Ben Carlson

Vanguard’s Principles For Investing Sucess

“Investors should remember that excitement and expenses are their enemies.” – Warren Buffett In Vanguard’s most recent newsletter they laid out their four timeless principles to help you reach your investing objectives. They are: 1. Goals: Create clear, appropriate investment goals. 2. Balance: Develop a suitable asset allocation using broadly diversified funds. 3. Cost: Minimize…

The Common Sense Budget

“A budget tells us what we can’t afford but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” – William Feather “Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” – James W. Frick To invest you first must be able to save.  I like…

Real Financial Advisors

“When clients pay attention to noise, we call it dumb. When advisors do it, we call it research.” – Carl Richards I feel that most investors should be able to manage their investments on their own. The playing field has been leveled in the past few decades, giving individual investors the ability to handle their…

Should We Be Forced to Save For Retirement?

“In an ideal world everyone would generate sufficient savings on their own to help fund their own retirement. However most of the data shows that Americans are simply unable to do this on their own.” – Tadas Viskanta In one of my MBA classes on leadership and organizational behavior we went over the five personality…

Interest Rate Risk

“We have an entire generation of investors who have never experienced a rising rate environment.” – Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs If you missed the first 5 parts in my series on bond investing be sure to read: Part 1 – Investing in Bonds Part 2 – Why Bother Investing in Bonds? Part 3 – Bond Investment…

Me and My Money – Globe and Mail

I am excited to be featured in Larry MacDonald’s Me and My Money column this weekend in the Globe and Mail. The article includes a profile of my investment approach, some of my best and worst investments over the years and my advice for investors. Here’s the article: Analyst Puts His ‘Probability Bet’ on Index…

Where To Invest in a TINA Market

“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.” – Yogi  Berra Common sense reader mailbag: What am I supposed to invest in these days? Stocks are probably overvalued or at the very least due for a severe pullback with such huge gains over the last 5 years. And bond interest rates are extremely low so they…

Explaining the Stock Market

“Stocks are a piece of ownership in a firm.  Taken together, stocks represent the collective wisdom of the business world.  And they represent the promise of future technological advances and future profits from those innovations.” – Ken Fisher How did the stock market do today?  Where is the market heading for the rest of the…

Bond Investment Strategies

“The market’s not a very accommodating machine; it won’t provide high returns just because you need them.” – Peter Bernstein If you missed the first four parts of my series on bond investing be sure to check them out: Part 1 – Investing in Bonds Part 2 – Why Bother Investing in Bonds? Part 3 – Bond Investment Risks…

Forecasting or Coin Flipping?

“People have always had this craving to have someone tell them the future. Long ago, kings would hire people to read sheep guts. There’s always been a market for people who pretend to know the future. Listening to today’s forecasters is just as crazy as when he king hired the guy to look at the…