Jack Bogle – In Memoriam

If there is one super hero in my field, it was Jack Bogle. In 1974, Mr. Bogle presented a revolutionary idea to the board of his former employer Wellington. He suggested that their mutual funds should be owned by the investors of the fund and not have outside owners seeking profits. Wellington rejected his proposal,…

My Controversial Op-Ed in the New York Times

Last fall, an editor of the Times Sunday Review, Talmon Smith, contacted me about writing an essay for the paper. He read my post harping on the lack of women in the financial advice industry and asked me to take a second crack at the topic. When I regained consciousness, I said yes. I mean, the…

Health Insurance, An Untold Story

I recently read about a family earning too much to qualify for health insurance subsidies through the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare) but too little to afford the premiums. While it seems absurd that a family earning $113,000/year cannot afford health insurance, this is the plight for millions of Americans who do not have…

New Year, New Limits

In 2019, the IRS will allow you to save more for retirement than in prior years. Contribution limits for IRA accounts are increasing for the first time since 2013.  While 401(k) contributions increased $500 last year, they held steady at $18,000 between 2015-2017. The base contribution limits increased, but the catch-up provisions for those age…

Happy 2019!

It is 100% true that the years fly by faster with time, and 2018 was no exception. I could never have imagined on New Year’s Day 2018, that I would be writing this blog by late July, as an advisor at Ritholtz Wealth Management. The first six months of the Belle Curve were amazing. Thank…

My Habits for Reducing Environmental Impact

The recent National Climate Assessment Report is sobering. Let us hope these calculations are wrong, and the near future on Earth is not a dire as predicted. We follow an evidence-based approach to investing, and one cannot read this report and not find evidence that things are headed in the wrong direction. Some of our…

The Price of Admission

There’s no other way to say it, this market is brutal. The S&P500 Index is down 9.61% year to date and has declined more than 17% since October. Small caps stocks are in a bear market, down more than 24% in the fourth quarter. Bonds haven’t helped. The US aggregate index is down 0.45% for…

The Best Books I Read in 2018

I am a notoriously slow reader compared to my colleagues, but I managed to sneak in a few great books this year. There so many books on my reading list that it feels I may never get to them all. I’m often reading something that’s not current. Maybe that makes my list a little different…

Cracks in the System

Charles Ellis wrote an article in the Financial Analysts Journal called,  “Our #1 Challenge: Retirement Insecurity”. The retirement crisis isn’t creeping up on us, it’s here. Americans do not have enough money saved for retirement, and they can’t all work until they die. Social Security does not cover the basics. Pensions are gone, and less than…

Annuities are Sold, Not Bought

I spoke to a reporter earlier this week who asked, “What’s the number one reason people buy annuities?” My answer, “because someone sold it to them”. When you slap a 7%-12% sales commission on any financial product, a hungry salesforce is going to find a way to sell it. Nobody wakes up in the morning…