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…

Things Just Keep Getting Better and Better for Investors

“Scale coupled with automation can basically bring costs down to zero.” – Herbert Moore Two articles grabbed my attention this week that highlight the fact that things continue to improve for individual investors, specifically on the cost front. The first one came from Larry Swedroe on Seeking Alpha.  Swedroe reviewed a recent academic study on…

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….