Where’s Waldo? My Recent Appearances

Where's Waldo Vs Wonder Woman

Waldo should learn not to hide next to superheroes.

Occasionally, others ask me to share some insight with their audiences on a variety of personal finance topics. I’m always grateful to them for sharing the opportunity. Here are a few of my recent appearances for (what I hope is) your reading pleasure:

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Train a Monkey to Throw Darts or Pick the S&P 500 Index? A Look at 2014’s Performance


Good luck!

“Maybe life is random, but I doubt it.”
–Steven Tyler

There’s a news radio station in Fort Worth that has almost all of its daytime weekend programming related to money, investing, and personal finance. It’s almost like the programming folks at CNBC decided to take over this radio station on the weekend, because, unless the Texas Longhorns are playing, you can tune in to this station and listen to money advice to your heart’s content.

I imagine that if someone listens to those shows long enough, he’ll become convinced that he knows more than the average Joe and can go into the markets and actively trade and make a mint.

Unfortunately, this would likely result in a sad ending for the listener, as 64% of individual stocks underperform the Russell 3000 index in their lifetimes.

Last year, I evaluated how well the S&P 500 index did compared to randomly picking a stock out of the components that make up the index. In 2013, 51.6% of the components of the S&P 500 underperformed the index as a whole, leaving individual stock pickers with thinner wallets than their index investing counterparts.

But, just like fans of all sports teams except the champion, there’s a rallying cry: “Wait until next year!”

So, 2014 has now come and gone. The S&P 500 performed pretty well, but not as well as 2013, gaining a dividend adjusted 13.69%, compared to 2013’s extraordinary 29.6% gain.

Since 2014 wasn’t as good for the S&P 500, does that mean that it was a stock picker’s market rather than an indexer’s market?

2014 Performance of the S&P 500’s Stock Components by the Numbers

Rebalancing Your Real Estate Portfolio

“There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian, wheeling and dealing.” –Barack Obama If you are a real estate investor and you come from the Warren Buffett school of investing, then you’re probably likely to want to buy a property and hold onto it forever. That’s what I thought […]

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Bridging the Between Gap

“Most children threaten at times to run away from home. This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.” –Phyllis Diller For 18 or so years, your parents raised you. They gave you a home, clothing, food, and love. They carried you to soccer games, plays, slumber parties, amusement parks, and a host of […]

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Don’t be the Taxi Driver

“The one thing you shouldn’t do is try to tell a cab driver how to get somewhere.” –Jimmy Fallon “Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.” –Lou Erickson Imagine that you’re a taxi driver in New York City. You live modestly, so you […]

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The Scarcity Mindset, the Abundance Mindset, and the Impact on Public Policy

Note: A couple of years ago, I had a discussion with one of the deans of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. We discussed collaborating on a white paper for publication addressed at state and national government leaders. Naturally, time and other priorities took hold, and said […]

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