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Don’t Call Your Broker

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The market has been experiencing gut-wrenching volatility recently. Monday, Aug. 24 was a particularly unsettling day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost 1,089 points before rallying to close down 588. This kind of roller coaster ride creates understandable anxiety among investors. Should you sell and sit on the sidelines, waiting for the market to…

$50,000 (or More) May Be Yours for the Asking

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Investing is a unique business. After all, you wouldn’t think of buying any commercial item (like a car) without first negotiating for the lowest price. And few people would consider buying a product if they had no information about its price tag. Yet that is precisely what most investors do. They have no idea how…

The Secret to Investing in Volatile Times

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The financial media loves volatile markets. When the market drops, investors understandably become anxious. They have questions like: What is causing the decline? How low will the market fall? Should I sit on the sidelines until things “settle down”? Are there “defensive stocks” I should buy that will protect me during this period of uncertainty?…

The Media (Not the Market) Has Fallen to New Lows

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It has long been my view that much of the financial media serves as a shill for the securities industry. It stokes fear and anxiety in an effort to encourage investors to “do something” with their holdings. Activity means trading, and trading means higher profits for bloated brokerage firms. It’s really not more complicated than…

The Meritless Assault on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule

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The assault on the fiduciary rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has intensified. Republicans from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently asked Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to “immediately withdraw” the rule. Why? Because they believe it will “reduce investment options and increase costs for retirement savers.” The Financial Industry…

There’s Hope For 401(k) Participants

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It has been my long-held view that most 401(k) plans are a national disgrace. Most 401(k) plans are flawed Part of the problem is that the underlying concept behind how many 401(k) plans are administered is fatally flawed. They assume that employee plan participants are capable of managing their retirement assets, or even willing to…

DOL Opponents Are Motivated By Self-Interest

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The securities industry is all atwitter at the prospect of having to put the interests of retirement plan participants above its own. It’s marshaling its massive resources to fight a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that would require all advisors to be “fiduciaries” to the employees saving for retirement in these…

Congress Unites to Harm Investors

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Who said Congress is dysfunctional? When necessary, its members can come together quite seamlessly. Recently, a group of elected officials, one that crossed party lines, launched an effort with apparently one goal in mind. If you think I am referring to an issue like national security, you would be wrong. So what was this pressing…

Fiduciary Rule: The Real Agenda

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There’s a powerful agenda behind the opposition to the rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requiring that advisors to retirement plans be fiduciaries: The securities industry wants to preserve its ability to give conflicted advice. There’s a lot at stake. Background Information Fiduciaries are required to put the interests of their clients…

The Battle Over the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Gets Dirty

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The battle over a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, which would require retirement plan advisors to be fiduciaries to plan participants, has descended to a new low. The securities industry lobby has been earning its keep, persuading some members of Congress that putting the interest of plan participants first is actually a…

Questions That Need Answers

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It’s no wonder that you are confused. The financial media inundates investors every day with a barrage of irrelevant — and often misleading — information. You might think every conceivable question about investing has been fully explored by now and that the answers to the majority of inquiries would be obvious. Not true. Here are…

The Phony Fiduciary ‘Debate’

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The battle over the legal standard to which advisors should be held when giving investment advice has two fronts: Advice given by advisors to retirement plans and advice given by advisors to everyone else, including individual investors. The position of the Department of Labor and the SEC The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has already…

This Test Proves You’re Overconfident

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Much has been written about the perils of overconfidence in investing. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reported one compelling study in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow. CFOs are overconfident You might think CFOs of large corporations would have valuable insight about something as basic as projecting the returns of the S&P 500 index. The data,…

My Interview with Jack Bogle

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Last week, I met Vanguard founder Jack Bogle in his office for a video interview. I had asked him if he would be willing to endorse a crowdfunding campaign to help underwrite the production costs of Trade-Up. Trade-Up is the financial television show Wall Street doesn’t want to air. It will give investors responsible, academically…

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