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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 […]


The Ultimate Buy and Hold Strategy 2014

Everyone should have an “ultimate strategy,” based on the best way you know how to do something. This podcast, updated for 2014, presents the best way I’ve found to position yourself for the future. The ultimate strategy must have a long history of success, be able to be managed simply, offer better rates of return on […]


Passive VS. Active Q&A

In Paul’s recent Marketwatch article he explores the debate between the results of index funds and actively-managed funds. If you review the comments following the article, you will see there are a lot of defenders of active management. In this podcast Paul responds to some of the most aggressive defenders of active management, including a comparison of Warren […]


The #1 investment table

Paul discusses the annual update of Callan’s colorful “Periodic Table of Investment Returns 1999-2017” and suggests you view the table while listening: Paul also addresses the changes to his 401k recommendations from 50/50 U.S/international equities to 70/30 U.S./international, and small cap value from Guggenheim SmallCap 600 Pure Value (RZV) to SPDR Small Cap Value (SLYV); and […]


2017 Portfolio performance plus your questions answered

Paul briefly discusses the recent MarketWatch article, “4 simple and effective ways to help a young person get a jump on retirement” and continues with consideration of 2017 performance of the Vanguard, Fidelity, T Rowe Price, Schwab, TD Ameritrade mutual fund and ETF portofolios recommended at his site, including his favorite. He then turns to how to build the Ultimate Buy and […]


What you should know about 2017 returns

DON’T LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST if you don’t like numbers. Many unexpected things happened in 2017. To understand them it’s important to look at the numbers. This discussion includes a comparison of large cap, small cap, growth, value, U.S. and international asset class returns. There is also a comparison of 1- and 15-year returns for […]


What I think about Bitcoin and my 12 projects for 2018

This podcast presents plans for 12 major projects for 2018 by The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. They include fund selection for self-directed 401k plans, new 401k plans, more studies on the long-term impact of saving to retirement, answering more of your questions, teaching more young people about sound investing and interviewing some of the industry’s […]


What to do about bonds?

What to do about bonds is probably the most common question I get from investors. In some ways it is the simplest of investment decisions but it can be made difficult due to emotional hurdles. In this podcast Paul reviews several past articles on bonds. Here are the links to those articles: “Why bonds are […]


10 things you should know about small cap value

Small cap value continues to be an asset class that Paul recommends for all investors. Of course, for retired investors it may be a very small part as their position in equities is low. For first-time investors following Paul and Chris’ target date fund recommendations, the super-charged asset class may take up the entire portfolio. […]


8 Great Investment Questions and Answers

Following are Paul’s answers to some great investing questions. Sometimes he needs to ask a question before he can answer your question, so please include your phone number in your “Ask Paul” questions sent to Also, keep in mind that due to the number of emails received, Paul can only answer a portion of them, […]


34 ways to get more out of your 401k

For more than 90% of working adults, the most important investment decision is how to invest their 401k, 457, 403b or IRA. Each of the 34 points in this podcast addresses a way that is likely to produce better returns. In this podcast Paul mentions several articles: How to Turn $3000 into $50 Million, 30 Reasons to […]


Is it time to get more conservative? And 9 more interesting questions…

On November 18, 2017, Paul spoke to 170 investors. Some were clients of Merriman Wealth Management and others followers of Paul’s online educational efforts. The following 10 questions were left to answer in a special podcast. 1. This bull market duration is unusually long. Is it time to get more conservative? 2. Is the next […]


12 Answers to Investor Questions

Paul answers 12 questions from his readers and listeners concerning REITS, bonds, gold, investment risks, portfolio management, asset class allocation and emerging markets: 1. Is it a good idea to own both U.S. and international REITs? 5:45 2. Should REIT percentages change if we buy real estate? 8:55 3. How much should we invest in bonds […]


Lessons learned at AAII Conference

The AAII (American Association of Individual Investors) Conference was a treasure trove of investment history and advice for amateur investors. In fact, Paul felt a lot of the information should be meaningful to professionals as well. Paul was impressed with the presentations from Meb Faber, Larry Swedroe, Dr. Craig Israelsen and Mark Hulbert. The one thing that all four […]


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