Bruce Williams Smart Money

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eddot98
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Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by eddot98 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:54 pm

Have any of you Bogleheads read the Smart Money column authored by Bruce Williams? It is syndicated in our local paper and every time I read his advice I cringe. Like the latest one available here: http://www.uexpress.com/smart-money/201 ... -is-key-to In the first letter, without really researching the couple's financial situation or finding out whether they want to leave the house to someone, etc. he just makes a blanket statement that the 66 year old with 27 years left on a 30 year mortgage should pay down their mortgage if the interest rate is higher on the mortgage than they can get by saving. Then in the next letter he tells the letter writer that they don't need an emergency fund because they can just use a credit card for emergencies and besides, they can get 5% or more by investing. He doesn't mention that getting 5% means taking on risk and that the investor has to realize that there could be losses.

In a previous column, available here: http://www.uexpress.com/smart-money/201 ... put-reader a writer says " I am not comfortable with the current markets; I have a weak disposition for market volatility. I am 64, retired, but with no pension. I plan on starting Social Security next year. What do you think I should do with $50,000 in savings?" Bruce's answer is "You have no pension and you'll be relying on Social Security next year. What should you do with the $50,000 in savings? Despite having a weak disposition for the market, maybe the answer here is to get over it! There are many strong places that you can invest the kind of money you described and have at least 5 percent a year coming in. While the 5 percent is only $2,500, it's certainly a whole lot better than nothing." Again, there is no mention of the taking on of risk and of the possibility of losses.

I would like to know how he can get paid to give advice like this and look himself in the mirror (and how any newspaper would spend money on his column). Almost anyone on this forum would give better financial advice!

The Wizard
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:03 pm

Those sound like old answers.
I'll bet they're recycling his columns from the 1990s.
Bruce is pretty old now, no radio show anymore...
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cheese_breath
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by cheese_breath » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:06 pm

The Wizard wrote:...Bruce is pretty old now, no radio show anymore...
I used to listen to his radio programs way back in the '80s and '90s.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

livesoft
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by livesoft » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:09 pm

I didn't read the links, but I like the answers you paraphrased. What's wrong with them?
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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:16 pm

He's retired, his last on air broadcast was in 2010.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

eddot98
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by eddot98 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:18 pm

livesoft wrote:I didn't read the links, but I like the answers you paraphrased. What's wrong with them?
A woman with no pension who will file for Social Security next year and who has reservations about investing in the market should "get over it" and invest her whole life savings of $50,000 in the market chasing Bruce's mythical 5% return without taking into account the risk involved?
Someone should have almost nothing in an emergency fund and just use a credit card to pay for an emergency?
Maybe it's as another Boglehead suggested (not sure who while writing this), the columns are being recycled.

The Wizard
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:20 pm

livesoft wrote:I didn't read the links, but I like the answers you paraphrased. What's wrong with them?
They are dated.
In 2016, no place can you invest a sum and get a sure 5% return.
His column is on cruise control from 20+ years ago...
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eddot98
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by eddot98 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:21 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:He's retired, his last on air broadcast was in 2010.
In that case, I'm writing to my newspaper and asking them to remove his column.

The Wizard
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by The Wizard » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:24 pm

Newspapers still run old Peanuts cartoons if you notice.
And Charles Schulz has been gone for a WHILE now.
Similar to websites, it's all about getting eyes to view adjacent advertising.
*shrug*
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eddot98
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by eddot98 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 8:34 pm

The Wizard wrote:Newspapers still run old Peanuts cartoons if you notice.
And Charles Schulz has been gone for a WHILE now.
Similar to websites, it's all about getting eyes to view adjacent advertising.
*shrug*
Yeah, but Peanuts is still funny. Bruce's advice is usually not relevant.

miles monroe
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by miles monroe » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:23 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:He's retired, his last on air broadcast was in 2010.
he was back doing podcasts in 2012 and that gig lasted a year. i loved listening to bruce back in the day, and i listened to the podcasts while they were on but it wasn't the same. other than jersey boy pork roll he couldn't get any advertisers so he threw in the towel.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by ClevrChico » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:45 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
The Wizard wrote:...Bruce is pretty old now, no radio show anymore...
I used to listen to his radio programs way back in the '80s and '90s.
Bruce was a staple at our house. I have lots of memories hanging out in the pool with my dad listening to Bruce.

Didn't he have three rules to not go broke? (Never quit your job until you have another job, don't get divorced, don't have kids until you're married?)

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CABob
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by CABob » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:50 pm

The Smart Money column appears in my local newspaper and I regularly read it. Generally I think his replies to questions are useful and good. Occasionally I do disagree. The picture that appears next to the column in the paper does look like an older man that the one that is on his website. That and some of the potential gain percentages does make me wonder if they are running old columns.
Bob

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stratton
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by stratton » Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:54 pm

miles monroe wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:He's retired, his last on air broadcast was in 2010.
he was back doing podcasts in 2012 and that gig lasted a year. i loved listening to bruce back in the day, and i listened to the podcasts while they were on but it wasn't the same. other than jersey boy pork roll he couldn't get any advertisers so he threw in the towel.
According to Wikipedia that's his business. :P

I used to listen in the 80s and 90s too. My folks loved it.

Paul
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pondering
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by pondering » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:09 pm

Long time listener, never a caller.

He gave reasonable advice to the non-boglehead set.
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miles monroe
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Re: Bruce Williams Smart Money

Post by miles monroe » Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:19 pm

stratton wrote:
miles monroe wrote:
he was back doing podcasts in 2012 and that gig lasted a year. i loved listening to bruce back in the day, and i listened to the podcasts while they were on but it wasn't the same. other than jersey boy pork roll he couldn't get any advertisers so he threw in the towel.
According to Wikipedia that's his business. :P

I used to listen in the 80s and 90s too. My folks loved it.

Paul
lol, i didn't know that. no wonder he loved the stuff!!

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