14 Jun 2021

Drawdowns in Retirement, Part Deux

Last week’s Insight about the risks associated with so-called bond alternatives with higher yields prompted a lot of feedback, which I always appreciate. Here’s the article in case you missed it. One curious reader asked a great question: what if we allocated some of the bond money to a few of these higher-yielding options? That was enough to send me down the rabbit hole, looking at all kinds of higher-yielding… Read More

24 May 2021

Betting Big on the Future

Some of the hottest exchange-traded funds (ETFs) over the past few years come from the ARK family of funds, founded and run by famed investor Cathy Woods. The ARK funds are a series of theme-based ETFs that seek to find the early companies in a variety of emerging fields including robotics, space exploration, genomics, fintech, and 3D printing, among others. I can’t say that I’m very familiar with the ARK… Read More

10 May 2021

Our Yale Education; Remembering David Swenson

David Swenson, the pioneering manager for the Yale Endowment passed away last week, after a long battle with cancer. Swenson is among the few investors that will receive an obituary, along with other legendary investors like Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Bill Gross, and George Soros (Soros is complicated because he’s one of the most incredible investors of all time, but is mostly known for his political views and activities, which… Read More

3 May 2021

Biden’s Tax Proposal

President Joe Biden outlined his tax proposals in his address to Congress on April 28th and issued an 18-page fact sheet, which can be found by clicking here. There are many proposals, but here are some of the items of note for individual investors: The top tax bracket would increase to 39.6 percent from 37.0 percent. In 2021, the top bracket began at $523,601 for single individuals and $628,301 for… Read More

26 Apr 2021

Derivatives in Your Portfolio

Last week, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran a gripping article about a mutual fund that blew up due to problems with derivatives in the fund’s portfolio. You can read the whole article by clicking here, but let me start by sparing you of wondering whether you have it: not with us; our portfolio management software doesn’t even recognize the ticker. The thrust of the story is that the fund,… Read More

29 Mar 2021

Having it all with Buffer Funds?

I’m proud to say that Acropolis was an early adopter of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Although they had been around for almost ten years by the time we launched the firm, they were not actively used. In fact, five years before we launched Acropolis, I wanted to buy some in an account that I had with my dad’s broker at A.G. Edwards. I wanted to buy the S&P 500 ‘Spider’ fund… Read More

16 Feb 2021

Where the Economy Stands Now

Vanguard has always provided balanced and thoughtful commentary about the economy and markets. In the last few years, they’ve done an even better job of producing it regularly and making it easy for advisors to access. Today, I’m sharing a client-approved document that they produced that is easy-to-read and sets a great baseline for thinking about 2021. The title says it all: Approaching the Dawn. Although I encourage you to… Read More

25 Jan 2021

What the SPAC?

Have you been hearing a lot about SPACs? They are one of the current poster-boys for market froth, along with Tesla, IPOs, bitcoin, and Robinhood traders. Officially, SPACs are ‘special purpose acquisition companies,’ but are often called blank-check companies. Historically, a relatively well-known investor would raise cash and form a SPAC, which is publicly traded. But, until the SPAC went out and bought a company with the cash they raised,… Read More

19 Jan 2021

The Hottest Funds of 2020

The Wall Street Journal last Sunday (that can be found here) about the top stock funds in 2020. They featured the Morgan Stanley Inception fund, which gained 150.6 percent, and pointed out that it surged 19.5 percent in the last few weeks of the year. The manager discussed how they had more than their fair share of investments in e-commerce, people working from home, and streaming entertainment. The top ten… Read More

5 May 2020

Nothing Can Stop America

About one month after Lehman Brothers collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis, Warren Buffett penned an opinion piece for the New York Times that I found immensely comforting. You can┬áread the article by clicking here, but the thrust of it was that even if he didn’t know what stock prices would do in the short-run, that stocks would make record profits in the future and he was buying stocks. My… Read More