You may have heard of the 4% rule as it pertains to retirement. It goes like this: If you begin retirement withdrawing 4% of your savings and adjust each following year’s withdrawals for inflation, your money should last 30 years. It may be the most widely accepted and most often cited rule of personal finance. Fewer of us, though, are familiar with the other 4% rule. I admit, it’s not something I was aware of until recently, but the implications of it have further solidified my beliefs about the most appropriate way to invest. In January of 2017, Hendrik Bessembinder,
Working closely with people and their money for almost 35 years, I’ve seen and learned a great deal about human behavior. As doctors observe the physical impact of bad health habits and counselors uncover the personal and relational damage of bad life choices, caring advisors contend with damage done to lifestyle by bad financial decisions. We humans like to think of ourselves as intelligent, objective, and rational beings and in control of the things most important to our lives. But in fact, we are in control of very little. Far more of our financial decisions are made subjectively and emotionally than we
Just yesterday, following a conversation with a client, I experienced an all too familiar tug, not unlike the one an alcoholic might feel at a cocktail party, when the smell of alcohol is rich in the air and that drink is but an order away. During our conversation I learned that Amazon AMZN was now up 21% for the year so far. The broad stock market is up 5.7% by comparison
Today’s Brief is inspired by Seth Godin’s blog entitled How to talk about your project. We’ve taken the liberty of broadening Seth’s focus from project to “life goals.” Like Seth encourages his readers to look beyond marketing, we encourage you to think big picture, of purpose, life goals, and how you communicate them ‘strategically, to yourself, your partners, your coaches and your investors (yes you have investors).’
Evidence is mounting that the US economy is not immune to the contagion of the global economic slowdown. The Commerce Department announced today that the US economy expanded at an anemic (seasonally adjusted) 0.7% in the fourth quarter. This compares to advances of 2% in third quarter and 3.9% in second quarter of last year. Some argue that seasonal adjustments currently used by government statisticians do not reflect the evolving economy, but it’s hard to see how the economy escapes the downdrafts of global slowing, an unprecedented drop in oil prices and a surging dollar.
“People call it luck when you’ve acted more sensibly then they have.” Amy Tan When we invest or expend money to make a profit, we start from one of two vantages: Confidence or Luck. The first requires effort, competence, and a thorough understanding of what is controllable and what is not controllable and we plan contingencies for those things that are not controllable. The second perspective is the veritable flip a coin. Luck-dependent investment decisions are based on things like past performance, colorful brochures, and influential arguments.
We are big fans of Seth Godin at Beacon. As a marketing genius, his focus is centered in that industry, but many of his writings are much more broadly applicable. Not long ago a friend and client asked us to review an indexed life insurance product that his buddy, we’ll call him Bob, was near zealous over. Bob was so enamored with the promises of the insurance policy that he was even considering changing careers to sell it. A change of some kind was forced on him because he had just been laid off at 50 from a high-level executive position with a major
Have you seen how much movie tickets cost these days? Expensive enough that when I went to the movies last week, I felt very acutely what behavioral economists call the “pain of paying.” Ouch. As I handed my credit card to the cashier inside the plastic bubble, I wondered, “How much will these things cost in 24 years?”
When confronting the question of retirement spending, the most commonly used strategy is known as the 4% Rule. It is based on the premise that you can withdraw 4% from a well-diversified, balanced (60% equity/40% bond) portfolio and feel comfortable that your money will last as long as you do. For example, if you determined that you needed $40k in addition to social security for retirement spending, the 4% Rule would suggest that you’d need to start with a $1M dollar portfolio. While this may be a decent rule of thumb and an easy way to plan for retirement on a cocktail napkin recent studies