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Dan Solin
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Dan Solin is The New York Times' best-selling author of the Smartest series of books. His next book, The Smartest Sales Book You'll Ever Read, will be published in March, 2014.

Entries by Dan Solin

View Tony Robbins' Investing Advice with Skepticism

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 5:04 PM

America has discovered a new financial guru. Tony Robbins' new book on investing, MONEY Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom, has shot to the top of Amazon's bestseller list.

Mr. Robbins, who has been nicknamed the "mahatma of motivation," excels at self-promotion. The publication of...

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It's Time to Board the Index Express

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 4:30 PM

The news keeps getting worse for active management. Here's a summary:

Poor year-to-date performance

In an article on MarketWatch.com, Mitch Tuchman references data from Bank of America indicating only 17.7 percent of active managers have beaten a large-cap index benchmark year to date. That is a significant...

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The Most Important Symbol for Investors Is 'DOL'

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 5:31 PM

Many investors are glued the financial news, tracking the latest reports about interest rates, earnings reports and stock movements. They believe this kind of intense focus will help them maximize returns.

They couldn't be more wrong.

Instead of spending time looking up a stock symbol to find out its latest...

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Investing Advice: The Good, Bad and Terrible

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 5:26 PM

There is a huge variation in the quality of advice that investors are exposed to every day. If you can't differentiate between good and bad information, it can cost you dearly. It may even mean the difference between retiring with dignity and running out of money in your golden years.

...
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Lessons From the Non-Correction

(0) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:53 PM

On April 14, 2014, the S&P 500 closed at 1,833.08, according to Yahoo Finance. On Oct. 24, it closed at 1,964.58.

On April 10, financial journalist Henry Blodget wrote an article titled "Don't Be Surprised If This Is the Start of a Stock Market Crash." Blodget set forth...

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Ignore Bad Advice About Declining Stock Prices

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 9:42 AM

Last week was the worst week for the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ since May 2012. The S&P 500 index dropped 3.1 percent on the week to 1,906.13 and the NASDAQ fell 2.3 percent to 4,276.24. Not surprisingly, the market's volatility and rapid decline brought out the worst...

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Supreme Court May Slow 401(k) Rip-off

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 6:39 PM

It has long been my view that 401(k) plans are a national disgrace. Most are filled with a confusing array of expensive, actively managed funds. Fund families pay kickbacks (euphemistically called "revenue-sharing payments") to 401(k) plan providers. They are the price of entry for inclusion among the available plan options....

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What Predictions by Economists Can Teach You About Investing

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 5:48 PM

An interesting article in Bloomberg noted that the recovery in this year's Treasury market has been stronger than the rally predicted by every economist they queried in a recent survey.

In mid-August, Bloomberg contacted 66 economists for their Sept. 30 forecasts on the 10-year yield for Treasury...

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British Documentary Skewers Active Management

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 6:14 PM

A new multi-part British documentary, How to Win the Loser's Game, takes a hard look at active management. Although done with typical understatement, the results are not pretty.

The complete documentary will not be available until Nov. 5. But you can view the first three parts, produced by Sensible...

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The Real Secret of Successful Investors

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 6:36 PM

Historical market data are often misused by pundits who believe they can predict the future by looking at the past. Much of what counts these days as "financial news" is simply a parade of self-styled "pros" peering into their crystal balls and telling the rest of us how to time...

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Your Mutual Fund Manager Will Retire Before You Do

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 6:23 PM

Your mutual fund manager has a solid plan for retirement. So far, it's working beautifully.

Your fund manager is fortunate to be part of a growth industry. Since 2004, assets under management have grown 124 percent. The number of U.S.-based stock and fixed income mutual funds has grown to more...

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How NOT to Prepare for the Market Correction

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 5:58 PM

Almost everyone believes a stock market correction is inevitable. The financial media whip up a daily frenzy of anxiety by offering conflicting views from "investment pros" on when this correction will occur. Here are some tips for dealing with the "market correction" issue.

Don't try to time the correction

There...

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Learn From the Fall of Active Management

(0) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 6:19 PM

Proponents of evidence-based investing, myself included, doubted whether this day would ever come. Investors are now actually paying attention to the overwhelming data supporting evidence-based investing and are fleeing active management. Some of the recent developments reinforcing this growing trend are:

Index funds are mainstream

John Rekenthaler is the vice...

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The Algorithm Scam

(1) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 6:10 PM

An algorithm is defined as a set of detailed instructions that result in a predictable end-state from a known beginning.

The discovery of an algorithm that would consistently generate outsized returns would be the holy grail of investing. The individual who came up with such an algorithm and...

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401(k) Madness

(0) Comments | Posted August 12, 2014 | 6:43 PM

All across America, a familiar ritual is repeated at least quarterly. Sponsors of 401(k) plans meet with their brokers, insurance companies or other advisers. The purpose of the meeting is to decide which funds to keep as investment options and which ones to eliminate. Everyone has a familiar role. The...

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Brain Tricks May Reduce Your Returns

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 7:18 PM

What if you could create a forum for discussing the best way to invest in a responsible and intelligent manner? Who would you invite to participate in this debate? Here are my suggestions:

There would be no shortage of candidates to advocate stock picking, market timing and fund manager selection....

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Listen to Your Brain to Sense a Market Correction

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 2:43 PM

The financial media continues to stoke anxiety and fear -- and trading -- with "news" about a coming market correction. On its list of "must reads" for July 16, Yahoo Finance featured these articles:

"Investors haven't been this optimistic since 1987. Here's why that's bad."

"This...

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Ignore the Babble Masking as "Financial News"

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 8:21 PM

You are besieged with a daily onslaught of what passes for "financial news." Much of it is nonsense, self-serving and unreliable. Yet the sheer volume, and the clever way it is packaged and disseminated, may lead you to take action.

Here are two categories of typical financial news, with my...

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Three Facts You Don't Know About Mutual Funds

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 6:30 PM

Mutual funds are a huge and profitable business. According to the Investment Company Institute, at the end of 2013, $30 trillion worldwide was invested in these funds. More than half that amount was invested by approximately 96 million Americans in U.S.-based funds. U.S. retirement market assets are an...

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The Great American Pension Rip-Off

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 6:58 PM

Unless you work for a city or state government, you probably don't have a traditional pension -- also known as a "defined benefit plan." The number of employers offering these plans has decreased sharply, and now, by some estimates, only 29 percent of workers in the United States...

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