2 Oct 2017

Trump’s Tax Principles

Following the election last November, I outlined what we could reasonably expect from the Trump administration (you can find the article here).  The article may have been a little tough to follow because I was trying to meld what Trump had said on the campaign trail and two proposals floating around the House. At this point, the picture is a little more clear as President Trump and GOP leaders outlined their… Read More

25 Sep 2017

Changes to the Missouri Most 529 Plan

I received a package from Missouri Most last week highlighting a change to the college savings plan. For those investors, like me, that use the age-based options, Vanguard is expanding the stock/bond options to make the journey a little smoother for investors. Currently, there are five age categories, starting with zero to five years old, then six to ten years old, 11-15 years old, 16-18 years old and for 19-year… Read More

18 Sep 2017

The Equifax Breach: What to do Now

As soon as Equifax announced that they had been hacked and that 143 million consumers were affected, I assumed that I was one of them – and not just because nearly one out of every two Americans was impacted. I use www.mint.com to track my monthly income and expenses and one of the features that they offer is information about your credit score once per month. It’s a great feature because… Read More

11 Sep 2017

Cliff Asness Says, Fire Your Mechanic

This article was originally published on June 3, 2014.  In my humble opinion, it holds up well; although I am disappointed that value stocks still haven’t turned around more than three years later.  As much as I don’t like that fact, however, the central thesis of my article is that these strategies can underperform for long periods of time.  One of my favorite people in our industry is Cliff Asness,… Read More

5 Sep 2017

New and Improved: The Shiller PE Ratio

Longtime Daily Insights readers are no strangers to the Shiller PE-ratio, a valuation metric that uses ten years of inflation-adjusted earnings to evaluate the cheapness or richness of the stock market – a search of the term on our website yields more than a dozen results. I’m very proud to say that our understanding of the Shiller PE is now greatly expanded, thanks to our own Ryan Craft. In the past,… Read More

28 Aug 2017

What the Hell is Bitcoin, Anyway?

In 2013, when Bitcoin prices were surging, a few readers asked me to write about Bitcoin.  I didn’t know much about it and didn’t write the article because I thought that Bitcoins didn’t seem legitimate, but they’re on a tear ago, so I’m giving it a shot. Bitcoin is the first, largest and best-known crypto-currency.   But what is a crypto-currency?  That’s a harder question.  To answer it for myself, I… Read More

21 Aug 2017

Is Volatility Too High? Goldilocks Says it’s Just Right

Well, I am fresh back from vacation in Northern Michigan.  I had the pleasure of driving over the Upper Peninsula twice during this trip to pick up one of my daughter’s from camp.  That’s three trips over the UP this summer, but, sadly, only one pasty. From my perch up north, the big story for me was seeing volatility spike up for the first time in what seems like forever…. Read More

31 Jul 2017

Could the Inherited IRA Be Eliminated?

While it’s always unclear what will come out of Washington, it appears that the inherited IRA (also known as a ‘stretch’ IRA) may be on the chopping block. To incentivize retirement saving, the government allows people to make pretax contributions to IRAs and allows the funds to grow without annual tax bills. Ultimately, though, IRAs are tax-deferred, as opposed to tax-free and the government taxes the money when it comes… Read More

24 Jul 2017

The Most Remarkable Investor that You’ve Never Heard Of

Last weekend, I took an extended drive through the Great Lakes region to drop my kids off at their respective camps. We stayed in Michigan the first two nights – first in Holland and then Munising, right on Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula.  After a drop off in Minocqua, Wisconsin, we stayed in downtown Madison.  All told, we traveled about 2,300 miles. While my wife and kids were hooked… Read More

17 Jul 2017

Retirement Spending Rules of Thumb

I suspect that, at some point, everyone has heard the old rule of thumb that retirees need to replace 80 percent of their income in retirement to continue to maintain their lifestyle. Although I think that the rule is conceptually reasonable, it’s imperfect and can be improved upon.  At the very least, spending in retirement isn’t fixed – it tends to decline over time as people age (for more on… Read More