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Help Getting Started

Getting Started FAQ

If you’re new to Sound Mind Investing and are not yet a member, start by reading the content in our Investing Basics tab. The 9 principles you'll read about there will give you a good feel for how we approach investing. If you are a member, once you sign in to the site with your member credentials, you’ll see a Start Here tab. That’ll walk you through the process of choosing the strategy that’s right for you and implementing it in pursuit of your goals.

For those just starting out, Just the Basics is our easiest core strategy. However, our Dynamic Asset Allocation (DAA) core strategy is currently our preferred strategy. Access to DAA requires a premium membership, but we believe you’ll find its unique set of benefits well worth the slightly higher membership cost. DAA helps you share in some of a bull market’s gains, while minimizing or even preventing losses during bear markets. DAA is a defensive, low-volatility strategy that nonetheless has generated impressive back-tested results, demonstrating the power of “winning by not losing.” To understand more about DAA, read the cover article we wrote when we introduced the strategy, Dynamic Asset Allocation: An Investing Strategy for the Risk-Averse.

If you’d like to be a bit more aggressive, consider blending your use of DAA with our Fund Upgrading core strategy. For a look at some very compelling research into this approach, read Higher Returns With Less Risk: The Best Combinations of SMI’s Most Popular Strategies

More information about each SMI strategy can be found on the Choose Your Strategy page.

Our top recommended broker is Fidelity. Its fund lineup and pricing provide the greatest flexibility to utilize SMI’s strategies at the lowest cost. Schwab is a solid alternative, so if you already have an account there, you may not need to change. E-Trade, TD Ameritrade and Vanguard are generally not good options for use with SMI's Fund Upgrading strategy. However, they may be used successfully with some of our other strategies, which is why it's helpful to know which SMI strategy (or strategies) you're interested in using before choosing a broker.

If you are an SMI member, you’ll find more information on our Choose Your Broker (BASIC) and Choose Your Broker (PREMIUM) pages.

Minimum investment amounts may, indeed, be a factor for those using our Fund Upgrading and Sector Rotation strategies. However, because Dynamic Asset Allocation and Just-the-Basics utilize exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are priced on a per-share basis, it’s possible to use either of these strategies with a relatively small amount of money.

The short answer is “yes,” but how you go about it depends on how many investment choices your plan offers. If your plan offers many investment choices, ideally by giving you access to what’s usually referred to as a “brokerage window” (in essence, access to most, if not all, of the investment choices available at a broker such as Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard, or another broker), then you are able to use any SMI strategy.

If your plan offers a more limited set of investment choices, we recommend using our Personal Portfolio Tracker to manage your fund choices. Read Using the SMI Personal Portfolio Tracker to Manage Your Retirement Plan.

On the homepage of the site (top right side of the page), you’ll see a Recent Articles section. It shows the last several articles posted to the site, and has a Read More Articles link at the bottom of that little column. If you want to see everything we’ve written in the order it was written, you can go to that Recent Articles section and quickly see all the posts in order. You can also sign up for email updates from within your My Account page. These are available either daily or weekly and can be customized by the topics and strategies of particular interest to you.

Help with My Account

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My Account FAQ

Click here to retrieve it.

It costs $9.95 per month for a Basic membership or $16.95 for a Premium membership, with discounts available if you pay annually. For more details on the differences between the two membership types, click here.

Feel free to look around the site. Many of our articles are available whether you’re a member or not, but our investing strategies are available to members only. Be sure to read the Investing Basics section. The 9 principles found there will tell you much about our approach to investing. Remember, you can choose to pay month-to-month, with the freedom to cancel any time.
You can upgrade by visiting the My Account section. Select the My Billing tab and look for the Upgrade to Premium button.
If you are a monthly subscriber, you can still take advantage of the annual subscription discount and pay for a year in advance. To change your billing frequency from monthly to annually, first visit the My Account section. Then select the My Billing tab and look for the Switch to Annual Billing button.
The print newsletter is a benefit given to all SMI members. However, we realize that some people prefer online access only. That’s fine. We don’t lower the membership price for those who prefer not to receive the print newsletter, but we can certainly stop sending it to you. To opt out of receiving the print newsletter, go to the My Account page, and you’ll see an opt-out box at the bottom of the My Account tab.
You can use your credit card with peace of mind. We encrypt credit card information using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology—the same technology banks use to provide you with secure online access to your account information.
Yes. You can order a membership or other SMI products or services by calling toll-free at 877-736-3764.

Your membership will remain active until you tell us to cancel it. If you signed up for a monthly membership, your card will be charged on the same date each month. If you signed up for an annual membership, your card will be charged again on your anniversary date.

A Premium membership may be changed to Basic membership as follows. Those paying monthly may make this change at any time by calling customer service at 877-736-3764 Monday through Friday 10am - 4pm Eastern Time. Those paying annually may make this change at your next annual renewal date.

Sorry, but there are no refunds for annual memberships, in part or in whole.

Just give us a call at 877-736-3764 Monday through Friday 10am - 4pm Eastern Time.
If your Sound Mind Investing subscription doesn't live up to your expectations for any reason, you may cancel at any time to avoid further charges. Neither monthly nor annual SMI Web Memberships are refundable, in part or in whole.
Absolutely. Call us toll-free at 877-736-3764 Monday through Friday 10am - 4pm Eastern Time. If you don’t reach us, leave a message and we will make every effort to return your call promptly. You may also e-mail us at help@soundmindinvesting.com.

Help with Everything Else

Help Articles

Everything Else FAQ

Members who use this report (which is identical to the Recommended Funds page in the print newsletter) will find a link to it each month on the home page. Each month we have links on the home page (lower left) under the heading Downloads that make it easy to load the Complete Newsletter as well as the latest Performance Rankings in a PDF file. The Recommended Funds page is usually on the 10th page in the PDF file.

No. Sound Mind Investing does not accept any advertising, nor do we receive any compensation from the funds or brokers we recommend. We refuse to let the lure of ad revenue bias the information we present to you.

(Note: Technically, any information you see on this site regarding the SMI Funds is considered an advertisement. The SMI Funds are a separate, but affiliated, business.)

Rarely. We have a number of outside writers who provide articles from time to time. These are people who have a unique area of expertise and with whom we have had a long relationship. We are not actively looking for additional writers. However, if you have a unique area of financial expertise and an article idea you believe would be of interest to our members, feel free to let us know.

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