Ben Carlson

How to Invest 100% of Your Portfolio in the Stock Market

Disclaimer: I do not know your risk profile or time horizon as an investor so I cannot possibly gauge your suitability for the investment strategy I am about to discuss. I am simply showing how this can be done for those that determine that they have the time horizon and tolerance to take on the…

How Do You Earn Higher Rates on a Savings Account?

“The return OF capital is more important than the return ON capital.” – Old Investing Proverb Common Sense Reader Mailbag: I’m getting sick and tired of earning such low interest rates on my savings account. Should I invest in stocks or bonds to get a better return on this money? What are my alternatives if…

Why Picking Stocks is Even Harder Than You Think

“Investing is simple, but not easy.” – Warren Buffett There are many factors one has to consider when buying a stock. You must determine the competitive advantage that the company has over its competitors.  You must gauge the consistency of their operating history and what the long-term prospects are for the company. It also makes…

How to Create a Disciplined Investment Plan

“With broad asset classes, we want to take advantage of the mathematics of mean reversion. And so when any asset class runs too far ahead, it automatically gets trimmed back.  And when it falls too much, it automatically gets bought. It just happens “automatically” through math. Look, we know any individual stock can go to zero. But…

How to Pick Active Mutual Funds (If You Have to)

“Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies.” – Warren Buffett Index funds and ETFs make the most sense as an investment vehicle for investors for a number of reasons. They have lower expense ratios than active mutual funds. They are more tax efficient. They trade less so they have lower transaction costs.

Lessons From an NBA Legend

“I made mistakes. Plenty of them. In fact, sometimes I wish I could climb into a time machine and go back to shake some sense into that thirty-year-old me.” – Kareem Abdul-Jabaar A wonderful way to figure out where to focus your time and energy for your financial goals when you are younger is to…

What if You Won the Lottery?

“If you really want something in life you have to work for it.  Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers.” – Homer Simpson The lottery question is one that people love to discuss when the jackpot reaches some astronomical sum in the $300-400 million range. People rush out to buy more lottery tickets….

Lessons from the Wealth Divide

“Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of richest people in America.  If I’m not on there, I go to work.” – Robert Orben The wealth divide in this country has been growing for a number of years as the difference between the haves and the have nots continues to widen….

Other Bull Market Risks

“There are some frauds so well conducted that it would be stupidity not to be deceived by them.” – Charles Cotton With stocks reasonable priced (some say undervalued, some say overvalued, so I’ll take the middle ground) and interest rates on bonds at generational lows we are stuck in a T.I.N.A. market (there is no…

I Have No Retirement Savings. Where Do I Start?

“The reason saving comes before investing is that you need to have seed before you can sow it in anticipation of a harvest.” – Rajen Devadason Common sense reader mailbag: My wife and I are in our 30’s and haven’t started saving for retirement yet. We have no idea where to start. The sheer amount…