The credentials alone may say it all about Michael Kitces and his Nerd’s Eye View on financial planning. With two master’s degrees in financial services and taxation, a CFP® mark, and five other financial certifications to his name, that’s some serious nerd power. But what’s decidedly cool about Kitces is his passion for sharing his “journey of continuous education” with fellow advisors as well as with investors looking for a...

Part II: Your Portfolio and Its Parts In our last post, we discussed why it’s best to avoid comparing your own investment returns to “the market” or the latest popular portions of it. There’s one more misleading measurement that can trip up an investor: [message_box title="Your Portfolio" color="gray"] = Pursing the market’s expected returns (by investing in asset classes with higher expected returns but higher volatility) + Managing the risks involved (by investing in asset classes with more...

Part I: Coveting Your Neighbors’ Returns It’s ironic. One of the biggest questions we ask ourselves as investors is: “How am I doing?” While the question is a good one, if the answers are off-base, you risk changing course when you should be sitting tight, or sitting tight when you should be considering a change. This is not only frustrating, it can detract from … how you are doing. It’s a...

“2016 Reading Challenge” Update This year I set a challenge to read 38 books in 2016 by reading at least 25 pages a day (Fast Company’s Stephanie Vozza thinks I should Read 50 Books this Year. Maybe next year.) So far I’ve read 15 books.  Some Young Adult fiction. (Yes I’m a YA fan along with the likes of Gretchen Rubin, the author of “The Happiness Project”.) I re-read “The Remains of...

One of the reasons I read as much as I do is to be inspired by others. There’s nothing I love more than discovering an intriguing new way to frame an old idea, and then sharing what I’ve learned, hoping to inspire others as well. On the flip side, there’s nothing more demoralizing than falsehoods or opinions being spread as facts. They remind me of a shopping channel infomercial. Watch it...

Whether or not the weather is entirely on board with the program, the calendar never lies: Spring has sprung! As we prepare to shed a layer or more of winter-wear, let’s take a moment to peel back the layers of your busy life as well: Do your financial plans include making time for some playtime? The subject may seem lighthearted, but I’m very serious about this. It’s a question we pose...

With his worth estimated at around $40 billion (as of mid-February), at least as measured in dollars, Michael Bloomberg is among the most successful people alive. How does this sort of success happen? It’s unlikely there is a single recipe for amassing billions. (And personally, we’d be okay with, say, a mere $500 million to our name.) But this recent post by Gillian Zoe Segal describes seven traits that successful people...

If there were a 12-step program for weaning someone off of her reading addiction, you’d turn blue in the face if you held your breath waiting for me to enroll in it. In fact, I’ve taken my compulsion one step further from “recovery.” Lately, I’ve been reading a good deal about reading. Here are some highlights. Why You Should Read 50 Books This Year (And How To Do It) (Fast Company’s...

Still Going Global We’ve said it before and we’ll no doubt say it again. In fact, because it’s so important, we dedicated one of last summer’s Investment Basics Series installments to global diversification, “your super power to help you manage that market risk by spreading it around, widely and globally.” In this year’s markets, the message bears repeating so disparate global returns don’t tempt you to concentrate your holdings too close to home....

The power of elegant simplicity is certainly nothing new. When explaining the Tao of the universe back in fifth or sixth century BC, Lao Tze is said to have said, “A journey of a thousand [miles] starts with a single step.” But when it comes to financial planning, we have a way of making things complicated, fast. Fortunately, we have noticed a movement afoot to redirect our efforts back toward that...