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Investing for certain goals is a prudent strategy, but what happens when life gets in the way? Regardless of the situation, you need to ensure your financial plan doesn"t tumble down on the priority list. In this live webcast aired February 20, 2014, Vanguard financial planning experts Mary Ryan and Chuck Riley discuss how to keep your financial plan front and center as you encounter various events in your busy life.
Despite extreme weather across much of the country, there are signs of a thaw on hiring. U.S. employers added a net 175,000 workers in February, and the government also released adjusted numbers from prior months that added another 25,000 workers to nonfarm payrolls.
No matter how busy you are, you and your family can take a few simple steps to move toward your financial goals. Here's a special series from Vanguard with tips to help you keep your financial well-being high on your list of priorities.
In a new series, researchers from Vanguard's Investment Strategy Group look at how investors behave when it comes to IRAs. Are they saving effectively and investing prudently? This article examines the potential penalities of procrastinating when making IRA contributions.
See which Vanguard mutual funds are issuing "supplemental" fiscal 2013 distributions this month.
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Laura Dogu is a contributor to The Bogleheads® View blog on Forbes.com.
Laura Dogu, Mel Lindauer: The Bogleheads - Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle
On February 19th, the Bogleheads.org forum will celebrate its seventh birthday. What an amazing trip it’s been! BACKGROUND The website was originally set up and funded by two long-time Bogleheads, Alex Frakt and Larry Auton. For several years, the site served as a front-end index for the old Vanguard Diehards forum at .com. Bogleheads.org was [...]
On January 25th, Taylor Larimore, who Jack Bogle dubbed “The King of the Bogleheads” turned 90. Taylor, a decorated World War II paratrooper, was in the Battle of the Bulge and is a member of “The Greatest Generation.” In 1998, Taylor was one of the founders of the Bogleheads community at the Vanguard Diehards forum [...]
For investors who prefer paper I Bonds to the electronic I Bonds issued via TreasuryDirect, there’s still a back-door option that allows you to purchase an additional $5,000 in paper I Bonds per tax return per year.
Two steps forward and one step back. That’s the stock market for you. It’s a dance all new investors need to learn because it affects the portion of your portfolio that you have allocated to common stocks. Two steps forward and one step back. The stock market has been dancing to that tune ever since [...]
Today’s guest columnist is author Bill Schultheis. The beat goes on. Corporate America continues its relentless shift away from defined benefit plans and toward defined contributions in helping workers prepare for retirement. Recently, American auto maker Chrysler announced it was going to freeze its pension plan for about 8,000 workers, transferring them to a defined [...]
The Bogleheads® View
Rick Ferri Blog
I hear it all the time. “How hard can it be to buy a few index funds that track the markets? Anyone can do it. It’s a no brainer.” If only this was true. Investing in index products alone won’t make you a successful index investor. The problem isn’t the products – it’s your brain. [...]
It’s easy to beat the S&P 500. Just hold all stocks in the S&P 500 in an equal amount. This “equal weighted” index would have outperformed the cap-weighted S&P by more than 6% annually over the past five years. What’s the trick? Just ignore risk.
Everything was bionic in the 1970s, even investment strategies. Bionic Beta was the buzz phrase with institutional investors. This wasn’t a strategy that invested in companies that made bionic arms, legs, or eyes — far from it. Bionic Beta was a strategy that is very similar to what is being called Smart Beta today. In a sense, it’s the 1970s all over again.
I’ve got some bad news for active managers. The growth of indexing does not increase your odds for outperformance. The percentage of active managers who beat their benchmarks over the past five years remains low whether investors embraced index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in a particular investment style or not.
Do you have what it takes to be Wall Street’s next victim? If you consider yourself to be smarter than the next investor due to your social status, education or success in an unrelated career, then watch out because you’re going to be eaten by sharks. How do you avoid becoming shark bait? Recognize the [...]
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Mel Lindauer is a contributor to The Bogleheads® View blog on Forbes.com. The Bogleheads® View RSS feed is listed above.
Mike Piper - Oblivious Investor
Most investors I know think about retirement savings from the perspective of fixed annual percentages. That is, they seek to answer: What percentage of my income should I save every year during my working years, and What percentage of my portfolio can I spend every year during my retirement years? As retirement researcher Wade Pfau […]
This week a longtime reader pointed me to a recent Consumerist article with the provocative headline “Outdated Social Security System Puts Some Who Wait To Marry At Greater Risk For Poverty In Retirement.” The reader wanted to know whether the claim in the title made sense and, if so, why that would be the case. It’s true that waiting […]
For years, Warren Buffett has argued that the vast majority of investors should use index funds for their portfolios. This week, he gave the investment world some evidence that he means what he says: “Both individuals and institutions will constantly be urged to be active by those who profit from giving advice or effecting transactions. The […]
A reader writes in, asking: “For most of my adult life, I have made automatic contributions to my IRA or retirement plan at work. Pay yourself first as they say. But now I have a job with unpredictable income. Do you have suggestions for automating investing in such circumstances?” Because my wife and I are […]
A common belief among investors is the idea that, for some reason, they’re entitled to above-average returns. Whether it’s because they’re smarter than average, more educated than average, or just watch more CNBC than average, most people have a natural inclination to think that they have an edge. This week, author/advisor Rick Ferri explains that […]
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Bill Schultheis - The Coffeehouse Investor
I read about Leo Babauta giving up his smart phone for the month of February and was intrigued by his observations. We as humans are habitual creatures who ebb and flow into fits of addiction and/or control.
If you tune in to our webinars, you will often hear Bill say it’s not always prudent to focus on withdrawal rates and agonize over the 4% withdrawal rule, but rather focus on your personal inflation rate. Whether you are in the midst of your career, nearing retirement, or deep in the days of relaxation, controlling your own spending habits and what you consume will often have the greatest impact on your retirement accounts and avoid running out of funds long term.
I read a great reminder in the Wall Street Journal about controlling spending habits. The three strategies the writer recommends are tactics we often remind Coffeehouse followers about investing – get a plan, understand your emotions, and know your hot buttons.
Not that I am following the stock market or anything . . . but a quick glance at the performance of domestic stocks through 2014 reveals that the stock market sold off about 5% to start the year, before quickly retracing that loss through the past 6 trading days, and now, through February 14, shows a slight gain for the year.
As you contemplate what to get your Valentine, consider solidifying your family’s financial plan as a gift instead. I know it’s not sexy or romantic, but guess what – it’s incredibly thoughtful to ease the burden of stress and decrease money arguments between you and your spouse/significant other. Here are 10 financial ways to say “I […]
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The Finance Buff
TFB - The Finance Buff
I was going to report back the results from the marriage bonus or penalty poll but I now realize it’s going to take more than a few paragraphs I usually write before the weekend roundup. I will do that in a separate article next week. Meanwhile, if you haven’t participated, the anonymous poll is still […]
It’s tax filing time. I’ve been fielding a lot of questions on my two popular articles about the backdoor Roth (if you are not familiar with it please read these first): Backdoor Roth: A Complete How-To How To Report Backdoor Roth In TurboTax On theme quickly emerged. All those who are confused were contributing to […]
Although TurboTax is more popular and TaxACT is sometimes less expensive, I use the middle-of-the-road H&R Block Tax Software. At the time I’m writing this now, Amazon is selling tax software H&R Block Tax Software 2013 Deluxe + State for $19.99. The Deluxe version works for me just fine. The Premium version, which supposedly includes […]
[Sorry I messed up the link to the poll in the first pass. Please use this correct link.] The Supreme Court struck down DOMA last year. Same-sex couples legally married in a state are recognized as married by the federal government. Tara Siegel Bernard at New York Times wrote about tricky tax situations in For […]
Reader Ben asked me whether it would be a good idea to invest some of his spare cash in peer-to-peer (“P2P”) lending, such as Lending Club or Prosper. Lending Club and Prosper offer a platform where investors can lend to a pool of individual borrowers, bypassing banks. They are both pretty transparent with their loan […]
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Vanguard Blog - Insights and opinions from Vanguard leaders
In a famous experiment, psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons asked people to watch a video of people playing basketball and count the number of passes. Technically, the answer is 15, but that misses the point of the experiment.
The current employment rate really doesn’t truly represent the amount of slack in the economy, Chief Economist Joe Davis says.
Suppose, after reading a favorable article on a company, you go out and buy the stock at $10 per share. A year later, the stock price reaches $20, and you close out your position, doubling your money in a year—a …
In a prior post, I covered three common portfolio errors that might derail you from achieving your financial goals. The first was arguably the most common: innocently neglecting your portfolio to later find that your holdings are no longer …
The Federal Reserve is going to be led by a remarkable economist, but Janet Yellen still faces challenges. Policy will evolve, says Vanguard Chief Economist Joe Davis.
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For medical professionals (by Jim Dahle a.k.a. EmergDoc)
The White Coat Investor - Helping those who wear the white coat get a "fair shake"
From time to time the big mutual fund/brokerage houses come out with a study using the data they obtain from their 401(k), IRA, and/or brokerage data. The conclusion of the study, unsurprisingly, is usually that people need to save and invest more, preferably with their firm. While that is probably true, there always seems to be a bit of a conflict of interest there. Fidelity recently did a similar study, but they just looked at … Continue reading →
[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Lawrence B. Keller, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU®, LUTCF, a frequent contributor to the blog. This is another in his long-running series updating you on some of the intricate details of the disability insurance marketplace. This particular post deals with Ameritas and Lloyds of London. We have no financial relationship.] Ameritas – Unisex Rates to be Discontinued Effective April 1, 2014, unisex pricing will be discontinued for all … Continue reading →
I spend a lot of time preaching about the importance of the savings rate, counseling new residency graduates to continue to live like a resident for a few years after residency in order to pay off their student loans, get some equity into their home, and catch up on retirement savings. In the early years of your investing career, nothing matters as much as your savings rate. As time goes on, the savings rate matters … Continue reading →
I always find it amazing how little you hear in the news and other media about asset classes with recent poor performance. Asset classes like gold and emerging markets had a rough year last year, especially in comparison to US stocks. But that’s exactly the reason you may have bought them in the first place. In my February column for Physicians Money Digest, I write about why I’m going to be buying some more Emerging … Continue reading →
[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Joe Capone, ChFC, LUTCF, a long-time blog sponsor and the guy behind InsuringIncome.Com. Although this isn't a paid post, he does pay me money every month to advertise on this website. This is an important post because it points out how term life insurance is essentially a commodity like gasoline, and should be bought mostly based on price. Enjoy!] When purchasing a product or service, we commonly … Continue reading →
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