Take-aways from a tumultuous year

"One of the big lessons from 2020 is that risk is always present, even if we don’t always feel it. Things were smooth sailing until they weren’t. The other big lesson is that survival is the name of the game. It’s not about maximizing returns. It’s not about beating the market. It’s about staying the course. And you can only stay the course if you have a course to stay on.”

– Michael Batnick, in a 3/18/21 post on his blog, The Irrelevant Investor, about what investors should take away from last year’s experience in the markets. That includes the importance of having a strategy you can live with in good times and bad. Read more at bit.ly/3salGvh.

Are inflation concerns overblown?

"Forecasters have been over-estimating inflation by more than a little and hyper-inflation by more than a lot." 

– Barry Ritholtz, in a 2/11/21 post on his blog, The Big Picture. He makes the case for a post-Covid “transitory bout of modest inflation,” but nothing worse. Read more at bit.ly/3lCkr5F.

Deciding on a “decumulation” strategy

“Figuring out how you’ll balance sustainability with livability is a key first step when thinking about withdrawal rates.”

– Christine Benz, Morningstar director of personal finance, in a 3/10/21 article about the challenges retirees face when deciding how much money to take from their investment portfolios each year. She weighed the pros and cons of three strategies: fixed dollar amount, fixed percentage, and variable. Read more at bit.ly/3cR17O0.

The many temptations of money

“I have rarely misused money because I was ignorant or without a budget. No, I dishonored the Lord with my wallet because, at that particular moment, I didn’t care what God or anyone else said. I wanted what I wanted, and if I had the resources to chase it, I did.”

– Author Paul David Tripp, on the last of four dangers about money—it can “finance your allegiance to the kingdom of self”—that he wrote about in a recent post on Art Rainer’s blog. Read more at bit.ly/3sfwdoX.

What’s in YOUR portfolio?

“55%.” That’s how many U.S. investors age 45 or older say they don’t know how their portfolio is allocated across stocks, bonds, and other asset classes, according to a survey by Schroder’s, an investment manager.

– Read more at bit.ly/2Pl9CIQ.

An eagerness for riches

“…much of the current action is highly reminiscent of the 1990s tech bubble, when a trade at nearly any price into almost any company with a high-tech name seemed sure to pay off handsomely… right up until most of them no longer did.”

– Chartered Financial Analyst Steve Lowrie, in a 3/23/21 article on Financial Independence Hub about SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies), NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and other “exciting ‘new’ trading tactics for seizing riches from exotic new markets.” Read more at bit.ly/3d3fuPe.