Is My House an Investment?
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Just because something costs a lot doesn’t mean it is an investment. An investment is something that pays you money.

Money Questions: Benchmark Your Retirement Savings
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Q: I just hit the big 5-0, and my retirement date is now in the foreseeable future. How do you suggest I assess the performance of my 401(k) and investment accounts? Do you have any benchmark recommendations? I would like … Read More

Mailbag: Is There a Certain Roth You Recommend?
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I’m in my 20s and I’m just getting started in the working world. I’m also looking at a Roth IRA. Is there a certain Roth you recommend?

Mailbag: Which of These 401(k) Investment Choices Do You Recommend?
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I’m in my 20s and I’m just getting started in the working world. Which of the attached 401(k) investment choices do you recommend?

Stock Funds Shed $29.29 Billion
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Investors pulled $83.31 billion out of stock funds during the summer months. Stocks drop when there are more sellers than buyers. And when there are outflows like this stocks drop precipitously.

What Happened This Summer (2011)?
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This summer many things that should do better over a long-term investment strategy did not. This situation is not unusual for one quarter’s worth of time. Such a result only makes reversion to the mean much more likely in the coming quarters.

Radio: How to Win the CNBC Million-Dollar Portfolio Challenge
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David John Marotta was featured on radio 1070 WINA’s Rob Schilling show on September 13, 2011. The topic was the CNBC million-dollar portfolio challenge, and how it does not emulate a good real-life investing strategy.

How to Win the CNBC Million-Dollar Portfolio Challenge
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CNBC’s million-dollar portfolio challenge begins next week. Participants can trade a fictional account of stocks and currency. Prizes are given over each of the 10 weeks, and then a grand prize winner is awarded a million.

Libertarians Should Invest More Down Under
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Libertarians and economists both recognize that countries with more economic freedom experience higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth. That growth translates into higher stock returns for investors savvy enough to look for governmental fiscal restraint rather than government stimulus.

The Rebalancing Premium
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When choosing between two bond funds with similar returns to team with a stock fund, choose the bond fund with lower correlation with the stock fund you’re selecting

Can Financial Advisers Be Trusted?
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Not every investment consultant has your interests as the top priority, or even the necessary credentials. Here’s how to find the right type of adviser.

How to Maximize Long-Term Returns
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I recently read two articles that provided insight on how investors should respond to a market downturn.

The Power Of Passive Investing
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A study by Morningstar cited in the Journal of Indexes shows that investors under-perform the very funds they are invested in by 1.5%. Learn how that is possible and avoid that mistake.

David John Marotta Interviewed on CBS-19 After Market Drop
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“One of the jobs of a financial adviser is to keep people from doing things that feel like the emotionally right thing to do but statistically are the wrong thing to do.”

Warren Buffett is Buying
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On the same day that the S&P 500 plunged 6.7% in reaction to the Standard & Poor’s downgrade of US sovereign debt, Bloomberg is reporting on two different headlines stating that Warren Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, is on a buying spree.

The Wealth Blueprint for Financial Success
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I was asked to speak at the Leadership Development Center at the University of Virginia’s EAN Annual Conference on Thursday, August 4th 2001. I’ve collected links to all the resources I mentioned in that talk here in one place.

Despite Gloomy News, Some Trends Back Economic Improvement
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In a recent Vanguard commentary entitled, “Despite gloomy news, some trends back economic improvement”, Mr. Aliaga-Diaz writes that there are many factors pointing to a long term economic recovery.

‘Go Fishing’ in the Calm Sea of Bonds
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Adding bonds to an all-stock portfolio can boost returns and lower volatility, especially in choppy markets. Bonds should be a small but important part of your gone-fishing portfolio allocation.

‘Go Fishing’ With Hard Asset Stocks
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Hard assets have been one of the most significant asset classes over the last decade. From all indications, it will continue to be a critically important investment category to protect your portfolio from the effects of inflation and the continuing devaluation of the U.S. dollar.

An Overseas Gone-Fishing Portfolio
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Even in our gone-fishing portfolios we suggest investing more overseas than in the United States. For most investors, foreign stocks will be their largest and most important allocation. Including the right mix of foreign stocks will help you relax and go fishing no matter which foreign seas are in turmoil.

‘Gone Fishing’ American Style
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Creating a gone-fishing portfolio begins with a top-level asset allocation. We use six asset categories. The three for stability are short money (maturing in less than two years), U.S. bonds and foreign bonds. The three asset categories we use for appreciation are U.S. stocks, foreign stocks and hard asset stocks.

Continue to Avoid the ‘Ring of Fire’ Countries
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Americans seem to be divided on the importance of raising the U.S. debt ceiling. Regardless of your personal politics, avoid investing in countries that cavalierly allow their debt and deficit to balloon.

Relax with a “Gone-Fishing” Portfolio
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Summer is almost here. It’s time to go fishing or take a trip or do wherever else you enjoy while on vacation. Unless your interests lie in investment management or you have a trusted fiduciary watching over your investments, consider having a portfolio designed to allow you more time to relax.

Time To Rebalance In May And Call It A Day
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Setting a target asset allocation is the most critical part of investment management.

Invest in All Six Asset Classes
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Many U.S. investors crowd their assets into a combination of large-cap U.S. stocks and U.S. bonds. This allocation represents only one and a half of the six asset classes described here.

Appreciating Assets Part 2: Other Investments
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Your investments should be working for you, appreciating more than inflation to become an engine of growth that pays you money and provides some measure of financial freedom.

Appreciating Assets Part 1: Stocks and Bonds
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All assets are not equal. Some investments appreciate better on average than others.

Portfolio Recommendation Beats S&P 500 By 9.4%
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Timing the markets this past year was nearly impossible.

Time To Rebalance Your Portfolio Again
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Because the markets changed course at least once over the past year, rebalancing tended to improve returns.

Investment Strategies Part 5: In Defense of Diversification
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Diversifying your asset allocation among investments with a low correlation can and should reduce your portfolio’s volatility and boost your returns. But critics are claiming this strategy is no longer valid. That’s because they don’t understand the nature of what happened in 2008.

Investment Strategies Part 3: Rebalance Regularly Between Asset Classes and Subcategories
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In this formula is deep wisdom, both for portfolio construction and for determining which categories are worth regular rebalancing.

Investment Strategies Part 2: Use Correlation to Define Asset Classes
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Generally, a correlation that can drop below 0.6 with other asset classes is a good candidate to become its own asset class.

Avoiding Another Lost Decade
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But if you were invested in a balanced portfolio, you did not lose this past decade.

Blending Index Funds To Achieve Higher Returns
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Even if you only use index funds, you should blend dozens of them in an asset allocation aimed at reducing risk and increasing returns.

Portfolio Allocation: Risk-Return Mix
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Portfolio construction begins with the most basic allocation between investments that offer a greater chance of appreciation (stocks) and those that provide portfolio stability (bonds).

IPS: Build Your Financial Dream Home with a Good Blueprint
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Without a financial plan, your investments are controlling your dreams, not the other way around. You need a blueprint for your financial dreams to come true. That blueprint in sound financial planning is called an Investment Policy Statement (IPS).

Eighty – Twenty Rule of Asset Allocation
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Investors are quick to forget that the markets also go down.

How Risky Do You Want To Be?
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“Bet on red.” replied my mother, “Now, let’s talk about how much risk you want to take.”

Am I Diversified?
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While everyone agrees that you should be diversified, it is important to know what your manager means by the term “diversified.”

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