Ben Carlson

The Real World Retirement Calculator

“To make reliable decisions you must always weigh how right you think you are against how sorry you will be if you turn out to be mistaken.” – Jason Zweig One of the most difficult financial planning questions to answer is: How much do I need to retire? According to BlackRock’s Annual Retirement Survey, 50% of…

Advice from Warren Buffett Circa 1975

“Much of Wall Street is a succession of fashions. But fashion-hitting never has been successfully maintained, to my knowledge.” – Warren Buffett Warren Buffett’s advice is worth listening to not just because he is one of the richest men in the world and the greatest investor of all-time. These reasons do carry weight, but the…

James Montier’s Laws of Investing

“The financial industry has perfected the art of turning the simple into the complex, and in doing so managed to extract fees for itself!” – James Montier GMO is one of the largest and most respected investment managers in the asset management industry. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing one of their founders, Jeremy Grantham,…

The Benefits of Thinking Long-Term

“An investor should be aiming primarily at long period results and judged solely by those.” – John Maynard Keynes Mebane Faber, of Cambria Investment Management, recently created an interesting table on his website that has some important implications for investors.

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

“I’m in debt. I am a true American!” – Balki Bartokomous, Perfect Strangers Debt plays a large role on our lives. Housing, transportation, education, and even daily spending needs are all financed with debt by a large number of people. According to the Federal Reserve, consumer credit (excluding mortgages) in the US stands at $2.8…

How to Ignore the Noise

“As hard as it may be to do so, smart investors know that the key to success is ignoring the daily noise of the markets.” – Larry Swedroe It’s easy to say that we should ignore the noise and not pay attention to the market in the short-term. This is a great piece of advice,…

Saving for Retirement 101

“I have always believed there are no shortcuts to greater understanding.  You simply have to work through the basics.” – Robert Hagstrom Someone recently asked me to put together a simple, easy to understand presentation about saving for retirement that they could share with their work colleagues to go over the basics. Since I champion…

Where is the Stock Market Heading?

“We have long felt that the only value of stock forecasters is to make fortune-tellers look good.  Even now, Charlie (Munger) and I continue to believe that short-term market forecasts are poison and should be kept locked up in a safe place, away from children and also from grown-ups who behave in the market like…

8 Things I Learned From Your Money & Your Brain

“The best investors make a habit of putting procedures in place, in advance, that help inhibit the hot reactions of the emotional brain.” – Jason Zweig Neuroeconomics is the study of how we make decisions using brain activity (neuroscience), economics and psychology. Think of it as the behavioral finance of our intuition and reactions. In…

Am I Diversified Enough?

“It may seem counterintuitive, but if you have something in your portfolio that you’re complaining about, it’s a good sign you’ve built a diversified portfolio.” – Carl Richards Common sense reader mailbag: I live in Canada and currently have about 20-25% of my portfolio invested in Canada with the rest spread over other global markets. Do…