Being wealthy doesn't mean having all the money in the world, just not having to worry about it.

Choosing between 529 Plan Contributions and Municipal Bonds

Question: We’re hoping to get your advice on an investment we’re considering outside of our retirement accounts. I’ll try to keep this brief. My wife and I have paid off the mortgage on our primary residence, and the only debt we have is a rental home that we plan to sell eventually (it currently covers Read more »

Is This a Reasonable Allocation for a Working-Age Investor?

Question: I’m considering changing our retirement portfolio allocations as indicated below. Would you mind commenting on this? Nearly all is in tax sheltered retirement accounts and we probably will begin easing into retirement in 12 years at age 60. I read your blog and think it makes sense for us to maintain separate asset classes Read more »

Why Pay an Adviser a Quarterly Fee Just to Invest in Index Funds?

Question: As an investor, I have always tried to invest in very low-cost index funds, since costs are one of the few things in my control other than the asset mix. Paying a percentage of my assets every quarter for management (even very good management) somehow feels “wrong” to me. What am I missing? Answer: Read more »

What’s the Best Global Allocation?

Question: About ten years ago, you recommended the following asset allocation: 40% US Total Stock Market Index Fund 30% European Stock Index Fund 20% Pacific Index Fund 10% Emerging Markets Index Fund I see the 10-year average return for the Pacific fund is somewhat below the others. Do you still recommend this asset allocation? Answer: Read more »

Do You Recommend Using a Credit Card to Pay Regular Monthly Bills Rather than a Bank’s Bill-Pay System?

Question: Do you recommend using a credit card to pay regular monthly bills rather than using a bank’s bill pay system? Answer: For people who always, without exception, pay their entire credit card bill each month, the benefits of airline miles, hotel points, and other perks can be substantial. For people who are inclined to Read more »

How Much Can You Safely Withdraw from Your Portfolio Each Year in Retirement?

For around 20 years, financial advisers and academics have been actively wrestling with the question of the safe withdrawal rate from a portfolio. The seminal article in the field is by William Bengen, entitled “Determining Withdrawal Rates Using Historical Data.” It was published by the Journal of Financial Planning in October 1994 and later chosen Read more »