What's Your Number?

In the financial world someone may ask you, “What’s your number?” Odds are they aren’t trying to pick you up. Rather, they are referring to the amount of money in which you achieve financial independence (aka retire).

Defining such a number is essential in financial planning. It provides the basis for how much you need to save each year, what kind of investment returns you need to achieve and how many years until you can retire

When Smart Money Isn't So Smart

We often hear pundits on TV talking about what the “Smart Money” is doing. Who are these smart people? What makes them so smart? And if they are smart, what are we?

What's Not Going to Change

Change. We spend much of our time thinking about, predicting and anticipating it.

Several years ago, the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, turned the question of change on its head. He said it is more important to consider what will not change. In other words, what are some fundamental truths we can rely upon?

A Reliable Forecast for 2019

Before I get into my market forecast for 2019, I want you to consider why forecasts are so alluring to investors like ourselves. What is the force that influences us to make decisions based on forecasts? There is ample evidence that expert forecasts are correct only half of the time, yet we are still attracted to them. Why?

The Costanza Investment Strategy

Originally posted on Fri, 09/28/2018 

Seinfeld fans love the irrationality and craziness of George Costanza; many of us can relate to some of his antics. While he may be crazy, he has given investors some great advice on how to be better investors. He didn’t give any explicit advice, but he taught us about human behavior, and how our responses can help or hurt us as investors.

Time - Friend or Foe?

Originally posted on Tue, 09/04/2018

Time is something we have very little control over, and yet complete control over. We cannot extend time nor can we shorten it. Yet, we have complete control over the consequences of its use. How we employ time can be a significant contributor whether we are happy or miserable.

Strengthening Your Investment Conviction

Originally posted on Thu, 08/02/2018

One of the biggest detractors to investor performance is a lack of conviction. We may have an investment strategy, and may even feel strongly towards it. But is that conviction circumstantial, or is it based on sound principles?

Skill, Luck & Outcomes

Originally posted on Mon, 07/02/2018

Most outcomes in life are a culmination of both skill and luck (or bad luck).  How much an outcome is influenced by skill versus luck differs among activities. Basketball is dominated by skill…typically you see the best teams win. Roulette is dominated by luck.  What about investing?

Investing - Simple Yet Difficult

Originally posted on Fri, 06/01/2018

Warren Buffett said, “Investing is simple, but not easy.”  Sounds like a contradiction. But in real life simplicity has little to do with ease. Take losing weight. Very simple.  Burn more calories than you take in. Easy, right?  

Cultivating a 'Firmness of Character'

Originally posted on Thu, 02/01/2018

Benjamin Graham said what investors need, but few have, is a “firmness of character.” What he was referring to is the ability for investors to keep their emotions in check.

Investing success is more influenced by DQ than IQ. Our Discipline Quotient, or ability remain disciplined during emotional times, is what sets investors apart. Exercising investment discipline is a difficult endeavor, but it’s not impossible.