The Joy Of Portfolio Boredom

My latest for Alpha Baskets looks at the importance of  why investing is a long term proposition that should not offer excitement. As we have discussed many times before, one of the biggest impediments to long term financial success is succumbing to emotion at the worst possible times which can mean panic selling your portfolio at a low or repeatedly panic buying hot stocks at their highs at the height of excitement after a pundit just extrapolated past returns on stock market television. Please click through to read the entire post. Today is the second anniversary of the passing of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. The picture is of the shrine at their station a few days after the...

Puerto Rico Too?

The weekly Market Update is posted at Alpha Baskets and covers a lot of ground for any week let alone one that is usually quiet headed into a holiday. From the update; Even then it may not resolve as Prime Minister Tsipras has rejected the proposed “blackmail,” and will impose capital controls, additionally banks and the stock exchange are closed on Monday as Greek citizens continue to take cash out in case the country reverts back to the drachma. Banks are expected to reopen on Thursday. Tsipras has called for a vote by the Greek people on July 5th to decide what to do. Barron’s joked (we think they were joking) that Greece should take its remaining euros and buy puts on the equity markets that it will cause to decline by its actions. Please click through to read the entire update. Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of losing the Granite Mountain Hotshots. We put together the pictured shadow box to hang in tribute in the Walker Fire...

Alternative Retirement: Working Or Not Retiring

As we continue to frame out alternative ways to look at retirement and retirement planning I’ve alluded to it being a challenge or puzzle to solve, people by virtue of their circumstances may be forced figure some things out by doing some genuine problem solving. I recently had a conversation with someone (this is unrelated to my work) about another subject that also requires problem solving; I would say longer term problem solving with no immediate resolution likely. The person with whom I was having this conversation could not make the connection to problem solving, I would say the concept was totally foreign but of course that is just my impression of the conversation. I think the other three posts in this series make the case and offer an explanation as to why this is a problem or challenge to be solved, at least I hope that is the case. Part of solving the problem cobbling together an income to cover basic living (food and a roof overhead) and lifestyle expenses (activities). Part of planning is figuring out expenses which I would say requires knowing how much you spend now, which expenses are likely to decrease when you retire (hopefully your mortgage, no more saving for retirement after you retire) and which expenses are likely to increase (medical expenses seems like a good choice here). I would avoid rules of thumb like needing 75% of your pre-retirement income. Chances are you are already living on less than 75% of your income when all taxes, and 401k contributions are factored in. Focus on expenses, figure out if you can live below...

25 Things I Wish I Learned Before I Opened My First Brokerage Account

My latest post for Alpha Baskets looks at some basic but important building blocks for personal finance and investing. The timing of this is interesting given that the WSJ gutted its personal finance group. You can search #wsjperfi on Twitter if you don’t know about this yet. This was a lot of fun to write. From the post; If you come to realize you are too afraid of the stock market to invest in it then you need to be prepared to save a lot more or work a lot longer. Never confuse luck with skill. It is human nature to forget what large declines feel like and then conclude “this one is different.” Please click through to read the entire...

Yes, Markets Were Actually Open Last Week

The weekly market update is posted at Alpha Baskets and includes the following; Saudi Arabia is opening its market, with restrictions, to foreign investors. There are a couple of ETFs that have been in registration waiting for this to happen. If these funds do come to market however there will be little to no energy exposure as companies like Saudi Aramco are state owned. The funds would likely be very heavy in financial stocks. Please click through to read the entire update. The picture is from the Whiskey Row Off Road Crit from a few weeks ago. It is an annual event here in...