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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

Change Your Investment Goal

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 8:55 AM

For approximately 85 percent of individual investors, their investment goal is to "beat the market." If you are one of those investors, I want you to consider abandoning that goal and making a new one. Instead, try capturing market returns for the asset classes in which you invest.

Poor...

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Avoid the Ultimate R.I.P.-Off

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2015 | 7:55 PM

Many estate planners advise their clients to complete a useful, albeit sobering, exercise. The exercise calls for the client to assume they have died, and that their beneficiaries are gathered around the dining room table dealing with the aftermath. The point is to identify before the fact some key estate...

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Good Looks, Bad Advice

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 5:50 PM

In a recent blog post for Pragmatic Capitalism, Ben Carlson did an excellent job of putting the recent surge of money into passively managed funds in context.

The shift to passive funds is still modest

The shift from active to passive strategies is understandable, given the historical poor...

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Your Genes Impact Your Investment Decisions

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2015 | 11:40 AM

The sharp market decline in January has raised the anxiety level of investors everywhere and brought out the worst in the financial media. Many investors are asking the wrong questions, like these:

1. Is this the beginning of a market correction?

2. Should I sell my stocks and just "sit...

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A Powerful Force Is Killing Your Retirement

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 10:37 AM

Investment "professionals" could be killing your chances of retiring with dignity, if at all.

This extract, from one of America's most respected financial journalists, William Bernstein, should be read and reread by every investor:

"There are two kinds of investors, be they large or small: those who don't know where...

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Dumb Investing Ideas

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 5:44 PM

No wonder the average investor significantly underperforms market returns that are theirs for the taking. After all, the financial media and the securities industry inundate investors with a daily barrage of new products and misleading information.

Here are some recent examples:

A dumb idea from Fidelity

As

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Investing Facts You Probably Don't Know

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 5:39 PM

Intelligent and responsible investing can be simple and uncomplicated. It involves buying a globally diversified portfolio of low management fee index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or passively managed funds in an appropriate asset allocation. After the initial purchase, there is very little to do except rebalancing perhaps once or twice...

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Try This Revolutionary Approach to Investing

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 5:40 PM

As an investor, you are probably concerned about "uncertainty" in the market. Sometimes it may feel like you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It probably doesn't help that the financial media appears so vocally divided between those who believe the bull market will run at least...

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Don't Repeat the Same Investing Mistakes Next Year

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 5:50 PM

It was a great year for stock market returns. According to data from Morningstar, as of Dec. 24 stocks representing the U.S. market returned 13.95 percent. Morningstar's intermediate core bond index returned 5.16 percent over the same period.

Even with disappointing returns in European and...

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A Surefire Way to Make Money in 2015

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 5:13 PM

I have a surefire way for you to make money in 2015. It's disarmingly simple, and I'm not even going to keep you waiting. Here's what I want you to do: Get into the business of managing other people's money. Specifically, become a broker and tell your clients you can...

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Investing Headlines: The Good, Bad and Ugly

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 3:02 PM

You can learn a lot if you read the financial headlines with the right perspective. It's unfortunate that most provide misinformation designed to encourage trading, increase anxiety and otherwise foster bad investing behavior. There are some notable exceptions, but finding them can seem like looking for a needle in a...

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Learn From the Cramer Kerfuffle

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:35 PM

I am no fan of Jim Cramer. While I fully understand his persona is a carefully crafted schtick designed to entertain, his Mad Money program harms Main Street investors. His stock-picking recommendations are no more likely to be accurate than the flip of a coin.

The myth that...

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Read This Before You Buy a Mutual Fund

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 5:32 PM

According to the 2014 Investment Company Fact Book, the mutual fund industry in the United States manages an astounding $15 trillion in assets. That represents a whole lot of investors who must be disappointed with the performance of their actively managed mutual funds.

Approximately 85 percent of...

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View Tony Robbins' Investing Advice with Skepticism

(14) 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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