolerance is to use it as a guideline to create a mix of investments that you can “tolerate”…in other words, that you won’t bail out of during times like these. After all, if you do bail out and fail to get back in the market in time (and if you figure out a way to time the bottom, please let me know), you’ll miss the eventual recovery and turn a temporary loss into a permanent one. Read more

How to Minimize Your Investment Costs

In my last 2 blog posts, I discussed the various ways financial advisors can be paid and how they can present conflicts of interest to an advisor. But how would your actual investment returns be affected? Let’s take a look at some scenarios: Read more

When Should You Sell Your Mutual Fund?

As the stock market reaches new highs, have you been wondering if you should sell and take profits before the next eventual dip? If the stock market does take a dip, should you sell and cut your losses? With the launch of our “Ask a Planner Week” on Monday, here was the first question we received: “I have absolute percentage rules for taking profits and losses on individual stocks. When should one consider taking profits or losses on index funds?” Read more

The Three Most Useless Things a Financial Columnist Tells You

I often like to question much of the conventional wisdom of the financial services industry so I was intrigued when I saw this article titled “The four most useless things financial advisors tell you” by Howard Gold. Instead, I found myself questioning most of the conclusions in the article itself as pretty useless (with one exception). Let’s take a look at each of these “four most useless things:” Read more

Three Ways to Skin the Asset Allocation Cat

Over the past several weeks, you’ve heard me talk a lot about investing and for good reason. Investing is one of the most important parts of any financial goal or wealth accumulation strategy. The problem, like with most things, is that there is no one perfect way to do it. You probably know the basics—diversify, re-balance, dollar-cost average—but did you realize that there are at least three forms of asset allocation? Knowing what they are, how they are different, and which one may be right for you could make you a better investor over time. Read more

Should You Buy Life Insurance as an Investment?

In response to this article we published on Forbes, we received this question on our Facebook page:

I recently read your article “Should You Use Life Insurance as an Investment?” on Forbes. I wanted to know how this article would apply to me. I just graduated and started my first job that pays pretty well. I don’t have any dependents so I didn’t think about life insurance until I meet with a financial advisor. He said starting insurance young is a better investment where I could keep safe dollars and be more risky in other parts. Would I be better off buying insurance now and benefiting from compound interest or use that money in other investments? Thanks! Read more

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

What Was I Thinking? – How Some Investment Decisions Are Made

Think about the last investment decision you made. Why did you make it?  Was it part of an existing investment strategy? Did you see somebody else do it? Perhaps it was done for you?   Read more

How Making Mac-n-Cheese is Like Investing

I was talking with my friend Diane recently and she told me a story about a visit she made to her daughter’s house.  Here is her email recap of a portion of that visit:  Read more

What Baseball Can Teach Us About Investing

This weekend, I watched my nephew play in a baseball tournament.  They played very well in their first game, outscoring their opponent by more than ten runs.  They played well in their second game too but an unfortunate mix up in fielding assignments when there were two outs cost them two runs late in the game that proved to be the difference. It was a hard loss and for the next few days, all I could think about was that one play. If only they had made that play they would have gotten out of the inning with the lead and quite possibly won the game. Read more