In our previous post, “How to Hold a Financial Fire Drill,” we discussed the importance of understanding your true risk tolerance and routinely practicing how it applies to your investment plans. That way, when market risks arise for real, you’ll be less likely to abandon those best-laid plans. A key tool to help you stay on course is your Investment Policy Statement (IPS). Your IPS: A Living Document Your IPS is a...

Former director of financial services at Dimensional Fund Advisors, now retired, Dan Wheeler continues to share financial insights on his personal blog. In his post, “Fire Drill,” Wheeler recommends practicing what you will do the next time the markets drop, especially if the declines are as precipitous as they were during the financial crisis in 2007–2008. Otherwise, he observes, now that the pain we experienced then has started to fade,...

In our last post, “What’s Driving Your Advisor Relationship,” we discussed some of the qualitative ingredients that go into a satisfying advisor relationship. Essentials such as fiduciary duty, seasoned experience and transparent fees are critical. But qualitative assessments should also be combined with quantitative insights to yield the best recipe for success. If you doubt us, try baking a cake sometime without measuring out your baking soda or checking to...

In our last post, “Good, Better and Best Advisor Value,” we shared some reasons we feel it’s worth working with a professional financial advisor rather than going it alone. As we continue to explore the worth of sage advice this month, we’ll describe how to identify, not just any advisor, but one who is best positioned to justify his or her worth. As much as great advice can be of great...

In a recent post, “Obvious Man Takes on the Wealth Advisor World,” we introduced a subject of obvious interest to us: the value we believe a financial advisor can bring to helping you manage the wealth of your life. We also promised to provide additional information throughout November to justify the claim. Today, we’ll cover why we feel most investors should find such an advisor versus going it alone. In...

Let’s begin by dispensing with the obvious. As financial advisors, we’ve got some serious skin in the game when we propose that there is great value to be had by turning to a financial advisor to help you manage the wealth of your life. Still, just because a statement is obvious, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not worth saying anyway. If you don’t believe us, take it from Non Sequitur’s “Obvious Man,”...

October 2014 Living with Volatility, Again By Jim Parker Vice President DFA Australia Limited "Volatility is back. Just as many people were starting to think markets only ever move in one direction, the pendulum has swung the other way. Anxiety is a completely natural response to these events. Acting on those emotions, though, can end up doing us more harm than good." To read more OPEN PDF: Living with Volatility, Again...

To all humor there is an element of truth, especially in Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig’s recently published Devil’s Financial Dictionary. Inspired by late 19th century satirist Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary,” Zweig’s devilish definitions take on a range of Wall Street’s financial jargon, which often seems meant more to deceive than inform investors: ASSET GATHERING, n.  The term that asset managers use, when no one is listening, to describe...

I will be in Austin, TX this week attending a Dimensional Fund Advisors Conference. Speakers include their Co-Chief Investment Officers, Eduardo Repetto and Gerard O-Reilly (both rocket scientists, really!) as well as Portfolio Managers and other brilliant people. While I’m away, I wanted to leave you with some suggested reading in case the return of volatility to the stock market has you frazzled, or you are worrying that we are...

September 2014 The Curve Ball By Jim Parker Vice President DFA Australia Limited "There’s a school of thought that says the best way to manage a fixed income portfolio is to base your investment decisions on where you think interest rates are headed. But what if expectations are changing all the time?" To read more: Open PDF: The Curve Ball....