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Should You Invest At Market Highs?

A reader, “Joe,” recently wrote: I’ve been a traditional saver my whole life (55 yr old). Meaning I never informed myself on investing and put my savings directly into the bank. About a year ago I started to feel like leaving my job (I haven’t) and wondered how long I could live on my savings. …

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Manage Your Portfolio Like a Professional Investor

What does a professional portfolio manager have in common with an every day do-it-yourself investor? They should have a lot in common according to David Stein. Stein was a professional portfolio manager who managed billions of dollars for individual and institutional investors. In his mid-forties, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do with …

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How Does Home Ownership Fit Into An Investment Portfolio and Financial Plan?

A great framework for developing positions and hypotheses is what Stanford professor Paul Saffo describes as strong opinions, weakly held. Using this approach, my ideas on home ownership have evolved over the years. Like most Americans, I started out believing home ownership is a great investment. A few months after finishing graduate school, I started …

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Preparing for the Next Recession

A recession is coming. As long as the economy moves in cycles, a recession will always be coming. Right now there is more talk about a downturn than usual. You can’t pick up a newspaper or click on a financial site without finding some discussion of recession indicators and concerns. What should you do? Understand …

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Using Rental Properties to Create Retirement Income

A few months ago, I crossed paths with real estate investor G. Brian Davis who asked if he could write a guest post for Can I Retire Yet? Using rental real estate to create retirement income is a topic of interest for many readers, and a topic Darrow and I have little personal experience to …

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Why Is Investing So Difficult?

We write about many topics on this blog. One consistently popular topic is investing. It’s honestly hard for me to wrap my head around why our investing posts are so popular. Darrow annually publishes a post sharing his investment portfolio. Last summer I shared my portfolio and investment policy statement. Our philosophies are similar. I …

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Using Leverage to Create Retirement Income

Traditional retirement planning focuses on accumulating assets, which eventually are converted into an income stream to last a lifetime. Creating retirement income without exhausting your portfolio presents a fundamental challenge. This is especially problematic for early retirees for three reasons. First, your money may need to last much longer than traditional retirees’. Second, early retirees …

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My Investment Portfolio: 2019

I can’t predict the future, but 2018 was bad for the markets, and 2019 could be worse. If you’re a seasoned investor, you’ve seen this before.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average was in positive territory much of the year, but ended with a blowout. It lost about 3.6%, counting dividends, for 2018.  If you’re new to …

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Finding the Right Financial Advisor

This blog is written for and by DIY investors and retirement planners. In the process of working on it, I’ve learned a lot of people need personalized financial advice and guidance. It would be failing a large percentage of our audience to not recognize their need and assist them. This is challenging with a financial industry …

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Getting Higher Returns on Your Cash

“Put your money to work,” my grandmother would advise. Getting the highest possible return on your cash seems to be a mark of honor among frugal prospective retirees. But, with interest rates in the tank for most of a decade, if you haven’t bothered, you also haven’t been hurt much. Now, rates are rising. So, …

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Is The Three-Fund Portfolio Right For You?

Investing is simple. But it’s not easy. Most people do best with a passive investing approach utilizing index funds. This minimizes unnecessary investing costs, taxes and common behavioral mistakes made when more active approaches to investing are used. But within this framework, there are countless options for building your portfolio. Strategies range from holding a single …

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Investing in Land

Most financial experts will tell you that investing in land is a bad idea. And they’re probably right. At best, on average, in many cases and places, land will only appreciate at the rate of inflation. And it won’t produce any income while sitting there. Worse still, it will cost you in property taxes every …

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Our Investment Plan: What We Do, What’s Changing, How We’ve Performed

A reader recently asked me to share my investment choices and portfolio breakdown. I’ll do this by sharing our investment policy statement (IPS). This includes our asset allocation, strategies to control investment fees and taxes, and plans for managing the portfolio. A well written IPS ties an investment plan together, marrying investments with a system …

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5 Lessons Learned In My Year As a Landlord

I’ve been intrigued by real estate for years. I first saw it as a way to accelerate my path to early retirement. More recently, I’ve considered the benefits of diversifying out of paper assets due to high stock valuations and low interest rates. But I’ve never been able to pull the trigger. I’ve been stuck …

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DIY Investing Resource #4: All About Asset Allocation

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in March 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. It is the fourth of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling clueless to competent managing our investment portfolio. Our fourth selected DIY investing resource is …

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DIY Investing Resource #3: The Intelligent Asset Allocator

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in March 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. It is the third of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling clueless to competent managing our investment portfolio. My third recommended resource …

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DIY Investing Resource #2: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in February 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. I posted it as the second of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling clueless to competent managing our investment portfolio. If you …

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DIY Investing Resource #1: JL Collins’ “Stock Series”

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in February 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. I posted it as the first of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling clueless to competent managing our investment portfolio. The biggest …

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5 Reasons You Need A Financial Advisor

I’ve shared my poor experience working with a financial advisor and spelled out inherent conflicts of interest that are present when paying for financial advice. You may think I chose the title of this article as “clickbait” to draw readers in for a bait and switch. If so, you’re wrong. Maybe you think I sold …

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The Perfect Storm – Demonstrating Conflicts of Interest With Investment Advice

I began writing about personal finance to create a positive outlet for the anger, regret, and pain I experienced because of investing mistakes I made as a young professional. I became a consumer advocate to help others avoid repeating my mistakes. My mistakes were the result of blindly following the advice of a financial advisor …

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The Worst Investment Advice I Ever Heard–Everywhere

My financial story creates an interesting juxtaposition, as I recently shared with Steve Chen on the NewRetirement Podcast. On one hand, my wife and I did many things well with our money. We achieved financial independence quickly, allowing me to retire last fall at 41 years old.  On the other hand, we made investing mistakes that …

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