Some plans offer “after-tax” 401k contributions. Aren’t these the same as a Roth 401k? Nope! There are three (3) different types of 401k contributions – IF your plan offers them … and each one has its’ own tax treatment: The 401k most people are familiar with. These are subject to the contribution limits each year. The […]
The imbedded report is a handy reference for those who want to calculate their own investment metrics such as yield and annual return. However, I must state … with important caveats. I would caution that calculating your own returns is fraught with miscalculations and misinterpretations! For example this article “Understanding the Link Between Volatility and Compound Returns” […]
There is a cost to indexing that most investors are unaware of. It is called “reconstitution.” What is reconstitution and how may the costs involved be solved? What is an index? An index tracks changes in the markets – think of it kind of like a weather barometer. The first article below discusses how the reconstitution effect […]
DOW 20,000. Is that good? Or is that bad? Guess what – this is simply another way point much like DOW 15,000 was, or DOW 10,000, or pick any DOW number. The Power of the Markets Markets don’t know your specific emotions and behaviors – so the markets march on ignoring them. It is best […]
Even a low inflation amount can lead to loss of purchasing power over the long term. So investing (not savings – see last week’s post) is for the long term because investing also should overcome this insidious effect. Savings typically fall victim to inflation, while prudent investing does not. Here is a short article on […]
Most people understand to some degree, what investments are for – presumably for “their goal,” whatever that goal may be. Most people though, miss the difference between what and when investments are for. So, what is the when of investing? Investing by definition means money for the future; contributions buy shares for the future, and shares […]
Indexes were originally developed in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, as a barometer to what markets were doing overall, rather than trying to determine trends of the cumulative market by looking at different specific stocks making up the market; because, some stocks may fall, and others may rise in price, but what is the overall […]
Target Date Funds (TDFs) – either you love them or you hate them. If you lack any tools within your 4o1k, or don’t want to use a qualified adviser, then I guess they’re better than nothing. However, they’re as arbitrary as where the International Date Line (IDL) is … more on arbitrary later in pros and cons … […]
I recently read a Dimensional study* by the same name. “What if we could construct a strategy with a correlation close to 1 with a perfect market timing strategy? Can we estimate what its returns would have been? Can we use these estimates to understand what the market would have “charged” for a perfect market […]
Market timing relies on prediction, forecasts, market analysis, etc. What are the risks (besides the obvious – the fallibility of predictions)? The type of charts at the right tend to give one the illusion of “knowing where the animal” went by following its tracks. But real life and investing are two different things and our […]
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About Larry Frank Sr.
As an MBA and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, I help people make sensible plans for a successful retirement. I'm also the author of Wealth Odyssey, a book about financial planning. My retirement planning research is published periodically in the Journal of Financial Planning.
Have a Financial Question?
- Are market returns really the key to your portfolio value?
- Rebalancing? How does it work?
- Resources to help with aging issues
- The Dividend Income Illusion.
- Seniors: Do You want to Age in Place?