We made it…100 episodes. After podcasting for nearly 2 years, Ken reflects on this accomplishment and thanks those who supported him. Upon hitting 100, Ken reflects on how planning is his number one takeaway when it comes to finances. Ken revisits the podcast’s most popular episodes that a majority of listeners gravitated to. Finally, Ken announces that he’s taking a sabbatical from the podcast to take pause and focus on other endeavors.
Ken has always been a proponent of teaching your children financial literacy for adulthood. Ken would sit down with his children weekly to review their financial snapshots. Ken was limited however since the children couldn’t access their accounts autonomously. Enter FamZoo, a paid software program that enables children to manage their own financial accounts and optionally have debit cards – with parental oversight. Ken reviews this program for those looking to teach their children financial responsibility.
Ken tackles what financial advisor arrangement best suits you. If you’re new, not into DIY and would like to trust someone, then Commission or Fee Based might be for you. But surprisingly, Ken isn’t a fan of either of these structures. His preferred method is an hourly based fee where the advisor takes the time craft a financial plan tailored to you; a Bottom Line Up Front arrangement. Ken goes through all of these fee structures, offering up key details that will help you make your determination.
Tax Season is soon upon us, with many eligible to file taxes already. Ken walks you through some considerations that will allow you to properly and legally leverage the system. No list of forms needed for this episode, just your 2019 filing. What type of deduction did you use and what bracket do you fall in? Do you use itemized or standard deductions? There are ways to leverage both, depending on your situation. Ken briefly defines these terms and then guides you to an optimal filing.
How should we approach investing during these uncertain times? Ken gives us the short and resounding answer. Whatever your strategy is…keep doing it! This is where your strategy and planning is put to the test. Especially if you subscribe to the “index buy and hold” strategy. Don’t carefully craft your ship, just to abandon it at first sight of a storm cloud. Keep moving forward with your strategy – devoid of emotional decisions. Ken breaks down the logic behind this sound advice.
Ken discusses the value of rebalancing your portfolio on a regular, fixed schedule. This device is not meant for “gaming” or timing the market, but rather to correct your risk/return parameters. If funds over or under perform, your holdings may no longer reflect your goals. For example, if your riskier holdings outperform projections, your portfolio is over-weighted with riskier assets. Ken walks you through the timing and tactics of a rebalance – including yearly cash injections or shuffling of holdings.
Ken continues his study of Paul Merriman and Richard Buck’s financial insights. The duo, Ken explains, have begun developing a strategy that is simple for investors to implement. They found that proper asset allocation is key to success. To keep it simple, you allocate these funds to 1) A Target Date Fund and 2) A Small Company Value Stock Fund. Ken expands upon these funds and the simple math you can use to divvy up these funds. If your looking for simple, actionable steps, this episode is for you.
Ken rounds out his discussion of “We’re Talking Millions” covering the last 3 points in the book. Ken mainly focuses on #10: Dollar Cost Averaging and #12: Target Date Fund. Ken already covered #11 in Ep. 81-84. With Dollar Cost Averaging, you take the fear out of investing by investing a steady fixed sum over time. Target Date Funds are a set-and-forget asset paired with re-balancing that accomplishes most of the steps in this book. Listen in as Ken breaks down what these concepts are and how they work in your favor.
Ken continues his series discussing Paul Merriman’s new book “We’re Making Millions.” Points 7-9, some may argue, fly in the face of conventional investment wisdom. #7: Invest in Small Company Stocks. #8: Invest in Value Stocks. #9: Buy and Hold. Traditionally, large company index funds are recommended, so why Small and Value picks? Ken breaks down the research and logic behind Merriman’s arguments. He compares these stock picks to the traditional picks and provides numbers that may surprise you. What’s the 40-year growth rate for small cap stocks? Is paying for Amazon worth it?
As promised, Ken continues discussing Paul Merriman and Richard Buck’s book “We’re Talking Millions,” this time focusing on points 4-6. Ken acknowledges that some of his opinions may differ from others – Ken aims to base his decisions on the research and facts available to him. Regardless, there is no assurances in investing. #4: Invest in many stocks instead of a few. #5: Keep your expenses low. #6: Invest in Index Funds, not Actively Managed Funds. Listen in as Ken expands upon these points and gives his perspective and personal experiences.