Do You Know Who Your Adviser Is?

You probably wouldn’t take investment advice from someone whose business card said Retirement Wizard, but it is not always so simple to spot a fake credential. You may find it harder to tell the difference between a Certified Advisor for Senior Investing and a Retirement Income Planning Specialist. The problem with these so-called “senior designations” is that it is hard for consumers to separate real titles from those that are merely marketing tools. Reports by AARP and the Consumer Financial …

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 …

Brokerages May Be Getting More Tools to Protect Older Clients

En español | A securities industry group recently proposed changes to how brokers and their firms handle accounts in an effort to protect older consumers and vulnerable clients against fraud. Investment firms have been increasingly concerned about the financial exploitation of older clients, particularly those who might suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairment. But many firms say they’re limited by regulations governing just how much they can intervene. Currently, regulations require firms to protect a client’s privacy, so firms …

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 …

Investing: Encourage the Kids to Invest in Stocks

Just 26 percent of people under 30 are investing in stocks, according to a survey published by Bankrate.com, a personal finance site. By comparison, 58 percent of adults ages 50 to 64 invest in stocks. Since millennials have a much longer time horizon, stocks are generally more appropriate for them. So this trend is exactly the opposite of what logic would dictate. But it’s not logic that’s at play here — it’s emotion. According to a poll by Goldman Sachs, …