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In his TED Talk, David Steindl-Rast makes the case for happiness being directly tied to gratitude. The monk and interfaith scholar says people who are more grateful tend to also be happier people. I’m referring to it not only because it is a great talk (to be fair, I’m a fan...

I spent yesterday at Schwab’s IMPACT Conference. The annual conference is oriented toward independent financial advisers. Nearly 5,000 people attended this year’s conference. I’ll share some of my notes at the end of this week’s commentary, but first I want to focus on a...

It is admittedly difficult to write a tax guide when tax rates are uncertain. It is even harder to make tax planning decisions when future tax rates are uncertain. Yet with just a little over seven weeks left in 2017, this is the world we live in. As the horse trading is occurring...

A few weeks ago, I offered a list of what assets an individual investor needs to hold in their portfolio. Second in order of importance on my list—behind stocks, bonds and cash—were REITs (real estate investment trusts). These real estate investments offer a dual benefit of...

Thirty years ago today, the Dow Jones industrial average incurred its largest single-day percentage-point drop. The blue-chip average plunged by more than 22%. The losses were not just restricted to stocks either, as the futures market was roiled by traders who incorrectly bet...

William “Bill” Bengen, whose 1994 study introduced the concept of the 4% withdrawal rate for retirees, recently participated in a question and answer session on social media website Reddit. The conversation focused on retirement withdrawal strategies and portfolio allocation....

While working on a new presentation about portfolio strategies, it occurred to me that there is an important question I should address: What investments does an individual investor need in their portfolio? Not specific names, but rather what types of investments. It’s a question...

A study showing that most stocks have failed to outperform one-month Treasury bills has been the topic of some discussion this year. The analysis, conducted by Arizona State University finance professor Hendrick Bessembinder, found that slightly more than four out of seven stocks...

Two special notes before I start this week’s commentary. First, L’Shanah Tovah to those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah. Second, though our Investor Conference is getting close to selling out, there is still time to register. You will want to hurry because late fee pricing...

The big questions on many people’s minds right now is what to do about the Equifax breach. Sensitive personal information—including Social Security numbers and birthdates—on 143 million consumers was stolen. The situation is still evolving, but Equifax is offering “free...