Home > About SMI > Meet The Team > Austin Pryor

Austin Pryor

Austin Pryor

Founder and Publisher

Austin leads SMI, the newsletter business he founded in 1990. With more than 38 years of experience in the investment business, Austin provides overall direction to the organization while continuing to author many articles for the SMI newsletter and web site. Before founding SMI, Austin started and ran his own investment management firm, which ranked in the top 5% of all investment advisers in the U.S. during its first five years of operations. 

He is the author of the Sound Mind Investing Handbook, A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing Your Money from a Biblical Perspective, which enjoys the endorsements of numerous respected Christian teachers and has sold more than 100,000 copies.

Austin was once on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ, working directly with founder Bill Bright, helping to develop the ministry’s approach to working with high-capacity donors. He was a founding board member of Pro Athletes Outreach, a Christian training ministry to pro athletes and coaches of many sports, and The Christian Embassy, an outreach ministry to government and diplomatic officials in Washington, D.C.

Austin received an undergraduate degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Kentucky. He and his wife, Susie, have three adult sons and 10 grandchildren, and live in Louisville, Ky.

Most Recent Articles

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 5-31-18

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings (FPR) report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through May 31, 2018. (The Tracker and FPR typically are updated between the 10th-14th, but we've been able to move things up a bit this month.)

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The result is a monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings available via his or her 401k (or other retirement plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1,600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

To receive an email when the FPR and Tracker updates go live each month, visit the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there, go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update."

Continue Reading

Will Your Retirement Nest Egg Last? How to Use MoneyGuidePro® to Find Out

It’s the paramount question of every retiree: Will my lifetime savings be enough to last through the years ahead?
 
That question is easier to answer than ever before, with help from MoneyGuidePro®, the web-based financial-planning software available to SMI premium-level members.
Continue Reading

An Upgrading Overview: Easy as 1-2-3

Why Upgrade?

SMI offers two primary investing strategies for “basic” members. They are different in philosophy, the amount of attention they require, and the rate of return expected from each. Our preferred investing strategy is called Fund Upgrading, and is based on the idea that if you are willing to regularly monitor your mutual-fund holdings and replace laggards periodically, you can improve your returns. While Upgrading is relatively low-maintenance, it does require you to check your fund holdings each month and replace funds occasionally. If you don’t wish to do this yourself, a professionally-managed version of Upgrading is available.

SMI also offers an investing strategy based on index funds called Just-the-Basics (JtB). JtB requires attention only once per year. The returns expected from JtB are lower over time than what we expect (and have received) from Upgrading. JtB makes the most sense for those in 401(k) plans that lack a sufficient number of quality fund options to make successful Upgrading within the plan possible. Here are the funds and percentage allocations we recommend for our Just-the-Basics indexing strategy.

Continue Reading

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 4-30-18

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings (FPR) report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through April 30, 2018. (The Tracker and FPR typically are updated between the 10th-14th of the month, depending on when the weekend falls.)

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The result is a monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings available via his or her 401k (or other retirement plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1,600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

To receive an email when the FPR and Tracker updates go live each month, visit the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there, go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update."

Continue Reading

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 3-31-18

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings (FPR) report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through March 31, 2018. (The Tracker and FPR typically are updated monthly between the 10th-14th of the month, depending on when the weekend falls.)

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The result is a monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings available via his or her 401k (or other retirement plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1,600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

To receive an email each month when the FPR and Tracker updates go live, go to the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there, go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update."

Continue Reading

Higher Returns With Less Risk, Re-Examined

Over the past 25 years, SMI has developed multiple investing strategies, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and attractive track record. An investor can use any of these strategies independently, of course, but combining them in specific ways may provide additional benefits.
 
Here, we explain how to design portfolios built for maximum return while greatly minimizing risk. We also explore how the 50-40-10 combination is affected by our recent revisions to Fund Upgrading (Upgrading 2.0).
Continue Reading

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 2-28-18

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings (FPR) report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through 2/28/2018. The Tracker and FPR typically are updated monthly between the 10th-14th of the month, depending on when the weekend falls.

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The result is a monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings available via his or her 401k (or other retirement plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1,600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

To receive an email each month when the FPR and Tracker updates go live, go to the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there, go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update."

Continue Reading

SMI Private Client: Professional Management of Your Personal Portfolio Is Now Available

Have you ever wished you could keep up with the SMI strategies without having to devote as much time to it? Despite the newsletter’s best efforts to keep the SMI strategies as simple as possible, the reality is that, if you desire to manage a portfolio of multiple strategies, as many SMI readers do these days, it takes considerable time and effort.

If you’ve ever thought it would be nice to have your portfolio managed for you, the new “Private Client” offering from SMI Advisory may be of interest. (SMI Advisory Services is an affiliated, but separate, company from the SMI newsletter and website.)

One of the most important aspects of investing is knowing yourself. This applies in numerous ways — we often discuss it in terms of not exceeding your true emotional risk tolerance. But it can also apply in terms of realizing that managing your investments isn’t what you want to spend your time on! Many readers would find it liberating to be free of the ongoing duties and responsibility of implementing their portfolio strategies. That option has just become available.

Continue Reading

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 1-31-18

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through 1/31/2018. The Tracker and FPR are typically updated monthly between the 10th-14th of the month, depending on when the weekend falls.

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to easily personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The end result is a personalized monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings of their 401k (or other plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

You can sign up to receive an email each month when the data goes live. Just go to the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there you can go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update" to receive the monthly email notification.

Continue Reading

Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker and Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 12-31-17

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings report have been updated to reflect mutual-fund performance data current through 12/31/2017. The Tracker and FPR are typically updated monthly between the 10th-14th of the month, depending on when the weekend falls.

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker is our most popular web tool. It allows SMI members to easily personalize our mutual-fund rankings to their specific situation. The end result is a personalized monthly report showing only the funds each member is interested in, ranked by momentum and sorted according to SMI's risk categories (or without the categories, if a member prefers). This allows a member to take the 20,000+ funds SMI tracks every month and instantly transform those rankings into a concise report covering only the specific offerings of their 401k (or other plan).

The Fund Performance Rankings report contains performance data and momentum rankings on more than 1600 no-load funds and ETFs. The funds included have been selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability. You'll find help in understanding how to use the FPR (page 2), an overview of the 70+ risk categories that help you compare "apples to apples" (page 3), and explanations for the various data-column headings (page 4).

You can sign up to receive an email each month when the data goes live. Just go to the SMI home page and click on "My Account" under Quick Links. From there you can go to the "Email Subscriptions" page and check the box next to "FPR/Tracker Update" to receive the monthly email notification.

Continue Reading