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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

SMI on the Radio: Investing via Investor-Friendly “Exchange-Traded Funds” (audio and transcript)

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are becoming increasingly popular with investors — and for good reason.

SMI executive editor Mark Biller explained the attraction of ETFs yesterday on Moody Radio's MoneyWise Live. Mark also answered caller questions.

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Building a “Bridge” to Your Social Security Retirement Benefits

If you want a steady stream of retirement income that's guaranteeed to last for the rest of your life, you have three basic options, according the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (there are other options, of course, but let's go with these):

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Now Available: Personal Portfolio Tracker & Fund Performance Rankings With Data Through 10-31-19

SMI's Personal Portfolio Tracker and monthly Fund Performance Rankings are now available with performance data updated through Oct. 31, 2019.

The Portfolio Tracker: The Tracker can personalize 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 and produce a concise report covering only the funds available in your plan(s). If you're new to the online Tracker, watch the introductory video.

We typically update the Personal Portfolio 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 downloadable 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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Money Roundup: New 401(k) Contribution Limit, the Spectrum of Wealth, and More

Here's the weekly Roundup — a day early this week becuase we'll be posting the monthly Tracker/FPR updates tomorrow. Enjoy!

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How I Saved $250 With One Phone Call

My monthly Internet bill arrived on Friday. It showed a price increase of another $4.00/month — the fourth increase in the past 26 months.

When the price went up a year ago, I contacted my ISP (Internet Service Provider) and asked for a better deal. "We can't give you a better price," I was told. "You're getting the best we have."

I was frustrated, and not really confident that I was being told the truth. But I opted to pay up.

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What’s Not to Like? As Commissions Drop to Zero, Already Low-Cost ETFs Become Even More Attractive

The cost of buying and selling exchange-traded funds has been falling for years. But, in October, brokerage powerhouse Charles Schwab “went nuclear” (in the language of one trade publication), eliminating ETF commissions entirely. Competitors TD Ameritrade, E-Trade and Fidelity followed suit.

Below is a primer on ETFs, highlighting their growing advantages, plus a few remaining disadvantages.

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0% Financing (Some Strings Attached)

With Black Friday rapidly approaching, get ready for ads touting “0% financing.” From furniture marts to electronics retailers to home-improvement stores, 0% financing is a sales technique that is a proven winner — for sellers. For buyers? Well, it depends.

Bank credit cards also offer 0% deals, both for new purchases and balance transfers. In most cases, however, 0% credit cards work in a different manner than 0% in-store promotions. So it’s important to understand what kind of 0% deal you’re being offered.

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Money Roundup: Investing Time in Your Money, the Yield Curve Un-inverts, and More

Here's our final-weekend-in-October Roundup! (Wow, where did the year go?)

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SMI on the Radio: What if You Could Time the Market Perfectly? (audio and transcript)

It's risky to try to time the market. And even you could do it perfectly (which you can't!) the upside isn't as great as you might think, as SMI executive editor Mark Biller explained yesterday 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.)

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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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