Allan Roth is the founder of Wealth Logic, an hourly-based financial planning firm in Colorado Springs, Colo. He has taught investing and finance at universities and written for Money Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and others. His contributions aren't meant to convey specific investment advice.

Why You Shouldn’t Substitute Stocks for Bonds

A friend sent me the following article from the USA Today insert of his local paper. The article proclaimed “The 60/40 stock-and-bond portfolio mix is dead in 2016” and went on to explain that with bond interest rates near historical lows, one should reach for higher returns by taking more risk with stocks. The article quoted one adviser who suggested investors in their 60s invest 70 to 80 percent of their portfolio in stocks. I couldn’t disagree more, and here …

Cutting Through Financial Jargon

Ever hear something like this and scratch your head wondering what it means? Our exclusive quantitative modeling system using proprietary algorithms will optimize your portfolio for minimum volatility with maximum alpha exceeding the efficient frontier. Sure, those big words definitely sound impressive, but what do they truly reveal about the person or firm saying them? Are they indicative of an expertise that would benefit investors, or just financial word salad meant to both dazzle and intimidate them into believing that …

Play the Odds When Investing

Perhaps you’ve heard that low-cost passive index mutual funds tend to perform better than funds in which managers actively pick stocks. By my calculations, however, over any given year, roughly 42 percent of actively managed funds outperform the low-cost index. So buying the index fund seems to be shooting for being only slightly better than average. Yet don’t most of us want to be an A student at the top of the class? To really understand the odds of beating a …

Stock Market Newsletters: Are They Worthwhile?

Have you ever received an email or letter reading something like this? Are you tired of working for that boss you hate? You’ll never get rich working for a big company, so here’s the proven way to build wealth, working only about an hour a month. Pitches like these for investment newsletters try to appeal to our emotions and our human ability to suspend common sense and believe anything we want to believe. Let’s take a closer look. The logic …

How to Evaluate Free-Money Offers

I’m typically not one to jump on promo offers, as they usually take a ton of time and have too many strings attached. Every now and then, however, I see a great offer that holds up to scrutiny. That’s why I took up Capital One 360 on its offer for free money and will make $500 on the deal. Capital One 360, by the way, is an FDIC-insured unit of Capital One Bank. Below are the reasons I chose this …

Jack Bogle’s 5 Simple Rules for Investing in Stocks

Last week, 200 “Bogleheads” met for an annual gathering near Philadelphia, PA to hear the legendary founder of Vanguard, the world’s largest fund company, talk about investing. The Bogleheads is a not-for-profit organization in which anyone can post financial questions (at bogleheads.org) and then hundreds of volunteer members (Bogleheads) who are seasoned investors respond with advice — generally without a profit motive. To ask a question, you must join, but you can probably find the answer to your question by …