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Preparing for retirement

In an interview with Jason R. Parker – author of Sound Retirement Planning, a blog and radio show by the same name, and president of Parker Financial LLC, a fee based wealth management firm – Paul discusses retirement, staying the course, fixed income, the value of intermediate-term bonds, building your portfolio for your personal risk tolerance and age, how often […]


A huge reason to invest in small-cap value

For many years I’ve sung the praises of small-cap value for all investors. Of course, that would be a relatively small percentage for retirees and a lot for first-time investors. I have used this table of 1-, 15- and 40-year returns for large-cap blend, large-cap value, small-cap blend and small-cap value so investors can easily compare […]


Should we get out now? Plus 9 Q&A

My recent opportunities to educate investors have been extremely satisfying, including a presentation to teenagers and their parents on Bainbridge Island, mostly-retired investors at the AAII chapter in Portland, OR and to 200 students at Western Washington University. The following are questions that came rolling in from the groups, as well as emails from […]


The Truth about Market Timing

Do you think the market is close to the top and you should be considering an exit strategy? Let’s talk about market timing, as it seems a lot of investors are concerned with it, judging from the number of questions I am receiving about timing subsequent to my interview with Meb Faber and Bogleheads’ comments after my interview with […]


Those who come out ahead have put their trust in the system over the long term

I had the recent pleasure of being interviewed by Meb Faber, co-founder and the Chief Investment Officer of Cambria Investment Management, and author of five books. We covered a lot of ground, speaking in some detail about my “Ultimate Buy & Hold Portfolio,” the power of diversification, and the pitfalls of emotional investing. We discussed the […]


What rate of return should I use in my retirement plan?

One of the toughest decisions in a financial plan is the assumption of returns for the equity part of the portfolio. This presentation is intended to help you in that decision. I just received my copy of the annual Dimensional Funds Matrix. This book contains 90 pages of return tables for more than 30 […]


Investing for Life: Dr. Jim Dahle of White Coat Investing interviews Paul Merriman

In this interview with Jim Dahle, M.D., Paul covers about a wide range of investment topics, from getting started to retirement planning and distributions. This is an excellent introduction to Paul’s work, including buy-and-hold, market timing, bonds, Bogleheads, the work of the Merriman Financial Educational Foundation, DFA and portfolio management, Do-It-Yourselfers, and much more. While Jim, […]


The ultimate distribution strategy: 2018 update

Paul’s favorite distribution strateg Each year Paul updates his favorite distribution strategy. In this discussion listeners will want to have copies of distribution tables 3 and 12. These tables reflect a 5% initial distribution plus annual increases for inflation. Tables 17 and 16 also start with a $50,000 distribution, but the distribution is […]


Big news- SPIVA and DALBAR reports are out!

Paul discusses two reports from his annual “must read” list: SPIVA and DALBAR. The SPIVA report makes the strongest statistical case for index funds over actively-managed funds. The DALBAR “Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior 2018 Report” (no link, as investors have to buy the report) makes the case that the combination of active management by […]


Fixed Distribution Strategies-2018 Update

The decision to establish a fixed distribution strategy can help ensure your peace of mind in retirement. This strategy is designed for people who retire with “enough” to meet minimum cash flow needs, including future adjustments for inflation. If you are new to our work, please read “The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold portfolio, 2018 edition” and the latest Fine Tuning Your […]


The most important lesson from “Save $1000 a year. Retire with millions”

The most important lesson from “Save $1000 a year. Retire with millions” Paul begins this podcast in response to tough critiques from some readers about this very popular article and podcast. He speaks to what he thinks are the most important lesson for investors. He also answers 4 Q&As: 1. Will you create recommended portfolios for popular HSAs? […]


Building a million dollar portfolio with $1000 a year

For over 20 years Paul has been producing articles and podcasts on 3 important decisions investors must make. The first is The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Strategy, a discussion of the equity asset classes that Paul recommends investors use in their portfolio. The second is Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation. The third, on Distributions in retirement is in the process […]


How to get started investing and keep going – Q&A

One young investor following Paul’s advice wrote to him: “Paul, thank you for everything you’ve done. The podcast, books and website have changed my life.” Paul asked him, “How so?” Thus begins this podcast sharing this young man’s response in the hope it will motivate other young investors to do the same. Q&A: […]


Fine Tuning the Worldwide and All Value Portfolios

Does it ever make sense to use actively-managed funds? One of our readers asked us to review a major 401k plan (40,000 employees) that offered only two equity asset classes (U.S and international) and in each case they offered an actively-managed and an index fund. I couldn’t pass up using this real-life example to learn […]


Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation,Worldwide and All Value Portfolios

In a recent podcast, Paul discussed a table of historical risk-and-return data for the S&P 500. The purpose of that podcast and corresponding table was to give investors a way to build reasonable expectations of the short- and long-term losses, as well as short and long-term returns for the S&P 500. In this podcast the same information […]


Is it time to sell? and other investor questions

In this podcast, Paul answers a variety of recent listener questions: • Is it time to sell and move more of my portfolio into money market or bond funds? • Can I use your Best-In-Class glide path spread sheet to manage my Fidelity portfolio? In answering, I reference a spreadsheet that shows our recommended asset allocation by […]


Fine Tuning Your Asset Allocation with the S&P 500 2018 update

Most of our annual Fine Tuning articles and podcasts have covered all of the major asset classes. This year we dedicate an article and podcast to just the S&P 500 and bonds. The S&P 500 Index represents the biggest public holding in the U.S. and maybe the world, roughly 80% of the value of all U.S. publicly-held […]


2018 Update of Paul’s “Ultimate Buy-and-Hold” Portfolio

For many years Paul and Rich have updated the Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio, and have posted the updates for 2018. This podcast is a step-by-step discussion of building a portfolio of 10 major equity asset classes. We want to make very clear how much impact each of these asset classes has on the long-term return of the portfolio, as […]


Topics you can’t afford to miss

Ken Roberts – of Ken’s Bulls & Bears on KCKQ AM 1180 in northern Nevada – recently interviewed Paul. In this 43 minute conversation they discuss target date funds, the pros and cons of stock selection, how young investors can get a head start, the four most important variables in your mutual funds performance, and the best […]


Pros and Cons of Motif and M1 Finance

The Motif Investing and M1 Finance companies allow investors to create a customized portfolio of individual securities and ETFs. Paul and Chris Pedersen compare these two low cost ways to create do-it-yourself robo portfolios. In both cases there are great advantages and important limitations. Chris recently compared the important differences in a table that may be useful […]