Joseph Slife has been a news writer for the Associated Press, a college instructor, and a radio host.
From 1990 to 2003, he was a writer/researcher for Larry Burkett at Christian Financial Concepts and Crown Financial Ministries, and he served as the executive producer for CFC/Crown Radio from 2000-2005.
He first joined SMI's writing team in 2008, before going on to serve nearly six years as senior producer/co-host for WORLD Radio. He returned to Sound Mind Investing in 2017.
A college education doesn't come cheap, and a lot of the expense these days is funded by debt that can take a decade or more to pay off.
Is going to college really worth it?
I had the opportunity to discuss that topic earlier this week on Moody Radio's MoneyWise Live. To listen, click the play button below — or, if you prefer, scroll down for a transcript. (For more radio appearances by members of the SMI team, visit our Resources page.)
SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and our monthly Fund Performance Rankings report are now available with mutual fund performance data through May 31, 2019.
The Portfolio Tracker: The online Tracker personalizes SMI's fund rankings to your specific situation, making it easier to apply our momentum-based Fund Upgrading strategy to your 401(k), 403(b), or other retirement plan.
Using the Tracker, you can filter the performance data of 20,000+ funds we follow to produce a concise report covering only the funds available in your plan(s).
If you're new to the Tracker, watch this introductory video:
Typically, we update the Portfolio Tracker with month-end data from the fund research firm Morningstar on the 8th of the new month (except when the 8th falls on a weekend, as is the case this month). Morningstar's database is subject to revisions during the first few days of the new month. By the 8th, the performance numbers are reliable.
Fund Performance Rankings (FPR): The FPR report is a PDF file containing month-end performance data — along with SMI's momentum rankings — for more than 1,600 no-load traditional funds and ETFs.
The funds included in the FPR are selected on the basis of asset size, brand familiarity, and brokerage availability.
Check page 2 to learn how to use the FPR report. Page 3 includes an overview of the 70+ risk categories that will help you compare "apples to apples." Page 4 has explanations of the various data-column headings.
Here is our weekly Roundup of worthwhile reads on investing, personal finance, and stewardship — served up a day early this week. (Tomorrow, we'll post our end-of-month updates for SMI premium-level members who are following the DAA and Sector Rotation strategies.)
Index companies to feel the chill of fund managers' price war (Financial Times via Twitter). Index funds are driving down costs (and cutting expense ratios) by creating their own benchmarks, rather than continuing to license indexes from S&P Dow Jones, MSCI and FTSE Russell. (Note: Article is behind paywall unless you use the Times' Twitter link.)
During the second half of the 20th century, going to college became the assumed “next step” for students graduating from high school. A bachelor’s degree is now routinely viewed as a prerequisite to a successful career.
But some influential educators, economists, and researchers — along with some parents and students — are re-thinking the “college for all” expectation. The reassessment is driven in large part by the exploding cost and related debt associated with earning a degree.
As we explained in our April 2019 article, Making Sense of Your IRA Options, Roth IRAs offer a compelling tax benefit: withdrawals are tax-free in retirement. Further, Roth IRAs have no mandatory withdrawal requirement, which creates greater flexibility in managing retirement assets.
Unfortunately, if you’re a high-income earner and would like to contribute to a Roth IRA, a quick review of the IRS rules suggests you are out of luck. For single filers, modified adjusted gross income must be under $137,000 to be eligible. For married couples filing jointly, the income cutoff is $203,000. But there are ways around those income-level restrictions, as we’ll explain shortly.
Have you ever heard of Rogation Days? I hadn't until recently, even though observing such days is an ancient Christian custom dating back to at least the 5th century. (The word "rogation" comes from a Latin verb, rogare, which means "to ask.")
Here's a quick overview of Rogation Days from An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church: