March 28, 2017

What Good Are Morningstar Stars?

What Good Are Morningstar Stars?

Do mutual funds with 5-star Morningstar ratings have better future returns?

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T-Share Class Mutual Funds Are Not “Fiduciary-Friendly”

T-Share Class Mutual Funds Are Not "Fiduciary-Friendly"

Less gouging doesn’t make T-shares meet the high principles-based fiduciary standard.

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RMD Mistake: Missing a Spousal Rollover

RMD Mistake: Missing a Spousal Rollover

When a spouse inherits retirement account assets, they have the right to do what is called a “Spousal Rollover” or “Spousal Transfer.” It is almost always the right option.

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Invest Your Health Savings Account For Appreciation

Invest Your Health Savings Account For Appreciation

HSAs have so many advantages over traditional IRAs that you should continue funding your HSA as long as possible and build as large an HSA investment balance as you can.

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RMD Mistake: Not Using the Joint Divisor

RMD Mistake: Not Using the Joint Divisor

If you are a mixed-decade couple, take advantage of the Joint divisor by making your spouse your primary and sole beneficiary for your IRA and use the Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table to find your RMD.

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Radio: What’s the Difference Between Obstruction and Resistance?

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David John Marotta was interviewed on the radio 1070′s Schilling Show discussing the difference between obstruction and resistance.

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Commission-Based Firms Admit They Don’t Provide Advice

Commission-Based Firms Admit They Don't Provide Advice

Commission-based firms want either to be exempt from the Fiduciary standard or else given the title anyway.

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Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

Are Democrats Or Republicans Better For The Stock Market?

Politics matters less to our financial success than the ordinary decisions we face every day.

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Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolios

Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolios

A gone fishing portfolio is a portfolio of just a few stocks which should weather the ups and downs of the market fairly well while only rebalancing twice a year. Here are three hand-crafted gone-fishing portfolios for 2017.

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Marotta’s 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This year I limited myself to 13 investment vehicles with two changes from 2016′s calculator.

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Marotta’s 2017 Vanguard Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Vanguard Mutual Fund Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This portfolio uses all Vanguard mutual funds.

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Marotta’s 2017 Schwab Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

Marotta's 2017 Schwab No-Transaction Fee Gone-Fishing Portfolio Calculator

A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation. This portfolio uses all Schwab no-transaction fee exchange traded funds.

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US Large-Cap Exchange-Traded Fund Choices

US Large-Cap Exchange-Traded Fund Choices

In anticipation of adjusting our yearly gone-fishing portfolios, I reviewed the performance of five US large-cap Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

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RMD Mistake: Failing to Take Your RMD

RMD Mistake: Failing to Take Your RMD

The key to getting the waiver though is showing that “you are taking reasonable steps to remedy the shortfall.”

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Bond Investing In 2016

Bond Investing In 2016

Bonds had positive returns for the year despite returns peaking at the end of July and falling for the rest of the year.

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RMD Mistake: Depositing to Your Checking Account

RMD Mistake: Depositing to Your Checking Account

Although legally fine, this strategy often causes you to accidentally increase your spending every year and decrease your savings. Don’t let the IRS rules about IRA withdrawals tempt you into spending money you had planned to save.

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Resource Stock Investing in 2016

Resource Stock Investing in 2016

In 2016, Energy and Materials had some of the best returns of the year.

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To What Benchmark Should I Compare My 2016 Returns?

To What Benchmark Should I Compare My 2016 Returns?

Investors always want to compare the return of their portfolio against some benchmark index. We suggest not using the S&P 500 for that purpose.

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Radio: The Politics of Kindness

Radio: The Politics of Kindness

David John Marotta was interviewed recently on the Schilling Show discussing the politics of kindness and the difference between intentions and outcomes.

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2016 In Review

2016 In Review

2016 was a good year for stocks in general with a number of noteworthy details. Resource stocks performed the best despite being the worst-performing asset class in 2015.

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Freedom Investing and Emerging Markets in 2016

Freedom Investing and Emerging Markets in 2016

In 2016, the average return of the best investment products of the Freedom Six outperformed the Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets ETF by 6.75%.

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US Stock Investing in 2016

US Stock Investing in 2016

The S&P 500 had another good year, ending up 11.96%. The S&P 500, however, only represents half of the US Stock asset class, and Small- and Mid-Cap stocks performed even better.

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RMD Mistake: Taking Out Too Much Just Because

RMD Mistake: Taking Out Too Much Just Because

Some people don’t stop at distributing just the required minimum. They think, “Well, while I’m at it, I may as well pull out a little bit more so we can fully cover the kitchen remodel…”

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Mailbag: What Do You Think About The Elliott Wave Principle?

Mailbag: What Do You Think About The Elliott Wave Principle?

It is difficult in investing theory to determine which narratives have the appropriate underlying evidence to support them and which narratives are not worth following. Often it is necessary to be both a mathematician and a skeptic to filter out what is even worth considering.

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Your Advisor’s Sports Car Personality Is Hurting Your Returns

Your Advisor's Sport Car Personality Is Hurting Your Returns

What does the car your advisor drives tell you about their investment and budgeting services?

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2017 Tax Tables

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If you’re doing some tax planning this year, here is a quick guide to the brackets.

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Benjamin Graham on Individual Stock Analysis

Benjamin Graham on Individual Stock Analysis

“I am no longer an advocate of elaborate techniques of security analysis in order to find superior value opportunities.”

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Q&A: What’s My Roth Conversion Limit?

Q&A: What’s My Roth Conversion Limit?

The legal answer to this question is: there is no limit. The practical answer is: it depends on a number of things.

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One Example Of What Is Wrong With Commission Based Investment Advice

Wolf in Snow

There is a large difference between the motives and incentives of the sales person and those of the service person.

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When Partial-Year HSA Contribution Limits Don’t Apply

When Partial-Year HSA Contribution Limits Don't Apply

Under the “last-month rule,” you can contribute the full amount even after a partial year assuming you meet the “testing period.”

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Using Factor Investing To Boost Country Specific Returns

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The rough idea is that the stock price of companies that are profitable are more likely to appreciate than companies which are not profitable.

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Radio: Why Corporate Tax Rates Should Be Lowered

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David John Marotta was interviewed on radio 1070 WINA’s Schilling Show discussing corporate tax rates, and why they should be lowered.

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Investing Mistake: Confusing A Promising Company With A Good Investment

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A good narrative describes what happened in the past. And even though past earnings may have something to do with current share prices, they don’t have anything to do with future share prices.

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There’s Still Time for Charitable Giving

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Instead of giving cash, there are two ways you may be able to give so more of your money goes to charity instead of the IRS.

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Factor Investing: Small and Value Factors

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Factor investing “tweaks the idea of asset allocation and diversification by seeking out types of securities that have been shown, by decades of academic research, to offer positive return premiums over time.”

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Retirement Plan and Health Savings Plan Limits for 2017

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Every year the IRS releases new limits for how much you can contribute to Individual Retirement accounts and Health Savings accounts for the tax year.

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David John Marotta Interviewed by SuperMoney

David John Marotta Interviewed by SuperMoney

David John Marotta was recently interviewed by SuperMoney as part of their Expert Interview Series.

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Mailbag: Can I Contribute To An IRA The Year I Turn 70 1/2?

squirrel evergreen

Even though you are required to start taking RMDs you can still take advantage of significant tax planning savings.

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2017 Estate and Gift Tax Limits

ScottishEstate

Neither party has to pay taxes on gifts up to this gifting limit, and the limit remains unchanged from 2016.

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Can I Continue Retirement Saving Past Age 70 1/2?

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The rules for post-70 ½ IRA contributions depend upon whether the account is a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA.

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Radio: Why is the Media Liberal?

US Flag

Listen to a discussion on why journalists are usually liberal-leaning and what that means for reporting the news in America.

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How To Whitelist An Entire Domain In Gmail

floor cleaner

Since not receiving an important email can be even more dangerous as receiving too much spam, here is how to while list an email or an entire domain in Gmail.

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Healthcare Stocks And Asking “Relative To What?”

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Why do our portfolios systematically overweight healthcare stocks?

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2017 Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan Limits

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Here are the limits for how much you and your employer can contribute to retirement accounts on your behalf.

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How The Markets Moved After A Trump Victory

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Beware of reading too much into three days of market movements.

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Mailbag: Which Investment Fund Should I Purchase To Minimize Fees?

stethoscope

On the surface it seems like option 3 (VHT) is the best deal. Is there anything I am missing?

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The Minimalist Budget

zen stones

If you want to be really minimalist about your budgeting, here’s what we suggest: the 65-25-10 rule.

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The Finance of Crowdfunding

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There are three types of crowdfunding each defined by what people receive in exchange for the money they pay: Reward-based, Donation-based, and Equity-based.

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Avoid Age Appropriate Money Mistakes

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Every decade of life brings new financial challenges. Try to avoid these common pitfalls.

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Interview of Dr. Randall Bell, Author of “Rich Habits, Rich Life”

rich habits rich life

Dr. Randall Bell develops strategies to overcome problems and maximize peak performance.

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