With high stock valuations and low bond yields, is the 4% rule for retirement withdrawal rate still valid for the 21st-century investor? Let's dive in. What Is the 4% Rule? The 4% rule refers to what is widely accepted as a safe withdrawal rate (SWR) for retirees from their investment account. Using this figure and assumptions about future expenses and investment … [Read more...] about The 4% Rule for Retirement Withdrawal Rate – A Revisitation
Here's how to calculate investment returns (known as return on investment, or ROI for short) to see your portfolio's performance. Introduction - Return on Investment Return on Investment (ROI) measures the gain or loss of an investment, as a percentage, relative to its cost. ROI is used in business to evaluate revenue performance, such as the return from marketing … [Read more...] about How To Calculate Investment Returns (ROI and CAGR)
Covered calls are pitched as a "free lunch" and a way to "collect rent" on your stocks. Let's explore why that's not the case. What Are Covered Call Options? Options contracts are derivatives that allow traders to speculate on the value of the underlying security. Call options allow the holder to buy an asset at a set price within a given time period. Put options … [Read more...] about No, Covered Call Options Are Not a Free Lunch
Portfolio diversification is considered to be the only free lunch in investing. In this post, I'll show you why and how to diversify your portfolio. What Is Portfolio Diversification? Portfolio diversification simply means combining different assets in one's investment portfolio, effectively spreading out your risk. As the related platitude says, "Don't put all … [Read more...] about Portfolio Diversification – How To Diversify Your Portfolio
Dollar cost averaging and "lump sum investing" are two different timing strategies for getting cash into the market. Let's compare them. What Is Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA)? Dollar cost averaging (DCA for short), also sometimes called a constant dollar plan, is a systematic investment timing strategy in which the investor divides up a total amount equally across … [Read more...] about Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Lump Sum Investing (DCA vs. LSI)
Three of the most popular international ETFs are Vanguard's VWO, VEA, and VXUS. Is there one that reigns supreme to hold alongside U.S. stocks? Diversifying with International Stocks Index investors in the U.S. usually know it's a good idea to diversify in equities outside the United States. At global market weights, U.S. stocks only comprise about half of the … [Read more...] about VEA vs. VWO vs. VXUS – Which ETF for International Stocks?
Commodities have been used in the past for their purported diversification benefit from their inherent low correlation to the total stock market, but do they really deliver? Commodities are materials like gold, oil, copper, livestock, agriculture, etc. Their value depends on their usage in production, and is directly related to supply and demand. Any position in … [Read more...] about Should You Invest in Commodities? Probably Not.
State-owned enterprises typically have inherently lower operating efficiency due to compromised business interests. It may be prudent to avoid them in your international portfolio. Here we'll see what the data has to say. What Are State-Owned Enterprises? State-owned enterprises, or SOEs, refer to companies with at least partial government ownership. The … [Read more...] about Should You Avoid State-Owned Enterprises in Your Portfolio?
Sequence of return risk may very well ruin your financial retirement plans, and all from sheer bad luck. Here we’ll look at the nature and implications of sequence of return risk in retirement, and some proposed solutions to at least mitigate its potential negative impact. What Is Sequence of Return Risk? Sequence of return refers to the variability of … [Read more...] about Sequence of Return Risk in Retirement Explained
Factor investing refers to specifically targeting independent risk factors in securities markets that explain the differences in returns between diversified portfolios. Here we'll look at what factor investing is, various factor models from the research, and how to do it using factor ETFs. What Is Factor Investing? Factor investing simply refers to consciously … [Read more...] about Factor Investing and Factor ETFs – The Ultimate Guide
Interest in ESG investment products has skyrocketed in recent years, particularly among young investors. Let's explore what ESG investing is, why you might be interested in it, and how to implement it in your portfolio. What Is ESG Investing? ESG investing - also referred to as socially responsible investing, sustainable investing, and impact investing - means … [Read more...] about ESG Investing – Going Socially Responsible in Your Portfolio
Day trading and investing involve very different audiences, time horizons, trade frequencies, risk profiles, mindsets, tactics, and methodologies. Here we'll explore the differences and similarities between day trading and investing. What Is Day Trading? Day trading, as the name suggests, refers to attempting to capitalize on intraday changes in the share price of … [Read more...] about Day Trading vs. Investing in Stocks – Which Is Better?
With the new year usually comes new or renewed interest in investing and personal finance. Let's explore why you should be looking into automating your investing. The Benefits of Automated Investing Any successful investor knows to invest early and often. That means regular deposits into an investment account. Thankfully, this usually happens automatically with a … [Read more...] about Why Automated Investing Is More Powerful Than You Think
I've always tried to "front load" my 401k contributions to reach the annual limit. Front loading refers to contributing more earlier in the year to get money in the market sooner and then dropping the contribution election down for the rest of the year. For my personal situation, for example, I front load heavily in the first 3 months of the year. Why Front Load Your … [Read more...] about 401k Max Contribution Calculator for Front Loading Each Year
Gold can be used as a store of value and a significant alternative asset in a diversified investment portfolio. Here we'll explore how to invest in gold quickly and easily online. Why Invest in Gold? Gold has long been a common currency of the world. The shiny metal is now traded on exchanges via futures and ETFs. Gold is considered a commodity. Commodities as a … [Read more...] about Why and How To Invest in Gold for Beginners
I would have loved some sort of a roadmap laid out for me when I started over a decade ago. The goal of this page is to do just that, so that you can start building wealth today. View this page as a reference sheet; a pathway along which you'll progress; a general framework, from which the details branch off. I would suggest taking a brief look at all the steps first, and … [Read more...] about Beginners Start Here – 10 Steps To Start Building Wealth
Leveraged ETFs allow investors to increase exposure without additional capital outlays. Below we'll explore what leveraged ETFs are, how they work, and why you might want to use them. Prefer video? Watch it here. What Is a Leveraged ETF? A leveraged ETF, as the name suggests, is an ETF (exchange-traded fund) that allows investors to utilize leverage in their … [Read more...] about What Is a Leveraged ETF and How Do They Work?
The oft-cited advice is to put your emergency fund in a safe, high-liquidity savings account or money market fund, but there may be a better way if you're willing to take on some additional risk. Here we explore how you can invest your emergency fund to beat a high-yield savings account. Introduction - Why Invest Your Emergency Fund? An emergency fund is exactly … [Read more...] about Why, How, & Where To Invest Your Emergency Fund To Beat Inflation
Bonds are a critical part of a diversified investment portfolio alongside stocks, lowering volatility and risk. Here we'll explore what a bond is, why you'd want to invest in bonds, types of bonds, and how to buy bonds online. In a hurry? Here are the highlights: A bond is an instrument by which lenders/investors are paid periodic interest payments for providing a … [Read more...] about Why and How To Buy Bonds Online: A Guide for Beginners
For beginners who lack investing experience, "the stock market" can seem like a big, complex, intimidating entity, especially after seeing scary headlines about market crashes. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here we'll explain what the stock market is, how it works, and how to invest in it. In a hurry? Here are the highlights: A stock is an instrument by which … [Read more...] about What Is the Stock Market? How It Works & How to Invest in It