Part III: Additional Notes on Financial Harmony In Part I of our three-part series on managing held-away accounts, we described the important role retirement plans play in your life, as they are often among the biggest building blocks in your household wealth. In Part II, we described an investment strategy for managing them effectively within your family’s overall game plan. Today, we’ll wrap our series with some of the additional advantages...

Part II: From Hodge-Podge Investing to Financial Harmony In our last blog post, we introduced the concept of organizing the building blocks of your household assets under the unified oversight of a financial professional. These include your primary investment portfolio as well as held-away accounts such as retirement plans or unmanaged annuities. Today, we’ll dig deeper into how coordinated oversight can be expected to enhance your investment Harmonious Versus Piecemeal Investing:...

Part I: Building Blocks for Your Life’s Goals Building your dream home involves countless moving parts: architectural blueprints, plumbing and electric, interior design, landscaping, city permits and more. Few would face such a daunting task without an experienced general contractor to ensure that each piece has been individually addressed as well as properly fitted into the whole. And yet, when it comes to their money, most families wind up with a hodge-podge...

Depending on your unique risk tolerances and financial goals, there are times it can make sense to allocate a percentage of your portfolio to real estate investments. But there’s real estate, and then there’s real estate. Do the homes you live in count as investments? Let’s take a closer look. The Role of Real Estate in Your Portfolio Why would you invest in real estate to begin with? As Forbes contributor Frank...

As Valentine’s Day nears, it seems like as good a time as any to cover the frequently asked question about whether gold has an appropriate place in your investment portfolio. We’ve got nothing against your considering the tasteful gift of gold for your sweetheart this time of year, but when it comes to your or your loved ones’ life savings, we advise you to avoid all that glitters. In his article,...

A recent question from one of our clients struck me as excellent inspiration for a blog post of wider appeal. It went something like this: “My son is now 18 and tells me he wants to invest in stocks, or mutual funds, what do I think, etc. He has $1,700, so not really enough to shake the markets, but I am happy he is developing an interest. Before I respond to...

We can’t help but love working with a fund manager that is not only intensely loyal to the science of capital markets, but can laugh about it too. These qualities are combined in Dimensional Fund Advisors’ 2013 Review, a market/economic summary that the firm releases each January. While “a lot happened” in 2013, Dimensional reports it was ultimately “a year about nothing.” In a way, it was like the reverse...

In our last two blog posts, we provided some of the key building blocks that make for a solid fixed-income foundation. First, we described the stabilizing role that fixed income typically plays in your portfolio. Next, we discussed why we advise against trading in reaction to current bond market conditions (including the existing climate) rather than according to your own investment goals. Today, we’re going to explore the strategy to...

In our last blog post, we shared the timeless principles we suggest for your fixed income investing. We also previously presented a Vanguard Funds report demonstrating that actively managed stock funds face punishing odds in their quest to outperform appropriate market benchmarks. But what about in the bond markets, especially in the current climate of potentially rising interest rates? Can active management shine? An additional report from Vanguard helps us...

Interest rates are at historic lows and, for several years now, numerous market pundits have been forecasting an upward move. This leaves many investors fretting about what might happen when rates rise. Some contemplate whether they should be making dramatic changes to their portfolios as a result. It reminds us of that Clash song: “Should I stay or should I go?” This blog post is dedicated to helping you understand...