Taking the bad with the good

“From Sept. 12, 2008 to yesterday, the S&P 500 is up +185.9%, or +11.08% annualized. Your money nearly tripled in 10 years. [But] from Sept. 12, 2008 to March 9, 2009, the S&P 500 lost -45.15%. You lost almost half your money in less than six months. You can’t have one without the other.”

– Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Zweig in a 9/12/18 tweet.

Minding the gap

“Could the deductible be $200, $1,000 or $2,000? Who’s to say what the government will do?”

– Adam Wasmund, who advises health insurance brokers, quoted in a 9/19/18 Reuters article about upcoming changes to Medigap policies. The popular Plan F will soon no longer be available to new enrollees, which Wasmund believes will lead to less favorable terms for current users of the plan. Read more

Investor, know thyself

“A reasonable level of anxiety is a sign that you take investing seriously and are on guard against complacency and overconfidence. Meanwhile, too much anxiety is a sign that you’re investing in a way that just doesn’t suit you.”

– Daniel Grioli, writing on his Market Fox blog on 9/19/18 on the importance of factoring your risk tolerance into your investment decisions. Read more

A bond is not a bond is not a bond

“... not all bonds are created equal. Their diversification potential occupies a spectrum from great to lousy. The best diversifiers are the most boring.”

– Ben Johnson, Morningstar’s director of global exchange-traded fund research, writing on 9/19/18. What you want, he wrote, are bonds that don’t correlate very well with the return of stocks. Treasury bonds fit that definition. High-yield bonds, not so much. Read more

Regrets, we’ve had a few

“When it comes to money, people usually have a lot of regrets. Some of the most common ones are spending when they should be saving, not looking for a less-expensive alternative when it might have taken only a few extra minutes and, unfortunately, not having saved enough money for retirement when it’s almost too late. Americans tend to wish they had saved more for their future [In a Charles Schwab survey of 1,000 401(k) plan participants] about two-thirds said they wish they had saved more of the money they spent on the nonnecessities, such as dining out, expensive clothing, new cars and vacations. They did not, however, regret spending on a home, wedding or an education for themselves or children.”

– Alessandra Malito in a 9/17/18 MarketWatch article on the need to figure out how much you should save for retirement, and the need to act on that information. Read more

The best way for retirees to give?

“What if I told you that you could give to charity using pre-tax dollars, even if you don’t itemize your deductions, and even if you don’t want to hassle with a Donor Advised Fund, and reduce the taxes due on your Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) at the same time? Impossible you say? Nope. All perfectly legal, perfectly reasonable, and commonly done.”

– Jim Dahle, writing on his blog, The White Coat Investor, about Qualified Charitable Distributions. Read more