Helpful Articles


  These are articles that were written to help develop ideas for journalists that work for The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Kiplinger’s, Smart Money, AARP, newspapers, financial web sites, etc. They’ve been used as a

source of quotes for these publications.


A Financial Quiz I Gave My Children and Grandchildren


The Unlucky 13: Bad Investments for Your Retirement


Getting asset allocation right for retirement


Five ways financial firms display optimistic performance


The Simple Rules That Have Guided My Retirement Investing


Why you should be wary of retirement projections


Why I’ve Changed My Strategy on Tax Withholdings


3 ways to more than double your retirement savings


Want to invest in real estate? Beware!


Time, inflation beaters and planning for retirement success


A grandfather’s financial advice to his grandchildren


My Approach to Portfolio Rebalancing


The Financial Lessons of a Depression-Era Baby


How low-saving boomers can still get a significant retirement income boost


Don’t let hidden costs destroy your retirement savings


1/7/16.  Costs hurt more than you think in down market


1/4/16.  Should I use a certified financial planner?


My Biggest Investing Mistakes–and the Lessons Learned


Don’t let unforeseen costs destroy your retirement!


4 rules for retirement investing in turbulent times


After extensive conversations with two estate attorneys and updating of my own financial information, I have updated the Investment Manager with a number of new tabs appropriate for someone who will be an executor for an estate--or, importantly, those who want to make it a lot easier on their executor after their death.  It can still be used for managing and tracking investments, but the added features are a real plus.  It has also been retitled to reflect the new information.

Estate and Investment Manager


The best time to buy an immediate annuity


Retirement Investment Optimizer

This program helps determine the best mix of stocks, bonds or other fixed-income investments both before and after retirement as well as the risk. It can be a big help in deciding whether it would be better to invest part of savings in a pension or annuity that has guaranteed fixed payments (some have inflation adjustments) instead of everything in a more risky mix of stocks and bonds. Further, it helps to optimize survivor benefits, something that can be very difficult after many years of varied returns and compounded inflation.


Buy savings bonds for disaster protection and child's education


Learn how bartering or investing in an extra skill can help your retirement.


Annual & Compound Returns Program

This program extends the analysis in the Free Return Calculator to cover multiple years so that you can have a record of both annual and cumulative returns from compounding all of the previous annual returns.  It provides very good perspective of your investment performance.


Don’t you deserve more than 20% of your returns?

This Wall Street Journal article shows how you can more than double your savings by paying attention to the fees and costs that are taken by investment firms.


The Wall Street Journal published an educational article about Savings I Bonds that's especially good for people who have not yet retired, but also could help retired folks as well.


Investment for retirement is easy although current low interest rates make fixed-income investments a little harder. Here is the link to The Wall Street Journal's article.


Stock Market Is Up! What should you do? My view from The Wall Street Journal's


Should we be saving municipal bonds now?


Get inflation protection from a fixed income:


Fixed income investing. This is more than a primer on major types of fixed-income investing. It covers inflation and depression effects as well as the large taxation differences.


How are my stocks doing—or my advisor?  This is an easy test that you can make to see if you have done better or worse that the market last year. Few people do, but it's really easy to beat most stock pickers and professional fund advisers.


The Future Economy Can Destroy Fixed Income Investments.  This article shows the conflict between what the feds like and what older investors need.  It also gives some thought about ways to protect your fixed income investments.


Is your financial adviser any good?  Too often in this low return environment, financial firms are making more from your investments than you are. It's easy to see if this is true in your case. This article explains how. You may need to fire your investment adviser and get another one. This can make a very large increase in your future retirement portfolio and your future spending.


Stretching Investments to the End.  This article describes the most important actions I have taken so that my investments will last for well over 40 years of retirement while generally providing annual spending growth to compensate for inflation.


Searching for Yield.  Everyone is trying to find higher returns for fixed-income investments now.  Here is some help.


There must be a pony in here!  With all of the bad news this year, it's been very discouraging for people to know how to invest.  Here are some suggestions.


Investing for the Future.  Baby boomers are going to face some very difficult times, so I offer some of my thoughts concerning what to do abut investments in the future.


My own investments now.  For some time now, I have been emphasizing the need to recognize what is really happening in the economy, not what the investment community and government wishes for, and select investment accordingly.  That's what I have tried to do.


The sky will fall on many people, but there is hope for some.  This article quantifies the impact on individuals from current debt and government obligations.  It's not pretty.  Then it goes on to suggest investments that are likely to do well in the resulting environment.


Investment actions in turbulent times.  This is a letter I sent to all of our children and adult grand children giving investment advice in light of things that I expect to happen to our economy.


What Goes Around Comes Around.  The financial industry takes away much of your investments, and it's unlikely that you know how much. Here's how you find out and can increase your returns.


The Best Investment—for someone approaching age 62.  Delaying the start of social security provides a lifetime inflation-adjusted annuity benefit that’s far better than any commercial annuity available in the market today.


Investments That Can Equal Social Security Benefits.  Politicians and politically oriented Web sites like to say that it's easy for an investor to do better with a mix of stocks and bonds than with their taxes invested in Social Security's government bonds. However, Social Security offers long-lived inflation protection and benefits that are hard to equal for a couple where one spouse is not employed or is a low wage earner.


Laddering CDs and Bonds.  This simple discipline increases returns in uncertain markets and provides flexibility for future investment opportunities.


Smart Actions In Turbulent Markets (PDF File)*.  This article explores the subjects of what to buy, when to buy and when to sell. This approach has served the author well for three decades and been applauded by many of this site’s users.


Reverse Dollar Cost Averaging  (PDF File)*.  This explains the theory that shows regular withdrawals from savings have just the opposite effect from regular deposits to savings. The former effectively gives a saver a higher return than shown in historical return statistics. The latter does just the opposite for withdrawals—which are the essence of a retirement plan.


Retirement Asset Allocation.  This is a short lesson in a discipline that is likely to save your butt in turbulent times. It comes as close as you may get to buying when the market is low(er) and selling when it is high(er).