Ben Carlson

The Common Sense Investment Policy Statement

“Having a plan is important because it’s impossible to make rational decisions about investments without one.” – Larry Swedroe An investment policy statement (IPS) is something every investor needs to be able to achieve their long-term financial goals.  Without one you are basically a rudderless ship drifting across a vast ocean.  You’ll be lost. An…

Quarterly Market Update

“Keep one eye fixed on the details; the other, on the horizon.” – Unknown Although we have experienced some wild swings along the way, stock market returns over the past 10 and 20 year periods are actually not that far off the long-term averages. Through September 30, the 10 year annual returns for the S&P…

Overheard Conversation on Stocks, Politics and the Economy

“Timing the market is a fool’s game, whereas time in the market is your greatest natural advantage.” – Nick Murray An actual conversation I overheard this week: Guy #1: What do you think about the government shutdown and the debt ceiling? Time to get out of stocks? Guy#2: Stocks have already dropped since early last…

You Control What Matters Most for Retirement

“I look to the future because that is where I’m going to spend the rest of my life.” – George Burns Morningstar’s John Rekenthaler had an interesting article recently that discusses what matters most when saving for retirement. He goes over a hypothetical situation where a 42-year old investor is looking at the options for…

Why Diversification Works

“Here is part of the tradeoff with diversification. You must be diversified enough to survive bad times or bad luck so that skill and good process can have the chance to pay off over the long term.” – Joel Greenblatt For investors that would like to keep things extremely simple, investing in a low cost…

Ray Dalio Explains Your Debt Cycle

“Debt hangs over you; it’s a nasty, omnipresent cloud which never makes you feel better and often makes you feel worse.” – Felix Salmon Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates is one of the richest, most well-respected hedge fund managers in the world. Like all of the very best investment minds he has the ability to…

More Uncertainty Ahead?

“The future is messy and the past is neat. It’s always like that.” – Seth Godin Check out this CNN Money headline from earlier this week: What’s Congress going to do now? Will there be a war in the Middle East? Is there going to be another government shutdown? Where will the next black swan…

Investing is a Balancing Act

“The problem with patience and discipline is that it requires both of them to develop each of them.” – Thomas Sterner Investing is all about balance. You must balance your tolerance for risk with your desire to build wealth. You must balance your short-term needs with your long-term goals. And you must find balance within…

The 10th Man Rule from World War Z

“Most of us view the world as more benign than it really is, our own attributes as more favorable than they truly are, and the goals we adopt as more achievable than they are likely to be. We also tend to exaggerate our ability to forecast the future, which fosters overconfidence.” – Daniel Kahneman I…

Do You Need $1 Million to Retire?

“I don’t believe people who say they don’t care about money and I don’t trust people who care too much.” – Doc Ford According to the World Wealth Report there are a total of 12 million individuals that are millionaires* around the globe. In the US, that number is roughly 3.7 million people. People have…