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Joseph Slife

Joseph Slife

Writer/researcher

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.

Joseph and his wife Joye have three grown sons.

Most Recent Articles

Thrifty Couples Are the Happiest

While thumbing through some old blog posts today, I found this one I wrote a decade ago. It definitely has information worth repeating!


Research from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia shows that "consumer debt...plays a powerful role in eroding the quality of married life."

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Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker & Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 9-30-19

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and the monthly Fund Performance Rankings report are now available with performance data updated through Sept. 30, 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 the introductory video.

We typically update the Tracker with the latest month-end data from the research firm Morningstar on the 8th of the new month (except when the 8th falls on a weekend). We wait until at least the 8th because Morningstar's database is subject to revisions during the first few days of the month. By the 8th, the previous month's performance numbers are reliable.

Fund Performance Rankings (FPR): The FPR report is a 39-page PDF file containing the latest 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.

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In the Battle of the Brokers, the Gloves Are Off

Two titans of the brokerage business climbed into the ring this week for another round of the investing industry's long-standing price fight — this time with the gloves off.

On Monday, Charles Schwab announced it would eliminate commissions for all U.S. stock and ETF trades. Just two years ago, Schwab was charging $8.95 per trade. The company then lowered its fee to $6.95, and then cut it again — to $4.95. As of next week, the stock/ETF trading cost for Schwab customers will go to zero.

Only a few hours after the Schwab announcement, TD Ameritrade matched the Schwab pricing policy exactly, cutting its commissions to zero (from $6.95) for all U.S. stock trades and ETFs. TDA's new pricing takes effect tomorrow.

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DAA and Investing in Real Estate

As conditions warrant, SMI’s Dynamic Asset Allocation strategy (DAA) looks beyond stocks and bonds to other asset classes, including real estate. Which raises the question: Just what are we investing in when “real estate” is one of the recommended classes? Here’s an explanation.

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Putting the Brakes on Car-Buying Costs

Ah, that new car smell! Ugh, that new car price.

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2019 average selling price for a new car is $37,185. No wonder nearly 9 out of 10 new vehicles are financed (the average amount borrowed is $32,590). The length of a new-car loan? The average is just shy of six years.

Not surprisingly, having a monthly car payment is one of the most common roadblocks to achieving financial stability and progress. Here are nine keys to steering clear of car debt and controlling your overall auto expenses.

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Money Roundup: Why the Fed Lowered Rates, Be on Your Best Behavior, and More

Here's our summer-is-gone, autumn-is-at-hand roundup of helpful reads on investing, personal finance, and stewardship. Enjoy!

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SMI on the Radio: The Pros and Cons of Target-Date Funds (audio and transcript)

SMI executive editor Mark Biller joined MoneyWise Live hosts Rob West and Steve Moore yesterday to explain the basics of "target-date funds," which are available via many workplace-based retirement plans.

Although such funds may seem to be a "one-size-fits-all" option, that is not really the case.

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.)

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Are Value Stocks Staging a Comeback?

As we have noted in previous articles and posts, growth stocks (on the whole) have have been outperforming value stocks for more than a decade.

(Definitions of "growth" and "value" are imprecise but, generally speaking, growth stocks are those that seem poised for onging earnings growth so investors are willing to pay higher prices for them, while value stocks are those that may be underpriced and therefore stand to benefit when the market ultimately corrects the price, which may take many years.)

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Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker & Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 8-31-19

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and the monthly Fund Performance Rankings report are now available with performance data updated through Aug. 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 the introductory video.

We typically update the Tracker with the latest 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 it did this month). We wait until at least the 8th because Morningstar's database is subject to revisions during the first few days of the month. By the 8th, the previous month's performance numbers are reliable.

Fund Performance Rankings (FPR): The FPR report is a 39-page PDF file containing the latest 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.

Continue Reading