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Dan Solin
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

What CNBC Won't Tell You

(3) Comments | Posted September 1, 2015 | 5:06 PM

In May 2009, during an appearance on CNBC, I suggested that the network could do a major service to investors by abandoning its slogan "In Cramer we Trust" and substituting "In Bogle we Trust." Cramer then stormed onto the set and engaged in a bug-eyed rant. He first misrepresented --...

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The Media (Not the Market) Has Fallen to New Lows

(0) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 5:26 PM

It has long been my view that much of the financial media serves as a shill for the securities industry. It stokes fear and anxiety in an effort to encourage investors to "do something" with their holdings. Activity means trading, and trading means higher profits for bloated brokerage firms. It's...

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SEC Settlement Demonstrates the Value of the Fiduciary Standard

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2015 | 5:27 PM

Debate rages on over the Department of Labor's proposed rule to implement wider application of the fiduciary standard. The securities industry vigorously opposes any regulatory effort that would require it to place the interest of investors over its own. It asserts that a fiduciary rule would be harmful...

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The Myth of Fund Manager Outperformance

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 5:17 PM

Recently, an evidence-based investment advisor wrote to me lamenting the loss of a large prospect. The prospect had ultimately decided to entrust his retirement assets to another firm, one that claimed its core competency was selecting outperforming mutual fund managers.

I can understand the advisor's frustration. There's ample evidence that...

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The Meritless Assault on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 8:01 AM

The assault on the fiduciary rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has intensified. Republicans from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce recently asked Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to "immediately withdraw" the rule. Why? Because they believe it will "reduce investment options and increase...

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There's Hope For 401(k) Participants

(0) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 12:55 PM

It has been my long-held view that most 401(k) plans are a national disgrace.

Most 401(k) plans are flawed

Part of the problem is that the underlying concept behind how many 401(k) plans are administered is fatally flawed. They assume that employee plan participants are capable of managing...

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DOL Opponents Are Motivated By Self-Interest

(2) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 10:17 AM

The securities industry is all atwitter at the prospect of having to put the interests of retirement plan participants above its own. It's marshaling its massive resources to fight a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that would require all advisors to be "fiduciaries" to...

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Fiduciary Rule: The Real Agenda

(4) Comments | Posted July 7, 2015 | 5:10 PM

There's a powerful agenda behind the opposition to the rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requiring that advisors to retirement plans be fiduciaries: The securities industry wants to preserve its ability to give conflicted advice.

There's a lot at stake.

Background Information

Fiduciaries are...

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Profiting From Conflicted Advice

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 8:04 AM

Don't believe there is a legitimate debate over the fiduciary rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). I suspect opposition to it is really about the enormous profits that the securities industry generates from giving conflicted advice. While the industry is great at obfuscating its real agenda, two...

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Congress Unites to Harm Investors

(2) Comments | Posted June 28, 2015 | 7:44 AM

Who said Congress is dysfunctional? When necessary, its members can come together quite seamlessly. Recently, a group of elected officials, one that crossed party lines, launched an effort with apparently one goal in mind. If you think I am referring to an issue like national security, you would be wrong....

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The Battle Over the DOL's Fiduciary Rule Gets Dirty

(4) Comments | Posted June 23, 2015 | 5:10 PM

The battle over a rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor, which would require retirement plan advisors to be fiduciaries to plan participants, has descended to a new low.

The securities industry lobby has been earning its keep, persuading some members of Congress that putting the...

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Questions That Need Answers

(4) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 6:43 PM

It's no wonder that you are confused. The financial media inundates investors every day with a barrage of irrelevant -- and often misleading -- information. You might think every conceivable question about investing has been fully explored by now and that the answers to the majority of inquiries would be...

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The Phony Fiduciary 'Debate'

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2015 | 1:00 PM

The battle over the legal standard to which advisors should be held when giving investment advice has two fronts: Advice given by advisors to retirement plans and advice given by advisors to everyone else, including individual investors.

The position of the Department of Labor and the SEC

The U.S....

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This Test Proves You're Overconfident

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 6:57 AM

Much has been written about the perils of overconfidence in investing. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reported one compelling study in his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow.

CFOs are overconfident

You might think CFOs of large corporations would have valuable insight about something as basic as projecting the returns of the...

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The Supreme Court Decision in Tibble vs. Edison Is a Game-Changer

(1) Comments | Posted May 26, 2015 | 5:56 PM

On May 18, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Tibble v. Edison International. On its face, the court's holding is unremarkable. In a rare 9-0 decision, it ruled that plan sponsors have a continuing duty to review investments in retirement plans and to decide whether...

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My Interview with Jack Bogle

(1) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Last week, I met Vanguard founder Jack Bogle in his office for a video interview. I had asked him if he would be willing to endorse a crowdfunding campaign to help underwrite the production costs of Trade-Up.

Trade-Up is the financial television show Wall Street doesn't want...

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Stunning Odds Doom Your Returns

(0) Comments | Posted May 3, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Few investors understand the stunning odds that are likely dooming their returns. The system is rigged against investors and in favor of those who "manage" their money. Mutual fund families, brokers and insurance companies are the big winners in this process. Investors barely scrape by.

Here's some historical data for...

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Two Predictions You Can Take to the Bank

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 7:48 AM

Most predictions are utter nonsense. They're made by self-styled "gurus" who are really emperors with no clothes. If they are right, it's due to luck and not skill (although they are quick to claim credit). Warren Buffett's view of those who pretend to have the ability to predict the future...

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Financial Advisors Are Not Fungible

(1) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 3:50 PM

MarketWatch recently conducted an interesting survey. In it, they asked four "robo-advisors" and four human advisors to recommend portfolios for the same hypothetical investor.

The investor is a "fictional, but perhaps typical," 35-year-old with an average tolerance for risk and average financial knowledge. He works a job...

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The Broker Shell Game on the Fiduciary Issue

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 5:02 PM

There's no way to sugarcoat this. The position that brokers and their powerful lobbyists take on the "fiduciary issue" is nothing short of a flim-flam. Here's everything you need to know to avoid becoming a victim.

Why Using a Fiduciary Is Important

Every registered investment advisor (RIA) is a fiduciary...

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