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Sound Investing

English, Finance, 1 season, 436 episodes, 22 hours, 42 minutes
About
Sound Investing was named the “Best Money Podcast” by Money Magazine in 2008. It has provided clear, concise advice on money and retirement since 2001 when it began as a radio program. The program is now delivered exclusively as a podcast offering market analysis, interviews with some of the best minds in investing, the Outrage of the Week, Top Ten Lists, and general information about how to properly prepare yourself for retirement.
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Best in Class ETF 2024 Updates

So, you've chosen to be a buy-and-hold investor following one of Paul's Sound Investing portfolios.  Now, the question is, what to buy?  It's time to become a knowledgeable shopper. Chris Pedersen describes the attributes that make an ETF or mutual fund more or less suited to implementing the portfolios we've discussed.  He then shows how to use Morningstar and Portfolio Visualizer to evaluate funds and points to the Best-in-Class recommended funds he's chosen. Finally, he demonstrates how the Portfolio Configurator can compare different fund family implementations and calculate the needed percentages of different funds for your personal portfolio choices.   Along the way, we learn that, like Warren Buffet, he has a thing for Diet Coke. Resources: AAII Article describing his Best-in-Class ETF selection process-  Video link to section of prior video showing more detail of the factor analysis he uses- Time mark- 46:00 Best-in-Class ETF's article  Best-in-Class ETFs Portfolio Configurator
4/17/202428 minutes, 20 seconds
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2 Funds for Life 2024 Update

Chris Pedersen shows how to automate investing with simple 2-fund portfolios.  He discusses how target-date funds work and how to combine them with small-cap value funds to achieve results similar to more complicated portfolios.  He highlights the 2 Funds for Life fine-tuning table in the Portfolio Configurator and shows how it can be used to set expectations based on different allocations. He also shows how 2 Funds for Life approaches can be compared to Sound Investing portfolios using the Configurator.  Finally, he takes advantage of Paul's absence to praise Paul's example and highlight the importance of non-financial investments. Resources mentioned:https://lookerstudio.google.com/u/0/reporting/a941a5d4-0929-45ea-b22e-3bb82dc334ff/page/p_zy32acuhdd?s=hqmha3-AK5k Watch the video here.
4/10/202433 minutes, 26 seconds
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Flexible Distributions 2024 Update

In this podcast Paul addresses the advantage of using a Flexible Distribution strategy.  He starts by mentioning the earlier podcasts that focused on the Sound Investing Portfolios, Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Tables and Fixed Distribution Tables D1.4, D1.5, D9.4 and D9.5.He then focuses on  Flexible Distribution  Tables F1.4, F1.5, F1.6, F9.5 and F9.6.The following are links for listeners who want to review all the Fine Tuning Tables, all the Fixed Distribution Tables and all the Flexible Distribution Tables. ⁠9 Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Tables S&P 500 (⁠Table B1⁠) U.S. 2-Fund (50/50 S&P and Small Cap Value) (⁠Table B9⁠) Fixed Distribution Tables Flexible Distribution Tables For questions on Flexible Distributions please send to [email protected] or  post the questions in the comments section of the Flexible Distribution video. (link)
4/3/202444 minutes, 42 seconds
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Fixed Distributions 2024 Update

The move from the accumulation to distribution period of an investors lifetime includes some very important decisions. What asset allocation between equities and fixed income? What combination of equity asset classes in the equity portion, as well as fixed income asset classes? What amount of distribution will be made annually? Will the payments be monthly, quarterly or annually? Will payments be adjusted for inflation and how often? Will the distributions be based on a fixed distribution with regular adjustments for inflation (the topic in this presentation) or on a flexible basis (the topic of the next segment)? In this podcast Paul uses 11 tables  to address the questions above.  It is recommended the viewer print out the PDF of the tables to make it easier to follow the numbers. Many may find it is easier to follow the information on Paul’s video on the same topic. If you have questions about the presentation please leave comment or question in the comment section below or email [email protected].
3/27/20241 hour, 1 minute, 52 seconds
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Fixed Contributions 2024 Update

In segment #5 of the 2024 Book Camp Series Paul applies all of the first 4 segments lessons to putting the portfolios to work by making a regular monthly investment into several of the Sound Investing Portfolios. For those coming to the series for the first time Paul suggests listening to the first 4 segments. #1 Stocks vs. Bonds: The $10 Million Decision #2 The Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio 2024 Update #3 Sound Investing Portfolios: 2024 Update #4 Fine Tuning Asset Allocation 2024 UpdateIn his presentation Paul references Tables J1a, A1a, H2a, B1, B9, C1 and C9. The purpose of the podcast is to familiarize investors with how to use and compare the rest of the Fixed Contribution Tables. This link takes investors to the rest of the C tables.
3/20/202440 minutes, 42 seconds
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Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation 2024 Update

In the previous three podcasts we have addressed the long term decision between investing in stocks vs. bonds, what equity asset classes you might use in building your equity portfolio and how to combine the different equity asset classes to build the best portfolio for your different investments. The purpose of each of the Boot Camp Series is to address some of the most important investment decisions.  In this podcast I discuss the question of how much fixed income an investor should  hold in their portfolio. There are 9  Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Tables.  Each one assumes the use of one of the nine Sound Investment equity portfolios.  Paul focuses on two of them and expects that those who are interested will be able to view the rest of the tables on their own. The two tables use the S&P 500 (Table B1) and the U.S. 2-Fund (50/50 S&P and Small Cap Value) (Table B9).  Each of these tables represents the annual returns of  11 combinations of equities and bonds.  The goal is for investors to find the combination of equities and bonds for their risk limits and and return expectations. Paul will be monitoring the YouTube video and will respond to questions there. Disclosures Data Disclosure Notice - Funds (1970-Present) Data Disclosure Notice - Indexes (1928-Present)
3/13/202443 minutes, 32 seconds
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Sound Investing Portfolios: 2024 Update

In this podcast Paul addresses the construction, returns and risks of the Sound Investing Portfolios. Table H1a lists the 9 Sound Investing Portfolios and includes percentages of each of the asset classes included in each portfolio.Table  H2a lists the risk and return data for each portfolio.  The table compares profitable  years, unprofitable years, decade returns and total return of a $10,000 investment. Table H3a lists the portfolios annual return for each year for the period 1970-2023. Paul encourages listeners to pose questions regarding the Sound Investing Portfolios.  Send questions to [email protected].  
3/6/202434 minutes, 37 seconds
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The Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio 2024 Update

Paul recommends new listeners listen to the previous podcast on ⁠Equities vs. Bonds⁠ prior to this podcast.  The purpose of this annual update is to remind investors of the power of equity asset class diversification.  Paul makes the case for the 10 equity asset class portfolio that he introduced over 25 years ago.  During the presentation he uses Tables A1a and A2a.  A1a shows the series of portfolios, starting with the S&P 500 on its own, and then the results of adding 9 other asset classes one at a time.  In A2a Paul reviews the Ultimate Buy and Hold results to 7 other portfolios that investors may select for better returns with fewer funds and similar volatility.  In both cases he shows the results with both annual and monthly rebalancing.  On the next podcast Paul will dig into the important differences of the risk and return for all  9 portfolios, including the S&P 500 as the single holding.
2/28/202441 minutes, 56 seconds
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Stocks vs. Bonds: The $10 Million Decision

This podcast is the first in the series of 8 to 10 podcasts, videos and articles that will be found under Bootcamp and Best advice. In this podcast Paul discusses the biggest investment decision of an investor's lifetime:  Invest in stocks or bonds.  He reviews the  long term risk and return for both important asset classes.  In each case there is a set of 3 tables that reflect the returns from 1928 to 2023.  In Tables J1a and J2a he compares the annualized return for the entire period as well as for all the 15 and 40 year periods.  His discussion includes the impact of inflation as well as rebalancing.  He also encourages those who have not read  "We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement” to  download the free pdf.
2/21/202457 minutes, 27 seconds
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Chris Pedersen answers your questions: Best in Class, 2 Funds for Life and more!

Join Paul and Chris for this podcast/video they recorded. During the conversation Paul  mentions Chris’ free copy of  “2 Funds for Life”  and a fascinating interview with Professor Scott Cederburg on Rational Reminder.  Cederburg is an advocate for a lifetime portfolio of all equities.  The following are the topics and questions they discussed:   What does an investor do if a small cap value fund is not available in their 401(K)?  Does a small cap blend fund, that is available, have the same impact as small cap value? How do you choose between investing in a higher expense ratio ETF (say Avantis) compared to investing in a low expense ratio small cap value index fund?  Would the decision be as simple as going with the lower expense ratio fund?   How do taxes impact your recommendations whether the asset class is held in taxable or tax advantaged accounts?  Specifically, the S&P 500 fund that has little to no annual taxes vs small cap value which is less tax efficient. Are you tempted to invest in individual stocks or actively managed funds?   Since small cap value funds can have long periods of underperformance,  does that suggest  those approaching retirement should avoid small cap value funds? How did you react to the March 2020 Market Meltdown and other past major market declines?   Did you try to take advantage of the declines as a buying opportunity? What about combining 25% each small cap value and S&P 500 fund with  50%  target date fund?   What’s the best way to move from your present holdings to a 2 Funds for Life Portfolio? Where do I find information on how you make your selection of Best In Class ETFs?  Here is the page that has links to the articles, podcasts and video.  Plus here is a link to Chris’ AAII article on the topic.  I’m setting up a  50/50 small cap value/target date fund.  Would it help to add international small cap value? How about using two small cap value ETFs?  DFA and Avantis each have similar ETFs but different portfolios.   What is the status of Chris’ new white paper on 2 Funds for Life?
2/14/20241 hour, 11 minutes, 38 seconds
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10 Investment Decisions “Guaranteed” to Improve Your Financial Future

Paul looks at the guaranteed advantages of 10 different investment decisions.  He also challenges one of the oldest claims about our expectations for returns.  During the presentation he discusses the important differences between investment success and investor success.  He encourages all listeners to get the free pdf of Paul Heys book, “Spending Your Way to Wealth(s).” 
2/7/202422 minutes, 55 seconds
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11 Q&A- Finding an advisor, educating kids, robo-advising, changing asset allocation and more

In the process of looking for a document I  came across a group of questions that had been hidden away in my saved documents.  The good news is the list included some great questions.  The bad news is I'm not sure which presentation generated the questions.  1.  What are the best investments to make and what milestones should an investor reach? 2.  Do you recommend a solo 401k or SEP IRA for a single employee LLC that will never have employees?  Recommended reading from Truth-Teller Jim Dahle- https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/sep-ira-vs-solo-401k/ 3.  How much more do you think Avantis Small Cap Value (AVUV), which has higher fees, will make than Fidelity Small Cap Value Index (FISVX)? 4.  I have $1.5 million in cash and a total portfolio value of $5.8 million.  My asset allocation is 43% equities and 57% bonds.  I have Social Security and other income of $90,000.  Should I change my balance to 60% equities and 40% bonds? 5.  If you only need a 2% withdrawal rate, what would be the right asset allocation for a someone really investing for my survivors?  How about 90% equities and 10% bonds?  6.  Is there a time or value of investments that someone should get a trusted advisor?  If so, how do you find them?  Several sources mentioned:  https://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com/about/contact/ and https://adviceonlynetwork.com/ 7.  What changes can a 50-something make to boost their 401k returns? 8.  What are your thoughts on robo advisors/investing? 9. What is your advice for a parent who wants to persuade their adult children to educate themselves about investing?  After you listen to the answer please send me an email  to [email protected] about what steps you would take?  Please include your phone number.   10.  Will the program be recorded?  Of course I don’t know as I don’t know where the list came from.  If you know, please let me know. 11.  What should I do with penny stocks that are down 89 to 90 percent?
1/31/202452 minutes
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The #1 Reason most investors fail!

In this podcast Paul discusses ten million dollar mistakes investors make, along with the mistake that is the biggest reason he believes most investors fail to achieve the return they deserve.  As part of his presentation he references the following two tables. Table 1 and Table 2.  D1.3 D1.4 Paul reminds listeners to forward copies of our 3 free books.
1/24/202447 minutes, 47 seconds
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Configurators, Returns and Risks, and 2 Thumbs Up Movie Review

Paul, Chris, and Daryl are back together for the first time in 2024.  The podcast starts with Chris demonstrating a new and improved Portfolio Configurator, which adds the 2 Funds for Life portfolios. Now, investors can see how the equity portion of Sound Investing Portfolios, like the Ultimate Buy and Hold or Four Fund Combos, compare to various 2 Funds for Life approaches.   Next, they discuss the question "Which backtested portfolio has the highest return per unit of risk, and shouldn't we all be using that one?"  Daryl uses Table H2, and Chris uses the 2 Funds for Life Fine Tuning Table to point out various ways investors might define risk and try to find the portfolio with the best return per unit of risk. The podcast closes with some thoughts on 2024, and requests for feedback on the new Portfolio Configurator.   Chris, Daryl and Paul also comment on the new documentary, “Turn Off the Noise.” This documentary is available free through the end of the month.
1/17/202452 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Most Important Advice I know

Trust is the key for most investors to stay the course for the long term.  I formed a lasting trust in the academic work of Drs. Fama and French when I attended a 2 or 3 day workshop at Dimensional Fund Advisors in 1994.  That trust led our firm to use the DFA funds since the mid 90s.  While I believe there are a lot of people who find our long term studies helpful, I’m not sure that all of those people understand that almost all of our studies that go back to 1928 are based on the work of the academics who are associated with DFA.If you don’t immediately feel better about the source of our data, I think you will feel better if you watch the new documentary, “Turn Off the Noise.”  I sent it to Daryl and he responded, “Spectacular!”   I sent it to Chris and his response was, “We stand on tall shoulders.”You can watch the documentary at no cost by going here.  You will be asked to fill in a few pieces of information and use the Access Code: RATIONAL  This offer only extends through January 31, 2024Then I would like you to watch a wonderful interview of Errol Morris, an Academy Award-winning film director and author.   The following are the notes from interviewers Ben Felix and Cameron Passmore.In today’s episode, Errol Morris, Academy Award-winning film director and author, joins us to talk about his recently released documentary called Tune Out the Noise. The documentary focuses on the revolution that's happened in the financial system, how the markets work, and why the advancements made are so vital. Errol is an acclaimed figure in film and literature, boasting an impressive array of accolades, notably securing an Oscar for his renowned documentary The Fog of War. His work spans various arenas, encompassing short films for prestigious events and many charitable and political organizations. In our conversation, we delve into the significance of storytelling in communicating complex subjects, the power of serendipity, the evolution of finance, and the enigmatic nature of truth. We discuss the necessity of storytelling, the unexpected occurrences that influenced finance, the importance of empirical data in understanding truth, the central story of Tune Out the Noise, and much more. He also provides insights into the amazing economists, many of whom are past guests, who helped shape the financial landscape. Discover how chance, humility, and the pursuit of truth intertwine in this captivating episode, where the intriguing art of storytelling converges with the complexities of the financial world. Tune in now!
1/10/202416 minutes, 53 seconds
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Review of 2023 returns and a prediction for 2024

In this podcast Paul starts by recommending, “Episode 285:  A Year In Review" a podcast/video. In Paul’s review of 2023 returns he compares Chris’ Best In Class ETF recommendations with similar Vanguard ETFs and the average return in each equity asset class.  He also gives returns for the most popular portfolios including, Ultimate Buy and Hold, 2 Fund U.S., 4 Fund U.S. and 4 Fund WW. Using an article from Ben Carlson  Paul is able to find even more reasons 2024 should be a very profitable year for investors.Paul discusses his nominee for the #1 Fund Family in America. He closes with a portion of a letter from Subah Randhawa, President of Western Washington University.
1/3/202432 minutes, 26 seconds
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Why not all equities all the time?

In the last podcast of the year Paul discusses the many important projects Chris Pedersen, Daryl Bahls and he will explore in 2024. He then addresses a question from a listener:  Why not all equities forever?  The question is the focus of a wonderful interview with  Scott Cederburg, Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Arizona.  Scott is the guest of Truth-Teller Ben Felix and Cameron Passmore on their podcast, Rational Reminder. In this podcast (https://rationalreminder.ca/podcast/284) entitled "Challenging the Status Quo on Lifecycle Asset Allocation” Scott discusses his groundbreaking research on the implications of retirees using all equities during their entire retirement vs. the traditional stock/bond allocation most experts recommend. Paul uses Tables D1.4 Fixed Distributions S&P 500 and D9.4 Fixed Distributions U.S. 4 Fund to demonstrate how much better returns than all equity large cap blend can be earned with a combination of small, large, growth and value and up to 50% in fixed income. Another listener asks where one can find the tables referenced in the podcast entitled,  "The best gift of all? A financial legacy for a child"     Here is the link to the pdf that includes the tables mentioned in the article. He also recommends he review these tables that Daryl put together to show the impact of two investors starting at age 18 and 23.   
12/27/202338 minutes, 19 seconds
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2 Funds for Life Fine Tuning Table

Paul Merriman and Chris Pedersen introduce the 2 Funds for Life Fine Tuning table and describe how it can be used by investors of all ages to evaluate various combinations of target-date and small-cap value funds.   Historically, these combinations have produced higher returns and higher safe withdrawal rates with only modest increases in risk compared to the target-date fund alone.  The table provides investors a way to see what these differences have been in the past for target-date funds across their lifetimes when combined with 0% to 50% small-cap value in 10% increments.   Paul and Chris also discuss rebalancing approaches and the methodologies used in the backtests.  Whether you're a young investor, mid-career, or well into retirement, we think this information will be relevant and hope that it will be life-changing. Watch video here- https://youtu.be/SiByQZzf3vQ
12/20/202345 minutes, 19 seconds
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A new way to look at risk and return

Paul wishes to warn podcast listeners that this podcast contains a lot of important numbers from the following 4 tables.  The torrent of numbers can be irritating but these are some of the most important aspects of risk and return we should know.Paul asks that investors email him with questions about the tables.  [email protected] In this podcast Paul introduces a new way to understand and compare the likely risk and return of equity asset classes. The biggest challenge for first time investors is not understanding the likely losing periods they will experience as part of the normal progression of successful investments.  These 4 tables compare the historical risk and return of the S&P 500, Small Cap Value, a 2 fund portfolio that’s 50/50 S&P and SCV and 4 fund portfolio with 25% each in S&P, Small Cap Value, Large Cap Value, and Small Cap Blend.
12/13/202334 minutes, 44 seconds
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Factor Investing & Investor Behavior

The biggest challenge of educating first time investors is reaching them with our educational materials. One of the best ways to reach young investors is through young podcasters who have loyal audiences of these first time investors.  Jose and his podcast, Slow Brew Finance is a great example.  It is available both as an audio  and video podcast.  During the presentation Paul mentions a table of returns for the S&P, U.S. large cap value, small cap blend and small cap value. Here is the link. To sign up to Slow and Steady, a bi-monthly email newsletter with bite-sized practical personal finance thoughts and tips https://slowbrewfinance.com/subscribe The topics in this interview include:00:00 - Intro  03:04 - Your Own Small Value Portfolio  07:23 - Value and Quality  10:12 - What if Value Doesn't Work Anymore? 14:47 - International Diversification 19:51 - Momentum 23:14 - Size  27:55 - Market Timing via Trend Following  39:13 - The Key to Becoming a Good Investor 46:42 - Investor Psychology  55:59 - Outro
12/6/202358 minutes, 32 seconds
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New Study: S&P 500 vs 4 Fund Portfolio

Paul begins the podcast by noting a recent interview he had with Andrew Giancola of Master Money and the Personal Finance Podcast.  The topic is “Simple Financial Steps With Massive Payoffs.”In this podcast Paul discusses a new study that compares long term returns of the S&P 500 and the 4 Fund Portfolio.  The study was motivated by an article written by Ben Carlson. Paul discusses the same 20 year periods starting in 1930 and compares the results of The 4 Fund Portfolio to that of the S&P 500.  He also makes the case, using one of his favorite quilt charts, that the 4 Fund Portfolio is not only more profitable but is less risky on an annual basis. 
11/29/202322 minutes, 30 seconds
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Beyond Numbers: Unveiling the Generosity of Personal Finance

Doc G interviews Paul. "Join me in an eye-opening conversation with renowned investing advisor and philanthropist Paul Merriman as we delve into the question: Is personal finance inherently selfish? In this episode, we explore the broader impact of financial decisions and discuss Paul's recent $3.6 million gift to empower students at Western Washington University through investing education." Listen to more of Doc G on Earn and Invest- https://www.earnandinvest.com/episodes-7/youre-not-spending-enoughhttps://www.earnandinvest.com/episodes-7/testhttps://www.earnandinvest.com/episodes-7/spreading-the-financial-independence-gospel-are-we-preaching-to-the-choir
11/22/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 31 seconds
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Yes, Virginia you can take 8% distributions in retirement!

Topic 1: The industry has responded loudly to an announcement by Dave Ramsey that he would be comfortable about taking 8% a year from a retirement account.  Here is what Rob Berger has to sayIn a recent video answering a caller's question, Dave Ramsey described those promoting the 4% Rule as "stupid," "goobers," and "morons. He described the 4% Rule as stupid and said he's "perfectly comfortable" with an 8% withdrawal rate. In this video, I'll describe his rationale and why I'm "perfectly comfortable" telling him he's wrong. New RetirementFICalcDave Ramsey VideoHere is the latest from Morningstar on withdrawal ratesAnd another good article from Amy Arnott from Morningstar  In my discussion I try my best to explain the real thinking by Dave Ramsey.   Topic 2: “ iShares just came out with target date funds as ETFs.  What are your thoughts on their returns and  their tax efficiency? Topic 3:  Today I listened to my 1st Youtube Paul Merriman video --- your Ultimate Buy & Hold  Update 2023.  Very intrigued by your strategy as I'm also a DIY investor.  Since I'm retired & 62 years old with a wife that will be working for another 3 years, can you direct me towards your more specific information that would be more relevant to my situation?Topic 4:  New study on market timing vs. buy and hold from Vanguard
11/15/202359 minutes, 2 seconds
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12 more Small Cap Value Q&A's from AAII NYC

The following questions were sent from the October 11, 2023 presentation to the NYC AAII Chapter. You can watch the video here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjFlcDAlH1k Chris Pedersen's section starts at 59:00. Paul and Chris conclude with a Q&A session. If I have a pension and social security that cover my cost of living, is it inappropriate to have 100% of my  long term portfolio in stocks? How should I create a do it yourself target date fund using one of your Sound Investing portfolios?   What are the tax implications of the portfolios you recommend?  Are some better for taxable accounts? Paul, do you invest in any individual stocks?  If not, why not? I have relied on professional managers for most of my life but would like to quit paying the fees to have someone else do it.  How can one feel confident in taking over the management of an account? What about 50% half small cap value and S&P, AND 50% in a target date fund? If I am dollar cost averaging is there a point (size of market decline) at which it would make sense to go ahead and invest it all? Does it make THAT big of a difference if someone lump sums vs dollar cost averaging? which is better/worse? Is there a small cap value emerging markets ETF you recommend for best in class? No investment advisor I know recommends a 100% allocation to small value. More common is a tilt toward the favored factor, say, 80% in the market and 20% in small value. What do you recommend? Do you recommend tax loss harvesting in a taxable account? https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/tax-loss-harvesting/ https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/how-to-tax-loss-harvest-a-large-taxable-account/ 12. Does a large cap blend fund that’s equal-weighted compare well with a cap-weighted fund?  
11/8/202351 minutes, 25 seconds
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12 Small Cap Value Q & A's

Paul answers 12 questions  from the AAII New York City Chapter October 2023 MeetingThe video can be watched here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjFlcDAlH1kPaul's section begins at 08:40. The following links are used in this presentation: Table B14B, ETF portfolios,  and SPIVA Report 1.  Do you recommend using index funds for international funds? 2.  Since small cap value underperforms the S&P 500 for long periods of time, should SCV be avoided by those who are nearing retirement?3. I don’t have small cap value available in my 401(k).  Will a small cap blend fund have the same impact?4. How can there be such radical return differences between the small cap value indexes?5.  Are you going to show risk-adjusted returns for the index funds? Treynor ratios?  Sharpe ratios?  Sortino ratios?6.  How does one juggle the choice between investing in a higher expense ratio ETF (example AVUV) compared  to investing in a lower cost index fund?  Would the decision be as simple as going with the lower cost fund?7.  If everyone invests in small cap value funds will that reduce the premium in the future?8.  Some say the SCV premium is declining because private equity companies are taking SCV companies private.  Any truth to the comment?9.  How do I rebalance a target date fund and a small cap value fund?  What gets rebalanced?10. Please recap what the good, bad and ugly of small cap value funds and ETFs.11. How long have you been aware of the small cap value premium?  Did you know about it before they became popular?12.  Fidelity Freedom TDF 2035 has an expense ratio of .7%.  When the expenses are that high does it change your recommendation of adding a small cap value fund?
11/1/202341 minutes, 55 seconds
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My Worst Investment Ever! What You Do When You Are Young, Is Golden

Paul is interviewed by Andrew Stotz and the My Worst Investment Ever podcast BIO: Paul Merriman is a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, and asset allocation. After retiring in 2012 from Merriman Wealth Management, which he founded in 1983, Paul created The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, dedicated to providing investors of all ages with free information and tools to make better investment decisions. STORY: Paul has had a series of bad investments, and they were all driven by emotions. It wasn’t until Paul got the emotion out of that process that his money started to grow. LEARNING: The first five years of the money you put away can, theoretically, represent 40% of the value of your portfolio over the long term. Start investing early so that you can benefit from the compounding effect.
10/25/202341 minutes, 12 seconds
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How I failed the Bogleheads

I went to the Bogleheads Conference with high hopes I would convince guests that small cap value should be at least a small part of every equity portfolio.  Many respond that they have all the small cap value they need in a total market index like VTI.Why I failed:  I only had 20 minutes, as compared to 45 a couple of days earlier for the NYC AAII Chapter.  I took a dozen slides out of the shorter presentation but still had at least another dozen tables and graphs to address in the 20 minutes.  What I should have done is spend the 20 minutes on one table.  That table is B14B. In this podcast I make the presentation I wish I made at the conference. If you have a friend you think could use the information, please pass it on.
10/18/202333 minutes, 59 seconds
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The best advice this year

In this week’s podcast I focus on two topics:  The first is the culmination of a 10 year project that just took a giant leap forward.  As you know the mission of our Foundation is  to help do it yourself investors make better investment decisions.  The bottom line is we want to help  them improve their financial future. While it is not addressed in our written mission, it is our desire to have the work continue beyond what the present group of volunteers can provide. That means finding a stable institution or organization  to carry on our work.  The following release from the Western Washington University introduces a new program that will soon establish a financial literacy program that will impact every student who attends WWU.   Over the next 100 years this endowment should help millions of students and their families make better financial decisions. The second topic is about someone I think everyone of our readers should become familiar.  On October 11 I will be speaking to the New York City AAII Chapter and on October 13 the Bogleheads Conference in Rockville, MD.  In both cases I will be speaking on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly aspects of investing in small cap value.  My hope is my presentation will motivate investors to give serious consideration to adding SCV to their portfolio. While I am excited about the opportunity to present our findings, I must admit the work that Ben Felix, one of our Truth Tellers, has done is about the best I have found on the topic.  If you want to see one of the best cases for SCV please watch Ben do his magic.
10/11/202324 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Lifelong Process of Financial Education

How Can Mindfulness Help You Reach Financial Independence? Do you want to reduce money anxiety, but don’t know who to trust? Would you like to learn how to set up and manage your own retirement plan? Do you want to know how we create a passive income stream you can’t outlive? If yes, join us and learn how to answer the 4 critical financial independence questions: Am I on track for financial independence? What do I need to do to get on track? How do I design a mindful investing portfolio? How do I manage that portfolio and my income over time through changing markets? Learn more: https://courses.mindful.money/financial-independence-bootcamp Paul Merriman is a nationally recognized authority on mutual funds, index investing, and asset allocation. He founded Merriman Wealth Management in 1983, retired from the firm in 2012, and created the Merriman Financial Education Foundation. Everything he does is dedicated to providing investors of all ages with information and tools to make informed decisions for their own best interests. Today, Paul joins the show to reflect on early financial lessons he learned, discuss the current state of financial education, and share the top three decisions everyone must make in their financial lives.
10/4/20231 hour, 1 minute, 3 seconds
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Pros and cons of target date funds and Ken Fisher's advice

Paul opens with information on the Oct. 11 AAII presentation.  Here is the link to sign up.There was a time when Paul was very critical about target date funds.  But important circumstances made him more accepting of the important value of target date funds.  He discusses why he changed his mind but explains why he still thinks you should build the glide path on your own.He also responds to Ken Fisher’s comments about the small cap and large cap historical returns. In the discussion Paul recommends listeners take a look at the quilt charts that show individual asset class and portfolio annual returns.
9/27/202329 minutes, 48 seconds
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Paul and Tom on Talking Real Money

Tom Cock and Don McDonald record a daily podcast Talking Real Money and a 2 hour radio show on KNWN (previously KOMO) each Saturday afternoon from 12 to 2.  Last Saturday Don was taking a day off and Tom asked me to join him.  While I was in their studio I asked Tom to join me for a discussion about the challenges of educating  investors as well as giving some advice to  those interested in building a career as a financial advisor.  Here are a few of the topics we discussed: How to teach investors to develop realistic expectations for risk and return Best advice for first time investors Major changes in the financial planning industry How advisors bill for investments under management and those "held away” Robo advisory services Advice to young and older adults who want to get into the financial planning industry Working with Tom is always fun!
9/20/202334 minutes, 46 seconds
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Expected future returns, difference in total market returns, lessons from 1928 to 2023 risk and return and more

Watch the video here. Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls join Paul to answer questions from investors of all ages.  1:  I hold a REIT fund in my tax deferred account but have found other funds include REITS.  Am I overweighted in REITS and what should I do about it? 2:  Are all total market index funds created equal?  Should there be meaningful differences in returns? Chris compares the returns of 4 total market funds using Portfolio Visualizer. 3.  I am a 79 year old retiree who wants to use your 2 Funds for Life strategy.  How do you recommend I put my portfolio together?  4.  How would I establish an expected rate of return for the U.S. 4 Fund Portfolio?  5. I’m a young investor with a Worldwide All Value Portfolio.  As I age should I start to transition to a lower risk equity portfolio?  6.  The Avantis funds use a quality factor to produce better returns.  Why don’t all small cap value funds use the quality factor in their selection of companies?  7.  How have real returns of equity asset classes compared to theoretical returns?  8.  I want to carefully build my portfolio to work within my risk limits. My challenge is to decide what period of time represents the kind of losses I’m willing to accept.  If I use the information starting in 1928 or in 1970 the loss exposure is very different.  Which period should an investor use to match their asset allocation to their risk tolerance?  9. Chris, Daryl and Paul discuss the long term implications of the risk and return of a 60% equity and 40% bonds using a  combination of equal percentages of the S&P 500 and small cap value. During the presentation Daryl and Chris reference a new 1928-2022 Fine Tuning Table for an equity portfolio of 50/50 S&P 500 and Small Cap Value.  Daryl introduces a new table that compares the returns from 1928-1969 with 1970-2023 
9/13/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 19 seconds
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Chris Pedersen podcast and video

Financial Feast Pod is a new podcast  focused on simplifying personal finance, with each segment dedicated to understanding and implementing the most important financial decisions.  In this podcast Zach and Kevin interview Chris Pedersen about “2 Funds for Life”. Not only will you learn about Chris’ book but the hosts ask a lot of questions about the Foundation and Chris’ favorite food. Topics: 2 Funds for Life explained Risk and return of 2FFL How to use 2FFL in a 401k To rebalance or not to rebalance Conservative, moderate and aggressive portfolios Why not put all in small cap value What about international small cap value Advantages and disadvantages of hiring an investment manager If you haven't signed up for our weekly Sound Investing newsletter, click here to sign upand for a copy of  2 Funds for Life and We’re Talking Millions Orange County AAI video- (Chris' presentation starts at the 5:20 mark) On July 22, 2023 Chris Petersen made a 2 hour presentation to over 650 AAII members and our Foundation members.  The following is the AAII announcement of Chris’ topics: As investors, we all want to get the best return we can with the least possible risk. We often think of this as an asset allocation problem. Although there is some truth in that, it can only go so far. We still have to take some risk to get a reasonable return, and select specific funds in which to invest. And then, we're still left with the risk of our emotions and behavior. In this presentation, Mr. Pedersen will discuss how portfolio asset allocation, fund selection, and investor behavior impact the returns we get for the risks we take. He'll also show some practical approaches to help us all come closer to being best-in-class in all three of these areas. Attend Mr. Pedersen's discussion and you will learn: How various types of equities and bonds interact to impact risk and reward An objective approach to choosing best-in-class funds for equity asset types The impact investor behavior has on risk and reward, and ways to mitigate or improve it. Chris Pedersen is Director of Research at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and creator of the 2 Funds for Life investing approach to augmenting target-date funds. He is an engineer by training, and a new opportunity finder by nature. In his work for the Foundation, he develops and maintains a set of best-in-class exchange-traded fund (ETF) recommendations, the customizable Merriman Aggressive Target Date glidepath calculator and regularly contributes to articles and podcasts.  Like the rest of the Merriman Foundation staff, his work is motivated by a genuine desire to learn and help, free of any financial incentives or conflicts of interest. I hope you will forward this presentation to friends and family that are looking for better ways to invest.
9/6/202341 minutes, 14 seconds
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SPIVA REPORT: One of the most important studies on fund returns

The podcast opens with a heads up on an exciting AAII presentation on October 11 at 6:30 EST.  Paul will make a one hour presentation on "The Case for Small Cap Value:  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” This presentation will include some interesting new tables that give a new perspective to this productive equity asset class. After Paul speaks, Chris’ presentation will focus on 2 Funds for Life in retirement and how to select the Best In Class ETFs.One of Paul’s favorite Truth Tellers, Ben Carlson, has recently written, "The Luckiest Generation”.  Paul reads highlights from the article.  It turns out “The Luckiest Generation”  faced a lot of serious headwinds.  Then Paul suggests the steps we should take if we aren’t so lucky. The annual SPIVA Report is one of the most important studies in the industry on mutual fund performance.  While many may wish to read the whole report, Paul focuses on the tables on pages 9, 10, 13, 14, 17 and 19.Those who take the time to review this information will hopefully reconsider holding any actively managed funds in their portfolio.  
8/30/202332 minutes, 2 seconds
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Everything & Everyone Underperforms Eventually

The podcast opens with Paul reading and discussing Ben Carlson’s recent article on the collapse of bonds,“Everything  & Everyone Underperforms Eventually.”   Paul references a table of returns that compares Short, Intermediate and  Long Term Treasures.   Paul also references a table of Fixed Income Returns during years with S&P 500 loss.  The following short article is referenced in a discussion of Bill Miller and Legg Mason Value Trust's 15 year record of returns ending in 2005.Russel Kinnel Jan 3, 2006  "Bill Miller has done it again, but it was a close call. Miller's  Legg Mason Value (LMVTX) extended its winning streak against the S&P 500 Index to 15 straight years, with a 2005 return of 5.32%. The S&P 500 returned 4.91% for the year. Miller's aversion to commodity producers, specifically energy stocks, meant he had an uphill climb in 2005. In addition, duds like Tyco International   and  eBay (EBAY) added to the challenge. However, big bets on  Google (GOOG) and  UnitedHealth Group (UNH) won the day. Those stocks nicely illustrate Miller's style. He believes that you have to stick your neck out on controversial or at least misunderstood names to beat the market. EBay and Google are bold bets because their multiples are so steep that they need nearly flawless execution to produce good returns for shareholders. Yet, Miller will also buy fallen growth stocks where controversy has frightened off less-secure money managers. Hence, Tyco and UnitedHealth. While his streak against the S&P 500 is a fun way to keep score of Miller's accomplishments, his goals revolve around long-term success versus the market. The consistency of his record helps to keep investors in, but his 10-year return is more impressive. The fund has gained an annualized 15.19% over that period, which is about 6 percentage points per year better than the index. For more perspective on the streak, read Chris Traulsen's Fund Spy column from November 2005." The Long Term Investor – Episode 62 – Investing for Higher Returns with Eduardo Repetto   Rational Reminder – Eduardo Repetto : Deep Dive with Avantis Investors’ CIO – 11/24/2022  Paul recommends investors listen to the following interviews with Eduardo Repetto, the Chief Investment Officer of Avantis Funds.         Bogleheads on Investing (the one w Rick Ferri)  - Episode 43: Eduardo Repetto on factor investing    
8/23/202330 minutes, 58 seconds
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How will investing be different in the future and 7 AAII Q&As

On July 22 Chris Pedersen spoke to the Orange County AAII Chapter.  This podcast, as well as one on 8/9/23 (20 Q&As) and another on 8/2/23 (16 Q&As) address questions that arose from the presentation.  This podcast covers a few more AAII questions plus other recent questions.  Topic 1:  What is the difference between investing today vs. 40 years ago?  And how  is  investing likely to be different in the future? 01:11 Topic 2:  Will the new Avantis All Equities Market Value ETF be a good substitute for your Worldwide All Value Portfolio?  7:00 Topic 3:  Do you recommend converting traditional IRA funds to a Roth IRA using the back door Roth IRA strategy?  Paul suggests reading:  https://www.thebalancemoney.com/when-does-a-backdoor-roth-ira-make-sense-4153803  and various articles at The White Coat Investors:  https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/backdoor-roth-ira-tutorial/.  14:30 Topic 4:  What is the most important table on your website?  Paul mentions tables at these pages:  https://paulmerriman.com/ultimate-buy-and-hold-strategy/,  https://paulmerriman.com/portfolios-2023-updates/ (most important), https://paulmerriman.com/fine-tuning-your-asset-allocation/,  https://paulmerriman.com/fixed-contributions/,  https://paulmerriman.com/fixed-distributions-2023/ and https://paulmerriman.com/flexible-distributions-2023/.  18:25 Topic 5:  Should a younger investor (20s, 30s, 40s) put TIPs as part of their fixed income or just stick to the Total Bond Market? 22:17 Topic 6:  Can you discuss your recommendations for the bond portion of a portfolio?  For example, how do you decide how much would go with the Worldwide 4 Fund Portfolio?   23:57Topic 7:  Could there be a problem when small cap value funds get too large? 28:02
8/16/202333 minutes, 22 seconds
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Better than Wellesley and Wellington? and 19 other questions

On July 22, 2023 Chris Pedersen addressed the Orange County Chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors.  At the end of his 2 hour presentation there were many unanswered questions. Our last podcast and video addressed 16 of those questions. In this podcast Paul responds to 20 more of the AAII questions.  1.  How do you feel about using a balanced fund such as Vanguard Wellington in retirement?01:44 2.  I subscribe to your mantra of index funds, keep costs low, buy and hold etc,  Is Merriman Wealth Management your company as well?  I ask because that company espouses buy and hold and market timing and charges “AUM” fees. 14:15 3.  I am a new retiree at 65 and have decided to use the “2 Funds for Life” target date fund with a 10% small cap value portfolio.  Do you recommend the 10% small cap value be split between U.S. and international small cap value funds?  23:30 4.  Is it too late for someone just entering retirement to change their investment portfolio to the 10-Fund Merriman Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio?   26:39 5.  What is your impression of a recent Vanguard study that showed a large percentage of investors over 85 with an asset allocation of 100% in stocks? 30:14 6  How about using a technology fund instead of a small cap value funds? 35:00 7.  What are some short term bonds funds you recommend?  Bonds funds discussed VSBSX, VMLTX and VSCSX 39:24 8.  I am 25 years old and have a high risk tolerance.  Would it be okay to be all small cap value and would it be okay to invest 10% of the portfolio in individual small cap value stocks? 41:06 9. I have been using the Merriman 10 fund portfolio for 10 years.  The annual rebalancing takes a lot of time.  Do you recommend I move to the worldwide 4 fund portfolio instead? 43:00 10. I am retired and just took a full distribution from my 401k and invested the cash in a Vanguard Rollover IRA.  I I use one of Merriman's portfolios should I stage my investment over many months or invest it all immediately? 44:45 11.  I currently hold a large amount of cash and want to start investing.  Do you recommend a lump sum investment or dollar cost average over a few months? 48:25   Fine Tuning tables. 12.  Do you think the Avantis All Equity Markets Fund (AVGE) has enough small cap value to compete with the returns of your Worldwide 4 Fund Portfolio? 53:53 13.  How does the Avantis Small Cap Value ETF (AVUV) compare to the DFA Small Cap Value ETF (DFSX)? 56:46 14.  Do you recommend buying individual bonds instead of bond funds? 59:58 15.  Do you recommend moving to a target date fund with a later retirement to get more exposure to equities? 1:02:00 16.  What would happen if one of the Avantis funds closed?  Paul recommends reading this article. 1:03:39 17.  I own VBR (Vanguard Small Cap Value ETF) in a taxable account.  Should I take the tax hit and move the investment in AVUV (Avantis Small Cap Value ETF)? 1:07:00 18.  What is your opinion of holding target date funds or a fund of funds during retirement? 1:10:33 19.  What is the range of Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of large and small growth and value funds? 1:13:00 20.  I think I need a professional advisor to help me with my financial decisions.  Will the fees I pay be covered by higher returns?  Financial Advisor services. 1:17:21
8/9/20231 hour, 24 minutes, 15 seconds
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AAII Orange County Chapter Q & A

On July 22, 2023 Chris Pedersen gave a 2 hour online presentation to the Orange County Chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII).  The title was “Best In Class Fund Selection and Behavior.”  Over 650 people attended the presentation, a record turnout for our presentations.  The video will be available in the coming weeks.  While  Chris answered  many questions during his presentation, there were over 60 questions remaining unanswered.  In this podcast and several to follow Chris and Paul will try to answer all of the questions.  Here are the answers to the first 16 questions: Should investors limit their bond holdings to short term bond funds? Are CDs a good place to park cash right now? Do you think investing in an internationally diversified index fund is a good way to manage currency risk? My wife and I are 70 with our portfolio 75% in cash.  Is now a good time to invest and should we put it all in now or dollar cost average?  Chris mentions a podcast on dollar cost averaging vs lump sum investing by Rob Berger. Dimensional Small Cap Value Fund appears to have less than a 2% return over the last 16 years.  Could that be true? For retired investors wouldn’t it be prudent to apply a market timing system that will protect against a big selloff? How does your Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio compare to your other portfolios in terms of risk and return?  Paul mentions Table H1 at this link. Would an investor be better served in a target date fund or managing a simple 3 Fund Bogleheads portfolio?  Paul mentions H1 here as well. Why not put your bond holdings into a diversified stock fund that pays dividends, like the Schwab U.S. Dividend Equity ETF (SCHD)? What is average maturity of the short-term bond funds you recommend? If I don’t have small cap value available in my 401k, should I substitute a small cap blend fund in my 2 Funds For Life portfolio? How does Portfolio Visualizer work on target date funds? Your charts show the possibility of an 81% decline.  Does that mean the fund could see the value fall from $100,000 to $19,000? Please explain the term investment factor. Instead of comparing different market factors, how would you compare the returns of different market sectors? Would you consider producing a factor regression video/course so do it yourself investors could learn to evaluate funds for themselves?
8/2/20231 hour, 22 minutes, 35 seconds
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The Worst Investment Advice I Know

Some of the worst investment advice I know happens to millions of investors each year. Between paying commissions, paying higher expenses,  paying more taxes, being less diversified, and sitting on too much cash, so-called experts encourage investors to hold investments that are built to make as much as 2 to 4 percent less PER YEAR.  Paul uses Tables 1 and 2  to show the impact of making an extra .5 and 1 percent a year.  Click here to view all the tables. He also references information from the annual SPIVA Report  on pages 7, 9, 13, and 19.  He mentions Morningstar risk and return date for the Investment Company of America (AIVSX) and the Vanguard S&P 500 (VFIAX).
7/26/202356 minutes, 28 seconds
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New Avantis ETF, free curriculum, good news or bad

Paul announces Chris Pedersen’s upcoming AAII presentation on Saturday, July 22.  The 2 hour Zoom presentation will begin at 8:45 a.m.  Chris will discuss how portfolio asset allocation, fund selection and investor behavior impact the returns we get for the risk we take.  He’ll also show some practical approaches to help us all come closer to being best-in-class in all three of these areas.   The public is invited to attend this webinar.  Please share this information with your family and friends.  The FREE WEBINAR will be live-streamed to your computer or mobile device, but you must register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xYAAhMVnT--qDnipfpaIqQ#/registration   After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.   Paul mentions a new survey on AI. 45% say they would turn to AI to make financial decisions. Paul mentions AI eliminates wading through 20 advertisements to get to the information you’re after.   Paul mentions his lists of 80 project.  One list of 80 focuses on important Investment lessons. One lesson is figuring out how to deal with the reality that there is always good news and bad on every important economic factor.  In a recent Ben Carlson article, "Good News-Bad New About the Economy” he explores the good  and bad news about the economy, inflation, cost of housing prices, wage growth and unemployment. So what do investors do with this list?  Paul suggests it’s best to ignore the temptation to take sides.   Paul mentions a new fund from Avantis.  The Avantis All Equity Markets Value fund combines U.S. and international small, mid cap and small cap value asset classes.  Will this new fund be a one fund solution for the 5 fund Worldwide All Value Portfolio on Table H102?   Paul suggests investors watch the Morningstar U.S. Barometer style box returns on a daily basis.  The purpose of this exercise is to become aware of the wide swings of the range of equity asset classes over short periods of time.   Paul updates the work of Truth-Teller Tim Ranzetta and his non profit NGPF.org.  Their mission is to have every state require a semester of personal finance as necessary for graduation from high school by 2030.  In the last 2 years the number of states that meet the requirement rose from 8 to 22, with 6 more expected this year.   Paul recommends parents consider ways to help their family and their school district make the move.  Here are ways Tim suggest you can help your family and local schools: Find out what their state is doing about personal finance education. Here's the most up-to-date: https://www.ngpf.org/state-of-financial-education-report/ Find out what their school is doing: https://www.ngpf.org/got-finance/ Advocate at their school using these resources: https://www.ngpf.org/expand-access/ Take an activity from our website and teach in their child's schools: Bean Game is a particularly easy one and very popular: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MRzOVjYtctMlYpLogKbdc5ZCgBO1b8Rc-FlbGfE5IA4/edit?usp=sharing Paul recommends parents subscribe to one or more of the NGPF regular newsletters:     https://www.ngpf.org/blog/current-events/whats-new-with-investing-2023/
7/19/202343 minutes, 27 seconds
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Does anyone really buy & hold and more Q&A

On this week's podcast Paul addressed a couple of very important questions:1. Is there really such a thing as a buy and hold investor?2. What can an investor do to improve their chances of staying the course through all market cycles?3. Many of your portfolios don’t include international equities.  Should investors use portfolios that don’t include any international funds? The following links were referenced in the podcast: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/7-Sound-Investing-Portfolios-50-50-2023.pdf SCV vs S&P500 Fine Tuning Tables (2022) Paul also talks about his early 80th Birthday party, it was a magical success.
7/12/202348 minutes, 6 seconds
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The most important investment decision you will ever make

While the industry generally agrees the most important investment decision is your choice of asset allocation, Paul makes the case that the choice between being a do it yourself investor vs. hiring a professional advisor is much more impactful over a lifetime. Paul discusses the many challenges of both decisions and finishes by showing DIY investors what they should do to be sure they address all of the risks investors accept, with or without a professional advisor. Paul uses ChatGPT as the source to a number of lists. Paul also mentions free books: If You Can by William Bernstein We’re Talking Millions — 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement 2-Funds for Life: a quest for simple and effective investing strategies 101 Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future Get Smart or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best and Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor  First Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money And for DYI investors to learn the most important investment decisions please visit:  https://paulmerriman.com/bootcamp-for-investors-2023/
7/5/202343 minutes, 37 seconds
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Ben Felix- New Truth Teller and Q&A

Paul starts the podcast with an update on the Bogleheads Conference.  For those who want to see a sample of last years presentations here is a link to all of the 2022 presentations. https://boglecenter.net/bogleheads-university/ For those interested in 2023 Conference, including list of speakers:  https://boglecenter.net/conferences/ For this interested in exploring John Bogles archives: https://boglecenter.net/bogle-archive/ Paul is working on a list of 80 quotes investors might use to remind themselves of the important investment beliefs that keep investors on track.  He asks listeners to send him the quotes that have kept you on track.  Please send to [email protected]. Our Truth Tellers are individuals or organizations that, in our opinion, are committed to helping investors better understand the facts and act in their own best interest. Their work and voice consistently provides useful, evidence-based information and advice, often on topics that we do not cover, and we want you to be aware of them to help you be a better long-term investor. Here is a Truth Teller page for Ben Felix. Ben is  the host of a popular YouTube series.  His over 100 videos are some of the best teaching tools in the industry.  The following are a few samples: Is Investing Risky? Dave Ramsey's Investing Advice Small Cap and Value Stocks Plus  Ben and Cameron Passmore interview other financial experts on their podcast, Rational Reminder.  They have made a special effort to interview many of the academics who have studied the investment process. Here is a wonderful interview with: Prof. Meir Statman: Financial Decisions for Normal People 5:16 Meir defines Behavioral Finance 15:37 The difference between a "normal" investor and a rational one 21:48 Why normal investors like lottery-like assets despite low or negative expected returns 26:24 The downsides to the "consume from dividends but don't dip into capital" rule 32:59 Why dollar-cost averaging is so persistent, when it is well-known to be rationally suboptimal 36:48 What makes strategies like covered calls and structured products so attractive to normal investors 43:19 Why normal wealthy people seek to invest in hedge funds and private equity, despite their questional benefits to a rational investor 48:24 How normal investors should deal with currency hedging in global portfolios 53:03 How behavioral portfolio theory differs from mean-variance portfolio theory 1:00:21 How an optimal behavioral portfolio differs from an optimal CAPM portfolio 1:09:21 How the typical risk-profile questionnaire can be adapted to improve the behavioral dimension of portfolios 1:15:53 How financial advisors can use behavioral finance principles to improve client outcomes 1:17:55 What puts financial advisors in a position to give well-being advice 1:23:27 Meir defines success in his life  
6/28/202333 minutes, 16 seconds
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ChatGPT offers shocking investment information!

There is no question AI is a hot topic.  I have watched “end of the world” interviews with people who know a lot more than I do about AI.  In a recent poll, noted in The New Yorker, half of A.I. scientists agreed that there was at least a ten-per-cent chance that the human race would be destroyed by A.I.”  I have also watched marketing people use Chat GPT to create very good marketing pieces.   So I thought it’s time to find out how good a source of general and specific investment advice Chat GPT might be.  Will it help people understand the important investment decisions that will lead them to higher rates of return within their personal risk limits.  Will it help them to understand the sources of information that will possibly put more money into the presenters pocket or the investors pocket. Since I recently discussed Dave Ramsey,  the very controversial and very popular guru, I thought it would be interesting to see what Chat GPT would say about Ramsey’s advice. On this podcast I ask Chat GPT: What are the pros and cons of advice from Dave Ramsey?  What is Dave Ramsey's position on index funds vs. actively managed funds? I asked again:  How does Dave Ramsey feel about index funds? Does Dave Ramsey recommend an advisor be a fiduciary? Are all the advisors that Dave Ramsey recommends fiduciaries?   Here are links to what Motley Fool has to say about Dave Ramsey’s advice: https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/dont-follow-this-dave-ramsey-advice-about-getting-out-of-debt/ https://www.fool.com/the-ascent/personal-finance/articles/4-things-dave-ramsey-is-dead-wrong-about/ The following links are to Dave Ramsey’s literature: https://www.ramseysolutions.com/retirement/why-dave-prefers-up-front-fees https://cdn.ramseysolutions.net/media/pdf/daves_investment_philosophy.pdf
6/21/202347 minutes, 26 seconds
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Dave Ramsey, small cap value and a "new" 4 fund portfolio

Paul starts the podcast encouraging listeners to check out the latest video where Chris, Daryl and Paul answer questions from readers, listeners and viewers regarding the article, podcast and video about the Sound Investing Portfolios 2023 Update. The following are the links that were used in the video: Asset Class Index CAGR Comparison (1927-2023) Table H2 - Sound Investing Portfolios Performance (50-50) - 2022 Table H102 - Sound Investing Portfolios Performance (70-30) - 2022 Paul also discusses a new table that Daryl is building that will show more long term details on U.S. portfolios from 1928-2022.  The discussion includes an interesting comparison of lump sum and dollar cost averaging from 1928-1937.  He also digs into the relative returns of large and small cap value in good times and bad. In the last newsletter there was a section regarding a lawsuit that investment guru Dave Ramsey is facing.  In this podcast Paul makes a recommendation that would eliminate the conflicts of interest Dave may have and provide a much needed service to help investors find the kind of advisor they prefer.  
6/14/202330 minutes, 8 seconds
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What rate of return can I count on in the future?

Paul starts the podcast with a brief discussion about the new “financial Literacy for All Students” project at Western Washington University (WWU).   The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, WWU, and Paul personally, are working together to make this project a reality in the next two to three years. The main topic of the podcast focuses on the returns investors should expect in the future.  Paul reviews the 5, 10, 20, 50 and 80 years ending 2022,as reported by Dimensional Fund Advisors 2023 Matrix Book.  He also reviews the DFA asset class returns from 2000 to 2022.  The period starting in 2000 is used as 1999 was the end of one of the longest market runs in history.  Paul compares both the U.S. and international returns for large, small, value, growth and NASDAQ indices.  The only other tables that are referenced are the 1928-2022 1,15 and 40 year returns.Paul ends the podcast asking listeners to email him ([email protected]) with any questions or comments they have regarding the  recent series of 8 major investor decisions.  These topics were covered in articles, podcasts and videos on the following pages.   Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy Sound Investing Portfolios Risk and Return History Fine-Tuning Your Asset Allocation Fixed Contributions Fixed Distributions Flexible Distributions The Simple Story About 2 Funds for Life Selecting the Best in Class ETFs
6/7/202327 minutes, 2 seconds
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8 Steps to a “Great Financial Future”

"It’s good to learn from your mistakes.  It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”  Warren BuffettThere are easy choices in the investment process.  Much of the advice we offer is very simple and without much disagreement.  On the other hand there are choices that must come after a thoughtful understanding of long term historical results along with an understanding of your need for return and personal risk tolerance.Jerzy Gregorek says it simply (not about investing).  “Hard choices, easy life.  Easy choices, hard life.”I would make a change in that quote to represent what I know about investment choices.Easy choices, good life.  Hard choices, great life.This podcast is a quick review of  the series of articles, podcasts and videos that address 8 investment decisions that Paul feels require deeper consideration and more statistical information than the simple choices that most people understand intuitively.Here are links to 8 pages that offer the article, podcast, video and tables about the important investment decision each addresses. Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy Sound Investing Portfolios Risk and Return History Fine-Tuning Your Asset Allocation Fixed Contributions Fixed Distributions Flexible Distributions The Simple Story About 2 Funds for Life Selecting the Best in Class ETFs
5/31/202339 minutes, 37 seconds
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Going for a Million!

I have a number of things on my bucket list.  One is to get "We’re Talking Millions!” in the hands of a million young people.  It would seem an impossible challenge but I know it can be done.  One of the reasons I know it is possible is because one of our podcasts has been opened by 977,088 listeners.  Let’s see if we can take it to a million!   Paul has been writing articles about index funds for decades.  The most read is “30 reasons to fall in love with index funds”.  While the most common advantages are low expenses, low turnover, massive diversification, Paul suggests the #1 reason may be keeping investors as far away as possible from commission-based sales people, con artists and other conflicts of interest typically not associated with index fund providers. Many do-it-yourself investors rely of services that have a large presence on the internet. A wonderful aspect of the internet is the ability to do meaningful due diligence on the reputations of those offering their “special ways” to perform better than index funds.  But can you depend on the information you find on the internet? Paul discusses the services of “search engine suppression consultants.”  These very clever people are wizards at making bad information disappear.  In fact, in many cases their fees are not earned until all the damaging information is totally eliminated.  He reads an example of one such article that claims to address the pros and cons of a well-known investment manager.  The pros are strong convincing points, while the cons are almost the mistakes that we would expect would be found in any firm. Paul also addresses the outrageous life-changing fees teachers are being charged and the work of an unscrupulous sales person who holds himself out as a friend of his community. The bottom line: None of these bad investments would be available through those who supply very low-cost index funds. The low costs don’t leave any room to take advantage of the investor.
5/24/202340 minutes, 54 seconds
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10 Things You Can't Learn From a Backtest

Over the last 8 weeks Paul, Chris and Daryl have produced a series of podcasts and videos on 8 of the most important investment decisions investors make.  Along with these podcasts and videos Paul and Rich have written Marketwatch articles on the same topics.  As a part of the discussion of these important decisions Daryl has updated over 200 tables of hypothetical returns that are used to support the recommended conclusions. This week, Ben Carlson, one of our Truth Tellers, has written an article on the inherent weaknesses of  backtesting.  While we have taken steps to minimize the potential problems with backtesting, Paul thinks Ben’s comments are worthy of consideration.  Along with his recent article, “10 Things You Can’t Learn From a Backtest,” we have included links to two of Ben’s past articles on the same topic.  Backtests are Unemotional.  Humans are not.Roughly Right or Precisely Wrong
5/17/202342 minutes, 13 seconds
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The Simple Story About 2 Funds for Life

Paul discusses ways a parent or grandparent might explain 2 Funds for Life to a young adult.  In the discussion Paul suggests using the following tables to make a handful of important decisions.Tables 1-4 from his Follow the Math comments- Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Equity Index Returns (1928-2022) to compare the returns of major equity asset classesTable B13 to show what happens when you combine a small amount of small cap value with a mostly bond portfolioTable B14A to show the impact of combining a small amount small cap value with a large cap blend fund The first objective is to help a young investor understand  how a target date fund works and why it is likely to provide a reliable source of income for the balance of their life.   The second objective is to show a young investor how a small amount of a small cap value fund, along with a target date fund, will likely help build an investment portfolio that will allow them to retire with substantially more income and leave  more to their heirs. For the parent or grandparent it will be helpful to watch the videos on Fixed and Flexible Distributions. 
5/10/202347 minutes, 47 seconds
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Flexible Distributions Update 2023

If a retired investor has the ability to use a flexible distribution strategy it will likely produce one of the best financial outcomes in retirement.  In this presentation Paul compares the difference in returns and risk between the fixed and flexible distribution strategies.    The discussion compares returns and total distributions for two of the 9 sound investing portfolios.   In the presentation he makes use of the following tables:Table D1.3  Fixed Distribution S&P 500 Equity Portfolio  ($30,000/yr)Table D1.5  Fixed Distribution S&P 500 Equity Portfolio  ($50,000/yr)Table E1.3  Flexible Distribution U.S. 4-Fund Equity Portfolio (3%/yr)Table E1.4  Flexible Distribution U.S. 4-Fund Equity Portfolio (4%/yr)Table E1.5  Flexible Distribution U.S. 4-Fund Equity Portfolio (5%/yr)Table E1.6  Flexible Distribution U.S. 4-Fund Equity Portfolio (6%/yr)For those interested in the historical returns of the 9 portfolios, as well as the complete list of flexible distribution tables:   50/50 Sound Investing PortfolioFlexible distribution tables (50/50 U.S./Intl)Flexible distribution tables (70/30 U.S./Intl)
5/3/202330 minutes, 13 seconds
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Fixed Distributions 2023 Update

This podcast is Part 5 OF AN 8 PART series ON THE MoST IMPORTANT INVESTMEST DECISIoNS. The discussion addresses the distribution tables that use a Fixed Distribution Strategy of 3, 4, 5 and 6 percent plus annual increases for inflation.  One set of distributions uses the S&P 500 as the equity position while the other uses the U.S. 4-Fund Portfolio (25% each of S&P 500, Large Cap Value, Small Cap Blend and Small Cap Value).The podcast references information on 8 different distributions tables:Table D1.3 Fixed Distributions: S&P Equity Portfolio-initial distribution $30,000 Table D1.4 Fixed Distributions: The same but initial distribution $40,000 Table D1.5 Fixed Distributions: The same but initial distribution $50,000 Table D1.6 Fixed Distributions: The same but initial distribution $60,000 Table D9.3 Fixed Distributions: U.S. 4-Fund Portfolio-initial distribution $30,000 Table D9.4 Fixed Distributions: The same but Initial distribution $40,000  Table D9.5 Fixed Distributions: The same but initial distribution $50,000  Table D9.6 Fixed Distributions: The same but initial distribution $60,000 Also mentioned:  Sound Investing Portfolios ACCESS ALL FIXED Distributions strategies for both 50/50 and 70/30 U.S AND INTERNATIONAL Sound Investing Portfolios
4/26/202340 minutes, 33 seconds
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Fixed Contributions 2023 Update

This podcast is the 4th in a series of our series to help do it yourself investors build a lifetime investment strategy.   The  presentation uses the following tables: ⁠Table C1 - Fixed Contributions: S&P 500 Equity Portfolio⁠   ⁠Table C14 - Fixed Contributions: US 2-Fund Equity Portfolio⁠ ⁠ Table C11 - Fixed Contributions: US All Value Equity Portfolio⁠  ⁠ Table C8 - Fixed Contributions: WW 4-Fund Equity Portfolio (50% US/50% Int'l) Topics of discussion How the Fixed Contribution Tables are constructed How to use the tables to select the best equity portfolio How the addition of fixed income will impact the accumulation period The importance of using a combination of more than one equity asset class The long term impact of every additional 10% equity The importance of young investors maintaining good behavior Why declining markets helps during early years of investing
4/19/202336 minutes, 57 seconds
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Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation 2023

This podcast is the third in a series of seven podcasts that are designed to help do it yourself investors learn how to maximize their return, minimize their risk and increase their peace of mind.  It will be beneficial to listen to The Ultimate Buy and Hold  and Sound Investing Portfolios: The History of Risk and Return (link)  podcasts before listening to this podcast.In this podcast Paul discusses why the Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Tables were built and how they can be used to build a portfolio that combines the appropriate equity portfolio for growth with the appropriate amount of bonds to stabilize the portfolio during severe market declines.  While the following link includes Fine Tuning Tables for  all 9 portfolios his discussion focuses on tables B1, B11 and B14.The discussion guides the listener through several very important lessons on each table: The increase of return with additional percentages of equities The higher short and longer term losses likely with adding more equities The much higher  returns and slightly higher risks of portfolios adding value and small cap asset classes. In the discussion Paul references Table H2 for the returns of a $10,000 investment for all 9 portfolios.In the coming podcasts the returns of the 9 Fine Tuning Tables will be used to discover the impact of dollar cost averaging into the portfolios, as well as taking out money to live on in retirement.
4/12/202351 minutes, 39 seconds
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Sound Investing Portfolios Risk and Return History

In this presentation Paul explores the risk and returns of 8 Sound Investing Portfolios and the S&P 500 for the period 1970 to 2022.   He references 2 sets of tables for portfolios built with all U.S. equity asset classes as well as worldwide portfolios that are 50% each U.S. and international  and 70% U.S. and 30% international.The goal is to help DIY investors understand the likely returns of these portfolios in the good times as well as what to expect when they are out of favor.For those who did not listen to the Ultimate Buy & Hold 2023 Update podcast or view the video it is suggested they do that before listening to this podcast.  For those who have the ability to watch the video it should be easier to follow the numbers.  Plus on the video Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls join Paul in the discussion. The tables referenced in the podcast can be found at the following links: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/Tell-Tale-Charts-US-SCV-Sep-2021-upd.pdf https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/7-Sound-Investing-Portfolios-50-50-2023.pdf  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/17-Sound-Investing-Portfolios-70-30-2022.pdf
4/5/202359 minutes, 28 seconds
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The Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio 2023 Update

Each year Paul (with the many hours of dedicated work from Director of Analytics Daryl Bahls ) updates and  reviews the latest returns and important lessons from the Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio.In this review he references a series of tables including:Table A1-Ultimate Buy & Hold Equity Portfolio (50% US/50% Int’l)Table A2 - Alternative Equity Portfolio Tables (50% US/50% Int’l)Table A101 - Ultimate Buy & Hold Equity Portfolio (70% US/30% Int’l)Table A102 - Alternative Equity Portfolio Tables (70% US/30% Int’l)Table B14A - Fine Tuning Table S&P 500 vs.  US SCV PortfolioFor those listening to this podcast it will likely be useful to review the tables before hearing Paul’s comments.Topics include: Why these tables are important to do it yourself investors. The random returns of the S&P 500. The huge impact of small changes in returns. The unexpected low risk of adding risky asset classes. The impact of rebalancing annually vs. monthly. How several low risk 2 fund portfolios outperform  the 10 fund Ultimate Buy & Hold Portfolio. How likely the future will be like the past. The 2023 Ultimate Buy and Hold video will be coming out later today on YouTube, you can find it here- https://paulmerriman.com/youtube
3/29/202355 minutes, 58 seconds
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Three Keys to Long Term Investment Success

“Three Keys to Long Term Investment Success” was my presentation at the 9th Annual Retiremeet America Conference.  For those who wish to watch other presenters here is a link to the entire almost 6 hour video. 0:00 Welcome from Tom Cock and Don McDonald 13:17 "Financial Fysics" with Don McDonald 46:16 "Paying for Retirement" with Tom Cock 1:15:00 "The Value of a Financial Plan" with Jason Gentile 1:46:00 "Getting Medicare Right" with Kevin Peterson 2:15:00 "Planning for Long-Term Care" with Barbara Devereaux 2:41:48 "Saving on Taxes in Retirement" with Diana Bacon 3:17:00 "Critical Investing in Retirement" with Paul Merriman 3:49:00 Investing Q&A with Tom Cock and Paul Merriman 4:22:00 "Charitable Giving" with Tayor Cock and Stacie Nemetz 4:30:42 "Navigating Turbulent Markets" with Apollo Lupescu 5:23:00 "What's Next?" with Rebecca Chrichton I would like to encourage our subscribers to also view the presentation by Apollo Lupescu, Vice President at Dimensional Fund Advisors, on “Navigating Turbulent Markets.”
3/22/202331 minutes, 39 seconds
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Can you count on backtested results?

In the coming weeks we will be posting the updated history of equity and fixed income returns for the last  53 and 95 years.  These returns will be used to study the impact of investing in combinations of equity asset classes as well as assuming they are being used in the accumulation and distribution periods of an investor's life.  We must ask the question:  How meaningful are these historical returns?  Ben Carlson, one of our Truth Tellers, has written several articles on the topic. https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2023/03/backtests-are-unemotional-humans-are-not/ https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2017/01/10-things-you-cant-learn-from-a-backtest/
3/15/202337 minutes, 29 seconds
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Q&A for White Coat Investors Conference

March 1 through March 4, I attended the White Coat Investor Conference (WCICON 2023).  On the 2nd, I made a 2 hour presentation focused on "How to Create and Execute a Lifetime Investment Strategy".  I was thrilled with the turnout and positive feedback.  I also received many questions in the following days.  The following are some of the many questions.  More to come in the future.  It was a wonderful conference.  I want to thank Katie and Jim Dahle for putting on one of the best conferences I have ever attended. Here are the questions addressed on this podcast: 3:40   1.  Why do value companies make more money than growth companies?  The answer includes comments from a 1997 article by Eugene Fama and Kenneth French.  Rethinking Stock Returns https://www.chicagobooth.edu/review/rethinking-stock-returns 14:55  2.  How much small cap value should I add to my target date fund? 19:30  3.  How much small cap value should I combine with my Vanguard Total Market Fund?  In this article Table B14A is referenced.  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/SCV-vs-SP500-Fine-Tuning-Table-2022-v0.2.pdf 22:19  4.  What is the difference between the expected long term returns of the S&P 500 (VOO) and the Total Stock Market (VTI)? 25:40  5.  There are a lot of different small cap value funds.  Which one do you recommend at Vanguard? 28:45  6.  Should I put small cap value in my taxable, Roth IRA or 401k?  Larry Swedroe’s, “Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement” is recommended as  a great source of important investment advice.  33:25  7.  What do you think of being all equity all the time?  I mean for the rest of my life. 38:54  8.  I’m 38 and a fairly aggressive investor.  I want to build a do it yourself custom target date fund. While I did not mention our custom ETF Allocation Calculator listeners should check it out. https://paulmerriman.com/custom-etf-allocation-calculator/ 45:55  9.  You have portfolios that are all small cap value and another that is a combination of small and large cap value.  The returns for all small cap value are almost one percent higher.  Why not just use an all small cap value portfolio?  Sound Investing Quilt Charts   49:30  10.  What strategy would you recommend with 5 to 7 years until retirement? More of the WCI questions will be answered in the coming weeks.
3/8/202358 minutes, 42 seconds
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Paul Merriman on "Informed Decisions" with Paddy Delaney

In this episode, Paddy has a great chat with Paul Merriman from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation in the USA. The foundation is dedicated to providing financial education to those of all ages. Paul shares his wealth of knowledge from decades of experience from starting his own Merriman Wealth Management after retiring to setting up his foundation. Key topics covered: Investing successfully Equity asset classes Emotions of Investing Hardest thing about investing Maths of investing Follow the history
3/1/20231 hour, 7 minutes, 12 seconds
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Rebalancing, parental advice, AVUV vs. FISVX and 10 more Q&A

The following questions were sent to Paul during the 90 minute video presented to Western Washington University alumni on February 10, 2023. 2:38 1. How much more do you get with AVUV which has higher fees than FISVX which is super low cost? Check out:  BOGLEHEADS.ORG/REBALANCING Check out:  whitecoatinvestor.com/portfolio-rebalancing-spreadsheet/ 11:20 2. What are your thoughts on robo advisors and investing? Check out:  whitecoatinvestor.com/top-robo-advisors/// 17:57 3.  I have over $5 million and need very little to live on.  I am 43% equities and 57% bonds.  Is now the time to add more equities to a 60/40 asset allocation.  Check out:  https://paulmerriman.com/fine-tuning-your-asset-allocation/  You will find article, podcast and tables on the page 22:25 4.  I only need to take out 2% a year to meet my cash needs.  Most of my investments will eventually go to children and charities.  Is an 80% or 90% equities position appropriate?  Check Out:  https://paulmerriman.com/2021-fixed-distributions/   For article, tables and podcast 27:00 5.  What are the conditions (time/wealth) that suggest hiring an advisor?  How do you find one? Check out:  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/get-smart-or-get-screwed-how-to-select-the-best-and-get-the-most-from-your-financial-advisor1.pdf 31:57 6.  What changes should a 50-something make to boost the returns of a 401k? 35:20 7.  What is your advice for a parent to persuade their adult children to educate themselves about investing? 42:22 8.  What do you mean by rebalancing and what are the tools and strategies you can use to do the rebalancing? 49:36 9.  What do I do with penny stocks that are down 80% to 90%? 51:10 10 What are the relative tax implications of the Total Market Index and small cap value, REITS and large cap value? 56:00 11.  What are the returns of combining U.S. large cap value, U.S. small cap blend, international large cap blend and international small cap value? Check out:  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Sound-Investing-Portfolios.pdf 58:30 12. The Fidelity Target Date Funds have very high expenses.  Should I still use them even though the expenses are higher? 1:01 13. Do you recommend a solo 401k or SEP IRA for a single employer who will never have any employees?  Check out: solo401k.com
2/22/20231 hour, 3 minutes, 48 seconds
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Best-in-Class ETF Recommendations Update

Paul leads off with the news that Chris Pedersen's book 2 Funds for Life is now available as a free PDF to people who sign up for our free newsletter at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/. Watch the video here. Chris Pedersen joins Paul to discuss the 2023 update to his Best-in-Class ETF recommendations.  Chris explains the selection process and why the DFA International Value ETF (DFIV) is replacing the iShares EFV fund for the international large-cap blend asset class.  They cover the recommended portfolios, the philosophy they are built on, the asset classes they use, and the specific funds they recommend for each asset.  Chris and Paul then cover several questions that listeners may have about their next steps or alternatives not covered. Through the discussion, Chris refers to the following tools and website content that are now updated to reflect the new recommendations: The Best-in-Class ETF Recommendations page. The Best-in-Class ETF Portfolios. The Portfolio Configurator. The M1 Pies. The Merriman Aggressive Target-Date Glidepath calculator (copy to your Google Drive Account to edit it). The Sound Investing Portfolios Chart.
2/15/202350 minutes, 2 seconds
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Small cap value, timing and more Q&A

The following are the Paul’s responses to questions and comments from listeners. 1.  How do active mutual fund managers invest their own money?  Article referenced in podcast: https://ritholtz.com/2023/01/how-do-active-managers-invest-their-own-money/ 2.  Why not use market timing to protect investments from declining markets? 3.  How should I put money into an account when facing important news like the possibility of a government shutdown over the debt ceiling? 4.  Investor has tried unsuccessfully to manage their own money in the past but is tired of paying 1% fee to managers.  What do they need to know or do to take control of the process successfully? 5.  Investor wants to know where he can read  the Wharton/Vanguard study regarding investor returns of target date fund investors vs. non target date fund investors.  Paul discusses the Howard Gold Marketwatch article:  https://www.marketwatch.com/story/millions-of-americans-it-turns-out-are-making-the-right-investing-moves-according-to-studies-11607458791 6.  What’s wrong with speculating with part of a portfolio. 7.  My wife and I have had a hard time saving.  What steps should we take to be sure we are able to save for the future? 8.  What one fund should I invest my childs first IRA?  Paul mentions table B14A to help make the determination.  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/SCV-vs-SP500-Fine-Tuning-Table-2022-v0.2.pdf   This table is the most viewed of all Foundation tables over the last year. 9.  Financial advisor claims that the superior long term results from small cap value is due to a very few years of great performance.  The listener wants Pauls response. 10. Parent wants to know how much of child’s IRA should go into S&P 500 and small cap value fund.  Paul once again refers to B14A.
2/8/202343 minutes, 21 seconds
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Should You Manage Your Investments Yourself or Hire a Professional?

If you’re looking to get started investing wisely for retirement, or want a refresher course in what’s important, watch this broadcast in which Paul Merriman addresses the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants.   He speaks to issues of trust, pointing out that investing following the math is simple. He illustrates the compelling differences small savings in expenses can make over a lifetime and discusses the major decisions every investor needs to consider.  While it’s easy to be an investor today, there are many pitfalls to be aware of and Paul explains how you can avoid them. Podcast listeners may want to view the video to follow referenced slides. Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
2/1/20231 hour, 10 minutes, 56 seconds
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Battling the Bear: Thriving in a Bear Market

How will you thrive in a bear market? Paul Merriman joins Tom Cock, co-host of “Talking Real Money,” for this 90-minute live workshop on “How to Manage a Portfolio in a Bear Market,” jointly sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and Apella Capital/Wealth. Includes Q&A from the audience. We suggest podcast listeners watch the video for accompanying slides.  You will learn: • Why you need true diversification • How to avoid decade-long S&P 500 market crashes • How to create & manage a long-term bond strategy • How to create retirement income without expensive and confusing annuities • The biggest risk to the investor Links: Table B1– Fine Tuning Table: S&P 500 Equity Portfolio- https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Fine-Tuning-Tables-50-50-2022-1.pdf  Table D1.4 – Fixed Distributions: S&P 500 Equity Portfolio (Conservative) https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/d1.4.pdf Table D1.3 – Fixed Distributions: S&P 500 Equity Portfolio (Very Conservative) https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Fixed-Distribution-Tables-50-50-2022.pdf  Get your free PDF and/or audio of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement at: https://paulmerriman.com/signup – Tom is regional director of Apella Capital: https://apellawealth.com/ – Talking Real Money: https://www.talkingrealmoney.com/ – The Merriman Financial Education Foundation: https://paulmerriman.com/the-merriman-financial-education-foundation/ – Paul’s website: https://paulmerriman.com/
1/25/20231 hour, 29 minutes, 56 seconds
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How can you trust the market?

Join Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Darryl Bahls as they respond to these questions from investors: What can a Do-It-Yourself investor do to prepare his/her spouse/partner for managing retirement investments should the DIY investor die first?  Learn how Paul, Chris and Daryl are each personally preparing for their generally disinterested spouses to take over the investments. How can buy-and-hold investors best face information that challenges them to not trust the market?  Each of the three discuss how they digest daily news. A listener notes his concern that he hasn’t seen enough data to justify using more than the S&P 500 and asks, Where can I access the data for the earlier period? He says that from 2014 through 2022, the S&P 500 has performed better than the Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio. He has been able to track performance into the 1990s for the UBH Portfolio but wants to do his own testing on the period prior to 1990. For investors struggling to trust market returns, Paul suggests investors take a close look at Table B14A.  Investors must expect big differences in asset class short-term returns. Note that the S&P 500 outperforms small-cap value 46% of the time with an average 11% better return in those years. On the other hand, the other 54% of the time, the SCV advantage produced over 16% average outperformance. It should come as no surprise that in 2022, SCV beat the S&P 500 by 8% to 14% depending on the average company size and value discount of the small-cap-value asset class. Does Paul still uses the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate Bond Fund (VSCSX) for short-term cash needs? Watch the video of this podcast on youtube- https://youtu.be/nCtEykUXcA0
1/18/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 43 seconds
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Funding a child’s retirement

Paul speaks with Dr. Robert H. Pass, host of Pediheart podcast and a pediatric cardiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital, about how to go about funding a newborn child's retirement (in 65 years!) through the magic of index investing, low costs and compounding interest. Learn how you can do this for a child in your life. There are many lessons for all types of investing in this episode. Article Links How $10,000 will help my newborn granddaughter have a better retirement The best gift of all: a financial legacy for a child See also: 'Best in Class ETF's’ at: https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations/ Paul’s previous interviews on Pediheart Podcast: Retirement Investing: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pediheart-podcast-191-retirement-investing-with/id1341472214?i=1000546560805 Tips for Funding Your Retirement: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pediheart-podcast-146-tips-for-funding-your-retirement/id1341472214?i=1000504041514
1/11/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 18 seconds
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How’d we do in 2022?

This podcast reviews the 2022 returns of the Best-In-Class and Vanguard ETF portfolios as compared to the average shareholder in the recommended equity asset classes. The discussion focuses on what worked, what didn’t work, and what was the impact of the broader diversification of owning only the S&P 500. Paul also considers short, intermediate and long-term government bonds, the Quilt Chart of equity asset classes, the Sound Investing U.S Equity Portfolio (1928-2021), and provides an update on the minimums, free commissions, and ability to trade partial shares of ETFs through both Vanguard and Fidelity. LINKS: B14A Fine Tuning Table for the combination of the S&P 500 and Small Cap Value The latest Table H1 Ordinal Rank Summary
1/4/202333 minutes, 10 seconds
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14 commonly-asked investor questions

Paul answers some of the most-pressing investment questions posed by Rutgers University engineering students after his recent keynote presentation to 154 of them. View the Keynote Presentation video at: https://youtu.be/8_7ee1Nft7c 1. How do you increase the rate of return on your investments? (1:58) 2. What do you think of using “Robo Advisors” like Schwab Intelligent Portfolios? (6:33) 3. What portion of my investments should be in mutual funds? (11:16) 4. Is there a ‘rule of thumb’ for how much of my income should go into saving and how much I should keep and enjoy now? (13:53) 5. What resources do you recommend to learn about investing? (15:42) 6. What made you go into the industry that focuses on saving and investing? (20:28) 7. What is the biggest investment mistake young adults make? (23:13) 8. What is the best outlet/place to find up-to-date advice on how to invest? (28:55) 9. Is there a mutual fund that doesn’t pay any interest? (34:38) 10. What are the steps to start investing a small amount of money now? (35:20) 11. Do you have advice on how to invest in real estate and how much of your portfolio should be in real estate? (39:04) 12. Do you have suggestions on diversifying a portfolio including real estate hedge funds, private equity, etc.? (42:06) 13. How important is learning about macro-economic cycles in making investment decisions? (43:15) 14. What is the single-most important decision investors make? (46:58)
12/28/202254 minutes, 4 seconds
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10 reasons small-cap value can make you richer

The purpose of our podcasts is to help investors make some of the biggest investment decisions of their life.  This podcast focuses on the many reasons small-cap value should be in every investor’s portfolio, even if it is a very small part. Paul addresses these questions: 1.  What is the lifetime impact of adding 10% to 20% small cap value (SCV) to a portfolio for first time investors as well as retirees?  2.  What is the additional risk of adding a small amount of SCV to a portfolio? 3.  How can a 2% bigger short-term loss lead to millions more for retirees? 4.  How could a very small investment in SCV help you retire 2 years sooner? 5. How will a small investment in SCV change your cash flow in retirement? 6.  How does SCV perform during periods of high inflation? 7.  How often should you expect SCV be the best and worst investment? 8.  How does SCV perform after major market losses? 9.  How much more or less are you likely make if you don’t rebalance your portfolio? 10.  What is the likely premium SCV is likely to make over the S&P 500 in the future? Links to relevant tables or download pdf of all tables here. Table B1 Fine Tuning Table for S&P 500 Table 14A Fine Tuning Table for S&P 500 and Small Cap Value Table H1  Sound Investing Portfolio results Table C1 Fixed Contribution Table for S&P 500 Portfolio Table C14 Fixed Contribution S&P+US SCV Equity Portfolio Table D1.4 - Fixed Distributions: S&P 500 Equity Portfolio ($40,000/year)  Table D14.4 - Fixed Distributions: S&P+US SCV Equity Portfolio  ($40,000/year)  Sound Investing Portfolios H1 Sound Investing Portfolio results Sound Investing U.S. Portfolio (1928-2021)-Ordinal Rank Summary Tell Tale Chart
12/21/20221 hour, 1 minute
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Insights into Financial Independence

How to live the best life you can is the main focus of this conversation between Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen, Daryl Bahls and Craig Appl, volunteer creator of The Merriman Financial Education Lifetime Calculator. Craig discusses the FIRE movement community and his experience at a Chautauqua Conference about financial independence outside Bogotá Colombia earlier this year. Craig addresses the differences between traditional investors and those focused on earlier retirement (high savings, low cost of living, simple investment portfolios) and how to create more happiness in your life. For more about Craig’s Chautauqua experience, read “How To Prepare for Post-Work Life” by Aysha Griffin Links referenced in the recording: The Chautauqua conference website: https://www.fichautauqua.com/ Financial Independence Resources: - https://choosefi.com/ - JL Collins Stock Series which inspired the book A Simple Path to Wealth https://jlcollinsnh.com/stock-series/ (check your local library for availability) - Millennial Revolution: https://www.millennial-revolution.com/ Quit Like a Millionaire - Alan Donegan's Free Extraordinary Life course: - https://www.alandonegan.com/extraordinary.html - https://www.caniretireyet.com/ - https://thehumblepenny.com/ Books - A Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins - Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin - Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement by Larry Swedroe - Why Does The Stock Market Go Up? By Brian Feroldi - Quit Like a Millionaire by Kristi Shen
12/14/20221 hour, 14 minutes, 35 seconds
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How to Create a Financial Legacy for a Child

Do you want to create a financial legacy for a young person, especially a newborn? This podcast and video explains Paul’s plan for his new granddaughter, which is adaptable by any investor. [Podcast listeners are encouraged to watch the video and/or view the Slides and Tables below]. Paul is joined by Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, and Chris Pedersen, Director of Research. Daryl uses “the numbers” to explain possible outcomes and help you assess the variables of a long-term investment plan for the life of a child or grandchild. You will learn: How to create a fund for your grandchild, child, or other youngster you want to help, which can build a lasting legacy. How to put some money aside that can compound tax free or tax deferred for the rest of their life and cause them to likely remain true to your original goals. How this process works, which theoretically is pretty simple. How to consider the personal and variable outcomes of this method. How to use the Tables that simulate for variables. Paul turns over presentation to Daryl around :15 Chris Pedersen joins in around :45 Daryl Bahls—Tables: Slides:  Fund For A Grandchild—How to create a lasting legacy for your grandchild Return Tables: Fund For A Grandchild Read: How $10,000 Will Help My Newborn Granddaughter Have a Better Retirement: https://paulmerriman.com/how-10000-will-help-my-newborn-granddaughter-have-a-better-retirement/
12/7/20221 hour, 2 minutes, 7 seconds
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Your part in financial education

Ever wonder how the “Sound Investing” podcast is funded? Along with all the prolific work produced, over the past decade, by the mostly-volunteer Merriman Financial Education? Paul lays it out in this podcast, including his plans for 2023. Learn how you play a huge part in the how Paul’s retirement plans evolved into the myriad of financial education tools for DIY investors and outreach to university students and professional organizations.  He invites your participation, questions and feedback. If you are not already a subscriber to his free twice-a-month newsletter, or have not downloaded your free pdf and/or audio copy of We’re Talking Millions—12 Simple Steps to Supercharge Your Retirement,  visit https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
11/29/202227 minutes, 6 seconds
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How do you measure real wealth?

Paul Merriman is a compulsive list maker and his Thanksgiving list is his favorite of the year.  In this podcast, he covers a range of subjects for investors related to real wealth and giving thanks. He describes getting up very early on Thanksgiving Day to spend a few hours listing names of people for whom he is thankful. While many of the people would be unknown to our audience, others are responsible for helping our Foundation reach and be of service to those who find our work helpful.  One such essential behind-the-scenes person is Angela Moore, Senior Editor at Marketwatch.com. Angela is responsible for putting the final touches on the hundreds of “MarketWatch" articles by Paul and Rich Buck. Her kind guidance and care plays an important role in the success of our Foundation reaching and educating investors.  Angela was recently interviewed by Ari Parker on "Legacy—Aging With Purpose.” Listen to her speak about “The Value in Money and Memories" at: https://cms.megaphone.fm/channel/legacy?selected=CAC1135958443. We think you will understand why we feel very fortunate to have Angela as our MarketWatch editor. Paul believes successful investing is largely a long-term series of random events, much as lives can be. To illustrate this point, he recalls an unlikely meeting of a fellow high school graduate as he was standing by himself watching the 1961 "Seafair Parade" in Seattle. That casual conversation ends up being a single step responsible for his Foundation’s work 60 years later. He also shares a single sentence that summarizes the steps young investors should take, inspired by the encouraging responses he received in recently speaking with college students at Rutgers and Western Washington University. Paul suggests this article by Ben Carlson, one of our Foundation’s Truth Tellers  “Who Wants to Be a Billionaire” is an excellent read filled with an interesting list of “real wealth" measurements.  https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2022/11/who-wants-to-be-a-billionaire/    Along this same line, Paul also recommends a book  for anyone in their 20s and 30s seeking to learn the most-important basics of investing. Spending Your Way to Wealth by Paul Heys, a director of our Foundation, does a terrific job of addressing the real wealth we accumulate.  We heartily recommend this book. You can get it at Amazon or—for a discounted copy with a personal autograph—take a look at Paul Heys’ site: https://investorship.com/financial-services-clients/
11/23/202245 minutes, 35 seconds
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The best investment we will ever make! and Q&A

The first part of this broadcast describes the investment strategy Paul and his wife are giving to their latest grandchild. After Paul describes the strategy, Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, shares tables that represent the 95-year potential financial implications of this investment. Then, Chris Pedersen, our Director of Research, Daryl and Paul address the following questions: · What’s the best way to compare the risk and return of different combinations of equity asset classes? · How should someone move a major part of their portfolio from bonds to equities?  Dollar cost average or make a lump sum investment? · Which is better: the 10-fund portfolio or Chris’ 2 Funds for Life? · What kind of problems are investors having at M1 Finance? · What ETFs is Chris considering when he reviews his picks next year? · What kind of returns should we expect from small-cap-value funds in the future? · How should future returns of a globally diversified total market fund, like Vanguard Total World ETF (VT), be compared to the Worldwide 4 Fund Portfolio? · Why do you recommend different ETFs for taxable and tax-deferred accounts? · What do you plan to do to help investors make the best of their 401k investment choices?   See: New Tables by Daryl Bahls: Fund for Granddaughter (R4) No-Nonsense Portfolios 'Quilt Chart' (1970 to 2021) 7-Sound Investing Portfolios (50-50) - 2022 (color) (Paul makes reference to Table H1) Get your copy of: 2 Funds for Life—A quest for simple & effective investing strategies by Chris Pedersen at Amazon (https://amzn.to/3BxTFoM) or other online book sellers.
11/16/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 4 seconds
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Back to Basics: 12 simple ways to supercharge your retirement

Paul provides a crash course in beginning investing in this presentation (with slideshow) to professional members of the Youth Business Alliance so they can use these principles and tools to educate and empower their students in financial literacy. This is the video (or podcast) to share with your teenage and older children, family, friends and anyone wanting to understand why and how to invest over the long term. Paul covers the 12 big decisions—each worth about a million dollars—that every saver/investor needs to make to set and stay a course for financing their retirement. These decisions, or steps, are further elaborated in his book, We’re Talking Millions, available for free in pdf and audio at his website. Paul’s goal is get this book into the hands of a million reader/listeners. Even if you’re a seasoned investor, you will find value in reviewing these steps for yourself and those you might share it with to empower them to become a sound investor as well. Get you free pdf or audio book: https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ or buy the print, eBook or audio book: https://amzn.to/2KH36Kr The Youth Business Alliance (https://youthbizalliance.org) was formed in 2012 and provides a year-long four-part course to high school youth. In the YBA program, students learn soft skills, workforce readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills to prepare them for their career trajectories. In addition, students hear from volunteer guest speakers every week who speak about their life stories and professional careers and field trips to get behind the scenes visits to local businesses.
11/9/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 15 seconds
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20 Minutes to Double Your Lifetime Spending Power

Chris Pedersen, Director of Research for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, joins Paul Merriman to explain and elaborate on his ideas and tables published as the cover story in the AAII Journal(October 2022), titled, “Double Your Lifetime Purchasing Power in 20 Minutes.” As Chris states in this broadcast, the article particularly pertains to people doing open enrollment, especially if they have an employer-provided 401k program. “For those who invest in defaults of the 401k programs, most typical across the industry, and do that for 40 years of their career, and then do fixed 4% withdrawals in retirement, and you look at all the cash flows in and cash flows out, and the standard investment, which is a target date fund, and then you adjust for inflation and you ask, ‘What was the impact on how much they have to spend over a lifetime?’ It doubles their spending power, even adjusting for inflation, just by investing in a target date fund, which is kind of unbelievable.” Read Chris’ article at: https://www.aaii.com/journal/article/21644-double-your-lifetime-purchasing-power-in-20-minutes You may be asked to enter your name and email for full access. You can join AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) risk-free for a month or become a member for a small fee. The AAII is an independent nonprofit corporation formed in 1978 for the purpose of assisting individuals in becoming effective managers of their own assets through programs of education, information and research. Podcast listeners should know there is a slideshow available on the YouTube video version. Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
11/2/202253 minutes, 43 seconds
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30 Ways to make another million—Really

The focus of most of the work we do at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation is to help investors put together portfolios that we believe will produce higher rates of return per unit of risk. In this podcast we look at the math of making more money, as well as specific decisions that are likely to lead to better returns.   The podcast references our following Tables: Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation, Sound Investing Portfolios and Fixed Distributions and Flexible Distribution.  The math portion of the podcast focuses on the impact of small increases in return, along with small increases in annual investments and a lifetime of accumulating, distributing and passing money to others. The discussion covers the tables in this PDF. Leaving the simple math, Paul uses historical returns to compare hypothetical returns and the choices investors must make. Everyone of these choices is likely a million dollar decision: Save vs. spend Start saving early vs. waiting Selecting stocks vs. bonds Select a few vs. many companies Choose the S&P vs. other equity asset classes Choose the S&P vs. combinations of equity asset classes Add 10% more equity Taxable vs. tax-deferred Tax-deferred vs. tax free Load vs. no-load Index funds vs. actively managed funds Buy and hold vs. market timing Target date funds vs. do it yourself Target date funds plus small cap value Gifting one million dollars with $365 vs. major gift at death The make or break decision of distributions
10/26/20221 hour, 25 minutes, 33 seconds
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How To Rebalance Your Portfolio

Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls each share his studies and comments about rebalancing a portfolio—how often, how much change before rebalancing, and when does it make sense not to rebalance? They also answer listener/viewer questions and Paul makes a special offer for a free chapter from Larry Swedroe’s book, Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement. (See details in ‘Links’ below). Q&A Which asset classes should be in taxable accounts and which in tax-advantaged accounts?  To answer this oft-asked question, Paul recommends Larry Swedroe’s book, Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement and encourages investors to read Chapter 10 from the book, “The Asset Location Decision." See “Links” below for details to buy the book and access the free chapter. “Is there a rebalancing bonus?” Chris answers this question and illustrates his answer with the chart, “Is There a Rebalancing Bonus? … Not Much.”  See this chart and others mentioned below. “I want to help my 36-year-old daughter establish a retirement portfolio. What do you think of using Vanguard Life Strategy Moderate Growth Fund (VSMGX)?” Chris answers by suggesting a better answer may be a Target Date Fund and shows the Vanguard Target Date Fund Glidepath. See this and other charts and tables mentioned here. “Can I expect to invest in the funds you recommend today and hold them for the rest of my life?”  Daryl’s answer is yes, using our 4-Fund portfolio. He shows why by comparing the Total Market Index funds to our “No-Nonsense Portfolios” in Table 1a: “No-Nonsense Portfolios for Sound Investing: Equity Asset Allocation” and Table 2a.1, which shows “Comparison Data,” drawing special attention to our U.S. Only 4-Fund Portfolio over the Total Market Index and S&P 500.  Daryl also offers a third Table, “No-Nonsense Portfolio Performance Rankings by Decade (1970-2021). See these and all charts and tables mentioned here. MORE LINKS Rebalancing: The implications of adding a small amount of small-cap value to a Total Market Index portfolio. See this Table. You can get your copy of Larry Swedroe’s book, Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement at: https://amzn.to/3gb3noz. If you purchase via our link, it may result in our Foundation receiving a small commission that supports our financial education outreach at no additional cost to you. Read this FREE chapter from Larry’s book, “The Asset Location Decision,”  courtesy of Mr. Swedroe and publisher Harriman House.
10/19/20221 hour, 10 minutes, 8 seconds
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10 Life-Changing Lessons from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation

In this presentation to the Boston Bogleheads® Chapter (Sept. 12, 2022), Paul presents the “10 most important new lessons learned by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation.” The foundation is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of helping the DIY investor make sound investment decisions for a lifetime and become the best advisor to the most important investor on earth…you!  Paul also gives an overview of the 12-million-dollar decisions covered in his book, We’re Talking Millions: 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. Stay tuned to about 1:20 for some great questions: •  Does Total Market Index or S&P 500 approximate your 4-Fund approach and which has better returns? •  Are there target date funds that approximate the 4-funds in the equity portion? •  How do you approach international funds in the 4-fund approach? •  What is it about small-cap value companies that gives a premium? •  Can you define ‘value’? •  Is there an advantage to the 4-fund strategy if you’re retired, with a 15-year horizon? • Which of your Best-in-Class ETF recommendations should I follow? • Regarding equities and taxable accounts versus tax-advantage accounts, do you mirror the 4-fund across both types accounts and will I have a large tax liability in the taxable account? Watch the slideshow About The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy (https://boglecenter.net/): It is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving financial literacy. The Center’s mission is to expand the legacy of John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, by promoting the principles of successful investing and financial well-being through education and community. Bogleheads® is a registered trademark of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy. The Center envisions a world of well-informed, capable, and empowered investors. Community outreach is achieved through the Bogleheads forum, wiki, and blog, as well as in-person and virtual Bogleheads chapters worldwide.
10/12/20221 hour, 53 minutes, 52 seconds
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The biggest challenge to successful investing

Inspired by a conversation with George Sisti, Paul's good friend and trusted Truth Teller, Paul makes the case that successful investing is 99.9% defense. (See article referenced below). The good news is: almost every one of these defensive steps are easily applied to managing a portfolio. And once you set the process in motion, it should be relatively easy to stay the course. Of all the defensive steps we should be able to control personally, there is one hurdle for investors that often leads to serious, and likely costly mistakes: maintaining the commitment to buy-and-hold in bear markets! While buy-and-hold sounded realistic when the portfolio was established, the experience of losing 30% (average bear market loss) is a difficult pill to swallow.  Human nature is shouting, “Don’t be a patsy! Why sit there and watch your life savings disappear without a fight or flight to safety?” Paul discusses the best ways he knows to help control the temptation to cut your losses. See Mentioned Link: The 12 Best Retirement Investing Lessons:  https://paulmerriman.com/the-12-best-retirement-investing-lessons/ George Sisti,CFP™, is a certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and the founder of On Course Financial Planning, a fee-only Registered Investment Advisor firm. https://oncoursefp.com/ You can read more by and about George at: https://paulmerriman.com/george-sisti-certified-financial-planner/ Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
10/5/202235 minutes, 55 seconds
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Is This The Worst Bear Market Ever?

In this interview with Ken Roberts, host of Ken’s Bulls and Bears Report, a weekly radio show in Reno, NV, Paul addresses questions and more: 1. Should investors believe the “experts” predictions of catastrophic future returns for the stock market? 2. What are the most important investment decisions that people have to make? 3. What are the biggest financial mistakes that retirees make? 4. What are the new tools your Foundation has developed to help people invest in equity funds? 5. What is the one asset class that every stock investor should own? 6. Is it really possible to invest successfully with just two funds? 7. Are there really 150 model portfolios that are performing well? 8. What are those 7 factors investors should be focused on in building their retirement portfolios? 9. How can the combo of S&P 500 and Small Cap Value be less risky than the S&P 500 itself? 10. What are your thoughts about the bear market we are in, and is this one of the worst bear markets ever? 11. Should people include cryptocurrencies in their portfolio? Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
9/28/202252 minutes, 39 seconds
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The 7 Biggest Investment Decisions or Are You Leaving Millions on the Table?

Paul is interviewed by Jordon Grumet, MD., aka “Doc G,” personal finance expert, hospice doctor and host of the “Earn and Invest” podcast. They discuss Paul’s “7 Biggest Investment Decisions” and more, as Paul addresses these questions: Do investment strategies change over time? Is there a place for stock picking? How important is dividend investing? What are the best equity asset classes? How much does an additional 0.5% return matter? What is a modern “simple portfolio” and what is the premium? How much should you invest in each asset class? How much in equities vs. fixed income? How much to take in retirement distributions? How much to take out of retirement investments? How to select a lifetime glide path? All matters referenced in this podcast can be found at https://paulmerriman.com Paul recommends Jordon Grumet’s new book, Taking Stock: A Hospice Doctor's Advice on Financial Independence, Building Wealth, and Living a Regret-Free Life Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and  2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation.
9/21/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 44 seconds
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How do you manage investments during major declines?

Tune in Sept. 17 at noon (eastern time) for a Zoom presentation and Q&A on “The 10 most important new lessons of the past 10 years,” as Paul Merriman addresses the Boston Bogleheads Chapter. See info below. In this broadcast, Paul, founder of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, Chris Pedersen, Director of Research, and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics, answer a variety of questions from our listeners, viewers and readers. See links below. 1.  Can you compare 3 years of returns of your Vanguard ETF, Vanguard mutual fund and Best-In-Class (BIC) ETF recommendations?  Chris answers and discusses the likely reason for the BIC outperformance. 2.  Would it make sense to get rid of the small-cap blend fund and hold 1/3 each of large-cap blend, large-cap value and small-cap value? (The questioner notes that small-cap blend rarely outperforms small-cap value.)  Daryl answers this by discussing his findings by using the 1928-2019 Quilt Chart. 3.  What are the pros and cons of multi- and single-factor funds?  Chris responds. 4. Should micro-cap value be considered as a part of a diversified portfolio?  Daryl responds. 5.  Which is more risky, large-cap blend (S&P 500) or large-cap value?  Daryl responds. 6.  How should I manage investments during major declines? Chris and Daryl answer. Mark Your Calendar: Paul invites listeners to a Zoom presentation on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at Noon (Eastern Time), sponsored by The Boston Bogleheads Chapter.  It’s free and open to the public.  As The Merriman Financial Education Foundation is in its 10th year of educating investors, Paul will focus most of the presentation on the "10 most important new lessons of the past 10 years,” followed by Q&As. Here is the zoom link for this meeting: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89860498182?pwd=OVFZeWtKNGh2bTVGQUtzeUlPMGlOUT09 Meeting ID: 898 6049 8182 Passcode: 311045 Links: The Merriman Financial Education Foundation: https://paulmerriman.com/the-merriman-financial-education-foundation/ Vanguard ETF: https://paulmerriman.com/vanguard-tax-deferred-etf-portfolios/ Vanguard mutual fund: https://paulmerriman.com/vanguard-tax-deferred-etf-portfolios/ Best-In-Class (BIC) ETF recommendations: https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations/ 1928-2019 Quilt Charts: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Sound-Investing-Portfolio-Quilt-Chart-1928-2021-V1.3-1.pdf Boston Bogleheads: https://www.bogleheads.org/blog/portfolio/boston-bogleheads/
9/14/202254 minutes, 45 seconds
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Should you believe predictions of catastrophic future returns?

In this podcast Paul invites listeners to an upcoming free event and addresses the following topics: •  Jeremy Grantham and Harry Dent have made bold predictions about catastrophic future returns. Should we take them seriously? •  How have the Vanguard and Best In Class ETF recommendations performed this year? •  Would investing in VTI give the same returns as the 4-Fund of Life portfolio? •  Is it too late to reduce your equity exposure if you can’t sleep at night? •  How accurate and meaningful are the Sound Investing charts showing returns that go back to 1928? Mark Your Calendar: Paul invites listeners to a Zoom presentation on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 at Noon (ET), sponsored by The Boston Bogleheads Chapter.  It’s free and open to the public. As The Merriman Financial Education Foundation is in its 10th year of educating investors, Paul will focus most of the presentation on the "10 most important new lessons of the past 10 years." Here is the Zoom link for this presentation: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/89860498182?pwd=OVFZeWtKNGh2bTVGQUtzeUlPMGlOUT09 Meeting ID: 898 6049 8182 Passcode: 311045 You Can Support Financial Education! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
9/7/202244 minutes, 20 seconds
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The most important investment decisions

Enjoy this wide-ranging conversation between Rob Berger and Paul Merriman on Rob’s “Financial Freedom Show” (YouTube video channel) as they discuss these important investor topics: Timestamps  0:00 - Welcome to the Financial Freedom Show!  0:61 - Small Cap Value  20:44 - Other consistent funds 22:59 - Equity portfolio 27:00 - Deciding/4 fund strategy 30:13 - Links below/Quilt chart 45:19 - Stock vs Bond allocation/Market Timing 49:37 - Investing strategies/risk 50:50 - Retirement withdrawal strategy 53:14 - Challenge 55:23 - Glide Path 58:18 - Market Timer's strategy with the current market 1:00:59 - AVUV over VBR 1:08:10 - Measuring value 1:10:46 - Paul's Bond Portfolio 1:12:35 - REIT's 1:13:55 - Tired 1:15:21 - What's next for Paul 1:18:33 - Bogelheads conference 1:19:51 - Links below/Financial Freedom Recorded with a live Zoom audience, they also fielded questions. Some comments on Rob’s video page include: “My two favorite financial experts alive today discussing personal finance together. Perfect! Thank you both for your time, talent and wisdom.” “Rob, for the recent interviews you have done, this is my favorite! Paul is so passionate about his beliefs. I have been listening to Paul's podcast over the last 18 months. He has convinced me of the long term power of tilting your equity portfolio towards small cap value. I added the 10% tilt at the beginning of 2022.” “Great down to earth, easily explained info I can put to good use. Best guest to date!” Links to help investors: This link gives the case for the 10 U.S. and international equity asset classes: https://paulmerriman.com/ultimate-buy-and-hold-strategy/ This link shows 9 different ways to combine the 10 equity asset classes and the 52 year returns for each. https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Sound-Investing-Portfolios.pdf This link provides data combining each of the 9 equity portfolios along with different percentages of fixed income: https://paulmerriman.com/fine-tuning-your-asset-allocation/ This link shows the impact of using the 9 portfolios and all the combinations of fixed income assuming an initial annual investment of $1,000 with a 3% annual increase on investment: https://paulmerriman.com/2021-fixed-contributions/ This link shows the impact of using the 9 different equity/fixed income as a source of fixed retirement distributions. Each years distribution is adjusted for inflation. Beginning distributions range from 3 to 6 percent: https://paulmerriman.com/2021-fixed-distributions/ This link shows the impact of annual distributions based on a percentage of assets, without inflation adjustment. Distributions range from 3 to 6 percent: https://paulmerriman.com/flexible-distributions-2021/ This link compares the annual to 20 year returns of 4 major U.S. asset classes: https://paulmerriman.com/90-years-of-evidence-shows-investor-patience-leads-to-better-returns/ This links to the Merriman Lifetime Investment Calculator. The calculator can be used for investors in both the accumulation and distribution periods of their investment life: https://paulmerriman.com/lifetime-investment-calculator/
8/31/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 41 seconds
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The Biggest Financial Mistakes Retirees Make

Paul talks to retirees about the handful of decisions you can make that can either benefit you and your heirs or cost you millions. He covers: · Ways to make or lose .5% · The best combination of equity asset classes · Fixed and flexible distribution strategies · How to best analyze recommended strategies · And other major decisions and topics, like: When to take Social Security? How much and when to spend savings? Spending taxable vs tax deferred vs. tax free? When to pass risk to others? When to get professional help? Elder abuse, and more. This presentation was part of Financial Literacy Month 2022, co-sponsored by the Bainbridge Community Foundation and The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. Links: Slides show: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Bainbridge-Island-Final.pdf Bainbridge Community Foundation: https://bainbridgecf.org/ Paul’s Website: https://paulmerriman.com/ Paul’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/PaulMerrimanSoundInvesting/videos Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement: In 2020, Paul’s presentation, “My Favorite 12 Vanguard Funds for Retirees,” became one of the most-watched on his YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1ltcfD9CpE&t=42s You Can Support Financial Education! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. 3. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
8/24/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 32 seconds
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This new tool helps you invest in specific funds

This video and podcast introduces the "Sound Investing Portfolio Fixed Allocation Configurator.” This new tool helps investors figure out how to implement the portfolios we analyze using different fund families. Chris Pedersen, Director of Research joins Paul Merriman to discuss Chris’ latest investor education project. The process is simple, involving four choices: portfolio strategy (e.g., Ultimate Buy and Hold, Worldwide 4-Fund, All-Value, etc.), account tax status, fixed income percentage, and fund family (e.g., Best-in-Class ETFs, Vanguard Mutual Funds, etc.).  Once selected, the configurator shows the required percentage investments in particular funds and several characteristics of the resulting portfolio, such as expense ratio and geographic distribution. Chris suggests this “configurator” could replace the older Custom ETF Calculator (not to be confused with our Lifetime Investment Calculator) and several of our pre-calculated mutual fund and ETF portfolios.  He also asks for feedback at [email protected]. Together, they answer several listener questions: • Does active management ever make sense? Or are ALL people better off with an index fund-based strategy? • Is the 2 Fund Portfolio (half each S&P 500 and small cap value) really as good as the 10 fund Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio? • What advice do you have for a 73-year-old investor who is about to fire their advisor and become a do-it-yourself investor? • Do you suggest reinvesting dividends from your ETFs or do you save them to reinvest in other ETFs? • I am investing money for my mother in several ETFs.  What time of day do you suggest making the investment? Here are the links mentioned in the podcast. Portfolio Configurator Preview: https://bit.ly/3QL77tQ Long-Term Bond Returns Study: https://globalfinancialdata.com/four-centuries-of-stocks-and-bonds-in-retrospect The Merriman Financial Education Lifetime Investment Calculator: https://paulmerriman.com/lifetime-investment-calculator/
8/17/202256 minutes, 54 seconds
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The one asset class you must own

Paul presents, “The #1 Reason I Want Small Cap Value in Your Portfolio” with compelling evidence as to why SCV should be the one asset class you must own. This is further illuminated by the tables and charts shown in the video presentation and available in the slide show and handout. (links below). This presentation was recorded at the “Retiremeet 2022” conference, sponsored annually by our friends at Vestory and billed as “The Northwest’s Premier Retirement Event.” Click here for handout: https://7112649.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/7112649/HAND OUT Paul Merriman Retiremeet-2022-Final.pdf Click here for the slide show: https://7112649.fs1.hubspotusercontent-na1.net/hubfs/7112649/PRESENTATION RETIREMEET PAUL MERRIMAN.pdf Learn more about to the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as9D8TDZ0xI View all the event presentations: https://retiremeet.com/presentations To benefit from Vestory’s investment knowledge, sign up for their podcast at talkingrealmoney.com and their free monthly newsletter at realinvestingjournal.com. Call To Action! Here are a few simple ways to support the financial education work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. In so doing you help better the lives of individuals, families and  communities, creating more opportunities for all. Subscribe to our weekly “Sound Investing” podcast, available on your favorite listening platforms and leave a review. Tell us what you think! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment and share the link with your social media and friends. Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee —at no cost to you—which helps support our financial education projects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies; all the profits help support our work. Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you!
8/10/202225 minutes, 54 seconds
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Invest Successfully with Just Two Funds

Are you seeking a simple but effective lifetime investment strategy? In this podcast and video, Katie Gatti, host of “Money With Katie,” interviews Chris Pedersen, Director of Research for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and author of Two Funds For Life – A quest for simple & effective investing strategies.   Chris explains: • The Two Funds for Life strategies during accumulation and retirement stages • Addresses criticisms of target date funds • Explains why this two-fund strategy is well justified by deep historical analysis • Why it can be ideal for those looking for a simple but effective lifetime investment strategy From Katie’s Notes: The best part about living in 2022 is the fact that you don’t have to know anything about investing to be a successful investor thanks to products like Betterment (and financial technology more broadly). But what if you do want to manage your own investments? Then what? Before I learned about Paul Merriman and Chris Pedersen’s Two Funds for Life strategy, I never really knew what to tell people aside from do your research and best of luck to you, madam. So this week, I’m joined by Chris (who created the Two Funds for Life model) to talk about an amazing 80/20 solution for getting proper, low-cost diversification with only two funds (hence the name). Not only that, but the “rebalancing” is more or less taken care of for you. Chris’ Book, Two Funds For Life, provides a deep dive into the subject and is available at Amazon (https://amzn.to/3BxTFoM) and other online booksellers. For a simple explanation of the Two Funds for Life strategy, read We’re Talking Millions—12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. Available at Amazon, Audible, and as a free download on our website. Your purchase helps support our Foundation’s financial education outreach. Amazon print book: https://amzn.to/2KH36Kr Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/Were-Talking-Millions-Audiobook/B094QSQ4QF?asin=B094QSQ4QF Free PDF AND/OR AUDIO BOOK: https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ Find out more about The Merriman Financial Education Foundation at: https://paulmerriman.com/the-merriman-financial-education-foundation/ Katie Gatti presents a weekly newsletter and blog on personal finance. Visit her site: https://moneywithkatie.com/. In January 2022, her blog and podcast brand, “Money with Katie,” was acquired by Business Insider's Morning Brew, https://www.morningbrew.com/contributor/moneywithkatie Read “Two Funds are better than one” by Katie Gatti at: https://www.morningbrew.com/money-scoop/stories/2022/04/19/two-funds-are-better-than-one
8/3/202223 minutes, 10 seconds
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150 Portfolios Better Than Yours

Paul addressed the AAII Los Angeles Chapter with “The Inside Story on the ‘150 Portfolios Better Than Yours’,” on June 18, 2022.  In 2014, Dr. James Dahle, of White Coat Investor, wrote a column titled, "150 Portfolios Better Than Yours." The article included a link to a list of almost every popular model portfolio, including recommendations from Vanguard, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio, Betterment, and a host of others. The list is now over 200. In this presentation, Paul compares the range of returns from many of the portfolios, plus his own recommended portfolios (https://paulmerriman.com/portfolios/). The 52-year returns of the all-equity combinations ranged from less than 10% to over 14%. The study reviews the risks and returns of the portfolios. Paul explores six different risk measurements that can help investors select the best portfolio for their needs. In this presentation you’ll learn: · How to select the best equity asset classes to construct the best portfolio · How to build a diversified portfolio of equity asset classes · The best way to compare the long-term returns of your portfolio For the PowerPoint accompanying this video/podcast, go to: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/07/150-Portfolios-Better-Than-Yours-AAII.pdf Learn more about the American Association of Individual Investors at www.aaii.com. AAII members: log into your online AAII Local Chapter Community at https://community.aaii.com. Click here for a direct link to the Los Angeles, CA online chapter community: https://community.aaii.com/communities/community-home?CommunityKey=2a40c785-42cd-4ce3-8c3f-458a13346a5f
7/27/20221 hour, 19 minutes, 58 seconds
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7 Things You Should Be Doing With Your Retirement Portfolio

In this engaging interview, Paul talks with Stan The Annuity Man on his “Fun with Annuities” podcast. (https://www.stantheannuityman.com/). They discuss: The seven big things you need to know about investment Putting children on a glide path Avoiding market-timing Investing is simple Key Takeaways: Figure out a way to identify what equity asset classes you should have and figure out how to put them together. Everyone needs a glide path, and in theory, it starts when a child is born. Parents and grandparents must immediately take steps to put their children on a glide path – all equities while they’re young and more fixed income as they get older. Don’t panic. If you want to be a successful long-term investor, you have to stay the course. Don’t market time; you might be able to avoid losses short-term, but you will pay the price in the long term. Investing is simple, but it takes faith in the system. It is easy to set it and forget it if you can keep your hands off the trigger. Winning in investing means thinking defensively, not aggressively.
7/19/202256 minutes, 39 seconds
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How can the combo of S&P 500 and Small Cap Value be less risky than the S&P 500 by itself? (and other topics)

Paul Merriman and Chris Pedersen, Director of Research for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, address a number of topics and questions: •  Is the combination of the S&P 500 and Small Cap Value really more risky than the S&P by itself? •  Why the exceptional performance of Chris’ Best In Class (BIC) during the first 6 months of 2022? •  If small and value outperformed large and growth, why did the Total Market Index underperformed the S&P 500 by more than 1%? •  Are the higher costs of the Avantis Funds likely to pay a higher premium than lower cost Vanguard funds? •  A first time investor, who has invested in Avantis Small Cap Value ETF “for life,” wants to know, “Can I plan on leaving it in this fund forever?” •  Jeff, a follower of our Foundation’s work, thanks us for our educational material but states that “the past results you spend so much time reviewing” have nothing to do with how he invests. Paul addresses who he thinks is actually keeping Jeff committed to his asset allocation. •  Is it better to own mid-cap funds instead of a combination of small- and large-cap funds?  Paul and Chris each share their beliefs in response to this common question. Much of this podcast/video is focused on a discussion of DFA and Avantis ETFs. Using both Portfolio Visualizer and Morningstar websites, Chris explains the major factor differences. (Podcast listeners: This section is more meaningful if viewed on the Youtube video). Chris recommends Rob Burger’s video discussion of Avantis Small-Cap Value.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdShSQcScsk Rob Berger, lawyer, investor, podcaster, blogger and author of Retire Before Mom & Dad, is one of our Truth Tellers and we will be writing about him in the coming months. Since 2007, Rob has run the financial blog doughroller.net and contributed to Forbes, US News, AOL, and Business Insider and been featured in HuffPost. For more on Chris’ research results for the first 6 months of 2022, see The Worst Bear Market Ever Sound Investing Portfolios Chart
7/13/20221 hour, 1 minute, 37 seconds
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The Worst Bear Market Ever?

While the headlines have focused on the first 6 months of 2022 as “The Worst First 6 Months of the Last 50 Years!”,  the reality is that well-diversified investors have suffered modest losses.  In this podcast, Paul reviews the major losses of growth stocks, cryptocurrencies, and barely bear market losses in the major indices, as well as the returns of the Best-In-Class (BIC) returns for all of the major asset classes. The good news is in both the equity and bond markets, the BIC performed better than the averages. The bad news is they were still losses. Paul compares the difference in returns for the average fund in each asset class, each asset class index, and the return of the Best-In-Class ETF recommendations by Chris Pedersen, as well as the BIC ETF recommendations with similar Vanguard ETFs. Bond funds are another area of concern for investors this year and Paul also compares the BIC bond fund returns individually as well as a portfolio, and the returns for the S&P 500 and Total Market Index. See Fine Tuning Tables: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Fine-Tuning-Tables-50-50-2022-1.pdf See Sound Investing Tables: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Sound-Investing-Portfolios.pdf See Best-In-Class ETF Recommendations: https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations/ Read article: "The Worst 6 Months Ever For Financial Markets" by Ben Carlson: https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2022/07/the-worst-6-months-ever-for-financial-markets/
7/6/202241 minutes, 15 seconds
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Should I include cryptocurrency in my portfolio? And other questions.

Paul begins this Q&A session with the true story of helping a young relative open an investment account. The good news is a young investor got started but, with the misguided “help" of a Fidelity rep, he made a $250,000 mistake. Learn what happened. Questions: Where can I find an advisor who will work for me virtually? What are your recommendations as we are going into a severe correction? Will you be providing Vanguard recommendations for the Sound Investing Portfolios, including the Worldwide 4-Fund Portfolio? Do you recommend working with Merriman Wealth Management? Why include small-cap blend when that same money could be in small-cap value funds? Under what conditions would you include cryptocurrency in a portfolio? Why don’t you include energy funds in your portfolio? Paul mentions the list of Washington State hourly advisors- Lisa Weil [email protected] Tom Nowak [email protected]  Tim Massie [email protected] Katy Cook [email protected] Trish Howe [email protected] Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions at: https://paulmerriman.com/signup
6/29/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 27 seconds
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What path are your investments on?

Many investors are worried about their future and what’s happening in the markets. In this podcast, Paul focuses on a series of new tables. He believes these tables represent one of the best pieces of historical information for understanding the likely path that your investments will take in the future. They were created by Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. See the Tables here: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Sound-Investing-Portfolio-Quilt-Chart-1928-2021-V1.3-1.pdf They provide the picture of five different portfolios over their history from 1928 to 2021: 1. All S&P 500; 2. All Small Cap Value (USSV); 3. All Value (USAV) half Large Cap Value and half Small Cap Value; 4. 4-Fund (US4F) with 25% of each of four major asset classes; 5. 2-Fund strategy (US2F) with half USSV and half S&P 500.
6/22/202229 minutes, 5 seconds
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What should you do next?

To help answer the many recent emails asking, “What should I do next?” Paul offers his “sound investing" ideas. He begins with a reference to a a recording by JL Collins  in 2019, titled "A Guided Meditation for When the Stock Market Is Dropping," (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOGU94eL07E), and then walks you through the importance of examining and understanding the historical tables provided at his Foundation’s website (https://paulmerriman.com). He also shares information that relates to JL Collins' view of the future and how his view differs, as is meaningfully illustrated in the accumulation tables for the same portfolios. See link to the Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation table for the S&P 500: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Fine-Tuning-Tables-50-50-2022-1.pdf and https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/12-Fine-Tuning-Tables-70-30-2022.pdf See link to U.S. 4-Fund table:  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/2-4-Fund-Equity-Returns-1928-2021-C.pdf Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions at: https://paulmerriman.com/signup
6/15/202231 minutes, 59 seconds
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Strategies for Financial Success—The Roadmap After Graduation

What are the challenges facing university graduates, and all young people, entering the work force? Paul addresses students at Western Washington University with clear information on how to become well-informed and successful investors over a lifetime. He warns about the role of emotions and importance of creating an informed investment plan to have more than enough, because life rarely goes according to plan. He explains the huge impact of an additional .5% in annual returns over a lifetime, mutual funds and target date funds, and the steps to follow in his book, We’re Talking Millions—12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and the strategy of “5 Years Can Make You A Multi-Millionaire.” This and much more in this podcast/video. The Powerpoint in the video illustrates many of the concepts. Click here to watch. Read the article: “Save like mad for five years—retire with millions” Watch the video: “How A 5 Year Investment Can Make You A Millionaire” Listen to the podcast, “5 years of investing and you can become a multi-millionaire” Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions at: https://paulmerriman.com/signup
6/8/20221 hour, 33 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Future of Investing: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

In this new presentation, Paul addresses seven of the biggest investment decisions, provides a brief history of investing and makes predictions for the future. Through the evolution of Wall Street, he shows what savvy investors believe today in terms of saving on fees, diversification and asset class investments, and he elaborates on recommended portfolios and how “5 years can make you a multi-millionaire!”   This was presented to Bainbridge Island’s Oatmeal Club, of which Paul is a member. The Oatmeal Club is a group that’s been meeting weekly on Bainbridge Island for 40 years to share “stimulating conversation, intellectual presentations and, before Zoom, a real oatmeal breakfast.”   You can read more about The Oatmeal Club here: https://theislandwanderer.com/bainbridges-oatmeal-club-is-the-home-of-stimulating-conversation-intellectual-presentations-and-before-zoom-real-oatmeal/ Watch the accompanying slideshow on the video.
6/1/20221 hour, 18 minutes, 39 seconds
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5 years of investing and you can become a multi-millionaire

Young investors can build a retirement worth up to $50 million from an investment of just $6,000 per year for the first 5 years of contributions to a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k).  Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls show you how — with or without the help of parents or grandparents.  Paul discusses a strategy for young children that requires monthly contributions of just $25 to fund the $6,000 investment in early-Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), and each shares his recommendation for young investors after the first 5 years.  They address the challenge of getting a young investor to “stay the course” when the market is in decline, and Paul shares the story of an uncle who requires three promises from family members he helps get started in investing for retirement.  Referenced Links:  “5 Years Can Make You a Multi-Millionaire” shows the impact of an all-equity portfolio using Small Cap Value or a 50/50 balance of Small Cap Value and the S&P 500.  This new table shows the percentage of time that Small Cap Value makes long term returns of 12% to more than 14%.  See video, “How To Use Portfolio Visualizer” by Chris Pedersen  Watch this as a video.
5/25/202258 minutes, 22 seconds
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What’s New for Social Security 2022

This is MUST LISTEN presentation for everyone yet to claim Social Security and/or survivor benefits, and otherwise learn how to maximize your benefits. MaryBeth Franklin, author of Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits, shares her expertise in this interview with Paul Merriman and answers a number of viewer questions. This presentation is part of Financial Literacy Month, sponsored by the Bainbridge Community Foundation (https://bainbridgecf.org/) and The Merriman Financial Education Foundation (https://paulmerriman.com/the-merriman-financial-education-foundation/) You’ll learn: • How claiming age affects the amount of Social Security benefits received by retirees and their surviving spouses; • How earnings from a job can reduce benefits if claimed before full retirement age • Strategies to reverse early claiming decisions and create larger future benefits. Links mentioned in the presentation: Mary Beth interview with retirement researcher Wade Pfau, titled, “Retirement income strategies for 2022 and beyond”:  https://retirement-repair-shop-with-mary-beth-franklin.simplecast.com/episodes/retirement-income-strategies-for-2022-and-beyond-DeARkylF Mary Beth interview with Joe Elsasser, founder of Covisum, discussing Social Security’s solvency, possible reforms, taxes and benefit strategies. Covisum has a free calculator to help people make better decisions on when to start taking Social Security. https://www.investmentnews.com/podcasts/retirement_repair_shop_mbf/joe_elsasser Here is a link to her book, Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits:www.maximizingsocialsecuritybenefits.com Which covers: – The ABC's of claiming Social Security – How Social Security benefits are taxed – What survivors need to know to maximize their benefits – What claiming strategies are disappearing for most new retirees – How recent changes to Social Security claiming rules affect married couples and divorced spouses – Plus, much more including new rules & strategies to help maximize benefits
5/18/20221 hour, 20 minutes, 41 seconds
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Do-it-yourself investor: be the best!

Times are changing and many investors are asking, “What changes should I make in my portfolio?” To answer, Paul discusses how to be a successful do-it yourself-investor. He also mentions free upcoming presentations, along with recommended recent articles and an interview on defining characteristics of a successful do-it-yourself investor. Join Paul online with the AAII New York Chapter on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. ET for “The Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio, on Steroids!” Webinar is free. Preregistration is required. Register here: https://bit.ly/3FuhEp9 Attend the Retiremeet conference on May 14, 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. PT Free for online attendees and small fee to attend (includes lunch). Paul speaks about investing in small-cap value for 30 minutes starting at 1:00 p.m. Get all the details and get your tickets at: https://retiremeet.com/ Read this new MarketWatch article: “The Only Two Stock Funds You’ll Ever Need” (https://paulmerriman.com/the-only-two-stock-funds-youll-ever-need/).  The article includes a link to an updated table showing 12 combinations of the S&P 500 and small-cap value from 1970-2021. “The Eleventh Commandment,” by George Sisti, offers a humorous and truthful approach to your investment decisions, especially during turbulent times. (https://oncoursefp.com/images/Vectors%20May%2022%20final.pdf)
5/11/202230 minutes, 39 seconds
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Simple & Effective Balanced Lifetime Portfolios, 2022 Update

Looking to achieve massive diversification across industries, geographies, stocks, bonds, and various equity premium factors? Chris Pedersen, Director of Research at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and author of 2 Funds for Life:  A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, shows several simple portfolios that do that. He also discusses 2 Funds for Life strategies that augment target-date funds to reduce risk with age, increase expected returns, raise safe withdrawal rates, and achieve higher overall survival rates. Chris’ analysis compares past performance to more complex approaches, and shows that complexity is not a necessity in accumulation or retirement. Watch via Video Hosted by the Boston Boglehead Chapter on April 23, 2022. The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy (https://boglecenter.net/) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving financial literacy. The Center’s mission is to expand the legacy of John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, by promoting the principles of successful investing and financial well-being through education and community. The Center envisions a world of well-informed, capable, and empowered investors. Community outreach is achieved through the Bogleheads forum, wiki, and blog, as well as in-person and virtual Bogleheads chapters worldwide. Learn more at: Bogleheads.org: https://www.bogleheads.org/index.php This broadcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. If you found value in this video, here are five ways to support our mission of providing financial education to investors at all stages of life: 1) Hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment or podcast review and share the link with your social media and friends. 2) Sign up for our twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000+ savvy investors who value free financial education, PLUS receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. We ask that you share it with family, friends, associates and teachers! 3) Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4) Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5) Support our mission by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Thank you! Podcast keywords: simple portfolios, how to invest for life, Chris Pedersen, best target date funds, life strategies that work, investing for retirement, paul merriman podcast, sound investing
5/4/202250 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Inside Story About ESG investing

Paul Merriman talks with Larry Swedroe and Sam Adams about their new book, Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing: How to live your values and achieve your financial goals with ESG, SRI, and Impact Investing https://amzn.to/3KiV1Vh, and they address a broad range of audience questions. Larry is a prolific and respected academic-based writer committed to helping investors find better ways to invest. Co-author Sam, CEO of Vert Asset Management and former DFA advisor, describes himself as both an environmentalist and a capitalist. Topics include: • The history of the Socially Responsible Investing movement • Definitions of ESG, SRI, Impact investment • How different methodologies and outcomes depending on motives of investor • Risk and return for investors and • What are ESG scores? • How “sin stocks” have out-performed high ESG-scored companies until recently • Growth and value stocks • How investor demand for better ESG scores is changing corporate behavior • What is factor investing? and Larry’s book, Complete Guide to Factor Based Investing • How to apply asset classes and factors • Active or passive management of ESG funds? • The importance of investor commitment Paul Merriman talks with Larry Swedroe and Sam Adams about their new book, Your Essential Guide to Sustainable Investing: How to live your values and achieve your financial goals with ESG, SRI, and Impact Investing [insert Amazon affiliate link spelled out], and they address a broad range of audience questions. Larry is a prolific and respected academic-based writer committed to helping investors find better ways to invest. Co-author Sam, CEO of Vert Asset Management and former DFA advisor, describes himself as both an environmentalist and a capitalist. Paul suggests that this book is “a must read” for all trustees and board members of non-profit organizations who want to get into the ESG business. He also plans for his Foundation’s team to develop a list of recommended portfolios for ESG funds for his subscribers at paulmerriman.com. Jim Hopper, executive director of the Bainbridge Community Foundation, introduces this Financial Literacy Month event co-sponsored by BCF and The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, and coordinated by Paul Merriman.
4/27/20221 hour, 22 minutes, 19 seconds
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How To Have More Than Enough in Retirement

In this insightful interview by Morris Taletovic of Moki Finance, Paul shares, for the first time, stories and lessons from his journey in the financial arena as a former advisor, and as an educator and founder of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. They discuss Paul’s free books, his mentors, cultivating a long-term-investment mindset, and his advice about small-cap value. Paul elaborates on the difference between having “enough” and having “more than enough” in retirement, and how investors can get to “more than enough.” He explains how to create a legacy for a child with a very small investment. The last 15 minutes is spent fielding great questions from Moki’s subscribers. Here is a link to the video.
4/20/202258 minutes, 53 seconds
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How to build a great long-term portfolio

How can you best combine equity asset classes to build portfolios for the long term? This is one of the seven most important topics we focus on at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation.  Paul Merriman is joined by Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics and Chris Pedersen, Director of Research to discuss their personal favorite portfolio, and suggested exposure to fixed income, for three different groups of investors — first time, pre-retirees and retirees. Chris also brings us up to date on changes in the Best-in-Class ETF recommendations. (https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations) Resource: See the Fine Tuning Tables, built to show 8 different combinations plus the S&P 500 as the benchmark: https://paulmerriman.com/fine-tuning-your-asset-allocation/ This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this broadcast, here are five ways to support the mission of our foundation: 1)   For videos: Hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment, and share the link with your social media and friends. For podcasts: Leave a review on your player of choice. 2)  Sign up for our twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000+ savvy investors who value free financial education, and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. We ask that you share it with family and friends! 3)   Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)   Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5)   Make a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission of providing financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
4/13/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 4 seconds
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How long can the unexpected continue?

Paul begins this podcast by reviewing long-term returns of the 4 major equity asset classes for the 94 years ending 2021, before moving on to the focus of the podcast: our quilt charts.  The most useful single table, of all the tables created by Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, is entitled, “U.S. 4 Asset Classes and 4-Fund Combo Relative Performance Rankings (1928-2019).  The table offers many important lessons to give investors an improved set of return expectations. The brightly colored years, including each year’s return, make it easy to see the highly random sequence of returns. It becomes very obvious how long the unexpected can continue.  And, most importantly, it shows the dependability of the 4-Fund Combo.  Since the S&P is considered the benchmark for investors, it is helpful to compare results over longer periods of time.  Those results are shown on the table entitled, “Annualized Asset Class Nominal Returns by Decade: 1930-2019.”  While past returns are no guarantee of future returns, the case for higher rates of return with similar-to-lower-risk is a high probability.
4/6/202234 minutes, 3 seconds
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How to strategically invest for your financially secure retirement

What are the best practices for building retirement savings and ensuring those savings last throughout retirement?  Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar, Roger Young, CFP with T. Rowe Price, and Paul Merriman, president of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, introduce you to the latest research and strategies to increase your odds of enjoying a financially secure retirement.  Enjoy this panel discussion from the AAII Conference 360 in October 2021, moderated by Charles Rotblut, vice president and financial analyst at AAII. American Association of Individual Investors: https://www.aaii.com/ Christine Benz: article archives: https://www.morningstar.com/articles/author/30-christine-benz.aspx; co-host of podcast, “The Long View”: https://www.morningstar.com/podcasts/the-long-view; author: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Benz/e/B002PICOLS%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share Roger Young: https://www.troweprice.com/personal-investing/resources/insights/building-confidence-toward-your-retirement.html Paul Merriman, The Merriman Financial Education Foundation: https://paulmerriman.com/ This broadcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this information, here are five ways to support the our foundation: 1)    Hit the thumbs up, subscribe, leave a comment, and share the link with your social media and friends. 2)    Sign up for our twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. We ask that you share it with family, friends, associates and teachers! 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5)   Make a tax-deductible donation to support our Foundation’s mission of providing financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
3/30/20221 hour, 1 minute, 17 seconds
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Flexible distributions: a great luxury in retirement

Flexible Distributions in retirement — which Paul considers one of the greatest financial luxuries for a retiree — are discussed in this podcast updated for 2022. He helps investors see the relationship between how much is taken out for distributions, the balance of equity and fixed income asset classes, and whether distributions are adjusted for inflation or driven solely on percentage of assets in the account. He also highlights the extra protection of broader diversification of stocks and asset classes.  Paul references Fine Tuning Tables  (B1, B7, B8 and B9), as well as many of the tables from the series of Flexible Distribution Tables (E1.3-E1.6, E7.3-E7.6, E8.3-E8.6, and E9.3-E9.6). Pau’s previous podcast examined Fixed Distributions, a strategy designed for investors who retire with “enough.” This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)   Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)  Sign up for our twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000+ savvy investors who value free financial education, and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. We ask that you share it with family and friends! 3)   Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)   Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5)   Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
3/23/202254 minutes, 14 seconds
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Fixed Distributions 2022 Update

How much should you take out of your portfolio in retirement? This is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make. In this presentation, Paul discusses the use of the Fixed Distribution Tables, updated for 2021 data.  He uses Fine Tuning Tables B1 (S&P 500) and  B9 (U.S. 4 Fund Portfolio) as the return series he will use for the discussion. He looks at 4 tables in each series. The tables reflect the outcome of taking a 3, 4, 5 and 6 percent original distribution, with annual inflation adjustments. The comparisons are based on the use of 40/60, 50/50 and 60/40 equity/fixed income portfolios. Paul focuses on the 20, 30 and 52 year periods of returns. When considering these portfolios, Paul suggests looking at the risk/return studies in No-Nonsense Portfolios and “150 Portfolios Better Than Yours.” This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)   Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)  Sign up for our twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000+ savvy investors who value free financial education, and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. We ask that you share it with family and friends! 3)   Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)   Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5)   Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
3/16/202240 minutes, 15 seconds
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How can I test results if I want to make changes to my portfolios? And other great questions

Paul discusses the latest Equity and Fixed Income Tables (1928-2021). Also, see updates of The Ultimate Buy & Hold Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation, Fixed Contributions and No-Nonsense Tables. Plus, he answers the following questions: How can I determine expected risk and return of a portfolio that combines investments from several of your portfolios? Is there any benefit adding international large-cap fund to the U.S. 4 Fund Portfolio? Is the 60/40 portfolio dead? Should I add alternative investments to my portfolio? How do I track my results if I start my investment mid-year? Does it make sense to substitute your Vanguard Monthly Income Fund for your Government Bond fund recommendations? What are your rebalancing recommendations? Paul ends with a wonderful comment from a young investor about dealing with the temptation to check his results daily.
3/9/202259 minutes, 14 seconds
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You can retire with millions more (and it takes less than $100 a month)

In this podcast, you’ll learn about the long-term impact of using regular Fixed Contributions and our updated Tables for 2022. For young investors, this can mean adding millions to your retirement. Before listening to this podcast, Paul suggests you review the YouTube 2022 updates on The Ultimate Buy and Hold, Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation, and No-Nonsense Portfolios. There are 9 Tables that investors can use to compare the long-term results of using each of these different equity combinations, with the addition of bonds for more conservative investors. The purpose of the tables and this podcast is to help young investors understand the long-term impact of a small monthly investment along with 3% annual increases. The corresponding Fine Tuning Tables are used for return calculations. Paul compares the decade returns of the S&P 500 only with a 50/50 split between the S&P 500 and small-cap value. Doubling in value: Paul highlights the extra risk of having all the money in one asset class. In the 10 years ending 2009, the S&P 500 declines in value, even including additional investments. Meanwhile, the more diversified 50/50 S&P/SCV doubled in value for the same period. In fact, almost every other portfolio doubled over that 10 year period. The sequence of return can mean a $1.5 million difference.  Paul shows another situation (Tables C8 and C9) where two portfolios had almost the same compound rate of return, but one beats the other by about $1.5 million. It points to how important the sequence of return is. Use The Merriman Lifetime Investment Calculator to test different beginning dates to see the impact of different sequences of return. Interestingly, the annual result of regularly adding new money seldom leaves the portfolio with less value than the previous year.  For example, in the case of the S&P 500, there were only 7 years out of 52 that the following year wasn’t higher than the last.  In the case of the 50/50 S&P/SCV, there were only 5 years that the following year wasn’t higher. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you consider building different portfolio combinations with unique parts of your long-term investments.  For example, you could segregate one smaller account that is all small-cap value for the entire period, another in the U.S. 4 Fund Portfolio, and yet another in a Worldwide 4 Fund Portfolio.
3/2/202235 minutes, 1 second
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Comparing the risk and return of 20 different (mostly) popular portfolios for do it yourself investors

In this podcast and video, Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls discuss the 2022 update of "No-Nonsense Portfolios" Tables along with new tables used in a recent presentation at the 2022 White Coat Investor Conference. That presentation was entitled “The Inside Story of 150 Portfolios Better Than Yours.” The two tables compare the risk and return of 20 different portfolios.   Those listening to the podcast should review the tables before listening. Lessons learned: For each of the 20 portfolios the tables compare: 1. The annual, decades, and total returns from 1970 through 2021 2. The number of up and down years and average of each 3. The growth of $10,000 (range from $1.9 to $9.5 million) 4. The most popular portfolios earned less than 1/3 of the two most profitable The discussion covers many important lessons in the tables: · There are many ways to measure risk · Higher returns can be achieved at less risk · The risk of having too much of a portfolio in one asset class · The importance of combining small and value with traditional large-cap blend portfolio · Rebalancing of an equity portfolio can increase the long-term return · A portfolio can never score well during the decade periods but end up #1 for the whole period · The portfolio that grew to $9.5 million was less risky than the one that grew to $1.9 million After the discussion of the tables, Chris, Daryl and Paul talk about the portfolios they would recommend.
2/23/20221 hour, 16 minutes, 53 seconds
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Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation: 2022 Update

The idea began more than 25 years ago: Use tables to show the risk and reward of different equity asset classes — along with different combinations of equity and fixed income — so that investors gain a firm understanding of the relationship between long-term return and short-term risk, and make their investment decisions accordingly.  At that time, there were two tables — one for the S&P 500 (as the equity position) and a second for the Ultimate Buy and Hold combination of 10 different equity asset classes. Since then, we have added more combinations of these asset classes equity combinations. We call these the Fine Tuning Tables. In this podcast Paul discusses and reviews 9 different combinations of equity asset classes from the stand-alone S&P 500 to the 10-fund Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio. To get the most out of this podcast, Paul suggests you revisit the previous one, (Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategies: 2022 Update) and this table (Table A1). He begins with a quick review of the previous podcast and then looks at the 9 different equity asset classes that are the basis of the 9 Fine Tuning Tables. (Table A2: Alternative Equity Portfolio Table).  Then he reviews Table B1 for the S&P 500 and bond combinations. The goal is to alert users to the many risk and return lessons on this table.  Following this table, he reviews the Tables B7 through B14 that represent the different portfolio combinations that can be built with the 10 funds in the Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio. Those include: Ultimate Buy and Hold Worldwide 4 Fund U.S. 4 Fund Worldwide All Value U.S. All Value Worldwide All Small Cap Value All U.S. Small Cap Value S&P and Small Cap Value (50/50) Next week’s podcast will be a discussion about the 9 different equity asset class combinations. Paul will be joined by Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls to help Sound Investing investors select from the variety of strategies.
2/16/202247 minutes, 3 seconds
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Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategies: Update 2022

Since 1995 Paul has been writing and teaching Do-It-Yourself investors about the Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio. In this 2022 update he uses the UBH table (70-30) and UBH tables (50-50)  to make the case for 10 equity asset classes he thinks investors should consider owning in the equity portion of their long-term investments. The key takeaways: The S&P 500 can easily be “beat” without taking more risk. The impact of adding just 10% of another equity asset class can improve long-term returns. The impact of even .1% more return can be life changing over long periods of time. Adding more risky asset classes can substantially reduce risk. Diversification of equity asset classes is as important as diversification of individual stocks. Rebalancing is not about higher returns but is about limiting risk. Adding international equities can have a meaningful impact on long-term returns whether you add 30% or 50% to the portfolio. There is not risk in the past, we always know what we should have done. The UBH Portfolio is not designed to get the best return, but is designed to get a better return than the S&P 500 without substantially more risk.
2/9/202241 minutes
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How to Be The Perfect Investor

What are the most important attitudes and habits of successful investors? In this podcast, Paul examines this question through the lens of “hard work,” or what is often called “grit.”  He references a special 6-minute TED talk by Angela Lee Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania. The video is about the importance of “grit” in your life. While the hard work and the passion of grit may make people more successful in their daily life, Paul makes the case that it may lead to worse outcomes as an investor. In fact, the grit for an investor is to remain still and let your investments take care of themselves. Since the grit is largely a matter of habits and attitude, Paul reads chapter 11 from Financial Fitness Forever. He discusses the importance of trust, resilience, perspective, patience and common sense, plus six productive habits that seem to favor investors over the long term. He also suggests you watch his the video or audio, “Habits and Attitudes of Successful Investors,” from the 2016 Vestory Retiremeet Conference. https://paulmerriman.com/habits-attitudes-successful-investors/
2/2/202229 minutes, 7 seconds
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Is the market going to crash?

Paul shares the dire predictions from several gurus and includes a list of reasons a sharp decline could happen.  He includes history of corrections and bear markets since 1950.  https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2021/02/a-short-history-of-u-s-stock-market-corrections-bear-markets/ Question:  Is the 60/40 portolio “in danger?”  Paul uses 'Fine Tuning Table 3' to show investors how to figure out the risk of Vanguard Wellington and Vanguard Wellesley Funds, as well as other similarly built funds.  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Fine-Tuning-Tables-50-50-2020.pdf Paul is outraged by what he learned from a recent report by "The Motley Fool" on what Gen Z, Millenials and all investors 18 to 40 years old have made.  https://www.ngpf.org/blog/question-of-the-day/question-of-the-day-what-percent-of-18-24-year-olds-own-individual-stocks/   The Motley Fool newsletter is advertising very high returns.  Are they real?  The best source of real newsletter returns is hulbertratings.com.  Paul references the 20 year results: hulbertratings.com/20-yearscoreboard/. Question:  They say small-cap growth is the black hole of investing: high volatility, low reward.  Should we keep small-cap blend if the growth companies will continue to pull returns down? Question:  What do I have in my portfolio to protect against a market crash?
1/26/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 7 seconds
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Your questions answered, our plans revealed

This podcast (also a video) answers questions from our listeners, viewers and newsletter subscribers, and updates you on our upcoming projects. Paul Merriman, founder and president of The Merriman Financial Education, is joined by Chris Pedersen, Director of Research and author of 2 Funds for Life — A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics. Topics: What’s on the trio’s to-do list over the next few months?  Chris will update the Best-In-Class recommendations. Daryl will update all of the important tables, including: Ultimate Buy and Hold, Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation, Accumulation and Distributions and the No Nonsense portfolio tables. [Currently found at: https://paulmerriman.com/best-advice/].  Also, Paul will create a new presentation with a discussion of the "White Coat Investor" article, “150 Portfolios Better Than Yours.” Review of 2021 returns. How Chris selects the best ETFs. The two layers of unnecessary costs when hiring an advisor who recommends actively-managed funds. How to decide between an inexpensive index fund in a less-productive asset class and a more-expensive fund in a more-productive asset class.  In this case, VSCIX (small cap index) and GSSIX (a small cap value fund). How to invest a $200,000 inherited IRA when the proceeds won’t be used by the present owners in their lifetime. An investor asks if it’s OK to invest in a group of asset-class funds that are not the same as the recommended portfolios on our website.  Spoiler alert: Investor puts together a reasonable portfolio. How to invest a big hunk of money when the market looks like it is going to go down or should go down or might go down… who knows? Does Chris’ evaluation include leveraged ETFs?  Are they worth considering? What to do about large positions in a company that is your employer?
1/19/202253 minutes, 33 seconds
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2021 investment results you should know

In this review of 2021 investment results, Paul shares 10 lessons he thinks will be of interest to you following our advice. 1.  How many up and down days did the market produce and how that compares to longer-term profitable vs. losing periods? 2.  The market reached 70 new highs during the year.  Is that good news or bad? 3.  The biggest drawdown for the year was 5.1%.  How does that compare to past years? 4.  Commodities, oil and Bitcoin were among the big winners in 2021.  But why do the reported returns of the S&P and other equity asset classes understate their actual returns? 5. Paul focuses on a short report from Dimensional Funds:  When It’s Value vs. Growth, History is on Value’s Side https://www.dimensional.com/us-en/insights/when-its-value-versus-growth-history-is-on-values-side.  This study highlights the high volatility in the difference between these two asset classes.  Bottom line average advantage to value is more than 5%. 6.  Sometimes investing results can be hard to explain.  Paul reviews the 2021 small and large value and growth returns in U.S., international and emerging markets.  Investors may be surprised to see the huge differences from what might be considered similar asset classes. 7. In our Best In Class ETF recommendations  our Director of Research, Chris Pedersen, works hard to identify the ETFs that should be among the best.  Paul reviews the results of his recommendations compared to the returns of the average ETF in each equity asset class. 8.  Many investors struggle to make the decision Best In Class ETFs or all Vanguard all the time.  Paul compares the returns of the BIC ETFs portfolios (U.S. 4 Fund, Worldwide 4 Fund and Worldwide All Value and more) to similar portfolios with Vanguard ETFs.  Paul also compares BIC with similar DFA portfolios.  Investors have to decide whether those differences will be similar in the future or 2021 was an aberration. 9.  Many investors have chosen the Total Stock Market over the S&P 500.  Paul discusses the reasons their historic returns are almost the same and why the S&P 500 way outperformed the TMI in 2021. 10.  While equity is considered the gas for growth in a portfolio, bonds are considered the brakes.  Paul explains why he doesn’t recommend international bonds to stabilize a portfolio and why international bonds lost more money than U.S. bonds in 2021.
1/12/202243 minutes, 23 seconds
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How to teach a teenager to invest

If you know anyone in their teens, you can make a significant difference in his or her life. We know that the earlier a person gets started saving and soundly investing, the more they will have for retirement and to leave to others. As a group, teenagers are at a phase where they are seeking independence, moving from childhood to adulthood, and are eager to exercise their freedom, which comes with increasing self-responsibility. Therefore, the best way to teach them about investing is to involve them in selecting and opening a long-term investment account. In this video/podcast discussion Paul suggests the young investor find a partner (parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, godparent, etc.) to match $50 a year for 10 years. (This could be done with $10) and what that will mean to them over the years. This presentation includes a set of 24 tables that can be used to investigate many of the choices the investor has (see pdf below). Watch this as a video. For information on  Custodial Roth IRAs include a link to Schwab Custodial IRA https://www.schwab.com/ira/custodial-ira?src=SEM&ef_id=CjwKCAiA8bqOBhANEiwA-sIlN2MT3u5rQ88ibNnybVheXC-EFqyvlmYK1VsOqo8E_ofYodnmseoaYBoCBDEQAvD_BwE:G:s&s_kwcid=AL!5158!3!495093339246!p!!g!!custodial%20ira%20charles%20schwab!651813075!33944985558&keywordid=kwd-194438821700&gclid=CjwKCAiA8bqOBhANEiwA-sIlN2MT3u5rQ88ibNnybVheXC-EFqyvlmYK1VsOqo8E_ofYodnmseoaYBoCBDEQAvD_BwE and Fidelity Custodial IRA https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/personal-finance/retirement/turbocharge-childs-retirement https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/100-per-year.pdf
1/4/202253 minutes, 25 seconds
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Part 2- Strategic Planning for Investing in Every Stage of Life

Jacek Lempart, the Belguim-based host of System Trader “The craft of investing,” interviews Paul Merriman in this extraordinary in-depth conversation, unlike others you may have heard. It has been divided into two parts. You’ll learn: Who’s Paul, and what’s the story of his careers? How have markets changed over the years? Why is Paul a big fan of academic/scientific knowledge? What should we do to feel satisfied and have a happy life? How to adjust strategy so that it has an appropriate level of risk? Where’s the border between passive and active investing? A systematic approach to investing vs. discretionary The philosophy behind the Ultimate Buy & Hold portfolio? What does Paul think about holding a bit of cryptocurrency as another asset class? Gold and commodities
12/29/20211 hour, 1 minute, 7 seconds
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Part 1 - Strategic Planning for Investing in Every Stage of Life

Jacek Lempart, the Belguim-based host of System Trader “The craft of investing,” interviews Paul Merriman in this extraordinary in-depth conversation, unlike others you may have heard. It has been divided into two parts.. You’ll learn: · Who’s Paul, and what’s the story of his careers? · How have markets changed over the years? · Why is Paul a big fan of academic/scientific knowledge? · What should we do to feel satisfied and have a happy life? · How to adjust strategy so that it has an appropriate level of risk? · Where’s the border between passive and active investing? · A systematic approach to investing vs. discretionary · The philosophy behind the Ultimate Buy & Hold portfolio? · What does Paul think about holding a bit of cryptocurrency as another asset class? · Gold and commodities
12/22/20211 hour, 7 minutes, 46 seconds
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The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

In this podcast, Paul makes the case for a multimillion dollar payoff if you decide to be a good Do-It-Yourself investor and do the necessary work. He considers this podcast one of his most important.  Using our Fine Tuning Tables and The Merriman Lifetime Investment Calculator, he shows 3 simple ways a conservative well-diversified portfolio, with a retirement portfolio worth only $500,000, would have produced an additional $2,000,000 over 30 years of retirement. To make his points, Paul references: - S&P 500 FTYAA Table - The U.S. 4-Fund FTYAA Table - These sample calculations from our Calculator - The 90-year study (Table 1) that evidences that investor patience leads to better returns. This podcast was recorded Dec. 12, 2021 by Paul in Mexico, as he and his wife, Zan, having sold their home in San Miguel de Allende, were in the last days of moving. Watch Craig's short video "Understand the effect of 1% using our Lifetime Investment Calculator" that goes along with this podcast.
12/15/202147 minutes, 17 seconds
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The Evidence (Part 2) 12 Simple Ways Can Supercharge Your Retirement

This is a continuation of the conversation between Paul, Craig Appl, and Chris Pedersen who evaluated the evidence for We’re Talking Millions! using The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator, Portfolio Visualizer, and Two Funds for Life back test. This part builds on Part 1, so we recommend that you view Part 1 before this. Download your free PDF copy of the book now to follow along. You can access the Lifetime Investment Calculator at this link, Part 1 reviewed steps 1 – 5 and Part 2 continues with steps 6-12. Save some money instead of spending it all. Start saving sooner instead of later. Invest your savings in stocks instead of bonds and cash. Invest in many stocks instead of only a few. Keep your expenses low. Choose index funds instead of actively managed funds. Include small-company stocks in your portfolio. Include values tocks in your portfolio. Don’t try to “time” the market or outwit it. Invest using dollar-cost averaging instead of waiting for the right time to invest. Keep your taxes low. Do all this in one simple step: Invest in a target date retirement fund.
12/8/202156 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Evidence (Part 1) 12 Simple Ways Can Supercharge Your Retirement

About a year ago, we released the book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. A few people have challenged the idea that each of the 12 simple steps, outlined in the book, can net you an additional million dollars. Paul, Craig Appl, and Chris Pedersen evaluate the evidence using The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator, Portfolio Visualizer, and Two Funds for Life back tests in this two-part video series. Download your free PDF copy of the book now to follow along. You can access the Lifetime Investment Calculator at this link and the accompanying YouTube video here. Part 1 reviews steps 1 – 5 Save some money instead of spending it all. Start saving sooner instead of later. Invest your savings in stocks instead of bonds and cash. Invest in many stocks instead of only a few. Keep your expenses low.
12/1/202159 minutes, 8 seconds
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Is it time to sell?

An investment advisor and long time podcast listener recently wrote to Paul: “By any stretch of the imagination this market (S&P 500) is expensive. Back in 1987 you took your clients to cash or very near cash. Do you feel that that today is the same situation?  I’ve never market timed in my career, but today fells like the time to do it if there ever was a time.” Paul discusses what really happened in 1987. He follows that with sharing parts of two blogs by Ben Carlson, CFA and author of the blog, “A Wealth of Common Sense.” Paul also shares the latest predictions for 2022 from two of the most respected financial institutions in America. Hopefully, it will help investors deal with the question: is it time to sell? Happy Thanksgiving! Ben Carlson’s articles referenced in this podcast: "Two Things That Are Both True” "Perma Arguments”
11/24/202123 minutes, 46 seconds
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Proof that this simple investment strategy works

In this lively conversation, Paul Merriman and Daryl Bahls interview Chris Pedersen – author of 2 Funds for Life – A quest for simple & effective investing strategies (Oct. 2021) and creator of the 2 Funds for Life strategies – about the simplicity and effectiveness of these strategies and the data that supports them. Below is a link to start reading the book for free. Questions discussed: · How did you get the title of “financial wizard”? · Is the book for young people? · What are some of the questions the book answers, and why should investors care about them? · What's a target-date fund, and why is it the foundation of the 2 Funds for Life strategies? · What's the gist of the 2 Funds for Life approach? · Why is small-cap value the best choice second fund for accumulators and retirees? · Is a target-date fund on its own enough?  How much more money did the 2 Fund for Life strategies make in the past? · Why does the book focus on "real" (after removing inflation) instead of "nominal" (including inflation) results? · How much deeper were the drawdowns (losses) for 2 Fund for Life strategies compared to a target-date fund? · Are 2 Fund for Life strategies more resilient after major market declines? · Why might investors need or want some of the deeper details in the book? START READING THE BOOK FOR FREE at our website: https://paulmerriman.com/2-funds-for-life-book/
11/17/202156 minutes, 50 seconds
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Cryptocurrency- gamble, speculation or investment?

Paul address the pros and cons of cryptocurrencies. He discusses his personal opinion after reading from several articles that do a good job of presenting the basics of cryptocurrencies. In this week’s Sound Investing newsletter, Paul expands on his views about cryptocurrency. Subscribe now — always free! — at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ and get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement. Suggested links: https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/explain-bitcoin-like-im-five-73b4257ac833/ https://gen.medium.com/you-dont-understand-bitcoin-because-you-think-money-is-real-5aef45b8e952 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggvlgNMr_NE Additional links to understand the basics of cryptocurrency from NGPF.org: https://www.ngpf.org/blog/investing/is-bitcoin-bad/ https://www.ngpf.org/blog/current-events/cryptocurrency-bitcoin-primer/ https://www.ngpf.org/blog/question-of-the-day/question-of-the-day-what-is-the-value-of-cryptocurrency-stolen-each-day-on-average/ https://app.nearpod.com/presentation?pin=DHIRS
11/10/202150 minutes, 16 seconds
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Simplify investing with Chris Pederson

Chris Pedersen talks with Ed Fulbright, CPA, on Ed’s “Mastering Your Money” podcast, about the 2 funds for life strategy he developed as Director of Research for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, and his new book, 2 Funds for Life: a quest for simple and effective investing strategies.  Chris tells the story of how Paul Merriman’s meeting with Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard and father of index funds, led to his development of 2 funds for life. The challenge was to greatly simplify Merriman’s Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy so it is accessible to everyone. At the same time, keeping the simple strategy massively diversified and tilted toward maximizing return and minimizing risk, while adjusting for a lifetime so the risk is automatically reduced as people age. Chris also talks about the challenges of approaching retirement, some steps he took to minimize anxiety and transition to retirement, the best advice he received, and about risk and the importance knowing your own tolerance. Get your copy of 2 Funds for Life: a quest for simple and effective investing strategies. All profits from the sale of the book support the work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000 savvy investors who value free financial education. You can download a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement at https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Were-Talking-Millions.pdf  We ask that you share it with family and friends! 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest books, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies, the profits from which help support our work. 5)   Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
11/3/202128 minutes, 50 seconds
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What mutual funds and ETFs do we own? and more Q and A from the AAII Conference 360 

In this podcast, Paul is joined by Daryl Bahls and Chris Pedersen to answer a variety of questions posed during the AAII Conference 360.  What mutual funds and ETFs do you personally own? Paul, Chris and Daryl share their individual approaches and holdings. Are there any good-to-excellent small cap newsletters Paul recommends?  In the answer Paul references http://hulbertratings.com/, the best source of newsletter results, and also the "Cabot Turnaround Newsletter" and "Nate’s Notes." Where can we get a list of small cap value funds and ETFs? In your distribution tables, by inflation adjusting the distributions but not the value of the portfolio holdings, doesn’t that mislead a potential investor? Where can we get the free copy of We’re Talking Millions!? What are the specific 4 funds you recommend an investor hold for life?  Paul includes mention of links to recommended funds or ETFs: https://paulmerriman.com/vanguard-tax-deferred-etf-portfolios/ https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations/ https://paulmerriman.com/4-fund-portfolios/ When re-balancing the 2 Funds for Life, do you strictly look at the end-of-year value of each asset, or are there other criteria you recommend evaluating? My Schwab account rates my portfolio on risk vs. return.  Is this the ultimate way to measure how I am doing? If your account is taxable will using factor investing and rebalancing create a tax drag that overwhelms the better expected returns? Chris, which websites did your AAII panel on Factor Investing recommend for researching funds and learning about factor investing: https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-etf-recommendations/ https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/ https://www.morningstar.com/ https://www.etf.com/ https://alphaarchitect.com/blog/ Daryl Bahls is Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and Chris Pedersen is Director of Research and author of the new book, 2 Funds for Life: A quest for simple & effective investing strategies available at Amazon and other online booksellers. You can watch Paul’s presentation Small-Cap Value presentation here. You can get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! right here. The American Association of Individual Investors is an independent, nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of assisting individuals in becoming effective managers of their own assets through programs of education, information and research. Learn More: https://www.aaii.com/membership/about-aaii You can join here starting at $2/month: https://invest.aaii.com/membership/
10/27/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 51 seconds
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Q and A

Cryptocurrencies, ARKK, inflation, market timing, Vanguard High Yield Bond Fund and emerging markets and mor This podcasts includes questions from a fellow advisor as well as questions from readers and listeners. Do you care that bond interest rates are below inflation and it seems that rates will stay below inflation over the next decade? Do you encourage investors to search for alternatives to bonds with higher expected returns? Do you think returns should be presented in real (after inflation) or nominal (no inflation) terms? Could an equity trend-following strategy be used as an alternative for bond funds? What advice do you give young investors on cryptocurrencies or stocks like GME or AMC? Many investors are convinced that investing in new rapidly growing companies (such as those ins the ARKK ETF) are superior to small cap value companies. Why choose the losers over the winners? Is a simple conventional 60:40 portfolio best for most investors? Why is your Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio underperforming the S&P 500 over the last 6 months? This answer explorers the winners and the losers over the last year. I’m disappointed in the recent 3 years of returns of emerging markets. Can you give me some historical perspective on the recent underperformance? Would an international small cap value fund be a good substitute for an emerging markets fund? What are the pros and cons of Vanguard’s High Yield Bond Fund and Total Bond Fund?
10/20/202151 minutes, 44 seconds
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Are you invested in best performing funds?

There can be big differences between asset class returns, as well as differences within asset classes. Why do some great funds look like dogs compared to their competitors?  How can there be over a 20% one year difference in return between two funds in the same asset class?  Paul examines these questions and recommends investors use the quilt chart constructed by Daryl Bahls to understand the randomness of short-term returns. He suggests reviewing any period of 10 to 20 years to see the movement from the best to worst from one year to the next. Link to Quilt Chart: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2020-Year-End-Podcast-Charts.pdf Article on 4 Fund Combo: https://paulmerriman.com/market-got-you-down-how-to-construct-a-comeback-portfolio/
10/13/202134 minutes, 42 seconds
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Get smart or get screwed

In this podcast, Paul examines the outright lies made by industry leaders about the difference between index funds and active management.  They hope to skew your thinking to their advantage – not yours. Trillions of dollars in Americans' retirement savings are invested in large and small accounts managed by banks, brokerages, mutual funds, and insurance companies, which continue to fight the regulation of fiduciary responsibility. Whether your IRA or 401K will assure a safe retirement remains largely a gamble. In the documentary “The Retirement Gamble” – as true today as it was when made in 2013 – producers Martin Smith and Marcela Gaviria build on reporting from the groundbreaking series “Money, Power and Wall Street.” They reveal how fees, self-dealing, and kickbacks bring great profits to Wall Street while imperiling the prospects of a secure future for individuals. The documentary explores who has the consumer's best interests in mind, and whether there is a better way to manage our retirements. Paul’s book, Get Smart or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best and Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor, looks at why the brokerage industry is not serving your best interests and includes extensive lists of questions you should ask – and services you should receive – from an advisor. In particular, Chapter 16, which he reads in this podcast, addressing how not to “get screwed" by emotional appeals. Watch the Frontline Documentary:  “The Retirement Gamble”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkOQNPIsO-Q Get your copy of Get Smart or Get Screwed: How To Select The Best and Get The Most From Your Financial Advisor. It is available for sale at Amazon and other online booksellers, which supports the work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, or download a free copy. Here is what others have written about this book: “Excellent book especially for a DIY investor or someone just learning about personal finance… There is a plethora of bad investment advice out there in the world… It is difficult to sort through all the nonsense and to determine the true from the false… Fortunately, for Merriman's readers, he takes them by the hand and leads them through the jungle of nonsense out there in the world and explains how to avoid being taken in.” - DN “As a teacher of community-based investing classes, [I found it] a very useful book… I will definitely be adding it to my recommended reading list! I particularly liked the 2nd half of the book (chapters 11-16) that contains real-life examples of the bad practices and bad products you'll run across in your interactions with securities and annuities sales people. I had to follow the investment industry for years to learn about the various schemes and deceptions that need to be avoided. But you can gain all that knowledge in a week by reading (and rereading a few times) this part of the book.” – AP “This easy to read and easy to understand book is consistent with the other 4 books of Paul Merriman's that I have now read… What I have liked most about each of his books, although they may be written about different aspects of investing and in different words, is that they provide a consistent philosophy and recommendation on how to invest.” – DD Correction- Get Smart or Get Screwed was published in 2012 and not 2011.
10/6/202140 minutes, 29 seconds
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The Four Fund Portfolio Yields Higher Returns

Paul talks with Barbara Friedberg, financial writer and former investment portfolio manager, about his popular 4 fund combo and how and why to implement it. Among their discussion is how the 4 fund combo strategy outperformed the S&P 500 over the last 92 years. From 1928 through 2020 the Merriman 4-fund portfolio earned an average annual return of 11.7% versus the S&P 500 average return of 10.00%. [This podcast is also available as a video at:  https://youtu.be/vMFtJLAxFhI]. The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Four Fund Combo – - Small Cap Value - Small Cap Blend - Large Cap Value - S&P 500 Sign up for free at M-1 Finance and create your own 4 Fund Combo: https://m1finance.8bxp97.net/aXrzb (Affiliate Link – If you fund an account for $1,000 or more, The Merriman Financial Education Foundation receives a one-time affiliate fee.) Watch our M1 finance video tutorial with Chris Pedersen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02_KIRvBbmo Barbara A. Friedberg, MBA, is a former investment portfolio manager and university finance and investing instructor. She currently owns and manages two Investing websites: Robo-Advisor Pros https://www.roboadvisorpros.com/ and Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance https://barbarafriedbergpersonalfinance.com
9/29/202123 minutes, 33 seconds
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Putting SCV to work with the S&P 500

Paul gives listeners a taste of what he will be discussing Sept. 25, 2021 at the Puget Sound Chapter of the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) and at AAII’s virtual Annual Investor Conference Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The title of the Puget Sound Chapter talk is, "The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy—on Steroids!” and for the Investor Conference it is, “20 Things You Should Know About Small Cap Value.” Below in the notes, Paul asks for your feedback. For those attending the Conference, Paul invites you to join him Oct. 1 at 8:30 a.m. for a special Plenary Session wherein he will receive the James Cloonan Award For Excellence In Investment Education. While in a recent podcast, S&P 500 vs. Small Cap Value NEW Fine Tuning Table, Paul discussed a new Fine Tuning Table — showing the year-by-year returns, along with the associated risk, of 11 combinations of the S&P 500 and a Small Cap Value index — in this podcast he continues that conversation, explaining how you can also put it to work during the accumulation and distributions period of your life. He introduces another new Fine Tuning Table that reflects an equity portfolio that is equally divided between the S&P 500 and SCV, along with multiple percentages of fixed income.  He also compares a Table of Fixed Contributions using the S&P 500 and S&P/SCV as well as Fixed Distribution Tables reflecting the S&P 500  and 50/50 S&P 500/SCV.   Paul asks a favor of his listeners.  Please let him know: What combination of S&P 500 and SCV would be comfortable for you? Send your response to [email protected] and please include your age and retired vs. non retired status. Many thanks to Daryl Bahls, our Director of Analytics for these and more than 150 tables prepared for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation to help you be a better investor.
9/22/202129 minutes, 31 seconds
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How “Minding the Gap” may add millions to your portfolio

In this podcast, Paul talks briefly about his upcoming  2-1/2-hour workshop, “The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy — on Steroids!” for the Puget Sound AAII Chapter on September 25, as well as the September 30-October 1 virtual AAII National Conference. For more information and to register for the Conference, click here. Paul answers the following questions from subscribers to his free newsletter: Have you done a study to compare the long-term returns of an All Blend vs. All Value Portfolio? Will an actively-managed small cap value fund produce enough premium to be worth the higher expense ratio? Are you considering adding a Monte Carlo simulator to your calculator?  What about the ability to test 2 Funds for Life? Which of your portfolios do you recommend for investors who want to “swing for the fences?” He discusses this article from Morningstar,  “Why Fund Returns Are Lower Than You Might Think,” which includes the results of the annual “Mind the Gap” study.  Closing this gap may add several million dollars to the lifetime return of your portfolio.  The study also address the impact of dollar cost averaging vs. lump sum investing. Finally, Paul considers a blog by Ben Carlson titled, "What Have the Stock Market Taught Us Since 2010?" which highlights the challenges of drawing conclusions from short periods of time.  Many investors have probably learned exactly the wrong lessons, and lessons about bear markets may be some of the most painful lessons.
9/15/202149 minutes, 4 seconds
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The #1 Two Equity Fund Portfolio

In the podcast, Paul introduces a new Fine Tuning Table that compares different combinations of two equity funds (S&P 500 and Small Cap Value), providing the best way to look at the risk and return implications of combining these two great asset classes.  For over 20 years we have produced these tables representing combinations of an equity asset class, or equity portfolio, and different percentages of bonds. The first table (Table 3) we produced many years ago compared the S&P 500 with bonds. Paul points out many ways to use this new table as a learning tool. The lessons focus on the range of returns and risk exposure an investor is likely to experience, as well as the emotional hurdles each combination may create. These tables have been the best educational tool we have to help investors understand the long-term relationship between risk and return. On Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, Paul will make a 60-minute presentation at the AAII Virtual Investor Conference, “20 Things You Should Know About Small Cap Value Funds,” during which he will discuss this new Fine Tuning Table, along with many other important aspects of the small cap value asset class . Paul asks listeners to suggest additional lessons they get from their review of the Table.  HE intends to review these responses in preparation for his presentation on October 1.  Please send your comments to [email protected]. Paul also discusses the broad range of topics that will  be covered at the  Conference.  Not only will Paul and Chris Pedersen be presenting separate topics, each of them will be on panel discussions.  Chris, along with Larry Swedroe and Jack Vogel, will discuss  Factor Investing, and Paul, along with Christine Benz and Craig Israelsen, will discuss Retirement Investing. For information on the the AAII Virtual Investor Conference speakers and topics, and to register, go to: https://invest.aaii.com/conference/
9/8/202136 minutes, 10 seconds
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What can we learn from the Bogleheads?

In response to the continued discussion on the Bogleheads forum asking, “Why Does Anyone Listen to Paul Merriman?" Paul takes this opportunity to "share a wonderful teaching moment" from the comments of those who follow the work of John Bogle. Particularly, Paul considers the criticisms leveled against him regarding the recent performance of small-cap value funds, which he has been recommending for almost 30 years. While some Bogleheads counter that recommendation based on short-term returns, Paul reminds listeners even the idea of investing in any kind of common stock was once considered very unpopular. He cites Edgar Lawrence Smith’s best selling book, Common Stocks as Long Term Investments (1924), which promoted the then-surprising idea that stocks excel bonds over the long-term. Notes from This Podcast: Here is a link to the introduction from Edgar Lawrence Smith’s best seller, Common Stocks as Long Term Investments. Copyright 1928 (originally published 1924) Smith highlights the belief that bonds were chosen as a better solution than stocks.  Stocks were seen only as a speculation and Bonds as an investment.  Bonds were seen as the best choice for the long term and many large investment accounts did not include any stocks. I imagine those investors were as sure in their belief in bonds as the Bogleheads who disagree with SCV are in theirs. During the podcast Paul references Table 4 from the 90 Years study, Table 3a from the study comparing 11 portfolios including the Bogleheads, and the new Lifetime Investment Calculator .
9/1/202155 minutes, 42 seconds
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Why does anyone listen to Paul Merriman?

Paul addresses a long thread on Bogleheads.org forum asking, "Why does anyone listen to Paul Merriman?" and recommends listeners follow the Bogleheads site for a variety of perspectives, and especially Rick Ferri’s excellent podcast interviews. Then, taking a detailed look at the latest return data on the 11 "No-Nonsense Portfolios,” he compares the annual and decade returns of the portfolios. Much of this discussion is focused on Table 3a but the other tables (links below) are for investors who want to dig deeper. Also, Paul shares early feedback on the newly-released interactive Lifetime Investment Calculator, developed by Craig Appl and generously donated to The Merriman Financial Education Foundation to help investors enter their own data, dive deeper into the recommended Merriman strategies, and get more value from the Foundation’s work. Check out the references and links in this podcast: Paul’s work is largely based on the academic research of Drs. Eugene Fama (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/faculty/directory/f/eugene-f-fama) and Kenneth French (http://mba.tuck.dartmouth.edu/pages/faculty/ken.french/curriculum_vitae.html).  You can also find out more about them on Wikipedia. "No-Nonsense Portfolios”: Table 1 Tables 2a and 2b Tables  3a and 3b Thanks to Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics, for his creation of more than 150 historically-based tables. Lifetime Investment Calculator: https://paulmerriman.com/lifetime-investment-calculator/
8/25/20211 hour, 38 seconds
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The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator

The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator is built from the 2021 fine tuning tables and includes enhancements like showing nominal vs. real returns, growth with contributions, fixed and flexible distributions. We don’t know the future, but the past contains many events that could happen again. The last 51 years include numerous wars, booms, busts, and periods of high and low inflation. We consider these last 51 years a sequence of returns and have chosen to loop through this 51 year sequence to support calculating up to 200 years of returns. The Merriman Educational Foundation creates numerous tables and charts, updated annually, to demonstrate the history of investment strategies, equity/fixed-income allocations, growth, and fixed/flexible distributions from 1970 until today. They are published at https://paulmerriman.com/ under “Best Advice.” We identified that the foundation’s community of individual investors, partner organizations, and stakeholders could benefit from an interactive version of these static assets. We built the Merriman Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator to meet this need. The calculator aims to bring the annual Merriman Best Advice to life so that community members can enter their own analysis, dive deeper into the recommended Merriman strategies, and draw conclusions from the foundation’s work. The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator is built from the 2021 fine tuning tables and includes enhancements like showing nominal vs. real returns, growth with contributions, fixed and flexible distributions. We don’t know the future, but the past contains many events that could happen again. The last 51 years include numerous wars, booms, busts, and periods of high and low inflation. We consider these last 51 years a sequence of returns and have chosen to loop through this 51 year sequence to support calculating up to 200 years of returns. Check out the The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator at https://paulmerriman.com/lifetime-investment-calculator/ Watch Craig Appl’s videos showing how to use the calculator here.
8/18/20211 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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Calculating the future

In this podcast you’ll learn about a free online presentation for high school students and parents, the introduction of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator to be released Aug. 18, and the implications of investing in individual stocks. Paul begins with an invitation to an upcoming online presentation open to the public on August 16, 5-7 p.m. PT. What does the future hold for today’s high school students? Paul and Jeff Leinaweaver, a career exploration specialist, will deliver a two-hour on-line seminar on how Covid-19 is changing careers and education. They will discuss life-changing career decisions for the next generation, educational pursuits and financial options for now and in the future. Students and parents are encouraged to participate, as these decisions will impact the entire family. Sponsored by the Bainbridge Community Foundation. Register at:  https://tinyurl.com/k575wv29.  If you need help accessing the registration form, contact: [email protected] He continues with next week's important release of the new Merriman Foundation Lifetime Investment Calculator produced for our foundation by Craig Appl. This interactive calculator allows investors at any stage in life to evaluate the likely future of their present portfolio vs. other solutions that might represent less risk and better returns. Finally, Paul addresses the concerns of many investors who feel left out of the huge returns that have been generated by technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, Tesla and others. He examines the implications of building a portfolio of individual stocks that have produced these outsized returns and references the blogs of Ben Carlson ("A Wealth of Common Sense”). The following articles and graphs are mentioned in his podcast. https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2021/08/simple-explanations-for-complex-topics/ https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2021/03/owning-the-best-stocks-is-hard/ https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2021/03/owning-individual-stocks-vs-owning-the-stock-market/
8/11/202130 minutes, 20 seconds
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How should we prepare for a catastrophic market? and 9 more Q&A

In this podcast, Paul Merriman answers 10 questions recently submitted by his listeners and readers at paulmerriman.com. See additional links referenced below. What changes would you recommend to your 10-fund portfolio at retirement when you need the money to live on? 0:30 What should a late starter do to get caught up?  What do you recommend for investors who don’t have any experience?  I just turned 35 and I haven’t started saving for retirement. 3:45 Did I read that you and your wife not longer have any equities in your portfolio? I ask because I am 80 years old and am confused over what I thought you said and what you are saying now. 7:30 Should investments in a Roth IRA be in your tax-deferred portfolio?  You recommend VTMSX but Vanguard warns against using that fund inside a retirement account and recommends VSMAX. 9:30 Do you agree with many experts who say a lump sum investment is better than dollar cost averaging? 14:00 How should we prepare for a catastrophic market — all investments in government bonds directly or through Vanguard? 18:00 What do you think of using a simple 2-fund portfolio that is U.S. large-cap blend and small-cap value? 22:00 Which investments should I own in taxable accounts and which in tax-deferred or tax-free accounts? 24:15 What is your opinion of Northern Trust Mutual Funds? 26:00 What do you think of the combination of total market U.S. and International funds Tom Cock and Don McDonald reference in their "Talking Real Money" podcast? Plus some small-cap value?  28:30 For more about ROTH IRAs, see http://www.mypersonalfinancejourney.com/should-my-mutual-fund-be-held-in-roth/ For the new “no brainers” Table of Long-Term Results, visit this link. Click for Table 3a – No-Nonsense Portfolios for Sound Investing: Annual Returns
8/4/202140 minutes, 1 second
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Which 2 or 10 million dollar decision is right for you? or How to build a $100 million retirement investing $500 a month.

How much and what equity asset classes will investors choose for their portfolios? While this podcast is aimed at young investors, it also has implications for older investors who have a portion of their portfolio invested for younger heirs. Daryl Bahls has produced two new tables that give us a long-term view of the implications of the proportion of your portfolio that is committed to equites and the selection of equity asset class. One table titled, “Which 2 million dollar decision is right for you?” compares 6 different combinations of 90% bonds with 10% equities.  The equity combinations include 5% and 10% positions in the S&P 500, small-cap blend and small-cap value. Compared to an all bond portfolio, the lifetime impact of adding these 10% equity positions ranges from 2 to 10 million dollars. The second table, “Which 10 million dollar decision is right for you?” reflects the aggressive decision to invest in an all-equity portfolio with all or part of your portfolio.  In other words, you may only put 20% of you portfolio in equities but that position is left to grow without rebalancing. Paul suggests young investors think of investing as if you are starting a company that you want to grow over the long term. The following tables are also referenced during the podcast:  https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/2-4-fund-combo-2020.pdf Table 9 in this series of tables found at https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Fine-Tuning-Tables-50-50-2020.pdf Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. Please share it widely!
7/28/202130 minutes, 51 seconds
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Financial freedom is simpler than you think

Please note our free offer at the end of these podcast comments. In this podcast, Ed Fulbright, CPA, PFS, a fee-based advisor and host of Mastering Your Money™ radio show, talks with Paul Merriman about such topics related to financial freedom as: · Why is saving more important than spending? · What is the power of starting to invest early versus later? · Why are is small-cap so important to a person's portfolio? · What is the best advice you have ever received? · What do you want our listeners to remember? · Why are you giving away your latest book, We're Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement? Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! at: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Were-Talking-Millions.pdf
7/21/202128 minutes, 44 seconds
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Owning Only Stocks Talking Real Money/Sound Investing Episode 5

Don, Tom, and Paul Merriman get together again to discuss the pros and cons of owning stocks and the stock market.
7/18/202119 minutes, 16 seconds
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Stocks vs. Bonds- All or Nothing!

Please take advantage of our free offer at the end of these podcast notes. The granddaddy of all investment decisions is the choice between stocks and bonds. While most investors know stocks make more than bonds, few know that even a small investment — as little as $25 dollars a month — can easily lead to the source of a million dollars in retirement and money left to others. This podcast explores the likely long-term term returns of stocks and bond, both before and after retirement.  Although Paul doesn’t comment on all the tables, he thinks investors will find all of them interesting.  Paul especially hopes you will take a look at Tables 1, 2, 3, 4 in this pdf, as well as Table 46. Get your free copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. Please share it widely!
7/14/202128 minutes, 45 seconds
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Paul gives it to you straight

Ever wonder why it’s fairly easy to plan something and much more difficult to stick with it? Inspired by a brief post on Seth Godin’s blog, about “Lines and curves,” Paul discusses this phenomena that sidetracks many sincere investors. (See Godin’s post below). He makes the case that the work he and his team do is like a ruler's "straight line," while the “curves” are what you have to deal with in real life as a ‘stay-the-course’ investor. Lines and curves  Working with a ruler is pretty straightforward. Just about anyone can extend a line, or fix something straight if it breaks. It’s on the line or it’s not. But curves? Curves are complex and hard to get right. It turns out that humans bring curves with them, wherever we go. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)   Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
7/7/202120 minutes, 32 seconds
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The most important podcast of my career

In this podcast, Paul makes the case that all 12 ways presented in his book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement, are EACH worth a million dollars or more.   It’s not just that an investor would make a million dollars, but that in each decision, or fork in the road, one fork would make an EXTRA million dollars more than the less productive path. Many people find this incredible, and Paul admits that most young investors would be very happy to make a million or two in total. But when his co-author, Richard Buck, with whom he has successfully and happily worked  for almost 30 years, confessed he personally found it a bit far-fetched, Paul felt pushed to the wall.  “I had to throw down the gauntlet, draw a line in the sand and commit myself to making Rich — and all the young investors I hope to reach with this information — understand once and for all why I believe this so strongly,” says Paul. In this 90 minutes, Paul walks you through all 12 ways, or forks in the road, so you fully understand (and can explain to others) how and why each way is really a $1 million (or more) decision. He explains the importance that small differences in returns make over a lifetime of investing. This table, “One-half percent difference over a lifetime” makes that difference very clear. In addition to the 12 ways, or decisions, Paul adds FIVE BONUS WAYS that will likely add another million to your  or your children’s or grandchildren’s future. Tune in to learn the whole truth of how and why these 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement can mean well over $12 million additional dollars in your pocket over a lifetime.  And yes, that could come with only $6,000 a year invested over 40 years.  Get your FREE pdf of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement and share it with all the people you know and care about. And if you find Paul’s comments unrealistic, please let him know why. He would like to share your position and his response in a future podcast.  Of course he won’t use your name so fire away to [email protected]
6/30/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 54 seconds
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Wait How Long? Talking Real Money/Sound Investing Episode 4

Paul, Tom and Don discuss the time frame over which investors should remain patient and how much return can reasonably be expected. They reference the article- “How Long is a Long Run?”, by Craig Israelsen.
6/27/202130 minutes, 47 seconds
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What if you don’t have 30 years ahead to invest? and other Q&A

The questions and topics in this podcast came out of the wonderful responses to the question posed to our free newsletter subscribers, "How we can keep you engaged?”Most of your studies offer returns over 30, 40, or more years.  For those of us who don’t have that kind of time, what can you tell us about the likely returns we should get?   In Paul’s response he references a terrific new article and study by Craig Israelsen, one of our Truth-Tellers.  His article, “How Long is a Long Run?”, offers the likely success of getting the historical returns for the next 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.  Spoiler alert:  There’s good news and bad!  2:00 You and Larry Swedroe have convinced me to add small cap value to my portfolio.  Many retirement plans offer actively-managed small cap value funds with high expenses.  Do you have a hard cut-off on what level of expense is acceptable? 22:40 In your popular video, My Favorite 12 Vanguard Funds for Retirees, you recommend several actively-managed funds, including Wellington.  How can you recommend Wellington (VWLEX) when Vanguard offers Balanced Index Fund (VBIAX) with about the same balance of stocks and bonds?  28:05 You recommend a combination of short-term government bond fund, an intermediate bond fund and a TIPS fund for the bond portion of your portfolios.  Why not keep it simpler and just combine a total bond market fund like BND with a TIPS fund? 31:30 What advice or evidence can you offer to help investors who have started saving late in their career and are in danger of taking too much risk in an attempt to catch up? 35:20 I am 80 years old and never invested in the stock market.  I have used only CDs to build my retirement savings.  I now believe I need to add some equities to my portfolio.  What do you recommend I do to conservatively add equities and still sleep easy?  59:28 There are several links mentioned:  bankrate.com, stantheannuityman.com, and for this man’s children and grandchildren.  Download Paul's free books.
6/23/202159 minutes, 28 seconds
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Lessons from my favorite investing book

Warning: this podcast is geared for investors who like numbers.  It is focused on some of the best lessons from Paul's favorite book on investing. The Matrix Book 2021 is 100 pages (8 1/2 x 14) almost entirely dedicated to listing the annual returns of dozens of asset class, some from 1926 to 2020 and others starting where records of those asset classes were first tracked.  Those asset classes include U.S. and international large cap blend, large cap value, small cap blend, small cap value, commodities, short and long term U.S. and international corporate and government bonds and inflation. In most cases returns are listed for 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 and 80 years. Topics: 1. How do the S&P 500 and Total Market Stock Indexes compare? 3:20 2. How have small cap blend (growth and value) and small cap value performed? 8:33 3. Not all indexes are the same.  How do the Russell and DFA index construction and returns differ? 11:00 4. Have recent small cap and value return premiums been as good as the past? 17:00 5. How have international asset performed? 19:56 6. How have emerging market performed? 22:00 7. How have bonds performed for the past 20 and 80 years? 23:35 8. How has inflation impacted returns over the past 20, 50 and 80 years? 25:30 9. Are commodities a good hedge against inflation? 27:52 10. What is the best investment to protect against inflation? 30:40 11. Which return is the most meaningful, before or after inflation? 33:17 12. What are the most important lessons from The Matrix Book 2021? 42:13 This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)   Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life.  Thank you!
6/16/202142 minutes, 48 seconds
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3 Investor Myths Debunked

In this episode of "Talking Real Money/Sound Investing,” Paul Merriman, Tom Cock and Don McDonald each bring a “common investor myth” that the three discuss. Paul’s myth: “We don’t believe in market timing.’" Tom’s myth: Rebalancing means beating the market and makes you more money. Don’s myth: "I’m entitled to a high rate of return on my investment." The conversation on myths starts at 1:35. Get for FREE: We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement by Paul Merriman and Richard Buck at paul merriman.com/signup Get for FREE: Financial Fysics: How Money and Investing Really Work by Don McDonald at talkingrealmoney.com/free Tom and Don at Vestory.com offer free help to all investors with no sales pitch, no obligation. This podcast is also available as a YouTube Video at- https://youtu.be/1Lzhkuk9QEQ
6/13/202140 minutes, 20 seconds
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The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Paul takes you “behind-the-scenes” to the work he and his foundation have been doing this year along with what is upcoming, including Chris Pedersen’s new 2 Funds For Life book, Daryl Bahl’s new tables and an exciting calculator in development to construct your own situation using our tables of historical data. And he addresses some frequently asked questions from young, mid-career and retired investors. Topics and Q&A include: · Our surprising most-popular video · Expectations for the ETF project by Chris Pedersen · Buying 10 years of retirement $3,650 · Lump sum vs. dollar cost averaging · Lifetime investment strategies · Dreaming of winning the lottery · How to determine your glide path · Target date fund considerations Suggested reading: 101 Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future.) This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)  Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)  Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and receive a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement. 3) Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time affiliate fee — at no cost to you — which helps support our financial education projects. 4) Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5) Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors at all stages of life. Thank you!
6/9/202158 minutes, 22 seconds
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Be the Market

Today, on our joint Talking Real Money/Sound Investing podcast, Don and Paul Merriman discuss index funds and why they are the only way to build a decent portfolio. It's almost impossible to beat the market, so just be the market. Paul and Don show you: The best indexes to own based on science. Keeping costs low. The differences between funds and ETFs. How to maintain your long-term discipline. Visit Paul at paulmerriman.com
6/2/202148 minutes, 28 seconds
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Picking the Right Funds- Talking Real Money/Sound Investing Episode 2

Welcome to another joint Talking Real Money/Sound Investing podcast. Today, Don, Paul, and Tom update you on the latest cryptocurrency news. Plus, with more than 10,000 mutual funds and ETFs available in the US, how do you choose the best ones for your portfolio?
5/30/202136 minutes, 9 seconds
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Sex, food, money... and the impact of emotional decisions

In this engaging conversation with Romanian financial educator, writer, podcaster and YouTuber, Victor Vulpescu, Paul covers a wide variety of investor issues you likely may not have heard before in this way. He talks about his own life as “a series of opportunities and mistakes” and addresses the pitfalls of thinking “You only live once” and other ways investors trip themselves up with emotional-based decisions. They also cover such topics as: The up and downside of using leverage to reach your goals The importance of balance and habits The best time to invest Dollar cost averaging versus lump sum investing Market volatility and risk management Market timing and regrets When to rebalance your portfolio How to know when you have enough to retire And much more. According to Victor, although Romania's Main Stock Exchange was founded in 1882, only 1.5% of Romanians invest in the stock market, compared to 50% in the U.S.  He says Romanians are more comfortable buying apartment houses as they are perceived as less risky and less volatile. Additionally, with the availability of just ETFs in UCITS format, they have less investment options. However, Victor is committed to providing his fellow Romanians with sound investing information. In addition to Paul, Victor has recently interviewed Larry Swedroe, Meb Farber and Rick Ferri. He also offers an eBook and course for beginning investors and personal coaching. You can find all this at his website, translated from Romanian as “Intelligent Investor”: https://victorvulpescu.ro/ This “Sound Investing podcast is also available to watch as a video at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9qxyLlam6c
5/26/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 24 seconds
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Financial education can change the world

Paul Merriman interviews Tim Ranzetta, President of Next Generation Personal Finance (NGPF.org), about his organization’s commitment to financial education for teachers and students, which is extraordinary. NGPF was created on the belief that financial literacy is the key to creating stable futures for the next generation. It promotes financial education in our public schools, and provides free engaging curriculum and professional development for any educator who is interested in the program, with an abundance of free resources for all. Learn about the results NGPF is tracking and the reasons not every student in the U.S. is being given access to this valuable, life-changing education. Discover the actions you can take to improve the financial future of your children, grandchildren and other young people (and educators) in your life and community. NGPF produced a video called “The Most Important Class You Never Had,” (watch on YouTube), which explains the critical impact of financial literacy on our lives — and how improving an understanding of finance during youth can change behavior into adulthood. NGPF focuses on helping students in grades 6-12. This interview is the final in the 2021 series of Financial Literacy Month events, “Take Control of Your Financial Future,” sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, Bainbridge Community Foundation and Library U, a resource of the Bainbridge Public Library.
5/19/20211 hour, 20 minutes, 50 seconds
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TALKING REAL MONEY/SOUND INVESTING Episode One: Cryptocurrencies

WELCOME TO SOMETHING NEW. After working together for many years, Paul Merriman, Tom Cock and Don McDonald are teaming up for a new audio/video podcast every two weeks. The audio podcasts will become a part of both the Talking Real Money and Sound Investing podcast feeds and the videos posted here and at paulmerriman.com. In this episode, Tom, Don, and Paul discuss cryptocurrencies in detail, exploring the pros and cons of these hot speculative vehicles.
5/16/202129 minutes, 18 seconds
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Supercharge Your Retirement and Shut Out the Noise

Stan The Annuity Man®, by the title of this podcast, summarizes two key points of this conversation with Paul Merriman, as part of Stan’s “Fun With Annuities Podcast Celebrity Series.” Stan writes in his podcast notes, “I’d choose Paul Merriman advice over that of Warren Buffet.  Once you listen to this podcast, you will know why.” Meanwhile, Paul considers Stan “a Truth Tellers among financial educators.” They discuss: Making decisions that are in your individual best interest. Understanding what you’re trying to achieve and what you want to do with your investments in the market. Navigating the forks in the savings road. Finding your “good enough” return. Key Takeaways: To be a successful long-term investor, you have to shut out all of the noise. There is always a “good news list” and a “bad news list” for all market decisions. Stay in your lane — investing takes time. Every stock has reason to buy, and every stock has reason to sell. If they didn’t, there would be no trade. Connect with The Annuity Man: Website: TheAnnuityMan.com Email: [email protected]  Book: Owner’s Manuals YouTube: Stan The Annuity Man Fun With Annuities Podcast is hosted by America’s Annuity Agent®, Stan Haithcock, The Annuity Man®. Hear brutal annuity facts with no sales pitches from one of the top independent agents in the country, licensed in all 50 states. Author of 7 books, Stan dives deep on all annuity types and strategies. It’s fun, learning the contractual truths on how annuities actually work and if they’ll fit your personal retirement lifestyle. Listen or watch how you can be livin’ the reality, not the dream. Subscribe on YouTube, Libsyn, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, and Spotify. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation:
5/12/202154 minutes, 2 seconds
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Habits that can add millions to your retirement

In this conversation, Paul Merriman talks with Rational Reminder Podcast hosts Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore, about how the right habits and investing approach can add millions to your retirement nest egg. Topics include: Paul’s investing philosophy, and how it’s been influenced by the work of Eugene Fama. Why Vanguard’s portfolio allocation ensures that clients have the smoothest possible emotional relationship with their investments. The benefits of simple vs. complex funds, and how simple funds fit with the preferences of many do-it-yourself investors. Why emotion — and not strategy — gets in the way of successful investing. The challenges of sticking to portfolios that are heavily weighted in small-cap value stocks. The difficulties in working with clients, and the role of financial advisors. Top habits and beliefs that lead to investing success; a key focus of his latest book, We’re Talking Millions. Target date glide paths. How Paul’s foundation educates investors. The relationship between money and a life well-lived. The Rational Reminder Podcast is a weekly podcast on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Each week, hosts Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore, Portfolio Managers at PWL Capital, discuss topics related to personal finance, investing, behavior, and financial markets with the intention of making our listeners better, more rational investors. You can watch this interview on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SPAYhKKDDY
5/5/20211 hour, 19 minutes, 44 seconds
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How to Plan for a Successful and Secure Retirement

Paul Merriman interviews Larry Swedroe, renowned speaker and prolific writer on the science of investing, about his new, updated book, The Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement. But the discussion focuses on the validity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including the Dogecoin, the $36 billion dollar joke.  Larry wrote a blog about cryptocurrencies in 2017.  He stands by those statements. The interview also covers the following topics: investor challenges with markets at very high prices and lower expected future returns Historically low bond yields and low expected future returns Steps investors should take to live in a period of lower expected returns Additionally, Larry responds to questions from Paul and viewers about asset allocation, asset location for stocks and bonds, distribution limits, Roth conversions, considering Social Security as a bond, his own favorite asset allocation, future premiums for value and small cap asset classes, the importance of working with a fiduciary, the value of a family financial mission statement, how much to share with family members, reverse mortgages, the use of Monte Carlo studies, the role of annuities and many more important issues. Read Larry’s article, “How to Treat Social Security and Your Home in Your Financial Plan,” which addresses how investors should consider Social Security in regards to their equity/bond asset allocation. Paul strongly recommends the 2021 update of Larry’s book, The Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement, citing that investors will benefit from becoming aware of and avoiding at least 25 mistakes… every one of which is potentially  a life-changing move.   This conversation was part of a free series Financial Literacy Month presentations, “Taking Control of Your Financial Future,” co-sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, the Bainbridge Community Foundation and Library U, a program of the Bainbridge Public Library.
4/28/20211 hour, 31 minutes, 46 seconds
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Six Retirement Blind Spots and How to Fix Them

Many of the risks we face in retirement are relatively under our control, while others are not. In this presentation Christine Benz https://www.morningstar.com/authors/30/christine-benz— Morningstar’s Director of Personal Finance, author of 30-Minute Money  Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances  and co-host of “The Long View” podcast — on which Paul Merriman was recently interviewed by Christine and Jeff Ptak — showed pre-retirees and retirees how to manage your portfolio and financial plan to protect against six very serious risks.  Those risks include retirement date risk, sequence of return risk, low-yield risk, inflation risk, health care and long-term care risk and longevity risk.  She also shared her favorite in-retirement mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and discussed her model bucket portfolios geared toward retirees. You might also enjoy: An index of Christine’s articles at Morningstar “Morningstar’s Benz: My journey from copy editor to fund analyst”.  A great story about Christine’s career. I think parents who wonder what their child is going to do in the future will find interesting Christine’s growth that came when she took a job for reasons most of us wouldn’t have considered. You can also follow Christine on Twitter
4/21/20211 hour, 23 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to Invest in a Bubble- “Take Control of Your Financial Future” Series

The world of investing had a wild ride in 2020, and is continuing into 2021. In this presentation, Paul Merriman explores the history and nature of stock market bubbles, long bull markets and short bear markets, day trading, hedge funds and the uncertainty that can accompany market bubbles. Issues covered include the good, the bad and the ugly about Robinhood, 4 free lunches of investing, whether Bitcoin is the “new gold,” how to invest in a bubble and much more. Click here for the slideshow materials. This is the first in a 5-part series of Financial Literacy Month Events on Bainbridge Island co-sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation in partnership with the Bainbridge Community Foundation and Library U, a program of the Bainbridge Public Library. Calling upon some of his favorite nationally renowned experts in their fields, Paul organized five free virtual events in April 2021 to help you better plan for your future. Presenters include Paul, Christine Benz of Morningstar, Larry Swedroe, author and director of research for Buckingham Asset Management and BAM Advisor Services, and Tim Ranzetta of NextGen Personal Finance. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time fee at no cost to you, which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
4/15/20211 hour, 58 minutes, 47 seconds
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Morningstar’s “The Long View” podcast hosts interview Paul Merriman

Paul talks with Christine Benz and Jeff Ptak about his commitment to indexing, why he believes in small value stocks, the perils of performance-chasing, and more. They covered such topics as: Best ways to get young people to understand investment process How to get investment information to people who need it most Why Paul was attracted to index funds and DFA The future of the value premium The risk of value investors capitulating The pros and cons of 2 Funds for Life Why target date funds have more value The risk of bonds in a rising interest rate market Use of target date funds in retirement The value of an advisor Check out the extensive list of related articles and podcasts compiled by “The Long View” team at: https://www.morningstar.com/podcasts/the-long-view/103 Join Christine Benz Thursday April 8, 4:30-6 p.m. PT, via Zoom, for a special presentation, “Six Retirement Blind Spots and How to Fix Them”. RSVP by clicking here or email [email protected] with “Christine Benz”. This free presentation, the second in the series of five, is part of the Financial Literacy Month series, “Taking Control of Your Financial Future,” co-sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, the Bainbridge Community Foundation and Library U, a program of the Bainbridge Public Library. The series is free and open to the public. Registration required. For more info, go to: https://paulmerriman.com/financial-literacy-month-events-on-bainbridge-island/ Click here to hear Paul’s brief recording about Christine’s presentation.
4/7/202156 minutes, 19 seconds
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Flexible distributions 2021 update

This podcast is a must for anyone within 5 years of retirement as Paul discusses the annual update on the comparison of fixed and flexible distributions in retirement. The tables are intended help you determine how much you need to retire and how much you can take out without the risk of running out of money before running out of life. Paul illustrates key points using Tables 10, 45, 11, 46, 12, 47, 49a, 57a, 58a and 59a. You may also find these two articles useful: How much should you take out of your portfolio when you retire? (fixed distributions) How do you know how much you can afford to withdraw from your retirement accounts? (flexible distributions) This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time fee at no cost to you, which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
3/31/202144 minutes, 1 second
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Fixed Distributions in Retirement 2021

How much money can you take from your investments in retirement?  Planning for this “distribution" involves the biggest series of investment decisions of your lifetime. How much do you need to accumulate in order to retire without fear of running out of money before you run out of life? How much can you take out?  How much should you have in equities and how much in bonds?  Do you need to own any equities in order for your money to last a lifetime?  How much can you take out to maximize your goals of enjoying retirement and helping others, while making sure you are not a financial burden to others? This focus of this podcast is on helping those who plan to retire with “enough” money to meet their basic needs, without goals of spending large amounts beyond the basics. These are often people who would like to retire  A.S.A. P.  (In the next podcast Paul addresses those who intentionally save more than “needed” so they can spend more in retirement.) Paul recommends you review several Fine Tuning Tables, including Table 3 using the S&P 500, Table 4a using the 10-fund Ultimate Buy & Hold Portfolio, 6a using the Worldwide 4-Fund Portfolio and Table 7a All-Worldwide-Value Portfolio. These combinations of asset classes form the basis of the Fixed Distribution Tables: Table 10 uses a 3% initial distribution with combination of the S&P 500/bonds, Table 11 uses a 4% initial distribution with the S&P 500/bonds, Table 12 uses a 5% initial distribution with the S&P 500/bonds and Table 13 uses a 6% initial distribution with the S&P 500/bonds. Table 15a uses a 4% initial distribution with the 10-fund Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio, Table 23a does the same using the Worldwide 4-Fund Portfolio and Table 27a does the same thing using a Worldwide All-Value Portfolio.
3/24/202149 minutes, 4 seconds
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Fixed contributions 2021

This podcast is one of the most important for young investors. Most young investors are going to build their wealth on their home and their investments in tax-free or tax-deferred IRAs, 401(k) or similar tax-sheltered growth. Both types of investments will grow with the use of monthly payments. This podcast will help you understand how the monthly dollar-cost-averaging process works. Many investors are afraid of taking risk. This discussion makes it very clear that majority of risks investors fear are, in fact, almost non-existent for most of the years they are building their retirement accounts. This podcast is built on the foundation of the three previous podcasts: 1. The selection of equity asset classes  2. The wide range of ways to combine those equity asset classes to build conservative to aggressive combinations, and 3. 51 years of return data for each of the strategies Several sample pages represent the path investors who follow our work will travel. During the introduction, Paul uses Table 3, of the Fine Tuning Table for the S&P 500. While Paul encourages investors to review all of the Fixed Contribution Tables for 50/50 and 70/30 U.S./international, he spends most of the podcast reviewing the lessons on the S&P 500 (Table 73), Ultimate Buy & Hold 50% U.S. and International Portfolio ( Table 74a), Worldwide 4-Fund 50% each U.S. and international, and the U.S. and International All Value Portfolio (Table 77a). For those considering the 10-fund Ultimate Buy & Hold, he suggests you look carefully at the strategies results as compared to the Worldwide 4-Fund strategy. They track closely for almost the entire period. For those interested in taking more risk, he suggests careful review of the All-Value portfolio. And for those who want to take even more risk with a part of their portfolio, the Small-Cap Value are worth exploring. In all cases, the tables are constructed so you can compare the most conservative to most aggressive combinations of equity and fixed income asset classes to decide what works best for you.
3/17/202156 minutes, 7 seconds
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Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocations 2021

The two previous podcasts —  The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy 2021 and How to Simplify the Ultimate Buy and Hold for Higher Returns  — were dedicated to building the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy with the traditional 10 equity positions, as well as 2 additional similar portfolios with fewer funds. Plus there were value-only portfolios that produced considerable additional returns at higher risk. In this podcast, the focus is on comparing all of these portfolios in terms of returns, risk and impact of adding fixed income to the portfolio to reduce risk to tolerable levels for the individual investor. This is easily done with tables of each years return (1970-2020), as well as worst losses by the quarter, year, 3 years and 5 years. The challenge for the investor is to compare the results of the S&P 500 (the benchmark) with each of these portfolios. For young investors it is important to understand that every extra half percent return can add over a $1,000,000 to their retirement income and what is left to heirs. Paul hopes all investors will take time with the Fine Tuning Tables to gain a firm understanding of the relationship between long-term return and short-term risk, and make their investment decisions accordingly. Access all Fine Tuning 2021 Tables here. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time fee at no cost to you, which helps support our financial education projects. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
3/11/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 55 seconds
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How to simplify the Ultimate Buy and Hold and get higher returns

This is the second podcast in a series of what Paul Merriman thinks are "the most important investment information” the Merriman Financial Education Foundation updates annually. Paul starts with a quick review of the previous podcast, The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy Update 2021 regarding the 10 equity asset classes.  For those who did not hear the previous, it will help to download 2 tables: Table 1a, which reflects returns of a 50/50 split between U.S. and international equity asset classes and Table 1b, which reflects the returns of a 70/30 split between U.S. and international equity asset classes.  From these two tables investors can easily compare the impact of adding 9 different equity asset classes to the S&P 500. The following is the MarketWatch article that discusses these portfolios. Paul moves on to the same 50/50 and 70/30 balance of U.S. and international, except the number of holdings are fewer... and in some cases creating higher returns due to the minimization of growth in the portfolio. See tables 2a and 2b. He makes the point that the original Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy was not built to be the most profitable... but to exposed investors to similar risk as the S&P 500 along with meaningful high returns.  If higher returns without regard to risk were the only limit, the portfolio could have overweighted value more than it does. Paul then discusses the risk and return of two 4-Fund Combinations: The All U.S. and the 50/50 U.S. and International. Of particular note is that the returns and risk of the 4 Funds are almost the same as the 10-fund portfolios. This is not "earth shattering." as the exposure to small/large/value/growth is close to that in the 10-fund portfolios. After helping investors find an easier path to expected returns, the objective is changed to finding a way to get higher returns by eliminating most of the growth holdings.  In each case, these All-Value portfolios increase returns by .5% to 1% more. The impact on the total dollar growth is astounding for the All Small Cap Value portfolios, but likely beyond the risk tolerance for most investors.  However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for a portion of the portfolio. The next podcast will focus on all of these different combinations of equity asset classes to see what happens to risk/return in an All-Equity portfolio as well as different combinations of equities and fixed income.
3/3/202133 minutes, 4 seconds
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The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy: 2021 Update

Paul Merriman discusses the 2021 updated Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, designed to show why the 10 equity asset classes should be part of a diversified portfolio. This new study uses an expanded base of returns so that all 10 equity asset classes are reflected in the 1970 to 2020 period. While the expansion of returns makes the returns more dependable, the results are virtually the same as with the previously limited data base. Every year since 2012, The Merriman Financial Education Foundation updates this UB&H Strategy as among its most important work. The 2021 study makes reference to two tables that listeners will want to review. They are the Worldwide Equity Portfolio Tables 50% US/50% Int’l and the Worldwide Equity Portfolio Tables 70% US/30% Int’l. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time fee at no cost to you, which helps support our financial education projects.. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
2/24/202146 minutes, 26 seconds
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Paula Pant and Paul Merriman: The present and future of investing

In this fast-paced, fun and educational interview by Paula Pant — the self-described “writer and instigator” behind the weekly podcast, “Afford Anything” — Paul and Paula discuss: Meeting Vanguard founder John Bogle 2 Funds for Life What’s wrong with Target Funds? What’s different about investors today? Why should investors make more in future? Should you add internationals to your portfolio? What happens to bond portion of portfolio in 2 Funds? What should investors do with the market at historical highs? How can you know the risk you’re taking? As Paul commented, “It was the 300th podcast of “Afford Anything” and I can see why Paula is so popular… she’s a terrific interviewer and wonderful teacher! I like how, in the beginning of the podcast, she defined some terms to be used during discussion, including an explanation of asset allocation, and provided a powerful wrap-up at the end with “5 Key Takeaways.” Visit Paula Pants’ website for podcasts, blogs, community and her free book, Escape: https://affordanything.com/ This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link to set up a brokerage account and use our portfolio suggestions. If you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000, our foundation will receive a one-time fee at no cost to you, which helps support our financial education projects.. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
2/17/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 14 seconds
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Which investment portfolio is best for you?

Of the many mutual fund and ETF portfolios on our website, paulmerriman.com, which of the dozen-plus portfolios is most appropriate for you, given your risk tolerance and need for investment return? The goal of this lively discussion — with Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls — is to help you decide. Topics covered include: A short history of the Vanguard,Fidelity,T Rowe Price and Schwab portfolios — offered first on the Merriman Wealth Management website and moved to the website for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. The Vanguard ETF Portfolio as well as the many Best-in-Class ETF portfolios, including the Ultimate Buy and Hold, U.S. 4 Fund Combo, Worldwide 4 Fund Combo, All Value, All Small Cap Value, and a series of 2 Funds for Life Portfolios. Regarding the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, Paul discusses the use of the Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Tables to determine the best combination of stocks and bonds. Plus, those tables are used later in discussing the 4 Fund Combos. The many psychological considerations in selecting the right portfolio, explored by Daryl. A reminder of how patient a small-cap investor must be, by Chris, who also presents a new Tell Tale chart from 1928 to 2019. Consideration of the pros and cons of each of the ETF portfolios, by Chris. Watch video here.
2/10/20211 hour, 11 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why I bought GameStop under $10 a share

Paul Merriman is amazed at the interest in GameStop. People he's known for years and never had an interest in the stock market are getting involved…. only emotionally for most, but for many both emotionally and financially. In this podcast, Paul explains the difference between going “long" and ‘short” in the market, and what drove him to buy GameStop when it was selling for under $10 a share. He addresses the problems with short selling and why the unit-of-return per unit return stinks. If people are happy to see hedge funds fail, they should be happy to learn that only about 5% of hedge funds stay in business for more than 10 years. The good news is GameStop is a major holding for Vanguard and DFA — over 9 million shares between them. Paul discusses the Grizzly Fund (GRZZX), which is one of the better performing short funds. Over last 15 years, a $1000 investment became worth $100, which is better than the average short fund where $1000 became worth $50. Why? The answer includes the long-term returns of short recommendations from "The Hulbert Financial Digest"’s study of newsletters. Questions & Answers How should I invest for the next 10 years?  Do you think 2 Funds for Life would be right for me? Paul answers and also references Chapter 10 of his book, Financial Fitness Forever. In our current low-interest-rate environment, do you think that will affect the ability of bonds to help counteract market downturns? Is it possible to include the inflation rate along with the return in the tables the foundation creates? Paul suggests a number of other data points that would be nice to have. Finally, Paul explores an investor's claim that he has done well since the mid-1980s. Was it luck or was it skill? This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation:
2/3/20211 hour, 24 seconds
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Best-in-Class ETFs 2021 Explained

Paul Merriman, founder and president of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, Chris Pedersen, director of research, and Daryl Bahls, director of analytics, discuss the 2021 Best-in-Class ETFs  Paul starts the discussion with a short history of his commitment to providing mutual fund recommendations  He makes it clear that they are not CFPs, CFAs or registered investment advisors, and he notes that selecting the “best" ETFs has its limitations and is not a science. Chris then discusses the steps he takes to identify the final choice in each equity asset class, and why he chose several new ETFs, including his expectation for additional return. Chris, Daryl and Paul answer related questions including: Should I immediately switch old positions into the new recommendations? Should I hold the old positions and start a new portfolio at M1 Finance? Having started an account for a one-year-old child with a small-cap value fund, should I buy more small-cap value or put the next investment into another asset class? Why are you suggesting ETFs with higher expenses? Why have you eliminated the more risky emerging markets ETFs? To see the Powerpoint slides, click here. To watch the video click here.
1/27/20211 hour, 13 minutes, 38 seconds
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2021 ETF & mutual fund recommendations and 8 Q&A

Paul announces Chris Pedersen's Best In Class ETF Recommendations for 2021 and Paul’s updated Mutual Fund recommendations for Vanguard, Fidelity, T. Rowe Price and Schwab. In anticipation of next week’s Zoom call to discuss the new portfolios and fund recommendations, Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls are soliciting questions from you, our listeners. If you have questions related to this work, please submit them to [email protected] with subject line: ETF/MUTUAL FUND QUESTION. They will try to address them in next week’s recording. Paul answers these recent questions from our readers and listeners: How should I invest $160,000 for my 66-year-old mother who doesn’t need the money to live on? 12:28 What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy and 2 Funds for Life for a 57 year old? 18:39 What is the most tax-efficient way to rebalance an All-Equity portfolio? 26:39 Should I pay off a mortgage or invest in my retirement accounts? 29:45 Why are your large-cap value index higher than the large-cap value at Vanguard? 33:12 How is having $300,000 at age 65 a million dollar advantage? 42:55 Why do you think index funds are better than owning an investment in real estate property? 48:45 I want to put money into a Roth IRA. Should I use your tax-deferred or taxable portfolio recommendations? 58:54 Don McDonald’s Talking Real Money Minute — “Cryptocurrency: yes or no?" Don McDonald, Co-Founder and co-host of the "Talking Real Money" podcast, produces the “Money Minutes” often featured on “Sound Investing” podcasts. Don also produced the soon-to-be-released audio version for our latest book, We’re Talking Millions!.
1/20/20211 hour, 1 minute, 33 seconds
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How do you invest in retirement when interest rates are so low? And 7 other important questions.

Paul introduces Don McDonald, Co-Founder of  Vestory Investment Advisory and co-host of "Talking Real Money" podcast, who will be producing “money minutes” for most of our podcasts. Don also produced the soon-to-be-released audio version for our latest book, We’re Talking Millions!. Paul discusses the upcoming Retiremeet America 2021 free online conference on Feb. 20, 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. PT. See the list of speakers, topics, speaking times and registration form at https://retiremeet.com  Paul and David Booth, Co-Founder of Dimensional Fund Advisors, are keynoting the conference. Before addressing the Q&A's Paul discusses an article, “Deep Risk in the United States of America,” by Ben Carlson. Ben is on Paul’s list of Truth Tellers and highly recommends Ben's articles and podcasts at https://awealthofcommonsense.com/. Larry motivates Paul to discuss the question: What changes should a pre-retiree make to their portfolio when they have saved enough to retire, even though they are planning to work longer? 19:00 What asset allocation should I have when I reach retirement but don’t need the money to live on? 23:40 How would you suggest someone who is currently in cash get back into the market? 31:22 Don McDonald’s “Talking Real Money” — The risks in owning bonds With bond yields so low do you expect retirement returns to be significantly lower than in your tables?  38:57 In a recent newsletter we mentioned a presentation by Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice. The focus of the presentation was what happens when people are offered too many choices. We linked to a college presentation that got into other topics not of interest to us.  Here is a shorter presentation and very popular TED Talk with over 15 million views: https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_the_paradox_of_choice?language=en   45:10 In your 2012 book, First Time Investor, you were not in favor of target date funds. What has changed that you now recommend them? 60:40 Do you really think the S&P is going to beat Berkshire Hathaway over the next 10 years? 57:45 I know an investment advisor who made 29% a year over the last 2 years and he has all of his own money in the portfolio he wants me to use —individual stocks, not index funds. Is this investment philosophy a fool's errand and am I falling for a siren’s song? 1:06:35
1/13/20211 hour, 21 minutes, 24 seconds
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Our most important investment lessons from 2020

This podcast addresses the most important investment lessons of 2020 from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation’s research team, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls. In each case there is a table/chart/graph that helps illustrate the lesson. (See more below. Also, WATCH as a VIDEO). In this a year-end Zoom call, Chris discusses his recent studies on using “2 Funds for Life after 60” as well as the case for international diversification and how he has created additional past returns for international asset classes that are difficult to find. Paul discusses why he thinks the new book, We’re Talking Millions, has been well received. Each finished the discussion with what’s coming in 2021. For Daryl it is new studies on distributions and inflation. For Chris it is a new book on 2 Funds for Life, along with Best In Class ETF Portfolio updates. For Paul it is more presentations to high school and college students, a series of 5-minute videos, promoting the upcoming We’re Talking Millions audio book, and a major overhaul of his website. About The Charts Click here to access a pdf of the charts The first two Quilt Charts show the one year returns (1928-2019) for S&P 500, Large Cap Value, Small Cap Blend, Small Cap Value and 4 Fund Portfolio. Only 1 in 5 years produced expected premiums. The next two quilt charts show that the 10 and 20 year results become more dependable in achieving results. In 75% of the 20 year periods the ranking of results was as expected. The next 5 graphs show the relative strength of the S&P 500 vs. the 4 Fund, All Value and Small Cap Value Portfolios. All of the graphs show investors how very patient they must be to capture the better returns of the different portfolios. The worst case in each graph ran from 15 to 20 years of under-performance. The next five tables track the risk and returns of 11 super simple portfolios of 1 to 4 funds.  The good news is all but one of the portfolios had very fine returns. It was also noted that the best performers also had the biggest number of best and worst years. The Ultimate Buy and Hold Equity Portfolio didn’t produce many new lessons but the one it produced was interesting. After 50 years of performance the All Value Portfolio produced its first total return that was lower than the portfolio of all 10 asset classes. What Paul failed to note (but Daryl and Chris left in the table) was the 50-year result of the 4 Fund All U.S. Portfolio of 12.3%, just .3% less than the much more complex 10-fund Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio.
1/6/20211 hour, 14 minutes, 12 seconds
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My Favorite 12 Vanguard Funds For Retirees

In this presentation Paul discusses the advantages of Vanguard, best cash management fund, best equity fund, best balanced funds, best bond funds and more at Vanguard. He also explains how retirees can buy a pension for the rest of their life and make more than 7% a year, most of it tax free. Paul mentions how investors can receive a free library of books on annuities from stantheannuityman.com/. This video is part of a series of educational events sponsored by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation and the Bainbridge Community Foundation. “Financial health is important to both individual and community well being,” says Jim Hopper, BCF executive director. “Charitable giving begins with confidence in your own financial position, and we’re pleased to offer these seminars to help islanders make sound decisions with their money at every stage of life. Investing in yourself and your community, they’re two sides of the same coin.” To learn more about the Bainbridge Community Center, visit their website or Facebook page. For the video of this presentation, click here. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
12/30/20201 hour, 24 minutes, 1 second
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The “Ultimate” Year-End

In this year-end holiday message for 2020, Paul speaks to the importance of financial education and sharing knowledge as a form of caring for yourself, your loved ones and future generations. In keeping with the of mission of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a free PDF of our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement, will soon be available to teachers and students and to those who sign up for Paul’s free twice-a-month “Sound Investing” newsletter at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/. Sign up now for more details in our next newsletter! You can also watch this message on Paul's YouTube. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)     Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)     Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)     Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
12/23/202030 minutes
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"Stacking Benjamins" talks millions!

Joe Saul-Sehy, of the award-winning podcast "Stacking Benjamins,” interviews Paul on the a wide variety of topics, such as: What was the key to your investing success? How do you bridge the gap between the spender and a saver in a relationship? Why did you started the latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Steps To Supercharge Your Retirement, with a discussion of inflation? What’s the impact of fixed vs. variable distributions? What’s the choice between stocks vs. real estate How is diversification a million dollar decision? What is the 10-million-dollar decision? What are the most important of the 12 investment decisions? A free PDF of the book is available to teachers and students. To learn more about this, sign up for Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ Stacking Benjamins was named "Best Finance Podcast” by Kiplinger and won Best Business Podcast 2017 Academy of Podcasters Award and Plutus Award 2014, 2017, 2018.  You can hear the whole show at: StackingBenjamins.com/Paul-Merriman-978 This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
12/16/202028 minutes, 31 seconds
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What's the most important decision when close to retirement? Plus 9 more Q&As 

I’m very near retirement. What advice would you recommend? :46 What four Vanguard and Fidelity funds do you recommend for your 4-Fund Strategy?  (Recommendations are discussed in the article, “Don’t just default to the S&P 500: Consider the simple 4 funds”.) 6:04 How can a European use your 4-Fund Strategy? 7:42 How about using the 4-Fund Strategy in the U.K.? 11:49 Should I use an advisor or manage the portfolio myself?  Does DFA still have an advantage over Vanguard? 15:56 Can you recommend Vanguard ESG funds? 22:47 When are you going to update your Fidelity and Vanguard mutual fund recommendations? 23:40 Where can we park some profits?  25:00 Most of my nest egg is out of the market waiting for a large drop in the market. Do you expect the market to drop after the holidays? 29:57 We have been in a bull market in bonds for 40 years. But with rates so low that party is over. What investments do you suggest to replace longer duration bonds in most asset allocation plans? 35:00 This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are five ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Buy our latest book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement available at Amazon and other online outlets. 5)  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
12/9/202040 minutes, 44 seconds
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Supercharge Your Retirement and Make Millions More

In this insightful interview by Doc G of Earn & Invest, authors Rich Buck and Paul Merriman talk about their new book, We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement. They cover topics such as their long-time professional collaboration, simplicity in investing, risk, beating the market, portfolio recommendations and the magic of compound interest over time. Buy We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement in Kindle or Amazon Print editions. (Soon to be available at other outlets and on Audible). Watch Paul’s video about the book. Visit the book’s website. Doc G was an internal medicine physician when he discovered the personal finance community through Dr. Jim Dahle’s “The White Coat Investor.” He left clinical practice to pursue his passion for deep conversations about money and life and has found the meaning of “enough” through the FIRE movement (Financial Independence Retire Early). This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
11/30/202056 minutes, 54 seconds
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A Giant Thank You!

A  Giant Thank You!
11/25/202021 minutes, 19 seconds
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Paul Merriman on Vestory's Talking Real Money

In this interview on Vestory’s “Talking Real Money” podcast, Tom Cock and Paul Merriman discuss these four topics: The new book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement by Paul and Rich Buck. The biggest mistakes people make when preparing for retirement and how to avoid them. Young investors: how to overcome robinhood fever: desire for making big profits trading high tech or penny stocks. How to invest in a pandemic.  What seniors should do with their maturing CDs. We’re Talking Millions! 12 Simple Ways To Supercharge Your Retirement is available now at Kindle Pre-Sale. Both the print and Kindle versions will be available Dec. 1. If you purchase before Midnight (Pacific Time) on Dec. 2, you’ll receive an exclusive invitation to a special live Zoom Q&A event with the authors and special guests. Anyone subscribed to Paul’s Free twice-a-month newsletter at PaulMerriman.com before Dec. 1 will receive a free pdf of the book. However, your purchase helps support the work of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. Your donations to our 501(c)(3) are greatly appreciated.
11/25/202034 minutes, 1 second
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“Money Talks” with Swedroe, Ferri & Merriman — Part 2

This “Money Talks” event brought together Rick Ferri, Larry Swedroe and Paul Merriman to discuss personal finance and investing from their various perspectives. It was a free live online event hosted by Choose FI’s Community Director Jennifer Mah on Oct. 7, 2020. Due to length of the conversation, we are presenting it in two parts. Here are some of the diverse topics covered. You can access Part 1 here for Video and here for Podcast. Rick discussed the 4 levels of getting to investment nirvana. Larry recommended anyone getting ready for retirement read Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence. Rick Ferri, CFA, is an investment analyst, adviser and author committed to helping DIYers. He is the president of the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, a frequent contributor to Bogleheads.org and host of the Boglehead podcast. Larry Swedroe is one of the most knowledgeable people I know about asset class selection and asset allocation, and the author of many acclaimed books including Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement 1st Edition by Larry Swedroe (Author), Kevin Grogan, Wise Investing Made Simple: Larry Swedroe's Tales to Enrich Your Future (Focused Investor), and his recent release of the 2nd edition of The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: How to be a successful investor without picking winners. This podcast is also available as a Video.
11/18/202057 minutes, 38 seconds
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“Money Talks” with Swedroe, Ferri & Merriman — Part 1

There is something of interest for every investor in this “Money Talks” event that brought together Rick Ferri, Larry Swedroe and Paul Merriman to discuss personal finance and investing from their various perspectives. It was a free live online event hosted by Choose FI’s Community Director Jennifer Mah on Oct. 7, 2020. Due to length of the conversation, we are presenting it in two parts. Here are some of the diverse topics covered. Part 2 will be broadcast next week. The topics covered were diverse and included: The difference between the desire, willingness and need to take risk How to build portfolios for retirees during a period of low interest Pros and cons of Monte Carlo studies When it makes sense to use advisors who charge by the hour Why understanding investors is more important than finding the best investment strategy Keys to retiring early How do you know when you have enough to retire? The pros and cons of investing in companies that pay dividends Why retirees depending on dividends should increase their exposure to stocks How to make smart tax-efficient moves How to you move from one strategy to another Pros and cons of target date funds Pros and cons of preferred stocks Which are best:  CDs or bond funds? What investments should be held in taxable and tax deferred accounts?
11/11/20201 hour, 11 minutes, 16 seconds
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Q&A Follow-up to “Simple & Effective Balanced Portfolios for Lifetime Investing Success”

In a live AAII webinar on Oct. 21, 2020, Chris Pedersen, Director of Research at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, presented some very simple portfolios that achieve massive diversification and how to apply a variety of approaches during both working years and retirement. Following this presentation, Chris, Paul Merriman and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics, met (virtually) to address additional questions received during the event. What withdrawal strategies do you recommend?  Should I take money equally or draw from the fund that has grown the most?  How do RMDs change things? How do you manage a do-it-yourself 2 Funds for Life portfolio using only a U.S. Total Market Fund and a U.S. small-cap-value fund? What percent of investors can sustain a strategy the means experiencing a 50% decline? Why did the Trev4 Portfolio do so much better in Chris’ presentation compared to Paul’s presentation? Why don’t you mention mid-cap funds? How can an investor determine what factors their stocks and bonds fall in to? How can an investor add some value and size factors to their portfolio without exposing them to too much risk? What mix of assets are suggested to a retiree with the goal of asset preservation that keeps up with inflation? In the Vanguard TDF example, why is there a disproportionately lower increase in return as you go up in the stock exposure? how much will taxes from rebalancing hurt my returns in a taxable account? To view the graphics from this Q&A session (thanks to Daryl Bahls), click here. See the original AAII presentation here.  For a free download of the original presentation slideshow (by Chris Pedersen),click here. This podcast is also available as a Video. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
11/4/20201 hour, 2 minutes, 30 seconds
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Simple & Effective Balanced Portfolios for Lifetime Investing Success

“This is one of the most important presentations I have seen on the topic of building balanced portfolios.” — Paul Merriman Chris Pedersen, Director of Research at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, presented this live AAII webinar event on Oct. 21, 2020, discussing some very simple portfolios that achieve massive diversification across industries, geographies, stocks, bonds and various equity premium factors. By utilizing and augmenting target-date funds, investors can even adjust risk to age-appropriate levels. Chris compares past performance to more complex approaches and shows that complexity is not a necessity, and he also examines how these approaches apply to people accumulating during working years and withdrawing during retirement. In this podcast you’ll learn: New data on the "No-Nonsense portfolios" Paul discussed in his September 23 AAII presentation, including the impact of adding bonds to Paul’s all-equity results New data on 2 Funds for Life 5 ways to build a balanced portfolio New research on the factors that have led to higher long-term returns How adding factors to a portfolio will likely lead to more consistent returns Recommended mutual funds and ETFs for many of the No-Nonsense Portfolios What investors in the accumulation and distribution stages of life give up by using the "Simple and Effective Balanced Portfolios" Plus Chris answers some of the most important questions regarding the pros and cons of rebalancing,  the pros and cons of adding international funds, the best bonds for stability and growth and the best safe withdrawal rate for the most popular portfolios. In the coming weeks Chris, Daryl and Paul will respond to additional questions that there was not time to answer during the presentation. For a free download of the presentation, click here. This podcast is also available as a Video. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
10/26/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 56 seconds
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Q&A Follow-up: "Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” Part 3

Paul is joined by Chris Pedersen, Director of Research and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, to answer questions from viewers of the AAII Webinar, "Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” that Paul presented Sept. 23, 2020. While the presentation explored returns of 11 portfolios, from 1 to 4 funds, the focus was on the Merriman 4-Fund Combo.  See all URL links below. It is not necessary to watch or listen to the original presentation to appreciate this Q&A session, but it will likely be helpful. This is presented as both a podcast and a YouTube video. If you enjoy this, please like and share. Your engagement helps support our work…thank you! Download a free PDF of all slides in the original presentation: https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/QA-Podcast-1-Charts.pdf As the presentation included results for all 11 of what we call “No-Nonsense Portfolios,” several viewers wanted to know how the 10-fund Merriman Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio performed for the 1990-2019 period. In this Q&A we addressed that topic. The following questions are from the live event’s audience:  Will you be developing small portfolios that include international equity funds? Will you discuss your use of market timing, including how DFA uses market timing in their portfolio management? With only 10 years left until retirement, how appropriate will the 2 Funds for Life portfolio be? •  What is a safe withdrawal rate in retirement? What do you recommend for a 50- to 60-year-old who wants to retire now compared to one who is 60 to 70?  (The viewer adds he has a $3 million portfolio.) How can you recommend bond funds when they pay such little income? Do you like the Life Cycle Funds within the U.S. Government Thrift Savings Plan?  Would you recommend the Small Cap Fund in the TSP for your 2 Funds for Life Portfolio? Do you use equal weighted index funds in any of your 4-Fund Combo? Do you always recommend rebalancing your 4-Fund Combo? Where can I get a copy of your upcoming book, We’re Talking Millions! 12 ways to Supercharge Your Retirement? What do you think is the best formula for the percentage you have in stocks and bonds?  [See our Fine Tuning Tables and Distribution Tables] What is the biggest mistakes young investors make? I have fully funded my 401k and have more money to invest… should I put in taxable account or my wife’s 401(k)? What books do you recommend? Winning the Loser's Game by Charles Ellis A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. Malkiel Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement by Larry Swedroe Your Money and Your Brain by Jason Zweig Spending Your Way to Wealth by Paul Heys
10/21/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 52 seconds
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Q&A Follow-up: "Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” Part 2

This is the second of three Q&A sessions with Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen, Director of Research, and Daryl Bahls, Director of Analytics with The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. It is a follow-up to Paul's webinar, “Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” sponsored by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) on Sept. 23, 2020.  At the end of that presentation, Paul was joined by Chris and Daryl to address questions for 30 minutes. As there were many more questions than time permitted answering, this podcast — also available as a video — continues to address those audience questions. In this Q&A session, the three “conflict-free teachers” dive into these big topics: • Equity asset class selection • Comparing returns • Dollar-cost averaging • Sequence returns and risks in accumulation and distribution stages Questions addressed include: - Why don’t you include small and large growth in your recommendations? - Gold and commodities: why not? - What’s the value of adding international funds? - Does it matter whether you use Vanguard or Fidelity Funds? - Do you use Portfolio Visualizer to understand the factor weighing of your portfolio? - How do your “Best in Class” ETFs, that duplicate DFA’s, compete with Vanguard? - Which strategies are better when you consider tax implications of rebalancing? Paul answers this last question briefly, citing from and recommending DIYers read “Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement” by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan. Click here to download the pdf presentation, with enormous thanks to Daryl Bahls, our Director of Analytics, for his insightful Tables. Find links to the various tables and strategies mentioned at: https://paulmerriman.com/pauls-important-advice/
10/14/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 43 seconds
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Q&A Follow-up: "Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” Part 1

This Q&A session with Paul Merriman, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls, is a follow-up to Paul's webinar, “Which Is The Best 1-,2-, 3- and 4 Fund Strategy?” sponsored by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) on Sept. 23, 2020. Following the presentation, Paul was joined by Chris and Daryl to address questions for 30 minutes. As there were many more questions than time permitted answering, this podcast and video is the first of several that will address those audience questions. Paul begins this Q&A session with the 5 lessons he hoped viewers would learn during the AAII webinar, followed by questions regarding the study that compares the "11 No-Nonsense Portfolios".  That discussion includes: why the selection of the 11 portfolios? why didn’t the portfolios include any bonds? why the use of Dimensional Indexes? how were the indexes constructed? why the 30-year period? why the best and worst of the portfolios? how does the Tell-Tale chart work? PLUS, Daryl introduces a new table that compares the 4-Fund Portfolio to the S&P 500 from 1928 to 2019. Click here to download the pdf presentation, with enormous thanks to Daryl Bahls, our Director of Analytics, for his insightful Tables.
10/7/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 11 seconds
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Which Is the Best 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-Fund Strategy?

In this live webinar, hosted by The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) on Sept. 23, Paul Merriman compares 10 different simple strategies for constructing a portfolio using mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The strategies are favorites of the Bogleheads, Rick Ferri, Warren Buffett, John Bogle and Merriman. He provides a list of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation’s recommended funds at Vanguard and Fidelity as well as the best-in-class ETFs to build these portfolios. He was joined by Chris Pedersen, the Foundation’s Director of Research and Daryl Bahls, our Director of Analytics for a Q&A session with the audience. Learn more at PaulMerriman.com Paul recommends podcast listeners watch the video of the presentation to take full advantage of the visuals. Watch it here on YouTube. If you’d like your own free pdf of the Powerpoint for this presentation, click here for an immediate download. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
9/30/20201 hour, 32 minutes, 36 seconds
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The importance of community, luck and half a percent

Paul is interviewed by George Grombacher for George’s “Money Savage Podcast”, and talks about the importance of community, the positive influencers in our lives, and the luck of timing. You will learn more about Paul Merriman’s life journey and his commitment to educating investors, both do-it-yourself investors and those who hire a financial advisor, making sure they’re doing the right thing in your best interest. For George’s “make a difference tip,” Paul offers two essential points that benefit every investor. One is the power of half-a-percent. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a one-time small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
9/23/202020 minutes, 31 seconds
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Answering investor concerns, Sept. 16, 2020

In this podcast Paul answers to a variety of comments and questions from his listeners and readers. Paul responds to a newsletter subscriber who unsubscribed in disgust because she felt he did not address the real ills of our society and the disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street. 3:30 Paul discusses his last MarketWatch article, “How to buy 10 years of retirement for $3650.”  This article had over 330,000 opens within days after after publication. 10:05 Will your Sept. 23rd AAII presentation be recorded?  The answer is Yes. The title is, "Which Is the Best 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-Fund Strategy?” You can register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8136639342311676944 21:25 Why are your returns on the S&P 500 so different from mine? 22:45 With a large amount of money to be invested in bonds, do you have any recommendation on the timing? 25:25 When will you be giving your financial literacy workshops on Bainbridge Island in 2021? I'm interested in visiting family there and would like to coordinate with your public presentations. 27:20 In this Marketwatch.comarticle, “How retirees should invest in a time of record-low interest rates," Mark Hulbert recommends investing 30% of your portfolio in annuities...Do you agree? Paul suggests several cases where single premium life annuities are appropriate and refers those interested to stantheannuityman.comfor free books on annuities. 28:50 Isn’t rebalancing just another form of market timing? 37:20 A Western Washington University graduate who heard Paul speak in 2018 asks, "What do you recommend?” in regard to his situation: “I’ve got student debt, my first job, just moved from home into an apartment and my $10,000 investment in GEVO is down to $7,000. I think it has a great future but I don’t want to lose all my money.” 41:05 What portfolios will you be comparing in your September 23rd AAII presentation? 46:55 Given current market conditions, and our plan to retire in the next 5 years, what fixed income or safe strategies do you recommend?  And what long-term fixed-income strategies do you recommend? 49:35 Could you compare the Vanguard Total Market Fund (VTSAX) with the Fidelity Zero Total Market Fund (FZROX)? 53:10 This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
9/16/202059 minutes, 58 seconds
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How to manage the biggest risks of investing

"How to manage the biggest risks of investing” is the focus of this presentation Paul gave to Western Washington University graduates as part of a recent series. This podcast is also available as a video and Paul recommends that listeners review the slides before or after listening to the podcast. Topics include the pitfalls of selecting the wrong source of investment advice, creating unrealistic expectations, not taking advantage of diversification, not taking advantage of equity asset classes, not understanding the giant long-term losses from inflation, and not preparing for the normal bear markets that lead to substantial losses. View Video here. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
9/9/202045 minutes, 25 seconds
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Investing for your children's future — what you should know

Over the years, Paul and his team have published numerous podcasts and articles about the impact of small investments for minors, especially newborn children and grandchildren. (See: https://paulmerriman.com/turn-3000-into-50-million/). In this podcast Paul discusses a strategy of building an IRA for a minor starting from birth. The strategy assumes investing $365 (more or less) each year over 10 years. He suggests a simple way to build The Ultimate Buy and Hold Equity Strategy over the 10 years. Examining the advantages and disadvantages, he compares the long-term returns at 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 percent. He then adjusts those returns for inflation. Paul makes the case for using the Roth over the regular IRA or 401(k), as well as keeping the money in your name rather than a custodial account up to the time that the official gift is made. Also mentioned in this podcast is The Merriman Aggressive Target Date Portfolio (scroll to bottom of page). This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3. If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
9/1/202039 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to be a successful investor

Larry Swedroe, a respected voice for sound investing principles, just released a new edition of his 2015 book, "The Incredible Shrinking Alpha: How to be a successful Investor without picking winners". Like all of Larry's books, this one answers a lot of the questions serious students of investing want to know. in this podcast, Paul reads portions from the book that answer some common questions Paul receives, giving insight into Larry’s common sense and well researched information. 1. For actively-managed funds, how long a track record is enough? This reading focuses on four real time stories that may lead you to conclude that no “real time” record is enough. 9:00 2. Do index funds produce better-than-average returns? In this reading of Larry’s book, he compares the 20-year performance of Vanguard and DFA funds  to actively-managed funds in the same asset class. 23:00 3. Do actively-managed funds perform better in bear markets? 29:19 4. How long should disciplined and long-term investors wait to deal with the recent underperformance of value and emerging market asset classes?  Larry poses 5 characteristics that the investment must continue to have to answer that question. 36:00 5. What if everyone indexed? 44:10 Mark your calendar for Paul's AAII Zoom presentation, Sept. 23, “Which is the best 1, 2, ,3 or 4 fund strategy?” In the presentation Paul will compare the long-term returns of 10 simple strategies, including from The Bogleheads, Rick Ferri, Warren Buffet, TrevH and, of course, our 4-Fund Combo. You don’t have to be an AAII member to attend.  Here is the registration link also available at  www.aaii.com/webinars. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our Foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small payment at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors. Thank you!
8/31/202055 minutes, 12 seconds
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Spending your way to wealth

Paul Merriman talks with Paul Heys, long-time friend and author of Spending Your Way to Wealth: Setting Your Compass Course to Steer in the Direction of True Wealth. They discuss what “normal" investors do, and the steps to becoming "Normal Plus," how to prevent the “spilling” of money that keep us from having what we want later in life, and the difference between the price and the value of anything. Young people will be shocked by the implications of future inflation, as Paul Heys shares what he sees in both the rear-view mirror and the road ahead. Spending Your Way to Wealth: Setting Your Compass Course to Steer in the Direction of True Wealthcan be purchased via this Amazon affiliate link by which The Merriman Financial Education Foundation may receive a small fee to help support its work, at no additional cost to you.
8/19/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 14 seconds
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Factor Investing Part II: Interview with Rick Ferri and Paul Merriman by White Coat Investor Dr. Jim Dahle

In this podcast, a continuation of Part I, James Dahle, M.D., of White Coat Investor hosts Paul Merriman and Rick Ferri, CFA, President of The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy and host of the Boglehead Podcast, for a lively Zoom discussion of factor investing. In this part of the conversation, Paul and Rick share their opinions on tilting your portfolio to small and value and more. The interview starts at around 5:00. For notes and a full transcription from White Coat Investor, click here. The Merriman Financial Education Foundation thanks Jim Dahle and his team for making this recording available, along with notes and transcript to Sound Investing listeners. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
8/12/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 27 seconds
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Factor Investing: Interview with Rick Ferri and Paul Merriman by White Coat Investor Dr. Jim Dahle — Part I

James Dahle, M.D., of White Coat Investor brought together Paul Merriman and Rick Ferri, CFA, President of The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy and host of the Boglehead Podcast, for a lively Zoom discussion of factor investing. The conversation starts with defining asset classes, total market investing and factor investing and continues with an examination of ‘is factor investing real?’, US and international stocks vs. value and growth, the “FANG” phenomenon, and tilting a portfolio. For more notes and a full transcription from White Coat Investor, click here. The Merriman Financial Education Foundation thanks Jim Dahle and his team for making this recording available, along with notes and transcript to Sound Investing listeners. Part II of this conversation will be available to Sound Investing subscribers in the next few weeks. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small fee at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors.  Thank you!
8/4/202057 minutes, 36 seconds
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Can 12 simple steps really be worth millions? Plus 10 Q&A

Paul begins the podcast with a response to a listener who thought the introduction to his new book (shared in Paul's July 9 newsletter), suggesting that each of 12 simple steps could be worth an additional million dollars, "read like a late night infomercial.” Paul not only takes the stand that each of the 12 steps can reasonably be worth an extra million dollars, but offers examples that have produced an extra $5 and $10 million. Paul explains about his current book naming contest and offers the winner an online meeting with him to help create a lifetime investment plan. Then he answers the following 10 questions: DFA U.S. Targeted Value fund (DFFVX) has underperformed other small cap value funds. Should I continue to hold? 33:00 I’m 52. Is the 70% target date fund/30% small cap value too risky? 35:20 I don’t have enough to get started, so what should I do to get started? 41:20 Is there ever a case where actively-managed funds make sense? 43:47 Have recent negative comments about index funds changed your commitment to them? 54:30 We have terminated our relationship with a Vanguard advisor.  Should we sell everything and move the proceeds into the funds we intend to buy? 56:39 I’m interested in studying the returns of small cap value.  Is there a source of returns that goes back beyond 1994? 58:05 Many respected experts hold a portion of their portfolio in gold. Is there any reason not to add a 5% position to my portfolio? 58:57 When should I take Social Security? 01:03:00 What do you recommend for a 33-year-old investor who wants to be more aggressive than the S&P 500? 01:05:11
7/28/20201 hour, 9 minutes, 28 seconds
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What returns can we expect in the future?

Why do investors find it difficult to deal with the reality of the random nature of investment returns? Paul gave a lot of thought to this question in preparation for an interview with Jim Dahle of White Coat Investor and Rick Ferri, President of The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy. On this podcast he shares his conclusions, including the likely possibility that it is the neat and tidy way we teach the history of returns. Paul focuses on the many decades of underperformance of the asset classes that most investors have in their portfolio. He draws on information from the 4 Fund Combo tables as well as the 9 Decades Study. The interview with Jim and Rick will be posted next month. This podcast is part of the educational offerings from The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, a registered 501(c)3.  If you found value in this podcast, here are four ways to support the podcast and our Foundation: 1)    Leave a podcast review on your player of choice. 2)    Sign up for our biweekly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com 3)    Use our M1 Finance affiliate link if you are interested in setting up a brokerage account, using our portfolio suggestions. The Foundation will receive a small payment at no cost to you. 4)    Consider making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation to support our mission to provide financial education to investors. Thank you!
7/22/202033 minutes, 2 seconds
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Am I saving enough to retire? and 5 more Q&A

Paul tackles six topics from commodities to retirement savings, from first-time investing to current retirement investment strategies. A special thank you to Paul’s podcast listeners who responded to his survey question: "Podcasts or videos: which do you prefer?" Your listenership, and sharing this information — to help educate and empower others — is greatly appreciated! 1:  Why don’t your recommendations include commodities? 1:35 Paul’s comments focus on an article written by Dennis Tilley, Director of Alternative Investments for Merriman Wealth Management. http://www.merriman.com/advanced-portfolio-management/why-we-still-dont-favor-commodities/ 2:  How should a 24-year-old first-time investor best put $5000 to work? 16:15 Paul suggests he read The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy article, review the list of recommended Best In Class ETFs and listen to this “Best Investment Advice" podcast Paul recorded for university students. 3:  What funds do you recommend for the 4 Fund Combo? 28:40 Paul's recommendations include this article, “Market Got You Down? How to Construct a Comeback Portfolio 4:  Am I saving enough to retire with $2.5 to $4 million dollars? 29:40 Paul's answer includes reading this free chapter from Financial Fitness Forever. 5:  What do you have to say about the horrendous returns of the Four Fund Combo this year? 37:05 Paul recommends reviewing the normal losses in the Fine Tuning Tables. 6:  What are your thoughts about Jeremy Siegel’s recommendation for retired investors increasing their exposure to equities? 46:20 Join more than 25,000 savvy investors who subscribe to Paul Merriman’s FREE twice-a-month newsletter. Sign up now!
7/15/202055 minutes, 23 seconds
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The Past, Present, and Future of Investing

In this special presentation to the Bainbridge Community Foundation, June 2020, Paul provides insights into the past, present and future of investing. What are the most important lessons learned about investing in the last 50 years? How can we use them to make more money for our retirement? What 3 myths cost investors up to half their retirement savings? What three people changed investing forever? And much more. If you enjoy this podcast, please share. To see the slide show accompanying the video, click here. For the slideshow, "10 Simple Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future”, click here. Join 25,000 savvy investors who subscribe to Paul Merriman’s twice-a-month free newsletter at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ Keywords: investing for retirement, stock market history, future of investing, bear markets, make more money, famous investors, investor success, financial independence, best investments, paul merriman podcast, sound investing
7/8/20201 hour, 16 minutes, 14 seconds
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Help for the do-it-yourself investor

On February 22, before the recent bear market and during the very early days of the Coronavirus, I was scheduled to speak at Vestory’s Annual Retiremeet.  I went a day early so I could interview two very good friends I'd worked with for more than 10 years, Tom Cock and Don MacDonald. The three of us used to do a weekly radio show together.  It was always fun and we had great guests like John Bogle, Knight Kiplinger, Larry Swedroe, Scott Burns, Robert Kiyosaki and Joe Granville, to name a few. In 2009 Tom and Don left the Merriman firm to found Vestory  a registered investment advisory firm. In this podcast we discuss the challenges of helping the do-it-yourself investor.  While Don mentions the importance of staying in front of the investors on a regular basis, they felt one of the most difficult decisions for DIY investors is determining their risk tolerance. They offer an interesting risk tolerance test that I took. It has some very good questions. I suggest you give it a try as it is more specific than most. Questions I ask: How can you tell if you are working with a fiduciary? What do tell investors about expectations for long term returns? Why are stocks a good investment for the long term? How much should young people be investing? How can mutual funds offer funds without any expense? What do you look for in a good investment advisor? Don MacDonald is also author of Financial Fysics: How Money and Investing Really Work. For those who know Don’s outspoken mistrust of stock brokers, you will be shocked that I tricked him into saying something nice about stockbrokers. Tom and Don do a weekly radio/internet show, "Talking Real Money", as well as a daily podcast of the same name.  I hope you enjoy this podcast and check out their daily podcast. In fact, they have a call-in phone line where you can leave a question anytime. Give it a try: Call 855-935-TALK. Join more than 25,000 savvy investors who subscribe to our free twice-a-month newsletter at paulmerriman.com
7/1/202052 minutes, 16 seconds
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Great news for target date fund Investors PLUS 7 more Q&A's

In this podcast, Paul answers recent questions from his readers, video viewers and podcast listeners including how best to enter the market in these uncertain times, which equity asset classes to hold. small-cap value strategies and more. 1. In your book, “First Time Investor: Grow and Protect Your Money,” you write (page 49), “Don’t bother with target-date funds.”  In your video titled, “2 Funds for Life: A Simple Strategy to Maximize Your Retirement Investments,” you included target-date funds on your list of “The Three Greatest Investment Products.” Why have you changed your views on target-date funds? :30 In this answer Paul references an important new study from the Wharton Pension Research Council, “Target Date Funds and Portfolio Choice in 401(k) Plans.”  (For more on target date funds see Paul’s website, Best Advice, Target Date Funds) 2. What are you opinions of lower cost target date funds at Fidelity and Schwab? 20:15 3. I am 43 years old and have about $90K in a CD that matures at the end of the month and want to know: how would best get it into the market with so much uncertainty with the economy/covid/social unrest? I know it’s bad to time the market but… 2:10 4. I am 35 and have several hundred-thousand in retirement accounts and a few hundred-thousand in a taxable account. Which equity asset classes should I have in each portfolio? 35:54 5. In you Best-in-Class ETF recommendations, you have DLS for international small-cap value. I notice 31% of the fund is invested in Japanese companies. That seems very risky.  Please explain, why did you chose this fund? 40:46 6. Do you still recommend small-cap value for your strategy that turns $3000 into $50 million?  43:30 7.  For someone in a high tax bracket do you recommend a short-term tax-exempt or corporate bond fund? 52:30 8.  You mentioned you and your wife hold a portfolio of both U.S. and international stock funds in the equity part of your portfolio.  I would like to stick with a U.S.-only portfolio.  How much difference should there be in the portfolio returns of the 4-fund combo and the 10-fund Ultimate Buy and Hold Portfolio?  56:35 Note:  This article includes the ETFs and mutual funds we recommend for the 4-fund combo. Whether an #investor starting out or in #retirement, you’ll finds hundreds of articles, podcasts, Q&A’s, videos, #portfoliorecommendations, #freeebooks and much more at paulmerriman.com. Join more than 25,000 savvy investors by subscribing to Paul's free twice-a-month newsletter.
6/24/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 38 seconds
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12 Q&A from San Diego AAII

On May 9, 2020 Chris Pedersen and Paul Merriman addressed the San Diego American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) via Zoom. Chris, director of research, presented “2 Funds for Life” and Paul, founder and president of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, presented “The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy.” After the presentations Daryl Bahls, director of analytics, joined Chris and Paul to respond to questions. Daryl also prepared Tables for the Q&A. When the meeting concluded there were a number of unanswered questions submitted by the attendees. The following are 12 of the 24 questions. The remaining 12 will be answered in a future podcast. Watch the video here- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk3uMwD1Okc How do long term returns for small and large cap growth indexes compare to long term returns for small and large cap value indexes? 1:10 How do required minimum distributions fit into your distribution tables? 6:15 Am I right in assuming the 4 Fund Comboand Ultimate Buy and Hold strategies can be used at any age? 7:46 How does an investor put together a portfolio when their 401k does not have all of your recommended asset classes in either the 4 Fund Comboor the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategies? 15:12 I would like to move to the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy.  Should I sell everything and just start over or dollar cost average over time? 20:40 I want to use the 2 Funds for Lifestrategy but I’m 62 and not sure it will have much impact. What do you suggest?  See the article, “Making The Most of Your Target Date Funds Before and During in Retirement”. 24:00 Instead of a Vanguard target date fund, what about building a portfolio of individual ETFs representing the Total U.S. Stock Index, international stock index, international and U.S. bond indexes?  See a new study from Wharton,Target Date Funds and Portfolio Choice in 401(k) Plans 29:50 What are your thoughts on an all-value portfolio that is 1/3 each large-cap value, small-cap value and international value asset classes? 38:00 Is there any magic in the way you have built up the 10 and 4 fund strategies? 40:25 Do you have any studies that assume taking a higher rate than the safe 4% distribution to allow me to delay drawing Social Security so I can maximize my Social Security payments? See Table. 44:05 What asset classes do you recommend for the bond portion of your portfolio?  The Vanguard Portfolios show the bond funds we recommended. See: Vanguard mutual fundsand Vanguard ETF portfolios. 51:02 With bond returns so low, has that altered your thinking on the percentage of the portfolio devoted to bonds? 54:49
6/17/202059 minutes, 17 seconds
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How confident can we be in past performance?

Paul Merriman responds to a podcast listener who wrote: “I am convinced your 4-Fund Combo is a portfolio I want to add to my portfolio. My question is, how confident are you in the past performance of these four asset classes from 1970-2019 AND how confident can we be about any performance?" Before digging into the specifics of the 4-Fund Portfolio, I re-read a 2015 MarketWatch article (written with Rich Buck) entitled, 10 things you should know about portfolio performance. To help investors get a sense of how difficult it is to pin down future returns, I looked back at the period from 1928-1969 to see what an investor might learn about risk and return from these 4 asset classes. Questions to which I sought answers were: What were the nominal returns of the S&P 500 and 4-Fund Combo? What were inflation adjusted (real) returns? What were tax rates in 1969 compared to 2019? What were the 1929-1932 losses of the S&P 500 compared to the 4-Fund Combo? Is the commitment to build the portfolio for future income, build the portfolio for present income, or build the portfolio for family and charities after your death? I hope you will forward this link to friends and family, leave a comment or like at whatever site you are accessing this podcast, and support The Foundation in continuing our commitment to helping investors. If you’ve not yet subscribed to Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter, why not do it now?
6/10/202040 minutes, 16 seconds
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Q&A Part 2 from ChooseFI Events May 2020

In May, Paul Merriman, founder of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, and Chris Pedersen, director of research, were guest presenters at two ChooseFI online events, via Facebook Live on May 9 and Zoom on May 16. On May 9 Chris and Paul made separate presentations: Paul on “12 Investment Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future" and Chris on “2 Funds for Life.”  They were joined by Chief Analyst Daryl Bahls to answer questions. In a recent video/podcast Paul, Chris and Daryl addressed 15 questions that had not been answered during the presentation. In this video/podcast the trio address 17 more questions from the two presentations. 1. During retirement should you take money from the  target date fund or the more risky small cap value fund? 2:34 2. My wife wants to know, why don’t you recommend mid-cap funds? 5:08 3. How should I invest RMDs if I don’t need the money to live on? 9:04 4. What is the best strategy for investing for my 4 children, ages 17, 5, 5 and 3? 11:47 5. Is the Vanguard High Yield (VWEAX) fund still a good retirement fund choice?  13:55 6. The media reports the stock market remains overvalued in spite of the recent crash. Why should I want to buy now if the the market is expected to drop even more? 16:36 7. Is there a reason REITS would not be part of the 4 Funds Strategy? 21:26 8. When do you think you will be updating the Best in Class ETFs for the Ultimate Buy and Hold? 23:57 9. Is the 4-Fund Strategy appropriate for a 60 year old investor? 27:00 10. If target date funds are funds of funds, does that mean they have two sets of fees? 32:38 11. When you say Vanguard is investor owned, what does that mean?  36:38 12. Is the comeback portfolio the same as the 4 fund combo? 40:00 13. Could you use a TDF plus the 4 Fund Combo instead of small cap value? How would that strategy likely perform? 41:16 14. Is the TDF based on retirement age or your life expectancy? 44:55 15. Given that  small caps may struggle for the foreseeable future (due to the recent pandemic) should one focus more on large caps or is this the time to rebalance more heavily towards small caps as they are selling at a larger discount. 47:57 16. In any of your distribution scenarios in retirement, are you withdrawing cash to cover 2-3 years of expenses or simply withdrawing cash for current year living expenses? 53:54 17. I am intrigued by your 4-fund portfolio However, my respectful criticism of that portfolio is that it does not have any international exposure. There is a contributor on the Boglehead's forum who has supposedly done a series of backtesting and shown that the following combo has an identical long term returns as the UBH portfolio. The holdings: US LGB + US SCV + Intl LGV + Intl SCB. What are your thoughts on this portfolio? 59:26
6/2/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 26 seconds
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10 ways retirees can make an extra $1 million dollars on their portfolio

While it is easy to show young investors how to make an extra million dollars over the course of 50 years or more, it’s not so easy to do for retired investors looking at 10 to 30 more years. But there are ways! Here Paul suggests 10 different ways to add a million dollars or more to the portfolio of an investor near or in retirement. Paul references Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocations and Fixed and Flexible Distributions in Retirement. The following tables are part of the presentation: Table 1: Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation: S&P 500 4-Fund Combo Equity Portfolio Table Fine Tuning Table: 4-Fund Combo Equity Portfolio Table 7:     Fixed Distribution Schedule S&P 500 ($30,000/yr + inflation) Table 8:     Fixed Distribution Schedule S&P 500 ($40,000/yr + inflation) Table 9:     Fixed Distribution Schedule S&P 500 ($50,000/yr + inflation) Table 8a:   End of Year Fixed Distribution Schedule S&P ($40,000/yr + inflation) Table 27:   Flexible Distribution Schedule S&P 500 (3%/yr + inflation) Table 28:   Flexible Distributions Schedule S&P 500 (4%/yr + inflation) Table 29:   Flexible Distributions Schedule S&P 500 (5%/yr + inflation)) Table 54:   Fixed Distributions Schedule 4-Fund Combo ($30,000/yr + inflation) Table 55:   Fixed Distributions Schedule 4-Fund Combo ($40,000/yr + inflation) Table 55a: End of Year Fixed Distribution Schedule ($40,000/yr + inflation) Table 58:   Flexible Distribution Schedule 4-Fund Combo (3%/yr) Table 59:   Flexible Distribution Schedule 4-Fund Combo (4%/yr) Table 60 Flexible Distribution Schedule 4-Fund Combo (5%/yr) Check out new videos at paulmerriman.com  including Paul’s “12 Million-Dollar Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future” and Chris Pedersen's “Two Funds for Life in Pre and Post-Retirement”. AND subscribe to Paul’s free newsletter!
5/27/20201 hour, 10 minutes, 1 second
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Q&A from the ChooseFI Facebook live event May 9, 2020

In this podcast (also watchable as a YouTube video), Paul Merriman, along with Director of Research Chris Pedersen and Chief Analyst Daryl Bahls get together on a Zoom call to answer additional questions submitted during the ChooseFI Facebook Live event, for which time did not permit on the original recording. The event was hosted by Jen Mah on May 9, 2020. Below are the list of questions. For an archive of hundreds of other investment-related questions and answers, see Ask Paul. What are the 2 funds you use in the 2 Funds for Life portfolio? 3:56 How do you think Vanguard Total Stock Market and Total Global Market will perform in the future? 7:10 For people taking early retirement, how does the possibility of a serious decline affect the sequence of risk returns?  (See Distributions). 9:34 You have many allocations of stocks and bonds setup as pies at M1 Finance. What’s an easy way for people to get started? (See M1 Finance and Our About M1 Finance). 21:00 What information on your website should help me determine what should be my distribution between equities and bonds? Is there a rule of thumb for specific ages? (See Fine-Tuning Your Asset Allocation). 25:14 What has been the long-term difference in returns for the 2 fund vs the 10 fund portfolios?  31:27 How much of your recommended portfolio is in international stocks? (See the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy). 38:43 What are your thoughts on future returns for Small Cap Value? (For more on SCV, click here).  43:43 You mentioned the impact of setting aside $1/day for a child early on. Where is the best place to be doing this? 529s? UTMAs? Bank of Mom? (See “Turn $3,000 in $50 million”). 48:52 Is value's fall from grace related to the increase in the influence of mutual funds and ETF's? 55:27 If already retired, what target date fund do you choose? Do you choose the target date fund of the year you retired? (See Target Date Funds).  01:01 Your portfolios are used by many people to create their path to retirement. Do you suggest adjusting stock/bond allocations as you near retirement age, much like you would with a target date fund, or select one portfolio based on your risk tolerance and ride it out the entire way?” 01:04 Where to add a SCV fund for taxes? Taxable, tax deferred or tax free? 01:08:20 Momentum and Quality are additional factors that historically produced outsized returns. Did you consider adding to the Ultimate Buy and Hold portfolio index funds that track these factors? (See Best In Class article).  01:10:13 I would like to also do market timing with half of my investments. How do I find someone to do that for me?  (See Merriman Wealth Management and Camria Funds). 01:15:16
5/20/20201 hour, 23 minutes, 58 seconds
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Questions, answers and opportunities during the pandemic

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed everyone’s life — and hopefully without illness or loss — for The Merriman Financial Education Foundation it has been a huge game changer, in a very good way. In this podcast Paul shares some new ways he’s able to serve more investors and he answers seven questions from his listeners and readers. 1. Can you discuss the funds to hold in different types of investments, like Roth and regular IRAs, 401ks and taxable accounts? 5:00 2. I have several accounts. Should I try to build your Ultimate Buy & Hold portfolio in each account or build it with 3 or 4 funds per account? 12:35 3. As a 28-year-old investor with a 40-year time horizon, why shouldn’t I put all my investments into more volatile funds, like U.S. and international small cap value and emerging markets, rather than all 10 asset classes in the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy? 15:20 4. Many academic studies, as well as your advice, show strong correlation between low expense ratios and mutual fund performance. Your mutual fund and ETF recommendations largely include funds with low expense ratios, however the "International Small Cap Value" asset class ETF (DLS) has a higher expense ratio (0.58%) than I would like. In order to minimize investment expenses, would you recommend substituting another similar investment with a lower expense ratio? I am considering international small cap (VSS - 0.11% ER) or Vanguard Total International Index Fund (VTSNX - 0.08% ER) as a substitute. 18:00 5. Why should we think that HISTORY is the best source of guidance for asset class allocation? Your recommendations for both the "Ultimate Buy and Hold" and the “Two Funds for Life" look to history for efficient asset class weightings. The other source that could be looked to is THE MARKET. It seems that The Market includes all the historical information, as well as the wisdom and knowledge of Paul Merriman, Warren Buffet, all the academic research, all the hedge fund managers, all the mathematicians with supercomputers, etc. Also, in some instances, The Market seems to give a more credible answer than History. For example, history shows bonds returned 6% annually, but the market shows bonds will return about 1.5% going forward.   23:05 6. How can you justify investing in a market that is highly likely to go down due to the coronavirus, coming recession, 30% unemployment, historically high P/E ratios and sky high debt? 37:50 7. What are the likely losses investors must expect in the market? 48:55 Mentioned in this podcast: "Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan Choose FI Seattle Zoom Meetup, Saturday May 16. link to Kelly Cannon’s list of topics Join 20,000+ savvy investors and receive Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter. Sign up now Plus visit Paul's website for NEW VIDEOS: “12 Million-Dollar Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future” and Chris Pedersen’s “Two Funds for Life”.
5/13/202056 minutes, 24 seconds
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What's about to change in your financial life?

"Many people, including myself, tend to consider the bad things that might happen before considering the good outcome that is more likely to happen,” " says Paul Merriman. "That challenging state of mind requires having a "little house” plan... just in case the list of catastrophic events actually happens.  The massive loss of employment means a lot of people have experienced loss of employment for the first time in their life.  Even those who are retired, and have more than they likely need, have reason to consider what that “little house” plan looks like in retirement, as my wife and I recently discussed. On this podcast I touch on the long list of possible adjustments we can make if we have to reduce our retirement lifestyle.” Paul also talks about new tables, developed by Daryl Bahls, that make the numbers-heavy tables easier to use. Daryl’s Tables will be shared as part of a Free Zoom presentation. See details below. Free Zoom presentation Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. PDT, hosted by the San Diego Chapter of AAII. Paul Merriman and Chris Pedersen will address the two best buy and hold strategies they know, including 2 Funds for Life and the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, as well as 12 million-dollar investment decisions. Daryl Bahls will join Paul and Chris to answer your questions.  For more information on this free webinar and to register, go to: https://www.aaii.com/chapters/Meeting?mtg=4817&chapterid=13 In another Free Zoom Event later in the day, May 9, 4 p.m.-7 p.m. EDT, with ChooseFI, Paul will present "12 Million Dollar Decisions Guaranteed to Change Your Financial Future," and Chris will present "Two Funds for Life”. Their sessions will be followed by Q&A. This event is live, free and open to all, hosted by Jennifer Mah of Choose FI (Financial Independence). For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/249958663036416/ Join Paul Merriman in these Zoom events and join 20,000 savvy investors to receive his free twice-a-month newsletter. Go to paulmerriman.com
5/6/202040 minutes
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The best we have to offer investors

For the past eight weeks, Paul focused on what he considers among the most important decisions an investor is likely to make in a lifetime. In this podcast he quickly reviews those key decisions through the articles, podcasts and tables that were recently created to help investors be the best they can be. And he discusses the topics contained in his website's “Best Advice”, which include: The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy (2020 Update) Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation (2020 Update) Distributions in Retirement (2020 Update) Fixed Contributions  Target Date Funds 4 Fund Combo All About Small Cap Value All Value Equity Portfolio Turn $3,000 Into $50 Million 90 Years of Performance  Get notified of PAUL’S FREE ZOOM SESSIONS by visiting  PaulMerriman.com and subscribing to Paul's free newsletter.
4/29/202044 minutes, 23 seconds
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Fixed Contributions- small changes leading to big returns

In discussing the latest Fixed Contribution Tables, Paul gives investors an opportunity to explore the differences between many of the various strategies that he, Chris Pedersen and Daryl Bahls have developed. In discussing the Tables, Paul first provides an overview for those in the early years of investing, and then a more thorough explanation for seasoned investors who want to dive deeper or who give guidance to first-time investors. The tables show the impact of regular monthly contributions (DCA) on different combinations of equity and fixed-income asset classes. These tables help investors see the long-term impact of adding value and small-cap asset classes to their portfolios, as well as staying the course during difficult markets. And, finally, the tables make the case for getting started as soon as possible. Paul references the following tables: Fine Tuning Tables Table 1- S&P 500 Table 2- Worldwide Equity (50% U.S./50% International) Table 3- Worldwide Equity (70% U.S./30% International) Table 4- All Value (50% U.S./50% International) Table 5- All Value (70% U.S./30% International) Table 6- Fine Tuning Table – US SCV Equity Portfolio 4-Fund Fine Tuning Table Fixed Contributions Tables 2020 Fixed Contributions – S&P 500 ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – Worldwide (50-50) ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – Worldwide (70-30) ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – All Value (50-50) ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – All Value (70-30) ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – US SCV ($1K) 2020 Fixed Contributions – 4-Fund Combo ($1K) Be sure to check out Paul’s site for many more academically-researched tables and portfolio recommendations at paulmerriman.com and sign up for Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter.
4/22/202054 minutes, 47 seconds
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4-Fund Combo and Your Overall Financial Picture

This podcast introduces the Distribution and Contribution Tables for the 4-Fund Combo, plus Paul discusses how these results compare with the other equity asset classes on the  Fine Tuning, Distribution and Contribution tables. More than 60 new and updated tables are now available at PaulMerriman.com, generously created by Daryl Bahls. These tables are designed to help you decide which  equity asset classes you should have, and .how much fixed income you should hold to both meet your need for return and stay within your risk tolerance.  Also the new tables help you compare the fixed and flexible distribution strategies using many different  rates of distributions. The challenge is to consider each of the pieces until you put it all together and find the one column that suggest you will meet your personal financial goals. When you find that column, you’ll know how much and which equity asset classes you should own, how much you’ll have in fixed income, how much you’ll have to spend in retirement, and how much you’ll likely leave to others. Follow along in the discussion of the 4-Fund Combo with links to: Contribution Tables: Table 47, Table 48, Table 50, Table 52 and Table 62 Check out all of Paul’s investment and retirement strategies and sign up for his free newsletter at paulmerriman.com
4/15/202038 minutes, 26 seconds
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The Ultimate Distribution Strategy-2020

One of the biggest financial decisions we make can be the choice of distribution strategy in retirement. In this podcast Paul compares the risks and returns of flexible and fixed distribution strategies, not just in terms of money available for retirement expenses but also for heirs and charities at the end of life. He compares results of 4 and 5 percent fixed and flexible distributions, using both the S&P 500 and the Worldwide Equity Portfolio. For more on the subject, read our MarketWatch article, How much should you take out of your portfolio when you retire? To get the most out of The Ultimate Distribution Strategy Paul suggests you download the following tables: Fine Tuning Tables 1 and 2 Fixed Distribution Tables 8 and 9 Flexible Distribution Tables 28, 29, 32 and 33 Check out all of Paul’s investment and retirement strategies and sign up for his free newsletter at paulmerriman.com
4/8/202039 minutes, 55 seconds
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20 Q&A for March 2020’s Bear Market

From explaining how index funds are built to his opinion on how far the market will fall; from where to find resources for teaching highschoolers about personal finance to custodial accounts and rebalancing Target-Date funds, Paul answers 20 questions from his readers and listeners. Scan through and listen to those that interest you or tune in to the whole podcast for answers and insights into a variety of investor questions.
4/1/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 51 seconds
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How to build the best comeback portfolio

When the market finally turns around and heads back up, what kind of portfolios are likely to perform better than the market in general?  In this podcast Paul shares what he calls the Comeback Portfolio.  During the discussion he uses some existing tables plus a couple of new tables to make his case.  For those who want to download the tables here are the links in order of use: Summary of 1, 15 and 40 years of Equity Returns (1928-2019) Table 1 and Table 3 from Annualized Asset Class Returns by Decade: 1930-2019 Ultimate Buy and Hold Worldwide Equity Portfolio Tables (50% US / 50% Int'l) 4-Fund Combo Equity Portfolio Tables (100% US / 00% Int’l) Fine-Tuning Table  4-Fund Combo Equity Portfolio On April 11, Silicon Valley AAII is hosting an online workshop with Paul and Chris Pedersen. For those interested in attending please find the details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sv-aaii-april-main-event-the-ultimate-buy-and-hold-strategy-tickets-100032899094 Check out hundreds of free articles, videos, books and mutual fund/ETF recommendations at PaulMerriman.com and sign up for Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter! https://paulmerriman.com/signup/
3/25/202045 minutes, 10 seconds
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Bear Markets and Fixed Distributions

The two most important articles and podcasts The Merriman Financial Education Foundation produces each year are the "Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy” — which helps you determine what equity asset classes to hold in your portfolio — and "Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation” — which shows how much you should own in bonds to control volatility. However, when it comes time to take money out of investments for retirement, our site includes a series of tables to aid you in determining the Best Distribution Strategy. In this podcast, Paul focuses on strategies for investors who have saved “enough” but not much extra. These investors usually use a Fixed-Distribution Strategy.  There is a long series of Fixed-Distribution Tables, but today Paul talks specifically about Tables 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13. Paul also discusses the beginnings of the recent bear market, plus longer-term bear market results.  The average bear market loss is 33% to 37%, depending on the period covered.Next week Paul addresses Flexible or Variable Distributions, the "Ultimate Distribution Strategy". Be sure to sign up for Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter here.
3/18/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 25 seconds
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20 things you should know about small-cap value

Focusing on small-cap value from every angle Paul knows, this podcast compares Price-to-Earnings ratios, Price-to-Book ratios, average size company and one-year and 40-year period returns.  Paul shares the latest academic research on small-cap value, comparison of risk and return for S&P vs. small-cap value asset classes, and the likely long-term impact of adding even a little small-cap value to a portfolio. He also discusses the Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocations table for small-cap value, and Tables 1 and 3 from "90 Years of Evidence Shows Investor Patience Leads to Better Returns". Also See: “All About Small-Cap Value" 2020 paper by Eugene F. Fama and Kenneth R. French paper, The Value Premium Join our community of more than 20,000 savvy investors. Sign up now for Paul’s free newsletter published every other week.
3/11/202052 minutes, 1 second
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Should I try to time the market?

Paul shares writings and wisdom from two of his trusted Truth Tellers, George Sisti of On Course Financial Planning and Dr. Jim Dahle of The White Coat Investor.  Both of these experts are focused on helping people be better buy-and-hold investors.  George's blog post is titled “Here We Go Again!” and Jim’s blog post is “Should I try to time the market?” While Paul is not an advocate of timing for most investors, he tries to help investors understand that most comments about timing do not represent the realities of what timing is meant to accomplish, which is to protect investors during major market declines.  For those interested in timing, this link takes investors to graphs by Dr. Edward Yardini that show timing at work for 90 years. Paul's hope is that investors will see that they may have periods of feeling pleased with the work of timing, but many more periods when market timing is very unproductive. Paul also discusses changes in upcoming AAII presentations, as Don McDonald of Vestory has offered to substitute in making Paul's presentations in Boston, Westport and NYC, while Chris Pedersen may make the presentations in Silicon Valley and San Diego. None of these are finalized but we will have more on these in coming week. (Click here for upcoming presentations). Join more than 20,000 savvy investors and receive Paul’s free twice-a-month newsletter! Sign-up here.
3/4/202050 minutes, 10 seconds
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Fine-Tuning Your Asset Allocations 2020 Update

Do you want to have a better idea of the range — or returns and risks of loss — that different equity asset classes have generated over a long period of time?  In this podcast, Paul discusses 5 tables covering the S&P 500, Worldwide Equity (50% U.S./50% International), Worldwide Equity (70% U.S./30% International), All Value (50% U.S./50% International) All Value (70% U.S./30% International).  In each case the table will show 50 years of annual returns of the equity portfolio, as well as returns with 9 different combinations of fixed income and equity. It will be helpful to listen to Paul’s podcast on the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy 2020 Update before listening to this podcast. Our enormous thanks to Daryl Bahls for building the tables for this podcast and the balance of the more than 60 tables we will cover in the next 2 months. Links to Tables: S&P 500 Worldwide Equity (50% U.S./50% International) Worldwide Equity (70% U.S./30% International) All Value (50% U.S./50% International) All Value (70% U.S./30% International) If you find this information of value, please like, share, and go to PaulMerriman.com to subscribe to our FREE twice-a-month newsletter. Join more than 20,000 savvy investors for Paul Merriman’s free “Sound Investing” newsletter delivered twice a month to your inbox at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ View Paul’s videos at https://paulmerriman.com/videos/ Get you FREE “How To Invest” series books at https://paulmerriman.com/how-to-invest-series-complimentary-download/
2/26/20201 hour, 27 seconds
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The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy 2020 Update

The most important work we have done over the last 38 years has been to help investors identify the equity asset classes they should consider holding in their portfolio.  In this podcast, along with the  accompanying tables, Paul updates investors on the results of his Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy from 1970 through 2019.  These tables are designed to help investors see the changes in risk and return when 9 equity asset classes are added to the S&P 500 index.  The discussion and tables compare portfolios of 50% U.S./50% international equity asset classes, (See Table) and 70% U.S./30% International equity asset classes (See Table) with the S&P 500.  They also compare the results for each portfolio using annual and monthly rebalancing.  Additionally, there is a complete list of funds and indexes used in the study- Data Disclosure (UBH-AV) Data Disclosure (UBH-WW).  Special thanks to Daryl Bahls for all the work he’s done in building the tables for this podcast and the balance of the more than 60 tables we will cover in the next 2 months. Link also mentioned in this podcast: Best of Class Recommendations for all the equity classes. If you find this information of value, please like, share, and visit PaulMerriman.com to subscribe to our FREE twice-a-month newsletter. Join more than 20,000 savvy investors for Paul Merriman’s free “Sound Investing” newsletter delivered twice a month to your inbox at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/  All subscribers will receive a FREE copy of Paul’s new book coming out later this year. View Paul’s videos at https://paulmerriman.com/videos/ Get you FREE “How To Invest” series books at https://paulmerriman.com/how-to-invest-series-complimentary-download/
2/19/202032 minutes, 21 seconds
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The big payoff for asset class diversification

Paul was interviewed by Rick Ferri, the host of Bogleheads on Investing, on Feb. 3, 2020. During and after the recording, scores of questions and comments were written at the Bogleheads chatroom. This podcast is Paul's reply to a number of the topics discussed with Rick and the questions and comments, broken into two sections. The first section focuses on the basic difference between the investment beliefs of John Bogle and Paul Merriman or, more appropriately, of Gene Fama and Kenneth French, the academics responsible for most of the early work on “factor” investing. The second section is Paul’s responses to many of the comments and questions posted on the Boglehead Forum after the interview aired with Rick Ferri.  These questions centered on small cap and value premiums, buy and hold vs. market timing, pros and cons of simple vs. complex strategies, how aggressive young investors should be, and Paul’s claim to making over 30% a year for 30 years. He also discusses the things he and Bogle totally agreed worked in the best interest of investors. The Bogleheads® motto is Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle. We, at The Merriman Financial Education Foundation, are part of his campaign "to give ordinary investors a fair shake.” The site consists of this wiki and the Bogleheads® forum, both built by volunteers dedicated to helping people begin or improve their investing by applying our investing principles. They even built a page for Paul’s book, Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money. Also related to this podcast: Rick Ferri’s “Core-4” website Article and Tables: 90 Years of Performance Join more than 20,000 savvy investors for Paul Merriman’s free “Sound Investing” newsletter delivered twice a month to your inbox at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ View Paul’s videos at https://paulmerriman.com/videos/ Get your FREE “How To Invest” series books at https://paulmerriman.com/how-to-invest-series-complimentary-download/
2/12/20201 hour, 1 second
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10 important lessons from the 2020 Callan Periodic Tables 

The new Callan Periodic Tables have been released and in this podcast Paul discusses 10 important lessons from the main table (2000-2019) and several other Callan tables he has not addressed before. Paul encourages listeners to review the tables (links below) and see how many important lessons you find, before you listen to the podcast. For those who find tables of numbers a good to learn, this is a “can’t miss” podcast. For a “numbers guy” like Paul, he says, “This was so much fun to record!" The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns, now in its 20th year, graphically depicts annual returns for various asset classes, ranked from best to worst. Created by Jay Kloepfer in 1999, the table features well-known, industry-standard market indices as proxies for each asset class. As Kloepfer notes at Callan.com, “The enduring appeal of the table is its ability to be understood at a glance. And once you’ve seen and absorbed it, you can refer to it again and again. New insights still come to me even 20 years later!” Classic Periodic Table 2020 December 2019 Monthly Periodic Table Periodic Table Collection 2019 Join more than 20,000 savvy investors for Paul Merriman’s free “Sound Investing” newsletter delivered twice a month to your inbox at https://paulmerriman.com/signup/ View Paul’s videos at https://paulmerriman.com/videos/ Get you FREE “How To Invest” series books at https://paulmerriman.com/how-to-invest-series-complimentary-download/
2/6/202043 minutes, 25 seconds
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How did Paul Merriman make 30% a year for 30 years? and 10 more Q&A's

Can an employee convince his company’s 401k trustees to make changes?  It took 4 years for this one dedicated investor to do so and he won big. Hopefully, this story will inspire others to work this hard to change the financial futures for all 401k investors. 2:00 What is the lifetime cost of an expense ratio of .15% a year? The answer is surprising. 6:50 In what kind of investment did you earn 30% a year over 30 years? Paul has mentioned the good fortune of this investment but never before given details. 10:00 Is it true your portfolio fell from $16 million to about $12.8 million during the 10 years ending 2009?  Paul refers to Table 1 and Table 2 of the fixed distribution page. 30:45 How do you build an Ultimate Buy & Hold Portfolio if you want to eliminate international equity funds? 35:18 What do you recommend when a company’s 401k retirement plans do not offer target-date funds?  Can you still use a 2 Funds for Life approach? 37:30 Should we use a short-term bond fund for money we need for a downpayment on a house in 2-to-3 years?  This couple is considering Fidelity’s Short Term Treasury Bond Index Fund (FUMBX). 40:05 Why Japan Is So Successful at Returning Lost Property?  This is from one of Paul’s favorite weekly lists, "The Essential List" of BBC’s best articles from the week. CLICK HERE to read the article. 42:25 What market impact will It have if the U.S. produces at least a 3% growth in GDP? This will break a 13-year run of under 3% growth.  The longest previous streak was 4 years, 1930-1933. 46:10 How are young workers facing the need to adjust their future income expectations as under-funded pensions are forced to reduce the pension commitments? Paul comments on the documentary “American Factory,” where workers are coping with the reality they are going to have to accept half the income for the same job. 47:55 What are the benchmarks and realities of returns we think we make? (Paul ends this podcast on a lighter note, discussing the recent sale of the 1968 Ford Mustang Bullitt GT driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 movie “Bullitt.”  The car was originally purchased for $3,500 in 1974 and just sold for $3.4 million.) 52:20
1/30/202057 minutes, 2 seconds
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Paul answers questions from Bogleheads’ forum

Paul's recent podcast, The Real Secret to Long-Term Investment Success, elicited many comments and questions at the Bogleheads forum (you can read the threads of conversation here) and from regular Sound Investing listeners. The following are questions addressed on this podcast. What does Paul think of the factor funds at Vanguard? 4:10 What impact do momentum, quality, and volatility have on your recommendations? I suggest listeners check out Chris Pedersen's article and recommendations. 22:16 Where can I see long-term real-time results of the small-cap value asset class? 24:28 John Bogle said that there was no way for a small investor to invest in small-cap value in the 30s.  Where can a small investor capture the results of the past? 31:08 If I add small-cap value to my portfolio how much will my risk go up? 34:40 Is there a similar portfolio to the 4-fund combo that includes international developed markets and emerging markets? 40:54 What are the historical trading costs and inefficiencies when trading small-cap value stocks?  Are they taken into consideration in your studies? 42:52 Are there some "real life returns" that came close to what Paul claims the historical return has been? 46:35 “What has been your biggest mistake?” Rick Ferri asked Paul in an interview for an upcoming Bogleheads podcast (which will be replayed on Sound Investing). Paul speaks about one of the most common investor mistakes and mentions this video in his answer. 49:00 Will Paul likely go to his grave with small-cap value not living up to his expectations? Paul tells investor to be patient and they will receive the premium for investing in small-cap value. 56:53 90 Years of Evidence Shows Investor Patience Leads to Better Returns
1/22/20201 hour, 1 minute, 23 seconds
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The real secret to long-term investment success

What’s the toughest challenge for many investors? Staying the course for the long term. In this podcast, Paul discusses what he considers "the most useful information for investors.” While adding new insights to his Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy, Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation and Distributions in Retirement articles and podcasts, Paul explores nine decades of returns for six asset classes that academics have studied for over 50 years. It turns out that the end result of the returns has been exactly what the academics predicted, but the trip was not an easy one for investors. See and download the Tables referenced here. Paul hopes that in understanding this, all investors  — especially young investors — will see that the strategy with the most predictable returns is also the one with the best predictable returns, and maintain the focus and confidence to make it through the normal ups and downs of the market without giving up.
1/15/20201 hour, 6 minutes, 4 seconds
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Best in Class 2019 Returns plus 12 Q & A

Paul discusses the comparative returns from the Vanguard, DFA and Best-In-Class Portfolios for 2019. He also responds to 12 questions from listeners and readers of paulmerriman.com’s podcasts, articles, videos, books and recommendations for mutual funds, ETFs, 401k’s, the Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio and more.  To learn more about comparative returns, take a look at the 2-4 Fund Combo Returns 1928-2018. 12 Q&A 1.  How does the new Fidelity Small-Cap Value (FISVX) compare to our IJS and SLYV?  10:24 2.  What’s a good Vanguard Small-Cap Value Fund for a 66-year-old investor? 15:00 3.  Do you really recommend large and small-cap growth funds? 18:30 4.  Why are you so high on DFA funds? 21:00 5.  What’s your plan for helping kids with their IRAs? 26:44 6.  When will you be updating the S&P 500 Fine-Tuning Table? 31:49 7.  What does a long-time client of Paul’s old firm have to say? 33:50 8.  Where can an investor find historical data on stock and bond returns? 38:23 9.  What about supplying transcripts of your podcasts? 41:36 10.  Which is better: VTWW or FISVX small-cap value funds? 47:54 11.  How do Vanguard Value Index and Vanguard Equity Index funds compare? 50:54 12.  How much would $20,000 become in 45 years if I invest it in small-cap value? 53:04
1/8/20201 hour, 51 seconds
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Thoughts on 2020 and Q&A from Paul’s Listeners & Readers

In this podcast, Paul shares his thoughts for the coming year and answers investor questions. The S&P 500 has made 5% more than the portfolio you recommend.  Should I put it all in the S&P? 14:50 What do you think of the new Avantis ETFs?27:05 What do you think about structured notes?  In the answer I make reference to an article by Larry Swedroe:  31:34 https://alphaarchitect.com/2019/08/22/structured-notes-the-exploitation-of-retail-investors/ Can whole life insurance cash value be considered the same as bonds? 37:59 I am 27 with a wife and 2 year old daughter.  What should I do with $150,000? 41:45 I want to live on $2 million in retirement.  What dividend funds do you recommend? 48:16 What do I do if my 401k does not offer target date funds? 53:31 For a young investor do you prefer your portfolio 7 (well diversified) or portfolio 8 (all value).  58:33 This is the link to the recommended portfolios:  https://paulmerriman.com/best-in-class-recommended-portfolios-2019/
1/2/20201 hour, 5 minutes, 30 seconds
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Could this be the #1 reason to use index funds?

Sign up for our bimonthly newsletter at PaulMerriman.com and join 30,000 savvy investors who value free financial education. You can download a free pdf copy of We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement at https://paulmerriman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Were-Talking-Millions.pdf We ask that you share it with family and friends! Paul was planning a traditional "Happy Holidays!" podcast but woke up to information that set his hair on fire. While he has been writing articles about index funds for decades, the most read is “30 reasons to fall in love with index funds”.  While the most common advantages are low expenses, low turnover, massive diversification, Paul suggests the #1 reason may be staying as far away as you possibly can from commission-based sales people, con artists and other conflicts of interest typically not associated with index fund providers. Many do-it-yourself investors rely of services that have a large presence on the internet. A wonderful aspect of the internet is the ability to do meaningful due diligence on the reputations of those offering their "special ways" to perform better than index funds.  But can you depend on the information you find on the internet? Paul discusses the services of “search engine suppression consultants.”  These very clever people are wizards at making bad information disappear.  In fact, in many cases their fees are not earned until all the damaging information is totally eliminated.  He reads an example of one such article that claims to address the pros and cons of a well-known investment manager.  The pros are strong convincing points, while the cons are almost the mistakes that we would expect would be found in any firm. Paul also addresses the outrageous life-changing fees teachers are being charged and the work of an unscrupulous sales person who holds himself out as a friend of his community. The bottom line: None of these bad investments would be available through those who supply very low-cost index funds. The low costs eliminate almost any chance to misuse the investor.
12/26/201940 minutes, 54 seconds
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Strategy update: How to turn $3000 into $50 million

Four years ago we wrote one of our most popular articles, "How To Turn $3000 into $50 million."  This article, originally published at MarketWatch, has had over 500 comments and many of them were calling the strategy crazy.  In this podcast Paul offers at least 10 solid lessons about this strategy, as well as discussing the first 4 years of returns. Lessons include return numbers that will help investors understand the unexpected path they are likely to travel with this strategy. Investors may be surprised to find that some investors in the strategy have earned a 24% compound rate of return over the first 4 years. For more articles and podcasts on this strategy, click here.
12/18/201944 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Ultimate Buy & Hold vs. 2 Funds for Life

The most common question Paul receives these days is, "What is the best investment approach, The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold strategy or 2 Funds for Life?”  The potential long-term returns of these two strategies may be very similar but they will take very different paths.  The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold requires a lot more attention but offers substantially less risk than 2 Funds for Life.  2FFL is available in 2 levels of risk: one for investors who want to take a little additional risk early in the process and much more nearing retirement, and another who are comfortable with lots of risk early on and less at retirement.  This discussion concludes that the Ultimate Buy-and-Hold strategy is likely to be more appealing to those 50 and over, while 2FFL is more appealing to investors starting in their 20s and 30s. Access the Ultimate Buy-and-Hold strategy: https://paulmerriman.com/the-ultimate-buy-and-hold-strategy-2019/ Access the 2 Funds for Life strategy: https://paulmerriman.com/2-funds-for-life/ To stay apprised of Paul’s updates on these strategies and much more, subscribe to our free twice-a-month newsletter at https://paulmerriman.com/
12/11/201944 minutes, 49 seconds
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What are the odds we are going to have a bear market in the coming year?

In this interview with Ken Roberts, of Ken’s Bulls and Bears, the conversation covered many bear market-related topics such as: How big a loss should an investor expect to suffer? What should investors do to prepare for a significant decline? What should investors do to prepare for a significant decline? How have you prepared your own portfolio? Is market timing a smart way to manage the risk of a bear market? You may also want to read Paul’s recent MarketWatch article, 8 Steps You Can Take Now to Prepare for a Bear Market If you enjoy Paul’s podcasts, visit his website for free articles, recommendations for mutual funds, ETFs, 401Ks, two funds for life strategies, videos, free books and more: PaulMerriman.com
12/4/201942 minutes, 9 seconds
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20 Steps to Double Your Income During Your Retirement

This podcast is adapted from Financial Fitness After 50, created for PBS as part of a contributors’ package of DVDs, CDs and book in 2012. To watch the video, rather than listen to the podcast, click here. Paul also recommends reading the recent MarketWatch article, written with Rich Buck, on 10 Ways to Make Your Retirement Savings Go Further. The following is the list of the rest of the DVDs in the contributors’ package: 10 Investment Guarantees Every Investor Should Know 15 Risks of Managing Your Money 20 Money Losing Myths How to Avoid the 20 Most Common Investment Mistakes Retirees Make
11/27/201942 minutes, 5 seconds
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Why doesn’t Vanguard add more small-cap value to its TDFs?… and 13 more Q&A

Paul addresses 14 questions from listeners and readers, but first he speaks to an interesting case of an investor who has greater trust in a bar of gold than a government bond-based Vanguard fund.  Where are your Fine Tuning Tables for 2019? 9:33  Where can I get a better rate of return in my checking account? 11:20  Does …
11/20/20191 hour, 12 minutes, 40 seconds
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Is it time to add small cap and value to your portfolio?

This recent Marketwatch article, “This strategy beats a total stock market fund and gives you more diversification,” attracted almost 85,000 readers in its first week, so Paul decided to address some topics and questions submitted by readers of the article. These include: The use of individual stocks vs. mutual funds or ETFs The risk of small-cap value compared …
11/13/201949 minutes, 32 seconds
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How to invest in a bear market

Paul shares bear market observations and advice from Sir John Templeton, Warren Buffet and Peter Lynch, as well as offering his own ideas. He starts the podcast by reading an article by Jason Zweig, “Everything You Know About the Crash Is Wrong”.  Jason discusses a period when investors would buy funds at 150% to 200% more than their net asset …
11/6/201957 minutes, 59 seconds
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Lessons from teaching teachers, FIRE students and independent investors

Listen in as Paul shares insights from a special week of presentations to three very different groups interested in sound investing.  On Wednesday, he addressed high school financial literacy teachers in Washington state.  Thursday he spoke with young FIRE investors at a meeting of Choose FI Orlando, Florida.  And on Saturday, also in Orlando, he was joined by Chris Pedersen to present “Two Funds …
10/30/201950 minutes, 36 seconds
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When should you fire an advisor?  Plus, who to trust and how much is enough?

In this podcast, Paul addresses four different but related issues regarding the management of your investments.  When should you fire an advisor?  Paul discusses the ethics and competence an advisor and others must have. Ken Fisher’s recent problems have raised another requirement one could expect from an advisor. This could be very important to listeners who are about to …
10/23/201957 minutes, 2 seconds
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Which funds are best in a bear market: passively or actively-managed funds?

In this podcast Paul addresses questions from his investor listeners on managing risk, pensions, early retirement and more in the current market. Topic 1:  Napkin Finance has produced a terrific graphic that compares 5 different types of experts who can help you manage your money.  Unfortunately, they forgot to include free services like ours or newsletters that …
10/16/201959 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why not own a growth index fund instead of the S&P 500?

The podcast addresses five different topics from our readers and listeners. It starts with a discussion of the likely future returns of growth vs. value. I read a short blog from Seth Godin, titled “Getting to the truth”: Your anecdote isn’t true. I know it happened. I know that your experience, your feelings, your outcomes are …
10/9/201953 minutes, 18 seconds
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Facts and fictions of small-cap-value returns – Part II

In last week’s podcast, I responded to some recent controversies about small-cap-value returns. I examined and shared my findings of a study that looked at the history of returns for many of the popular asset classes: S&P 500, Total Market Index, Large-Cap Value, Small-Cap Blend, Small-Cap Value, U.S. Long-Term Bonds, U.S. Treasury Bills and Inflation. …
10/2/201937 minutes, 26 seconds
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Facts and fictions of small-cap-value returns Part 1

Some controversy and concern seems to have risen about small-cap-value returns. While on vacation in Europe recently, I used the early morning hours to complete a study examining the history of returns for many of the popular asset classes: S&P 500, Total Market Index, Large Cap Value, Small Cap Blend, Small Cap Value, U.S. Long Term Bonds, U.S. Treasury Bills …
9/25/201938 minutes
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Financial Independence Retire Early (Part 2)

In this sequel to Part 1, Paul and Ed Fulbright of Fulbright & Fulbright, CPA, PA, continue their conversation about the growing interest in the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) Movement on Ed’s weekly educational radio program, Mastering Your Money. Paul talks about his experience with FIRE, including the recent movie, “Playing With Fire”, his (first) …
9/18/201928 minutes, 25 seconds
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Financial Independence Retire Early (Part 1)

Financial Independence Retire Early (Part 1) Paul joins Ed Fulbright of Fulbright & Fulbright, CPA, PA, on his weekly educational radio program, Mastering Your Money, to discuss the FIRE Movement.  F.I.R.E. is an acronym for Financial Independence Retire Early. It’s a growing movement of people who are practicing FIRE principles — high savings rates, frugal living, and low-cost index funds — with the expectation of …
9/11/201928 minutes, 25 seconds
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Target Date Funds: America’s #1 Retirement Investment

This podcast is the audio-only version of the video, Target Date Funds: America’s #1 Retirement Investment, in which Paul illuminates why Target Date Funds are America’s best retirement investment, and how to maximize that investment with his 2-Funds-For-Life Strategy. While this strategy is ideal for young and first-time investors, it can be effectively used by investors at any stage who want to …
9/4/201946 minutes, 57 seconds
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Are These Two Funds the Only Ones You Need for Life?

In this interview — with Joe Andersen, CFP and “Big Al Clopine, CPA of Pure Financial Advisors, Inc. on their podcast, “Your Money Your Wealth” — Paul makes the case that owning just two funds for life is a “home-run” investing strategy for some investors. Plus, the hosts answer your money questions: how should teachers, and others without Social Security or pension, save for retirement? …
8/28/201921 minutes, 12 seconds
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How to avoid the big mistakes pre-retirees make

How to avoid the big mistakes pre-retirees make Paul addresses the huge decisions facing investors in the final push to meet their retirement goals, about 10 years before retirement. Cautioning against the tendency to jump from one strategy to another or be swayed by Wall Street, Paul presents 12 points for creating a solid long-term investment strategy before you …
8/21/201924 minutes, 44 seconds
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Talking Real Money

Paul joins old friend and Vestory advisor, Tom Cock, on Tom’s Seattle radio show, “Talking Real Money”, which begins with addressing the need for emergency money. In answering call-in questions, they discuss the major decision of when to start taking Social Security, annuities, FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), how often to rebalance a Buy-and-Hold portfolio at M1 Finance, possible …
8/14/201934 minutes, 26 seconds
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Understanding the 2 Funds for Life strategy

In October 2018, Paul and Chris Pedersen recorded a video that offers a new and significant advantage to standard Target Date Funds. Following the release of the YouTube video, “2 Funds for Life — A simple strategy to maximize your retirement investments,” Paul responded to many questions and decided to use this podcast to expand his answers to several of …
8/7/201949 minutes, 54 seconds
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21 things mutual funds won’t tell you

Are you aware of the many ways that mutual funds can legally and cleverly mislead investors?  An investor should be able to expect the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but, in reality, mutual funds are marketed putting the best foot forward, like almost every other highly-profitable product. In this podcast, produced for the PBS Special, “Financial …
8/6/201929 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is dollar cost averaging the best approach? And what’s the future of small-cap value index funds?

In a recent article and podcast on diversification, Paul noted that dollar cost averaging can be a form of timing diversification. It ensures that an investor will not put all his/her money in at the top of a market. It also ensures “picking up more shares when prices are lower and fewer shares when prices are higher.” Paul suggested that …
7/31/201956 minutes, 18 seconds
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7 Q&A’s on Expected Risk and Return in Today’s Market

Paul addresses each of these questions which reflect some aspect of investor’s concerns related to risks and returns. How can people invest in a system that is destined to collapse under our massive national debt? What average yearly return do you expect for your different stock/bond Best-In-Class portfolios over the next 5 to 10 years? What do you expect …
7/24/201942 minutes, 52 seconds
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20 things you should know about diversification

Before discussing diversification, which is always about risk management, Paul Merriman presents the returns of the Best-In Class ETF portfolio  The goal of that portfolio was to recreate the DFA portfolio Paul holds in his own account. For the first half of 2019, the advantage goes to the B-I-C ETFs. Way to go Chris Pedersen!  Regarding diversification, Paul …
7/17/201955 minutes, 33 seconds
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Tax rates, presidents, record economic growth

Paul Merriman answers questions about a wide variety of investor concerns: profitable focus funds, using a pension as a substitute for bonds, moving DFA funds to Vanguard, the impact of higher taxes on the market, performance of major asset classes besides the S&P 500, defensive investment strategies for a bear market, popular sector funds, the impact of saving …
7/10/201958 minutes, 3 seconds
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Making the best of your financial future

In this lively interview with Ken Roberts, of Ken’s Bulls and Bears, Paul and Ken discuss a range of important investor topics for every stage of life, including Millennials on “FIRE”,  Best-in-Class ETFs, maximizing returns while minimizing risk, and retirement distributions. Comparing the use of fixed and variable distributions in retirement The FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early) How …
7/3/201945 minutes, 34 seconds
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How is the stock market doing? (First half of 2019)

Why is it that what seems like a great year so far would have been fairly normal in past decades? 6:03 Paul discusses why it’s different now.  He also looks at how poorly the experts have misjudged the bond market this year, and answers the following questions from his readers and listeners: Why should I invest …
6/26/201944 minutes, 14 seconds
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Is the value premium dead? And 9 more answers to investors’ questions

These timely questions were posed by investors following Paul’s recent presentation to the AAII Los Angeles Chapter. The first question is the most often asked over the past year.  See this table to compare the returns of some of the asset classes Paul discusses. 1.  Is the value premium dead? 2:15 2.  Should investors fear …
6/19/201954 minutes, 58 seconds
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Flexible distributions in retirement: The ultimate strategy

Do you want to minimize your risk of running out of money in retirement, while maximizing your distributions? In this podcast, Paul compares the risks and returns of fixed and flexible distribution strategies using the S&P 500.  He discusses why the flexible may be the greatest financial luxury one can have in retirement. To better understand …
6/11/201925 minutes, 32 seconds
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Explaining the Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio

This recent interview with Jonathan and Brad of ChooseFi.com is both an excellent starting point for new investors and a refresher for seasoned investors as Paul discusses how to know who to trust, the role emotions play in making sound decisions and staying the course, the importance of diversification and choosing asset classes, and the pros and cons …
6/5/20191 hour, 14 minutes, 59 seconds
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10 things you need to know about fixed distributions- 2019 update

For more than 15 years Paul has updated his discussion of fixed and variable distribution strategies. In this podcast he discusses the pros and cons of fixed distributions so investors understand: The importance of the data used to represent returns The huge differences between 3, 4, 5 and 6 percent distributions The importance of inflation Why 3% is …
5/29/201943 minutes, 7 seconds
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Answers to 12 Questions from AAII investors

Paul addresses questions raised during his recent presentations to more than 200 AAII members in Madison and Milwaukee. Also, he recounts an exciting meeting with 2 young women (ages 13 and 15) and their parents who announced the start of their daughters’ lifetime investment journey modeled after How To Turn $3000 Into $50 …
5/22/20191 hour, 3 minutes, 41 seconds
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Performance: What should you plan on for the future?

Whether you are saving for retirement or already retired, establishing a reasonable expectation for future returns is one of the most difficult planning decisions.  What can investors learn from the past?  Are the next 10 years likely to be similar to the last 10, 20, 50 or 80 years?  Can we count on the value and …
5/14/201929 minutes, 13 seconds
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The biggest risk of all for investors plus 12 Q&A’s

Do you know that only 31% of Americans believe they will have enough money to enjoy a comfortable life in retirement?  Or how about this: 60% of Millennials report having made an emotional decision they later regretted to sell in a 401k plan?  This sort of emotional decision can be the very thing keeping people from having the money they …
5/8/201951 minutes, 24 seconds
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Why investing has never been easier or more profitable

Investing has never been easier or more likely to help investors achieve their long-term returns.  When I started investing, most of an investor’s gains were lost to high loads to buy funds, high expenses to manage funds, high expenses to trade stocks, and the belief that smart people could beat the market. Of course, beside …
5/1/201935 minutes, 4 seconds
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Top 10 Truth Tellers: George Sisti

Over the next nine months Paul plans to introduce podcast listeners to the work of his “Top 10 Truth Tellers.”  These are writers and/or podcasters who produce educational materials that Paul believes will help investors improve their long-term results. In this first of 10 introductions, Paul reads an article and “in the news” items that hopefully …
4/24/201933 minutes, 4 seconds
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Q&A for DIY and Professionally-Advised Investors

In this podcast, Paul addresses these questions from his listeners and readers. As investors age, how do they make the conversion from equities to fixed income? How does a saver make the transition to being a spender? Where can I find a professional, who bills by the hour, to help me evaluate my cost of living …
4/17/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 34 seconds
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How realistic are your expectations for future returns?

One of the biggest challenges for investors is developing reasonable expectations for future returns. Do you expect hot markets to continue to produce market-beating returns? Do you expect big bear markets to continue to rob investors of their life savings? If so, you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment. In this podcast Paul looks …
4/10/201940 minutes, 1 second
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What every investor should learn from the Fine-Tuning Tables

Along with this year’s updated Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation article and updated Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation Table for the S&P 500,  Paul shares this “best lessons” podcast. He walks investors through the best and worst of returns, along with the corresponding worst losses over 6 different time frames. The case is clear: one decade does …
4/2/201929 minutes, 22 seconds
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Is it time for Bitcoin, value and small caps to be the big winners?

Just because an investment doesn’t work out as well as expected does not mean the investment decision was a mistake.  In this podcast Paul discusses the recent failure of evidence-based investing.  He questions the assumptions investors make about investments that have been successful over both short and long-term periods.  His comments are in response to …
3/27/201953 minutes, 33 seconds
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10 more things you need to know about the Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy

The annual Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Strategy article and podcast are among the most important pieces Paul and Rich produce (with a lot of help from Daryl Bahls in creating the updated tables). This podcast addresses topics not covered in the Marketwatch article.  Paul answers such questions as: Are returns reasonable? What is the impact of annual and monthly rebalancing? …
3/20/201959 minutes, 44 seconds
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Are you better off investing in bonds or stocks paying dividends?

1. If I need income from my investments, am I better off investing in stocks paying a good dividend rather than bonds? 1:45 2. Is a 60% stocks/40% bonds balanced fund better than a target date fund? 11:35 3. How does VBIAX (Vanguard Balanced Fund) compare to the 2 …
3/13/201949 minutes, 29 seconds
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Best-in-Class ETF Portfolio Recommendations: 2019 Update

In this special podcast Paul interviews Chris Pedersen about the 2019 changes to the Best-In-Class ETF Portfolio recommendations. This will be helpful to those who want to understand the details of how Chris made the decisions to select the best in each asset class, changing many from the previous year. The discussion includes comparing the …
3/6/201955 minutes, 8 seconds
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What successful investors know about performance in risky times

What information is really meaningful to be a successful investor, especially in light of conflicting, enticing and scary reports? In this podcast, Paul asks and explores the questions: Will a list of 10 likely catastrophic events be enough to keep you out of the market?  Will a newsletter, produced by an ethical organization, likely give …
2/27/201933 minutes, 23 seconds
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Paul’s best investment advice for first time investors

In this special podcast, Paul discusses his list of “A Dozen Million-Dollar Decisions.” This advice for college students was recorded this week for students at Western Washington University, Paul’s alma mater and where The Merriman Financial Education Foundation funds the development and presentation of Personal Investing 216, an accredited course since 2014. …
2/19/20191 hour, 38 minutes, 52 seconds
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The Most Important Investment Decision of Your Life

Or… Are you missing out on millions of dollars for your retirement? After deciding to save and invest, the most important investment decision of your life, in Paul’s opinion, is what this podcast addresses. Of the Millennials investing in 401k plans, nearly 25% are refusing to take the risk of investing in stocks (equities) and are …
2/13/201944 minutes, 10 seconds
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8 Q&A, from upcoming events and Millennial spending to investor recommendations

Paul addresses an array of topics and questions, including this year’s plans for the Merriman Financial Education Foundation, Millennial spending habits, best and worst of times in 10-year periods for the S&P 500 and small-cap value, market timing, and recommendations regarding risk assessment, 401k’s, index funds and owning small-cap-value funds in retirement. 1.  What are the 2019 …
2/6/20191 hour, 1 minute, 1 second
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Advice for new, mid-career and retired investors: 8 Q&A’s

Paul answers recent questions from readers and listeners: 9:29 1.  A young investor asks me to explain, how does compound interest work?  I referenced this article: Save $1,000 a year. Retire with millions 19:41 2.  Do you expect index funds to keep outperforming actively managed funds? 25:35 3. Most of your articles are focused on accumulators. …
1/30/20191 hour, 7 minutes, 12 seconds
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How John Bogle changed my life… and yours too!

With the passing of 89-year-old John Bogle, many writers who have covered Bogle’s work wrote thoughtfully about his life and the impact as the creator of the first index mutual fund.  For 10 years, Tom Cock, Don McDonald and I interviewed him annually on our “Sound Investing” radio show on KVI in Seattle Washington. It …
1/22/201944 minutes, 3 seconds
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What do you know about the past and future returns of your investments?

Paul analyzes the 20-year returns of 10 major equity- and fixed-income asset classes. What do we have to learn?  Returns can be totally unexpected but the relationship between asset classes remain the same as they have for almost 90 years. The table below allows investors to examine the year-by-year returns of large and small U.S. equity …
1/16/201942 minutes, 45 seconds
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Is it time to make changes to your portfolio? And 9 other Q&A’s.

1.Vanguard founder Jack Bogle says it’s time to play it safe. Should we be making changes to our portfolios or stay the course? :40 2. Did active managers beat passive funds in the recent selloff? 15:15 3. What are the relative risks and returns of the S&P 500 and small cap value index? 26:33 4. …
1/9/20191 hour, 6 minutes, 58 seconds
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Paul Merriman’s 2018 in Review

Not all of the numbers are in, but enough are to discuss the returns of 2018. Of course a single year is not indicative of much, but it is often a test of our commitment to Buy-and-Hold. In this podcast, Paul reviews the numbers for his favorite equity asset classes (big, small, value, growth, REITs, …
1/2/201942 minutes, 32 seconds
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How far will the market fall? and 6 more Q&A

Paul answers some recent questions from readers and listeners. How far is the market likely to fall? How has your market timing system worked in this market decline? Which is the better Vanguard large cap ETF: VTV or VONV? Jeffrey Gundlach says investors shouldn’t invest in index funds because they are hurting investing behavior. His …
12/26/201857 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Best Podcast of 2018: Mark Hulbert on “Lessons learned from 40 years of independently tracking investment advisers’ performance”

At the 2018 AAII National Conference, Paul presented key concepts from the Ultimate Buy and Hold strategy and premiered the Two Funds for Life strategy, and had the great pleasure of hearing a talk by Mark Hulbert, founder of the Hulbert Financial Digest and senior columnist for MarketWatch. Considering it was the best talk of 2018, Paul asked and was granted …
12/19/20181 hour, 13 minutes, 25 seconds