Financial Adviser Exposes Own Portfolio

People are often surprised when I describe my personal portfolio to them. Using an analyzing tool from Chicago-based Morningstar, I’ve put together a brief description of my own daringly dull portfolio and, far more important, why it looks like it does. Most of my investments are in mutual funds with an average expense ratio of 0.16 percent annually. I don’t have enough money to diversify by buying individual stocks, so I buy low-cost index funds that track the overall market. …

Investors Win in Supreme Court 401(k) Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court this week sent a strong message to employers offering 401(k)s: You can’t just pick investments for the plan and then forget about them. This unanimous decision is expected to provide greater protection for 401(k) participants who increasingly rely on these plans to fund their retirement. And it may also trigger more lawsuits by workers unhappy with their investment options and the fees charged, legal experts say. “Participants over the long term should benefit from all of …

Stock Investing: Time Versus Timing

More and more investors are telling me that their portfolios have now fully recovered from the 2008 stock market crash. I respond in my typical tactless way by telling them their performance has been awful. That’s because stocks are now 64 percent above their pre-crash high. Put another way, if you had timed the market perfectly wrong and put $10,000 in a total stock market index fund on Oct. 9, 2007, the pre-crash peak, you’d have about $16,375 today. All …

Workers More Upbeat About Retirement Prospects

More than one-third of workers say they won’t retire until after age 65, about three times the number saying so in the early 1990s. Another 10 percent say they won’t ever quit working. That’s according to an annual survey released Tuesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Back in 1991, when EBRI first conducted the survey, this idea of never retiring didn’t even come up, says Craig Copeland, a senior researcher at EBRI and coauthor of the study. That is one of …

What Will Retirement Look Like for Our Adult Children?

For decades, the three-legged stool was the metaphor for funding retirement: Social Security, pensions and savings/investments. Because of the recession and drop in pensions, the stool started to shake. That hasn’t escaped the notice of our adult children as they watch parents head into retirement. The upside of those watchful eyes is that many millennials have begun saving for their own retirement. At an unprecedented age of  22, some 70 percent of working millennials are socking money away, according to …

Are You a Risk-Taker? Don’t Be Fooled by Bull Market

I’ve filled out more than a few risk-profile questionnaires over the years. These forms are supposed to measure how much investment risk you’re comfortable with, such as what percentage of your portfolio should be in risky stocks versus low-risk bonds. Every questionnaire I’ve ever done has pegged me as a living-on-the-edge kind of guy who should have between 70 percent and 91 percent of my money in stocks or stock funds. And that’s the problem. In reality, only 45 percent of my money is in stock and stock funds, …