Financial Advice: A Top Ten List

Dilbert - Index FundsYesterday, while I was otherwise engaged, Josh Brown threw some fuel on the active v. passive fire:

“Active investors, in the meantime, really can’t say anything. There isn’t a single empirical datapoint backing up the idea that an investor is financially better off paying someone to pick their stocks for them. There are other considerations in favor of active managers – mostly emotional ones involving elbow-rubbing, fancy lunches and alerts – but we’ll leave those aside for now.”

Putting aside the actual substantive argument (my views, including why I advocate some active management, are here and here), advisors routinely tell me that if they used index funds, their clients wouldn’t need their services, consistent with the Dilbert cartoon above.  I disagree vehemently.  Here’s my top ten list of reasons why. Continue reading

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A ‘grand bargain’ doesn’t add up

MarketWatchMy latest “Retirementor” column is now available at MarketWatch.  Here’s a taste:

“The conclusion is unmistakable: Americans wants a generous welfare state without having to pay for it . Continue reading

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From my friend Joe Calhoun at Alhambra Investment Partners:

The tax filing deadline this year is April 17th. The normal deadline of April 15th falls on a Sunday this year and you would think that would move the deadline to April 16th but that day is, ironically, Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C. so the deadline was moved to April 17th. Even more ironic: according to the Tax Foundation, April 17th also happens to be Tax Freedom Day, the day when the average American will have worked enough to pay their tax liability for the year. Happy Emancipation Day, indeed.