Skip to content

Investing & Savings

To achieve any goal in life you need to be disciplined. Similarly, saving and investing requires discipline. A disciplined approach helps you to remain focused on your financial goals. Formulate a plan and review it periodically to ensure that you are on the right track.

2020 Investment Planning

9 Essential Investor Tips for 2019” 10191219 FINRA
These tips apply in all years.

What I Learned From Tracking My Spending for a Month.” NYT20181128
Tracking expenses my not be as difficult as you thought. The benefits justify the investment of time.

Almost Zero: Why You’re Still Not Making Much on Your Bank Account” 20180413 NYT

Warren Buffett Isn’t a Fan of Bonds. But They May Be Good for You” 20180413 NYT

Market Volatility: Check your Emotions At the Door” 20180206 FINRA

The Market Is High. Beware of Portfolio Drift” 20170826 NYT
[“Rebalancing is more a risk-control measure than a return-generator”]

“SEC Investor Bulletin: Be Cautious of SAFEs in Crowdfunding” 20170509 SEC

After a Year of Faulty Predictions, 3 Approaches to Investing” 20161230 NUT
My favorite is “The Control Approach” Focus on your plan and re-balance.

The Stock Market Looks Awfully Expensive Since the Trump Rally” 20161219 NYT
Keep alert, things might not meet expectation.

Forecasts That Are Bullish, and Often Wrong” 20161216
“Forecasting markets for a calendar year is notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to time accurately and consistently.”

Zen and the Art of 401(k) Maintenance” 20160806 NYT
Making investment changes based on market activity or current events, rather than your own plan, can be hazardous to your investment returns.

Dividends, Wall Street’s Battered Status Symbol” 20160213 NYT
Is the choice based on the expected reaction to the stock price?

No. 1 Stock Over 30 Years? You Will Never Guess” 20160130 WSJ
“In the long term, capturing the full upward sweep of a supper stock requires enduring several near-death experiences…”  “for most people, index funds make superior sense.”

Robo-Advisers for Investors Are Not One-Size-Fits-All” 20160122 NYT
You need to know what services you are looking for to determine if this approach fits your needs.

Target-date retirement funds may miss the mark for investors” 20160111 MW
Keep informed on the allocation changes in your-target date fund.  These are not investments that should be set and forgotten.

7 reasons to dump your mutual fund now” 20160112 MW
The 7th item should NOT be ignored.  Check to see if you are reacting a drop in the market.  Reactive selling often results in buying high and selling long.  Review funds based on your long-term plan.

How to Feel Safe in Stocks When the Market Seems Dangerous” 20160115 WSJ
Jason Zweig’s article is timely and insightful.

Mutual funds run by stockpickers fall short in 2015, extended losing streak” 20160104 R

Happy New Year…Now What?” 20160103 WSJ
Do not expect answer to the question.  “Take Wall Street’s collectives wisdom, and expect something different.”

This Simple Way Is the Best Way to Predict the Market” 20151225 WSJ
John C. Bogle continues to champion simplicity over complexity.

Intelligent Investor: It costs What to Trade a Bond?” 20151023 WSJ
It is important to know what it really costs to trade (buy or sell) corporate bond.

Eleven Ways to Help Yourself Stay Sane in a Crazy Market

Why Morning Is the Worst Time to Trade Stocks” WSJ 20150914
Are you over-paying for your securities?

New Widows have Another Concern: Their Finances”  NYT 20150904
The planning issues apply to everyone.  There are additional factors when there is a spouse or partner.

Five Things: What Investors Shouldn’t Do Now” WSJ 20150821

The genius of Warren Buffet in 23 quotes”  MW 2015 0819

Use REITs to Invest Like a Property Mogul” 20150619 WSJ
“Being a landlord can be challenging, but owning REITs can make it relatively simple for investors with reasonable expectations to enjoy some of the benefits.”

Bond Liquidity: Factors to Consider and Questions to Ask” 20150715 FINRA
This alert is for those that buy individual bonds.

Beware the Stock-Buyback Craze” 20150619 WSJ
“Whether or not you think buybacks are a good idea, other investors clearly do—and that is what drives prices, at least in the short-term.”

The High Cost of Investing Like a Daredevil” 20150606 NYT
Few articles discuss how luck is confused with skill.

Stock Buybacks That Hurt Shareholders” 20150605 NYT
This is an example when the media information can be misleading.  Relying on the media may result in an assumption that all stock buybacks are goof.

This Time It’s Different for Investors? No-and Yes” 20150508 WSJ
It is hard to compare current financial markets to past financial markets.  The economy, the companies  and other factors change over time.

Are You Hot or Not?  for Investors, It’s Hard to Tell”  20150417 WSJ
When investments are going up people become more confident that tend will continue.

The Best (and worst) investments They Ever Made” 20141226 WSJ
Wisdom, humor, philosophy from a variety of Luminaries in  one WSJ article.

Is It Too Late to Join the Muni Rally?” 20141114 WSJ

What’s That? A Guide to Wall Street’s Jargon” 20141103 WSJ

Six-Figure Incomes-and Facing Financial Ruin” 20140905 WSJ
“How to break the cycle”

Making Peace With The Market: 7 Habits of Successful Investors” 20140603 F

Who Routinely Trounces the Stock Market?  Try 2 Out of 2,862 Funds” 20140719 NYT

Five Popular-but Dangerous-Investments for Individuals” 20140711 WSJ
Picking an investment based on its popularity may not be a reliable approach to investing.

Give your Portfolio a Midyear Checkup” 20140612 M
“Even if you’re feeling fine, you still visit the doctor now and then to make sure everything’s all right.”

The Best of Times, the Worst of Times, and 2013

“In Fund Expenses, Tenths of a Point Mean a Lot” 20140110 NYT
” … if the goal is to stack the odds in your favor, a cheap fund is the way to go.”

Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) 20140103
ETFs continue to evolve.  Examples include: new ETFs introductions, changes in the indexes used have changed, and expenses have been reduced in many offerings.

“Is ‘Tactical’ a Good Strategy?” 20130920 WSJ
” Though their recent performance has been less than stellar, the number of such funds is growing.”

“The Dark Side of Higher Yields” 20130809 WSJ
Investors should perform their due diligence before investing in Master Limited Partnershpis (MLP) and MLP funds.

“Here Comes the Next Hot Emerging Market: the U.S.” 20131419 WSJ
An argument that the U.S. is beginning an industrial revitalization.

Hedge Fund Definition
SEC describes:  Hedge funds pool money from investors and invest in securities or other types of investments with the goal of getting positive returns. Hedge funds are not regulated as heavily as mutual funds and generally have more leeway than mutual funds to pursue investments and strategies that may increase the risk of investment losses. Hedge funds are limited to wealthier investors who can afford the higher fees and risks of hedge fund investing, and institutional investors, including pension funds.

“Balancing your inner bull and bear” 20130308 MW
Timely discussion about balancing fear and greed.

“Playing The Flat ” Fear Index”  20121130 WSJ
There is disagreement on what the change in the VIX (Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index) tells the investor.

SEC issues bulletin to educate investors about Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

A Tale of Two Fund Giants” 20120806 WSJ
Changes in the economy have required adjustments in how investment portfolio are structured.  Investors are moving their funds (voting with their $)to the funds they believe best meet their needs.

“The Long-Term Argument for DOW 20,000” 20120721
” Stocks have been cruel and it is hard to love them now…We think that 10 years from now, investors will wish they had stayed in stocks – or added to them”

“Investors Testing Limits of Defense” 20120722 WSJ
Food for thought if you were thinking that now is the time to invest in large dividend paying stocks.

“Searching for Calm in Bond Markets” 20120630 NYT
A discussion of the current issues and alternative approaches.

“A Contrarian Case for Investing in Europe” 20120616 NYT
Food for thought!

“Dose of Reality hits Revenue Forecasts” 20120617 WSL
It does not always add up!

“Why your portfolio doesn’t need gold” 20120604 MW
This article provides food for thought.

“Where the Sweet Spots Are in Stocks and Bonds Right Now” 20120518 WSJ
A discussion about ” …a struggle between fear and greed…”

“Advantages of banking at credit unions” 20120410 MW
This article provides an introduction to credit unions.  Many people overlook this alternative for financial services.

“Should I borrow from 401(k) to invest in Gold?” USAT/M
I have heard many variation of this question.

“Investor Testing of Target Date Retirement Fund (TDF) Comprehension and Communications” 20120215
Only 36% of investors knew that target date funds did not guarantee retirement Income.

“Mild Winter’s Minimal Effect on Recovery”  20120330 WSJ
There are many reasons why the economy appears to be growing.  Reactivating to a change in any factor should be avoided by long term investors.

“Gross Domestic Problem: Which Benchmark to Watch?” 20120329 WSJ
It is important to understand the index(es) you watch before you can understand what the changes in values mean to you.

“Investing: Keep it simple for best returns” 20110125 MW
Be sure to do your due diligence if you are considering products that offer the possibility of higher return.  That may “… be more work than necessary, especially when, as FINRA suggests, there might be a less complex and cheaper investment out there that delivers the same objective.”

“Mixed investment signals” 20111116R
This article highlights what to consider when considering some common investment products and services.

“Why stocks will beat bonds over the next 20 years” 20120109 MW
Regardless of your investment outlook, you should have a divers portfolio that is tailored to your specific situation and goals.

Long Odds for Investors” 20111205 WSJ
This article discusses ” how rare and fleeting it is for any fund manager to outperform the stock market for any length of time.”

“Now That’s Performance Art” 2011124 WSJ
Be cautious when trading stocks at year-end, especially when buying.  That is when fund managers dump losers and chase winners to pump their own performance.

“Options for Nervous Investors” 20111210 WSJ

A good summary about puts and calls.

“How Small Investors Can Get Stomped in High-Speed Markets” 20111210WSJ
This article discusses why small investors should not put in a market order or a stop-loss order. Instead they should use limit orders.

“How to Save $10,000 by Next Thanksgiving” 20111120 WSJ
This article will get you thinking about how to save even if they are not all good for you”

Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?” 20111112 WSJ
” …aspiring property owners need to watch out for a slew of traps.”

“ETFs Mimic Stock Pickers’ Strategies” 20111107WSJ
This article discusses 5 questions to ask when considering a strategy-based ETF.

“The Young and The Riskless” 20111105 WSJ
The investment experience of people in their 20s and 30s has not been good.  Many are avoiding investment risks.  There is a concern that they will not be able to retire comfortably.  One approach will not apply to every one in their 20s or 30s.  They need to look at other factors to manage their investment risk.  This article discusses these issues and others to help guide those in their 20s and 30s.

“Hidden Dangers Lurking In-Money Market Funds” 20111008 WSJ
Good discussion about factors to consider on the use of money market funds.

“Why Buying on the Dips Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be” 20110924 WSJ
Although it is counter intuitive, buying in a lump-sum may be better than spreading the purchase over a longer period.

“Decoding the Stock Market’s Mixed Signals” 20110916 SM
There are competing measures of stock valuations.  You need to understand the one you follow and why that is the measurement you are following.

“Mistakes housing Investors Make” 20110910WSJ
Real estate investing can be profitable.  However” …owning  real properties is time-consuming, expensive and fraught with challenges, and many investors lose money.”

“Dividends: Collect, Reinvest, Repeat-for Decades” 20110910 WSJ
Slow growth may be the path to successful long=term investing.

“The Age of ‘Macro’ Investing” 20110910 WSJ
Informative discussion about difference between risk and uncertainty.

“Why a Legendary Market Skeptic Is Upbeat About Stocks” 20110910 WSJ
John C. Bogle (born August 8, 1929) believes that a long term approach must apply across an entire portfolio and include diversification.

“It’s Payback Time!” 20110827WSJ
There is more to picking investments than determining its dividend yield.

Market Volatility: Looking for Opportunities
Having a financial plan helps to determine how to proceed in volatile times.

“After the Downgrade: 5 Moves to make Now” 20110809 F
This is another way of saying, hold your emotions in check as you consider the alternatives for your individual situation.

“Market Volatility”
Generaly you should review your planning before making any changes.

“4 Hidden Risks in Your Portfolio” 20110810 SM
When reviewing your portfolio you should see if the portfolio can meets your financial goals.

“Bargain Hunters, Beware” 20110809 WSJ
If you were thinking about buying stocks now, caution.

“Time to Panic?  Just the Opposite” 20110805 WSJ
It is a good time to review your planning.

“Three Dangerous Investment Cliches” 20110803F
This point of theis article, although not specifically stated, is know your time horizon.  What may apply in the long term may not apply in the short term.

“Debt Limits and Deficit Deal Havoc: Five Common Sense rules for retirement investing during uncertain times”
20110726 F
Basic concepts of investing should always be used when constructing a portfolio.

“5 tips to survive the coming market massacre” 20110728 MW
These point apply all the time not just in scary times.

“You Need a Plan to Boost Retirement Income” 20110724 MW
Planning and periodic monitoring are important to achieve your long-term needs.

“Their Own Worst Enemy” 20110706 WSJ
Investors are often their own worst enemies.  This article discusses three examples of how investors can hurt themselves financially.

“Why You Shouldn’t Buy Those Quarterly Earnings Surprises”   20110702 WSJ
The reasoning behind the title of the article are another argument for ignoring ” market strategists, television commentators and other investment pundits” .

“7 Ways to Stay Ahead of Inflation in Retirement” 20110509 USN
Inflation needs to be considered to maintain your purchasing power.

“Hidden Risks in Target Funds” 20110409 WSJ
Another article discussing the limitations of target-date funds.  ” …target-date funds still provide the best diversification for investors who don’t have the knowledge, desire or resources to regularly rebalance their retirement portfolios…”

“The Asset-Allocation Fallacy” 20110409 WSJ
The last paragraph an important concept that applies to all aspects of financial planning, not just investing.

“A Place for ‘Ultrashort’?20110308 WSJ
Be sure you understand the fund you are considering, so are not so simple.

“Where to Put Your Cash Now” 20110305 WSJ
Understand your options and how they fit into your situation.

“Preferred Stock: Are Those Juicy Yields Worth the Extra Risk?” 20110205 WSJ
Something to think about if you are looking to increase yields.

“States Plead to Small Investors: Buy Bonds” 20110129 WSJ
Why are states looking to sell their bonds to small investors?

“Is Gold’s Golden Era Over?” 20110129 WSJ
This article discusses the reasons why gold may not be a good investment at this time.  The last paragraph notes that gold may still has a place in portfolios.

“Absolute-Return Funds Aren’t for All” 20110124 WSJ
” …just because something is easy to market to the public doesn’t mean it is a good idea.”

“The Savings Game: One key to secure retirement: Consistent and prudent behavior” 20110115 KC
Three behaviors are highlighted that lead prevent some people from maximizing their savings: paying the minimum, not paying themselves first, and passing up opportunities.

“Betting Against the Conventional Wisdom in the New Year”  20110107 WSJ
” …Common Sense doesn’t make a practice of predicting the future, CW (conventional wisdom) is all about predicting it.”

2010 Annual Market Review

“Is the Bond Bubble Bursting?”
This ” Wall Street Journal“answers the question with a maybe, but it looks possible.  Review your goals, tolerance for risk and asset allocations to see what if any changes are needed.

“How to Play the New Muni Market”
This ” Wall Street JournalArticle” discusses the recent changes in the municipal bond market and suggestions how to proceed.

“Market Optimism is an Ominus Sign”

“Fashionable Again, but for How Long?” NYT20090830

“Is modern portfolio theory dead?” IN20090719

“Another Can’t – Miss Deal That Can Miss” 20100723 WSJ
Some guaranteed high yield investments are unsuitable for most investors.

“Congress Overhauls Your Portfolio” 20100717WSJ
This is a summary highlighting some changes that impact: Mutual Funds, Retirement Plans, Hedge Funds and other private investments, Individual stocks, Derivatives, and Brokerage accounts.

“Head for the Hills? No Way, He Says” 20100715NYT
Jeremy J. Siegel is optimistic about the stock market.

“Get Ready for a Cataclysmic Market Crash! (Or Maybe Not) 20100710WSJ
This article includes the following phrases (among others): ” cataclysmic bear market” ; ” monstrous decline” ; ” complete retracement” ; ” highly unusual” ; ” fall by punishing amount” ; ” nothing is impossible”.

“Ways to Protect Your Portfolio from Market Volatility” 20100708NYT
Periods of market volatility are often not the time to get out of the market. It may be the time to improve your portfolio.

“This Flight to Safety Wasn’t Supposed to Happen” 20100606 NYT

“Credit Unions: A Better Bet than Banks?” 20100605WSJ

Christopher Davis, Davis Select Advisors 20100521 NAPFA Conference

“When ‘Stop Loss’ Trades Backfire on Investors” 20100515WSJ

“Volatility is Your Friend” 20100515WSJ

“The Grudge Match Over Your 401(k)” 20100417WSJ

“Make More on Your Cash” 20100410 WSJ

“Buybacks: Nothing to Snort At” 20100403WSJ

“With Fund Managers, Past Is No Predictor for Future” 20100131WSJ

“Three Faces of Market Danger” 20100124NYT

“Fruitful Decade for Many in the World” 20100103 NYT

“Four Reasons to Remain Cautious” 20100102 WSJ

Back to Articles Of Interest