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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

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

(0) 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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Ten Tips For Generating Higher Returns

(0) Comments | Posted April 10, 2015 | 10:20 AM

The first quarter of this year has ended. How were your returns? Since short-term returns are not very meaningful for a long-term financial plan, perhaps a better question is: How have your returns been over the past one, three, five and 10 years?

If you are unhappy with your returns,...

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The Stock Picking Era Is Over

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 5:02 PM

I'm sure Jim Cramer will be the last one to leave the burning building, but the era of stock picking is basically over. He continues to talk about index funds as being adequate for those who don't have the time to research individual stocks, but investors -- in increasing numbers...

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What Does "In Good Hands" Really Mean?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 1:05 PM

Ethel Sprouse has a difficult life. She is a baby boomer from Cedar Bluff, Ala. Her husband has Alzheimer's disease. Her adult daughter is mentally disabled and lives in a group home. She needed a trusted financial advisory badly.

She turned to a registered representative of Allstate Financial....

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Let's Redefine 'Smart Money'

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 9:19 AM

Frank Luntz is a corporate consultant, pollster and political consultant to Republicans. His specialty is in messaging and finding the right words to help his clients sell their products or turn public opinion on an issue or a candidate. In a fascinating interview on Frontline, Luntz made some...

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The Biggest Scam of Them All?

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 5:49 PM

This is the time of year when investment boards and committees in charge of selecting fund managers for pension plans and 401(k) plans gather for a time-honored ritual. They review the past performance of their fund managers and decide whether to keep or replace them.

The point of this elaborate...

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Anxiety Enriches Brokers

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 8:57 AM

Here's a sampling of headlines from CNBC's website as I write this post on March 10:

  • Citi: Here's where the shares could surge 70 percent
  • Why oil decline could get ugly again soon
  • These stocks should lead for the rest of 2015
  • U.S. strategists bullish, but look at their track...
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The Active Fund Industry Is Desperate

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 5:44 PM

Much of the massive securities industry is based on this false premise: There are "gurus" or "experts" who can identify mispriced equities, tell you when to get in or out of the market, pick mutual fund managers likely to outperform and are otherwise endowed with predictive powers.

Investors are getting...

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Change Your Investment Goal

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2015 | 7:55 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 | 6:55 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 | 4:50 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 | 10:40 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 | 9:37 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 | 4:44 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 | 4:39 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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