Ben Carlson

Volatility is not Your Enemy

“Risk means more things can happen than will happen.” – Elroy Dimson Here’s an overused cookie cutter answer you’ll hear from investment strategists and financial advisors when they’re asked how the stock market is going to perform: We think there will be increased market volatility ahead. But we are cautiously optimistic. You can’t go wrong…

The Rick Ferri 60/40 Portfolio

“Sixty/40 is anchored in a really important existential point—the benefit of diversification.  So, to say that 60/40 is dead is basically to say that diversification is dead—at least as far as it goes between stocks and bonds.” – Nicholas Colas The 60/40 stock/bond portfolio is often used as a simple benchmark for a balanced asset allocation….

My Favorite Warren Buffett Shareholder Letter

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” -Albert Einstein I feel that one of the greatest signs of intelligence is the ability to explain complex topics in a plain and simple manner that people can understand. This is what makes Warren Buffett such a genius. That’s not to say that…

A Lesson in Diversification and Regret Minimization

“Diversification is always working; sometimes you’ll like the results and sometimes you won’t.” – Larry Swedroe Traders get to use cool sayings like, “let your winners run but cut your losers quickly.” Long-term investors need to periodically do the exact opposite and sell their winners to buy their losers. Mean reversion rests on the premise of…

The Most Overused Analogies in Finance

I love using analogies to explain complex ideas. It’s a great way to make boring or difficult topics more relatable and easily understood. But when you read as much financial information as I do you start to see some repetition in the analogies used to describe the markets and financial planning. I’m not saying most…

Time to Refinance Your Mortgage?

“Given the large percentage [of Americans] who never refinance, it’s really important for them to step back and determine whether there’s an opportunity for them to get this big benefit that’s potentially out there,” – Steve Deggendorf, Fannie Mae

How Spending Money Affects Happiness

“The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that’s all there is.” – Mr. Carson, Downton Abbey Money can’t buy happiness, but it can make you happier up to a certain point. By now most people have seen the studies that suggest $75,000 a year is the income threshold for happiness….