Have you heard about that new Postcard-sized Tax Return? Kelly Phillips Erb, aka @taxgirl, gives us a first look in Here's How The New Postcard-Sized 1040 Differs From Your Current Tax Return. Yes, the new 1040 is smaller but it comes with at least six additional schedules, or forms, that many taxpayers will have to attach to the main form. And the font size is TINY. Does Your State Rely...

The Impact of Inflation Over the long run, stock markets are expected to deliver returns well beyond the rate of inflation. That is, the $1 you invest in today’s stock markets should still provide $1 or more worth of purchasing power decades into the future. In exchange, you must tolerate volatility risk, which can cause your account balances to bounce around wildly, often uncomfortably, along the way. In contrast, “safe” Treasury bonds...

Your path to buying a home In How to Buy a House, Michelle Higgins of the New York Times outlines your path to homeownership, step-by-step. Steps include: Rent vs. Buy, How Much House Can I Afford, Check Your Credit Score, Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage, Line up Cash, Figure Out Where You Want to Live, Making An Offer, and Closing. Don’t forget to celebrate when all is done! Additional Reading: From...

Someone who is uniquely positioned as both a physician & financial planner offers advice on health care In 3 Ways to Stand Up to the Healthcare System & Control Costs, Dr. Carolyn McClanahan, CFP® shares “three ways to effect change in our system, get better care, and control your health care costs.” A must read for everyone. Additional Reading: Any of her previous articles on health care here including “The Lettuce Scare...

Doing Better With Global Diversification In two previous posts, here and here, we shared a pair of Dimensional Fund Advisor videos based on historical U.S. market returns data. If we really want to share this tale of evidence-based investing in living color, we’ve got to go global. While global returns data doesn’t go back as far – 1973 vs. 1926 for U.S. returns – it still has its own important story...

The Ups and Downs of Stocks and Bonds In our recent post, “What’s Up with Inflation?” we introduced a trio of videos Dimensional Fund Advisors has shared. They help bring its Matrix Book numbers to life for those who might not want to pore through pages and pages of data by themselves. Once you know what to make of all that data, it has quite a story to tell, especially when it...

What’s Up with Inflation? Once upon a time (in 1982), Dimensional Fund Advisors began publishing its annual “Matrix Book,” now its longest-running publication. It's jam-packed pages of market returns data stretching back to 1926 may seem daunting at first. But, oh, the stories these numbers can tell … which they do in a trio of quick-take videos Dimensional released along with this year’s edition. Take, for example, the story of inflation. While...

The Quilt That Keeps on Covering a Diversified Investor What a difference a year sometimes DOESN’T make. For several years now, we’ve been tracking the annually updated random returns that comprise what is known as “the crazy quilt chart.” Here are this year’s results: The Crazy Quilt Chart Update To review how the chart works, each color represents an “asset class,” or a long-term source of expected market returns. By stacking each column/year...

The price of financial illiteracy is steep In Magna Cum Lousy, Tony Isola laments that we are failing our children by not educating them about personal finance. “Imagine: you give a teenager access to car keys when they have never driven a car or taken Driver’s Education.  You simply tell them to drive carefully and you hope for the best. That would be setting them up for failure, and yet, we do...

A retiree owned too much company stock “Retirement looked pretty good until GE shares collapsed.” (Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2018) Additional Reading: We Only Get to Experience One Version of Reality (The Reformed Broker, 4/23/2018) An early retiree misses their old working life What if I’m wrong about everything? (Thriftygal, 4/18/2018) “What if happiness is more about roots and people and relationships and productivity and less about freedom and flexibility?” When life happens ...