Who Do I Trust?

For well over a decade, my unrelenting focus has been understanding financial risk and developing practical strategies for managing the risk created by job loss, illness or disability, bear markets and funding thirty years of retirement. Since 1997, I have watched the job of managing those risks become increasingly complex. One reason understanding and managing financial risk is more difficult …

On Randomness

One of the most fundamental and most difficult concepts for investors to wrap their brain around is the randomness of markets. This is most likely because, as Terry Burnham ably shows us, in Mean Markets and Lizard Brains, humans are just not wired to deal with probability and randomness. In the investing classic, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, Princeton …

The mother of all reverse compounding problems

The only proven way to achieve a passive double-digit yield to replace your income is to own businesses – either directly or indirectly through common stock ownership. But this creates a challenge. The chart shows each of the bear market declines since the end of World War One. We are in the tenth decade and there have been twenty bear …

Know Your Greatest Risk

What is your most valuable asset? Your business? Your house? Your investment portfolio? The pile of gold buried in your backyard? What would you guess? If you guessed anything tangible, you guessed wrong. Your most valuable asset is what economists call your human capital. This is the sum total of the skills knowledge and wisdom you possess which you then …

Annuities: Fixed or Variable, Immediate or Deferred?

I began questioning how many people understand the difference between different types of annuities after I received an email this week from one of my Snider Investment Method™ Workshop graduates. Annuities come in a thousand different flavors and colors. No two are exactly alike. I think most people lump them together without understanding the difference. Or maybe they just think …