Ben Carlson

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…

Stocks Will Go Down

“Unless you can watch your stock holdings decline by 50% without becoming panic-stricken, you should not be in the stock market.” – Warren Buffett We have had a really nice run up in stocks since the lows of 2009. Most U.S. stock markets are up well over 100% in that time. It hasn’t been easy…

Do Your Mutual Funds Outperform the Market?

Source: Dilbert Do you pick the best active mutual funds? The ones that outperform year after year? If you do, you are probably in the minority. That’s not to say that you have a flawed selection process. On the contrary, you could have a wonderful system in place to choose the best funds. It’s just…

Emergency Savings vs. Debt Repayment

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope Common sense reader mailbag: I have am building up my emergency savings fund but I’m sick of seeing such small returns with interest rates set so low. And I don’t know how much…

Robert Shiller on Real Estate Investments

Robert Shiller had a great piece in the New York Times this week about real estate as an investment. He lays out some great points about real estate from a historical perspective that I thought were worth looking into.

How to Build a Common Sense Investment Portfolio

“Simplicity is the master key to financial success. When there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one.” – John Bogle, Founder of Vanguard One of the most overwhelming parts about the investment process is the fact that there are so many choices that you have to make just to get started. You…

Should You Make Early Mortgage Payments?

When making any financial decision you need to be able to see both sides before you act. This could be for an investment, a savings decision, debt payoff or even how you allocate your monthly budget. The reason it makes sense to look at alternatives is because we have a tendency to gather facts that…