• Money
  • The Smarter Investor

The Smarter Investor

September 2012


Can Basic Math Skills Make You Rich?

By |

I apparently owe a lot to my 9th grade math teacher. Every Friday, Mr. Smith would have the class play a game. He would write a series of numbers on the board, and the goal was to use basic math to make the first four numbers total the last one.

For example, he’d write: 1 6 8 3 10

You’d have to come ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

Are ETF Price Wars a Good Thing?

By |

Last week Charles Schwab lowered the expense ratios on 15 of its ETFs to almost nothing. Investing in the Schwab Large Cap ETF (SCHX) now costs just 0.04 percent. Additionally, Schwab account holders who trade online can trade their ETFs commission free.

Vanguard lowered the expenses on some of its ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

How to Plan for a Long Life

By |

Life expectancy for Americans today is about 78 years, but there are a number of factors that influence how long we live. Genetics, geography, lifestyle and wealth are among the most prominent influences on longevity. Doctors and human geographers can even make predictions about life expectancy ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

Will QE3 Equal Higher Commodity Prices?

By |

It was no surprise last week when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced yet another round of quantitative easing (QE3) to continually manipulate interest rates to an artificial low and to “help” stimulate the economy. As expected, this brave (but expensive and shortsighted approach) was ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

Don't Ask How to Invest, Ask Why You Do

By |

Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to be one of the “talking heads” that fill business television shows. My favorite question goes something like, “What’s the best investment you can make today.” My annoying response is that if today is your investment horizon, you’d better keep ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

How to Invest for the Presidential Election

By |

With the presidential elections just weeks away, voters and political pundits across the country are seeking any sign as to who will triumph in early November. Investors, by contrast are more focused on what industries and sectors will benefit or lose under a Democratic or Republican White House.

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

A Marathon Runner's Guide to Investing

By |

Last weekend I ran my usual 5K race (I’m taking baby steps), and early in the race, as I was weaving in and around the pack, I started to picture how the rest of the race would go; how good I was feeling at the start, how I needed to conserve energy to avoid the mid-race slump, and the absolutely ...

Read More

TAGS:
investing
mutual funds

What to Do With a Big Chunk of Stock

By |

Over the years I have worked with several clients who, for various reasons, had accumulated concentrated positions in a single stock. Reasons often include:

  • The exercise of stock options via an employer.
  • Programs that allow employee discounts in the purchase price of the stock.
  • Stock accumulated by ...
  • Read More

    TAGS:
    investing
    mutual funds

    Get to Know Your Asset Classes

    By |

    If you’re trying to decide which asset classes belong in your account—and what percentage of your portfolio each asset class should be—it helps to understand how various asset classes tend to behave.

    International Equity Funds

    There are several asset classes contained within the international ...

    Read More

    TAGS:
    investing
    mutual funds

    Why You Should Fire Your Broker

    By |

    A few of my friends are furious at me.

    They’re financial advisors.

    They’re good people and take care of their clients.

    So they wonder, in angry emails to me, why I would recommend that investors fire their advisors.

    Let me state up front that if your advisor is doing a better job than you can, or if ...

    Read More

    TAGS:
    investing
    mutual funds

    Is This an Investment Or a Scam?

    By |

    Sometimes, it can be difficult to determine whether an “opportunity” is an investment or scam. Part of the difficulty comes in the fact that, so often, a scam is presented as an investment. Rarely does a scammer hold up a sign emblazoned with the words, “This is a scam!” In fact, a good scammer is ...

    Read More

    TAGS:
    investing
    mutual funds