What I Believe

In order to get a better idea of what I’m all about, and assuming you’ve already checked out the FAQ, here’s where I stand on many key investing topics. I might have also snuck one other topic in there.

To challenge myself (and to avoid putting you to sleep), I’ve addressed each topic in ten words or less.

Active/Passive: Invest passively and pay less to get more. Good deal.

Annuities: Useful for the risk intolerant but always opaque and expensive.

Debt: Sometimes a necessary evil, extinguish as early as reasonable.

Economics/Economic Forecasts: Rarely accurate, typically biased, fun graphs at least.

Emergency Accounts: Absolutely necessary, don’t leave home without one.

Fees: Major drag on returns, rarely justified, must minimize.

Fiduciary Duty: Would you trust someone who’s not required to serve YOU?

Financial Plans: Need to be simple, actionable, readable. Unfortunately, usually >50 pages.

Hedge Funds: Misunderstood, but not suitable for the average investor.

Inflation: Unrelenting, often underestimated, must always be considered.

Investor Psychology: Unbelievably important. Emotion must be minimized.

Gold/Commodities: Gold a relic, commodities provide little else but potential diversification.

Life Insurance: Sold by a broker, therefore requires heavy scrutiny. Still – important.

Mutual Funds: Usually vehicle for brokers/managers to cash in – be careful.

(Sorry, brokers)

Politics: Market likes DC away from headlines, so I do too.

Risk: Not volatility – the probability of incurring a loss.

Seattle Mariners: It takes more than ten words to describe the pain.

Taxes: Aim to minimize, but not at any cost.

Is there anything else you think I should address? Let me know! Or check out my blog for even more detail.