101 Investing Insights From the Experts

Edited by Jimmy Atkinson, Andy Hagans, and Michael Johnston. Published January 26, 2016.

The editorial team at Fund Reference surveyed 31 investing experts in search of the best tips for investors. Presented here are our favorite 101 insights, across a variety of topics. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned expert investor, there are likely dozens of valuable tips in here for you.

Table of Contents

Financial Advice for Beginners

Our experts were asked, “What financial advice would you give to someone just starting his/her career?”

  1. Start. Don’t put off saving/investing/paying down debt until you feel more comfortable financially. The earlier you start moving toward your long-term financial goals, even if you’re taking very small steps, the better.
    Bethany Muensterman, CFA, Payne Wealth Partners
  2. Invest heavily in yourself and your career at this stage: it is the most significant asset you will ever have. Automate every aspect of your finances, from bill payments to monthly savings and investments, so that you can focus on your career. Stay out of debt and plan on reaching your first million in net worth by the time you reach age 40 (or approximately 8x your annual income).
    Kenneth Klabunde, Precedent Asset Management
  3. For those literally just starting and getting their household set up, you may never have as clean a slate as you do right now. Be careful and deliberate about what expenses you commit to — rent, car etc. Make saving a high priority habit immediately. If you aren’t eligible for your 401(k) for the first twelve months of employment, save anyway into another account. It is more important that you develop a savings discipline than learn the ins and outs of investing.
    Dan Moisand, Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo
  4. Start saving as soon as possible. At the very least, be sure to save enough to an employer provided retirement plan (e.g. 401k) to receive the full employer matching contribution. Early on, be more concerned with the accumulation of funds than the allocation of the funds. In other words, when just beginning you can afford to take more risks, so be aggressive.
    Justin Rush, JGR Financial Solutions
  5. Be aggressive! Young investors have the greatest of all possible allies: time. If they can get over the mental hurdles (and this is a big “if”), there’s an opportunity to put your money to work in high risk asset classes, let it do its thing for a few decades, and grow into a much larger investment.
    Michael Johnston, ETF Reference

  1. Stocks with long histories of dividend payments are (more often than not) good long-term investments to include in an investor’s equity allocation. And though there are some drawbacks to it, the Dividend Aristocrats list is a good place to start. The dividends these stocks pay usually are indicators of the companies’ financial soundness and when reinvested can make for a huge impact on your total return over the long term.
    Jimmy Atkinson, Dividend Reference
  2. Do not focus specifically on money, per se, but focus on the drivers of wealth. Your time is your most valuable resource early in your career, and how you allocate it will have a greater impact on your ability to grow wealth than anything else. This doesn’t mean just working more hours than everyone around you. That may pay short-term dividends, but eventually you will plateau.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  3. Focus on building your intellectual capital to achieve mastery of one or two subjects you are passionate about.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  4. Focus on building your social capital to surround yourself with passionate, intelligent people that will support you through thick and thin.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  5. Focus on building resiliency in your financial life, not just dollars. This means maintaining some flexibility and resiliency rather than immediately buying a new car and house, or focusing entirely on paying off debt or maximizing a 401k.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  6. And focus on investing in your human capital to ensure you are in good physical and mental health. If you focus on these areas, money will find you, follow you, and you will have the foundation to build real, sustainable wealth over a lifetime.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  7. You are either a net saver, or a net borrower. Net savers win. If you want to be a winner, you must pay yourself first. Even fifty bucks a month is a great start.
    Andy Hagans, Fund Reference

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Catching up on Retirement Planning

Our experts were asked, “What advice would you give to someone who is behind on retirement planning — or perhaps hasn’t even started yet?”

  1. It’s never too late, but discipline and sacrifice are in order.
    Randy Gardner, JD, LLM, MBA, CPA, CFP, Estate Plan, Inc.
  2. Make freeing up your cash flow a top priority. You can cut cost, pay off debt or make more. Then save/invest as much as possible to catch up. This will have two beneficial outcomes. You will have more money for retirement and your expenses will be less easing the pressure on your retirement savings.
    David Hunter, Horizons Wealth Management
  3. Set aside an hour each week to make improvements. Start with some automatic savings, for example $50 per paycheck into your 401(k).
    Catherine Hawley, CFP
  4. Everyone, no matter how busy they are, can find some time that they are spending on something less important, and spend a little of it planning for their financial future. Using just a few hours during each of several months, one can put together a long-term strategy, and once set up, can maintain it spending just as few as several hours every year.
    Tom Madell, Mutual Fund Research Newsletter
  5. See where you can cut monthly expenses to start saving for retirement. Maybe it’s one more meal at home instead of at a restaurant; that could be $50 a month. No one will fund your retirement except yourself.
    Lesley Kilcullin, MBA, CFP, Kilcullin Financial Life Planning
  6. If you are “behind” in building a retirement portfolio, the best advice is to not worry about water over the dam, but to cease and desist your procrastination immediately. Keep the “7-11” rule in mind: every $100 you invest now at 7% return will be worth $200 in 11 yrs, $400 in 22 yrs and $800 in 33 yrs. Making a monthly contribution to a brokerage account or dividend reinvestment program and paying yourself first will overcome the ills of the past.
    George C. Fisher, Guiding Mast Investments

  1. Strive to max out your 401k, employer retirement plan, or IRA. It’s never too late to start saving.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  2. You must be as tax and fee efficient as possible! Save the right dollars into the right types of tax-preferenced accounts (401k/roth/taxable/insurance based) while making sure you have an emergency fund set aside so you don’t end up selling at losses for the unexpected.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity
  3. Plan to work longer or part time during retirement. Forget the urban legend of the age 65 retirement. 70 is the new 65.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  4. Stay healthy! Focusing on your health could be as important as focusing on your savings. Healthcare is extremely expensive and a significant part of a retiree’s budget. It is inflating at over twice the rate of regular inflation. By staying healthy you will reduce your healthcare expenses during retirement.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  5. Make savings as automatic as possible. Set it and forget it. Get together with your financial advisor and come up with a plan that works for you. Set goals and challenge yourself to achieve them. This is where having an advisor that is a good coach becomes critical. Retirement planning isn’t rocket science but it does require discipline. Having somebody to keep you honest and motivate you can go a long way towards achieving that goal.
    Timothy Brennan, Ariadne Wealth Advisors
  6. Stop living in the moment and start budgeting for your future. The earlier you start, the easier it is.
    Erik Klumpp, Chessie Advisors
  7. Don’t try to catch up by chasing returns. The more aggressive, elaborate, or expensive a strategy you are peddled to get ahead, the more likely you are to fall further behind.
    Grigori Kapoustin, AlphaBetaWorks
  8. Don’t stress over it, but create a plan. With kids leaving the home, college paid for, and the mortgage almost paid off, many couples find that they have a surprising amount of surplus cash flow as the near retirement. While it is better to start early, we find older savers can make up a lot of lost ground when they are making more money, have lower expenses, and are highly motivated to save.
    James Kinney, Financial Pathways
  9. Use low cost index and passive investment funds and ETFs. Active funds cost you a lot more. Save the fees, take the market returns and move on.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity
  10. The best time to invest was when you first started working. The second best is today.
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner
  11. Get started now. All we have is the present, which makes this the perfect time to contribute to your retirement account. Think of it as an investment in your future. The more you can save, the more your future self will appreciate it.
    Eric Roberge, Beyond Your Hammock
  12. Save early and save often; there is no time like the present to start saving. You might have to reduce your current lifestyle to save more aggressively or alter your retirement objectives to get back on track. The adage “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now” should be thoughtfully considered.
    Cameron Penney, Penney Financial
  13. Don’t make any more mistakes! You’re late to the prom already, don’t make it worse! Have a plan and stick with it! Don’t watch the markets, and if you do you should get EXCITED when they drop because you’re buying more shares cheaper.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity

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Often Overlooked by Investors

Our experts were asked to fill in the blank: “Too many investors overlook ____ when managing their portfolio.”

  1. Their unique tolerance for risk. Ultimately, not comparing their tolerance for risk versus the portfolio’s actual risk is what leads investors to make irrational decisions (e.g. sell everything when the market goes down).
    Justin Rush, JGR Financial Solutions
  2. The importance of disciplined rebalancing.
    Bethany Muensterman, CFA, Payne Wealth Partners
  3. That they control what news they intake. If watching the news makes them anxious or too focused on the near term, remember the media is out for ratings and riling you up on purpose. Resist the temptation to become a speculator or turn the TV off.
    Dan Moisand, Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo
  4. Reality. Your level of comfort with your portfolio is a function of your expectations and reality. Markets are wild and volatile. They have never promised to be anything else. However, they have handsomely rewarded investors over long periods of time for putting up with the market’s volatile temperament. You can manage your level of exposure to the market, but you aren’t going to change it. If you expect your investments to provide something they can’t, you are going to have an unsuccessful investment experience.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  5. Consistency. It is incredibly tempting to jump from one investment strategy to the next, and also incredibly destructive to your long-term success. The greatest investors in history all achieved that status with resolute conviction and consistency in their investment approach.
    Kenneth Klabunde, Precedent Asset Management
  6. The power of compounding returns. Regular contributions to your investment account can have huge impacts. $1,000 per month, saved for 40 years amounts to $480,000. But compound each month’s $1,000 savings at a 6 percent annual return rate, and it balloons to nearly $2 million. This is why I love DRIPs. Your dividend income is automatically reinvested, effectively dollar cost averaging into the market over time.
    Jimmy Atkinson, Dividend Reference
  7. Fees. Here’s how to out-perform 90% of other investors. Step 1, put together a very standard (boring) asset allocation that fits your time horizon. Step 2, ruthlessly minimize fees. Step 3, never sell anything. There… you’re in the top 10% of investors (maybe in the top 2%). It’s simple, but not easy.
    Andy Hagans, Fund Reference
  8. Just how tough it is to watch the market tank. You can recite all the Jack Bogle and Warren Buffett quotes you want, but they won’t take the sting out of a big drop in markets. It stinks to see your portfolio shrink, and most investors ultimately “cry uncle.” Buying and holding is much easier said than done.
    Michael Johnston, ETF Reference

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When the Market Turns South

Our experts were asked, “What advice do you give to investors who start to panic whenever the market has a big drop?”

  1. Turn off the TV. We are worrying about this for you, so you don’t have to.
    Tom Batterman, Financial Fiduciaries
  2. It is said that in markets, it’s best to be greedy when others are not. So when markets drop big time, it is of course time to panic. Panic not to get out of markets but to buy more if you are a long term investor. Big market falls provide great opportunities to buy shares of good companies at cheaper prices. Don’t let this opportunity to pass you. Take benefit of such falls and make some big bold moves.
    Dev Ashish, Stable Investor

  1. If your portfolio is diversified then increase your contributions. Shares are at a discount and there’s nothing better than getting a deal.
    Michael Solari, Solari Financial Planning
  2. One of my favorite sayings is, “You make most of your money during bear markets, you just don’t know it at the time.” Although I’m not sure who to credit it to, I’ve certainly found it to be true.
    Robert Stanley, R.W. Stanley Independent Financial Advisor
  3. First of all ignore the dramatic headlines. Words like plunge and crash are not comforting, but are frequently used. Secondly, check your allocation. Your macro allocation of stocks to bonds will control your total portfolio risk more than anything else. If you have too many stocks/equities for your personal comfort level your portfolio may drop more than you’re able to calmly handle. If that is the case you may want to make adjustments. Lastly, if you’ve done the prior two recommendation successfully, go fishing, go for a hike, do something other then look at the dramatic headlines that seem to hit us from all angles this day and age, it will most likely calm you to make it through the inevitable rocky times that are associated with investing.
    John Kvale, J.K. Financial
  4. A big drop does not mean sell. It may signal a buying opportunity, but selling on a big drop can be detrimental to reaching your future goals.
    Brent Dickerson, CFP, Trinity Wealth Management
  5. When are you going to buy back in? Emotionally, we want to sell after the market is already down significantly. Then, we are not comfortable buying until things have calmed down and the market is substantially up. That is not a good combo.
    Daniel Frankel, WealthCollab
  6. If you’re feeling fear or panic to threatening news, it’s okay to feel that way; just don’t let it overrule your common sense. The best cure for panic is a healthy dose of planning. If you already have an investment plan in place, stick with it — depend on it — until the panic has passed. If you’ve not yet got a long-term plan, use your nervous energy to consult a professional. There’s never a bad time to align your investing with your personal financial goals.
    Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, SageBroadview
  7. I remember all the dumb predictions and decisions I’ve made over the years. And then I ask myself “what are the odds that I will accurately time the market bottom and come out of this ahead?” And then I move on with my day.
    Michael Johnston, ETF Reference

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On Robo-Advisors

Our experts were asked to fill in the blank: “Robo-advisors are _____.”

  1. Can be a helpful complement to your over all financial plan.
    Catherine Hawley, CFP
  2. A good place to start but most dilemmas require a more detailed look.
    Randy Gardner, JD, LLM, MBA, CPA, CFP, Estate Plan, Inc.
  3. Useful. We feel this opens professional management to all classes of investors.
    David Hunter, Horizons Wealth Management
  4. Robo-advisors can’t take better care of your money than you can. Warren Buffett said it best: “You don’t need to be a rocket scientist. Investing is not a game where the guy with the 160 IQ beats the guy with 130 IQ.”
    George C. Fisher, Guiding Mast Investments
  5. A great addition to the investment landscape. I love the fact that there are more easily accessible vehicles in the marketplace that enable low cost investing. Robos make a cumbersome task easier.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  6. Game changers. They are forcing human advisors to justify their value. I think that is a very good thing!
    Timothy Brennan, Ariadne Wealth Advisors
  7. Great for those just starting out saving for retirement and needing an automated way to invest.
    Erik Klumpp, Chessie Advisors

  1. Simply a financial advisor’s back office without the front office. Most robo advisors and conventional advisors rely on the same basic allocation rules.
    Grigori Kapoustin, AlphaBetaWorks
  2. Fine for those with smaller investment accounts and who do not want personal attention. But a robot isn’t going to be able to help you do personalized tax planning, or calm you down when markets are tanking, or devise tax efficient allocation strategies, or look for creative ways of managing risk I frankly see little difference between a robo advisor and a target date retirement fund. They do the same thing.
    James Kinney, Financial Pathways
  3. Kind of worthless! If you’re a small investor you can choose from any number of passively invested (index style) funds and ETF’s so you don’t need a robo-advisor (balanced fund index solutions are even cheaper than most robo-advisors). If your situation is somewhat more complicated you want a real advisor who can quarterback your tax losses, integrate with your held away assets (like a 401k), and incorporate your tax rate into a fully developed plan for you. A good advisor adds more value than their fees in many ways.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity
  4. Algorithms. When it hits the fan, would they beg you in person not to sell like I did with some clients in late 2008?
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner
  5. An effective way to manage investments. By choosing an investment strategy and setting it on autopilot, you free yourself up to focus on other important things in life.
    Eric Roberge, Beyond Your Hammock
  6. A great investment option for individuals in the accumulation phase, especially younger investors.
    Cameron Penney, Penney Financial
  7. Not quite ready for primetime. But getting there! Eventually — possibly in the next decade — I suspect that AI/robo-advisors will be far more advanced than they are now, and will have the ability to handle complex portfolio management and personalized client counseling that today still requires a human touch. Until then, most investors who employ robo-advisors would likely be better off just investing in passive index funds on their own, though I do see value for those who lack financial discipline.
    Jimmy Atkinson, Dividend Reference

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Investor Beware

Our experts were asked, “One thing that makes my blood boil is _____.”

  1. People who call themselves “advisors” who are really nothing more than product pushers masquerading as someone who is providing “advice.” Funny how the “advice” always is to purchase something from which the “advisor” profits. Shameful.
    Tom Batterman, Financial Fiduciaries
  2. 3C: When ‘Cash’ is combined with ‘Courage’ in ‘Crisis’, one can make truckloads of money in stock markets. Though ‘Crisis’ in markets is an uncontrollable factor, what bothers me is when investors miss out on other the other two, i.e. Cash & Courage, most required in market falls.
    Dev Ashish, Stable Investor
  3. When a young couple gets sold an annuity or permanent life insurance product. You lose so much flexibility in these products and there’s so much that can happen from now until retirement.
    Michael Solari, Solari Financial Planning
  4. Salesmen posing as trusted, knowable advisors. They tend to know little more than which product pays them the highest fee.
    Robert Stanley, R.W. Stanley Independend Financial Advisor
  5. Dramatic headlines. It’s not drop, it’s crash or plunge, not even a pull back. Not overvalued, but a huge bubble ready to burst! We get hit with so much breaking news associated with very dramatic headlines that many times are just not the case, that may be creating unnecessary angst towards investing.
    John Kvale, J.K. Financial
  6. Devaluing of my professional experience and advice by those with little, or none, of either.
    Brent Dickerson, CFP, Trinity Wealth Management
  7. Transparency surrounding costs. It is so difficult for investors to understand how much they are actually paying to invest their money. Minimizing cost is one of the simplest ways to increase your overall return. Most investors don’t even know what expense ratios, 12b-1 fees, trading costs, tax costs, etc. are.
    Daniel Frankel, WealthCollab
  8. One thing that makes my blood boil is seeing financial representatives “talk the talk” without walking the walk. You know the kind. Their marketing implies that they care. But the fine print reveals that they are prioritizing their own self-interests and profit motives ahead of their clients’ well-being. They convolute what should be dead-simple principles. Doing right by your clients, reducing conflicts of interest, clearly disclosing those that remain. These are not complicated things — at least they shouldn’t be.
    Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, SageBroadview
  9. Almost every “menu” of investment options available in 401(k) plans. This corner of the market has, for the most part, managed to hold off the low cost revolution. And it has happened at the expense of everyday investors who would be horrified if they realized how much they pay in fees over the course of their careers.
    Michael Johnston, ETF Reference

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Parting Advice: Even More Essential Wisdom From the Experts

  1. Your triple-net portfolio returns (net of fees, taxes and inflation) may be in the neighborhood of 3% annual in the next decade or two. So “1% in fees” isn’t just “1%”… 1% in annual fees may *subtract over one-third* of your future triple-net returns. Minimize fees as if they are your portfolio’s main enemy… because they are.
    Andy Hagans, Fund Reference
  2. Stay calm, determine your allocation, trust it, and don’t check too frequently. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
    John Kvale, J.K. Financial
  3. Don’t underestimate inflation or the dangers of keeping too much money in cash. Even at a low inflation rate of 2% the purchasing power of $100,000 will erode 33% to $67,000 over 20 years. There is risk in the actions we don’t take as well as in the actions we do take.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  4. It’s more important to save than it is selecting the right investments. The power of time is the most important factor for growth in your portfolio.
    Michael Solari, Solari Financial Planning
  5. Don’t get too wrapped up in details of investing that it prohibits you from investing at all. Sometimes buying a low cost balanced fund has its benefits (vs doing nothing), especially if you don’t have the time or inclination to monitor it.
    Erik Klumpp, Chessie Advisors
  6. The more (you invest), the earlier, the better.
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner
  7. Stay the course (low cost, well diversified index based portfolio) or you will likely pay the consequences (under perform the markets by a very significant margin).
    Robert Stanley, R.W. Stanley Independen Financial Advisor
  8. If you don’t have time and skill to analyse businesses properly, don’t get into direct equity investing. Go for ETFs or well diversified mutual funds.
    Dev Ashish, Stable Investor
  9. Holding cash for long-term goals can significantly damage your future buying power.
    Cameron Penney, Penney Financial

  1. Find a strategy that you can live with the risks in good times or bad. It has to be a long-term strategy that eliminates timing from your concerns.
    David Hunter, Horizons Wealth Management
  2. Proper investing is a lot more complicated and involved than those in the business of pushing products to unsophisticated consumers would have you believe. Hire a pure fiduciary to represent your interests in this process.
    Tom Batterman, Financial Fiduciaries
  3. Leave it to the professionals, please.
    Brent Dickerson, CFP, Trinity Wealth Management
  4. If you are looking for a financial advisor, look for a CFP who is a Fee Only advisor first.
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner
  5. Like cost, behavior is another area investor’s control. Read a book, or even an article, on the key behavioral biases that researchers have found keep us from making rational financial decisions. Then take a good look in the mirror…
    Daniel Frankel, WealthCollab
  6. Don’t get caught up in the day to day or even month to month movements. Check in on your portfolio once or twice a year. Anything more than that may create unnecessary anxiety.
    Justin Rush, JGR Financial Solutions
  7. Partner with an adviser sooner rather than later. Avoid brokers and look for a fee-only adviser, even if it’s a robo-adviser. This partnership should help you be a more informed and hopefully help you avoid “learning the hard way”.
    Bethany Muensterman, CFA, Payne Wealth Partners
  8. With every raise you get, increase your contributions to savings.
    Lesley Kilcullin, MBA, CFP, Kilcullin Financial Life Planning
  9. Don’t over-complicate your investment strategy or expect immediate gains. Look for a low cost diversified strategy that you understand and stick with it for the long term.
    Eric Roberge, Beyond Your Hammock
  10. For my clients, I recommend buy and hold, not timing, for 80% of their portfolios. My clients seem to want 20% they can follow hunches with. For the 80% of the portfolio, I tell my clients who are just starting to go to the public library, obtain the most current Value Line Summary and Index from the reference desk, make a copy of the “1” rated Conservative Stocks page (page 30), and pick ten stocks, preferably dividend paying, with below average price/earnings ratios, from ten different industries. Buying these stocks through a discount broker provides all the diversity they need and avoids the hidden mutual fund fees and disclosed money management fees.
    Randy Gardner, JD, LLM, MBA, CPA, CFP, Estate Plan, Inc.
  11. Diversify and then diversify again. Overall sector exposure is more important than individual selections. Don’t forget income investments as an asset class and remember Warren Buffet sits on twice as much cash as his businesses need, and this excess cash allows him to strike when the opportunity is ripe. Don’t ignore Income and Cash as worthwhile investment strategies.
    George C. Fisher, Guiding Mast Investments
  12. Be mindful of fees! Fees can eat up your returns. A 1% on $100,000 over 30 years is about $135,000! There are plenty of low cost mutual funds and ETFs out there.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  13. If you seek help from a financial advisor make sure that the advisor is a fiduciary to you. Ask them to sign the Fiduciary Oath.
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  14. Investing isn’t about comparing yourself to a benchmark or trying to beat the market. Creating your investment plan is a very personal experience. Everybody’s situation is different. Be diligent when you develop your plan and lazy when executing it. Short-term market action is noisy. Don’t let it derail your long-term plan. Understand your plan and your investments and you can sleep well knowing that you’re on the right path.
    Timothy Brennan, Ariadne Wealth Advisors
  15. Most investors, not matter how skilled, have a specific area of competence. When they wander off outside of this core, results suffer.
    Grigori Kapoustin, AlphaBetaWorks
  16. Investing is not a game. Avoid a casino mentality of trying to beat the market, or your neighbors. Investors who keep it simple and keep fees low by using low cost index funds or simple allocation and target date funds will likely do as well as (probably better than) their neighbor who spends hours trying to pick the “next big thing” stock. Not only that, but the performance will come with greater certainty, less risk, and they will find they have more time for what really matters in life (which is NOT picking stocks!)
    James Kinney, Financial Pathways
  17. Get a great planner and work closely with them in all of your financial aspects. If they’re not adding value — FIRE THEM! And if they try to pitch you stuff you don’t understand, run for the hills! Great investing doesn’t have to be complex to be effective, but it takes someone who can be sharp on all the angles.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity
  18. If you have the time and the interest, you can probably manage your investments better than a pro can. How? Once your investments are set up, only add to them when their performance is down at least 10% from their last successive high, and to ensure gains, sell off a portion of them after their performance is up at least 25% from their last successive low.
    Tom Madell, Mutual Fund Research Newsletter
  19. If you do not understand the basic risks of a particular investment, you should not invest in it.
    Cameron Penney, Penney Financial
  20. Market timing — anticipating when the markets will go up or down — is an exercise in futility and frustration.
    Cameron Penney, Penney Financial
  21. Avoid gurus.
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner

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Bonus Section: Recommended Reading

  • In Times of Market Panic. John Huber’s Base Hit Investing.
    Dev Ashish, Stable Investor
  • 28 Tools and Resources to Help You Make the Most of Your Money in 2016. Mom and Dad Money.
    Michael Solari, Solari Financial Planning
  • Countless posts found here: Bogleheads.org
    Robert Stanley, R.W. Stanley Independent Financial Advisor
  • Ray Dalio’s How the Economic Machine Works. Both a YouTube video and extended article.
    John Kvale, J.K. Financial
  • Basically everything from Bob Veres!
    Brent Dickerson, CFP, Trinity Wealth Management
  • Michael Kitces, XY Planning Network Podcast recently started and is great, Bason Asset Management Blog.
    Daniel Frankel, WealthCollab
  • I enjoyed this recent post by Seth Godin, Deconstructing urgent vs. important. Godin reflected on how urgent news in your life or the popular press is rarely important in any lasting way. “Important means: long-term, foundational, coherent, in the interest of many, strategic, efficient, positive … If you take care of important things, the urgent things don’t show up as often. The opposite is never true.” Words to live — and invest — by.
    Sheri Iannetta Cupo, CFP, SageBroadview

  • All of the blog posts on kitces.com contain great content, especially (and perhaps more so) for advisors.
    Justin Rush, JGR Financial Solutions
  • Six Rules to Disciplined Investing. Forbes (Contributor: Rick Ferri).
    Bethany Muensterman, CFA, Payne Wealth Partners
  • This was never easy, by Morgan Housel.
    Joe Pitzl, Pitzl Financial
  • Why Drudge Report Remains the Best-Designed News Website of All Time By Thomas McGee
    Andy Hagans, Fund Reference
  • The Most Important Thing, by Howard Marks
    Kenneth Klabunde, Precedent Asset Management
  • This is a great post of life insurance (from 2014 but solid): How Much Life Insurance Do You Need? I love MMM on debt (it is from 2012 but it is a classic): News Flash: Your Debt is an Emergency!!
    Catherine Hawley, CFP
  • Policy-Based Financial Planning as Decision Architecture by Dave Yeske and Elissa Buie in the December 2014 Journal of Financial Planning
    Randy Gardner, JD, LLM, MBA, CPA, CFP, Estate Plan, Inc.
  • Read speeches and opinions of Dennis Lockhart, President of the Atlanta Federal Reserve. Their GDPNow estimates of current economic conditions is insightful as is Lockhart’s assessment of the overall economy.
    George C. Fisher, Guiding Mast Investments
  • Hard to pick just one. I love anything written by Michael Kitces or Wade Pfau. I eat their stuff up!
    Ann Minnium CFP RICP, Concierge Financial Planning
  • I love reading articles about how behavioral issues impact investing. I usually come across a couple of these a month. The latest one came from Vanguard. The article highlights how investors who take a short-term view and chase returns end up hurting themselves in the long-run. The Returns Roller Coaster.
    Timothy Brennan, Ariadne Wealth Advisors
  • Finding Smart Beta in the Factor Zoo, by Jason Hsu and Vitali Kalesnik, Research Affiliates.
    Grigori Kapoustin, AlphaBetaWorks
  • Capturing An Excess Return Premium For Illiquidity Is A Privilege Not A Right!, by Michael Kitces. This is written for advisors, and maybe the topic is a little over the heads of the average investor, but insights he offers regarding REITs, Variable Annuities, and other illiquid investments are enlightening.
    James Kinney, Financial Pathways
  • Michael Kitces blog is by far the best for educated planners and investors.
    Greg Phelps, Finacuity
  • You probably know to ask yourself, “What do I want?” Here’s a way better question. By Mark Manson, Quartz. I read this to both my kids and hope its message got through.
    George Papadopoulos, The Fee Only Planner
  • Market Timing Is Back in the Hunt for Investors by Clifford Asness, Antti Ilmanen, Thomas Maloney.
    Tom Madell, Mutual Fund Research Newsletter

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