Saving and Investing With Smaller Amounts of Money

“Bart, with $10,000, we’d be millionaires.” – Homer Simpson I was recently helping a family member set up a Roth IRA because she wanted to invest a small amount of money on a periodic basis. She eventually wants to increase that amount but we all need to start somewhere. This is a situation that many…

What Drives Stock Market Returns?

“The biggest factor impacting investors is no longer our knowledge base, but rather our behavioral elements.” – Barry Ritholtz There are many factors that we can look at when trying to figure out why the stock market went up or down on any given day. We can search the economic data for clues. We can…

Bond Investment Risks

“Risk control is the best route to loss avoidance. Risk avoidance, on the other hand, is likely to lead to return avoidance as well.” – Howard Marks If you missed parts 1 & 2 of my series on bond investing please read: Part 1 – Investing in Bonds Part 2 – Why Bother Investing in…

Simple or Complex Investments?

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.” – Paul Samuelson Wall Street has made plenty of money over the years pushing complex investment strategies with high fees on their unsuspecting clients. Most of these investments fail to beat simple…

How Do I Pay For My Children’s College Tuition?

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” – Albert Einstein Common sense reader mailbag: I have two young children. How will I ever be able to afford to send them both to college? Obviously, with the high cost of tuition and the amount of student loans that younger generations…

Why Bother Investing in Bonds?

“In spite of promising lower returns than most other investment classes, bonds earn inclusion in portfolios by providing protection against the extraordinary circumstances of a financial crisis or economic deflation.” – David Swensen If you missed Part 1 of my common sense series on bonds please read Investing in Bonds to learn about the different…

What Are You Focusing On?

“Until you can manage your emotions, don’t expect to manage money.” – Warren Buffett Managing your finances can be challenging for a number of reasons. One of the biggest ones is that there seem to be thousands and thousands of variables that we have to consider. I have discussed staying in your lane or focusing…

What We Can Learn from Warren Buffett and Bill Gross

“Do not be puffed up because of your knowledge nor overconfident because you are a learned person.  Take counsel with the ignorant as well as with the wise, for the limits of proficiency cannot be reached, and no person is ever fully skilled.” – Egyptian Magistrate Ptah-Hotep, 2400 B.C. Warren Buffett and Bill Gross are…

Dividends for Yield, Stability and Outperformance

“Risk to us is 1) the risk of permanent loss of capital, or 2) the risk of inadequate return.” – Charlie Munger Academic research over the years has told us that investment risk is defined by standard deviation or volatility. The higher the volatility that an investment has, the greater the risk and therefore the…

Investing in Bonds

“The essence of investing is the management of risks, not the management of returns.” – Benjamin Graham When people talk about the market, stocks get all of the attention and headlines. Stocks have historically been one of the highest performing financial assets while also displaying high amounts of volatility. There are also many instances where…