The Three-Step Investor’s Guide to Navigating the Financial Advisory Fiduciary Ruling

by Tim Maurer, Director of Personal Finance, 3/7/2017 As an educator in the arena of personal finance, I generally avoid matters of public policy or politics because they tend to devolve into dogma and division, all too often leaving wisdom and understanding behind. But occasionally, an issue arises of such importance that I feel an obligation to advocate on behalf of those who don’t have a voice. The issue of the day revolves around a single word: “fiduciary.” The Department of Labor ruling effective June 9th, requires any financial advisor, stock broker or insurance agent directing a client’s retirement account to act…

The Broccoli and Pizza Portfolio

For some of us, it’s hard to give up on the idea that investing should be exciting. Picking stocks can be fun, after all, and there’s nothing like getting your timing right and bragging about it later with friends. For all the accumulated wisdom about asset allocation, risk, diversification, and discipline, some people seem bound to see investing as an end in itself rather than a means to an end. For these folks, picking stocks is a hobby. They follow the gurus and soak up the financial media. Despite evidence to the contrary, they’re convinced they can build a consistently…

The Importance of Global Diversification

An investor’s ability to achieve their investment goals often relies on maintaining discipline in their portfolio over the long term. Diversification across securities, sectors, and countries can help investors maintain their focus, potentially allowing them to avoid extreme outcomes that may result from a more concentrated approach. However, short-term performance of individual markets may cause some investors to question the merits of diversifying across countries and consider reallocating to markets that have recently done well. In these times, it’s important to be reminded of the benefits of maintaining a globally diversified portfolio.    

Fiduciary Now, Fiduciary Always

WE ARE ALWAYS COMMITTED TO DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU You may have noticed the word fiduciary bouncing around the news lately. The Department of Labor announced last April that financial advisors who provide retirement investment advice would be held to a new fiduciary rule — that is, they would be required to put investors’ interests ahead of their own. What followed was applause in some corners, angst in others, and spirited dialogue and debate all around the room. Now, the fiduciary rule hangs in midair as the new administration has asked the DOL to review the wide-ranging implications if…

Retirement is Scary; Plan it Out

Retirement creates many challenges. Unfortunately, while about 10,000 Americans retire daily, the sad truth is that most people seem to spend less time planning for retirement than they do for a vacation. Anxiety regarding our futures is a common ailment, especially among the millions of Americans rapidly approaching the end of their working years. And there are good reasons for that anxiety. Retiring can be as stressful as getting married, losing your job or having a close family member become ill. The highest suicide rate in the United States for any segment of the population is men over 70. That’s…

10 Reasons to Be Cheerful

Jim Parker Vice President DFA Australia Limited, a subsidiary of Dimensional Fund Advisors LP. It’s true the world faces challenges in maintaining stable and well-functioning social, environmental, and economic systems. The legacy of the financial crisis is still with us, and concerns about climate change and sustainability are widespread. Europe is grappling with a refugee crisis; China faces a difficult transition from an export and industrial-led economy to one driven by domestic demand; and the US is preoccupied with a sometimes rancorous election campaign. But it’s also easy to overlook significant advances in raising the living standards of millions, increasing…

What is Fiduciary Advice?

These titles can be confusing because on the surface it is not clear whether these professionals are legally required to have a client’s best interest in mind when making investment recommendations. Many investors may have read that the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a substantial overhaul in the regulation of financial advice given on retirement savings. Central to this discussion are two terms: fiduciary and suitability. What does it mean for an advisor to operate on a fiduciary standard, and how does this differ from a suitability standard? THE FIDUCIARY STANDARD The DOL has described a “fiduciary” as someone who…

Applying Science to Investing

We rely on science for almost every aspect of our daily lives and even more so in the most critical areas such as our health. Science-based medicine is the foundation for our well-being and how we treat illnesses. So why wouldn’t we rely on science for our investments?

Advantages of Working With an Advisor

Founder, Chairman, and Co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors, David Booth sits down with resident scientist and Nobel Laureate, Robert Merton to discuss some of the key benefits of working with a fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor.