FVIM's Insights

News and information about preserving your life savings

Financial Fee Transparency: See No Evil

Every April 15 when I write that painful check to the IRS, I console myself with the reminder that having tax-generating income is certainly better than not owing anything at all. Assuming I don't incur underpayment penalties, it's also better than having had the amount surreptitiously extracted from a paycheck; I've gotten to put that money to use for me and my family for as long as possible. Still, writing that obvious check hurts, every time. This year, I realized that transparent investment costs are like that too. Investors should significantly prefer fees and costs they can clearly see instead...
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Plugging Up the Leaks in Women's Retirement Planning

In our last post, we covered the female elephant in the room : Given women's longer expected lifespans, it's vital for women to participate in the household's financial and estate planning interests. A newly published White House report, " The Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings ," sets the stage for another important discussion about your family's retirement planning and how the same longevity issues matter here as well. First, Let's Talk About Fiduciary Advice Let's talk about that White House report and its connection to women's retirement planning. This may seem like a digression, but bear with...
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Women and Estate Planning: The Female Elephant in the Room

When it comes to wise estate planning, there's an elephant in the room. Everyone can see her but she's rarely discussed: In aggregate, women live longer than men. In her recent MarketWatch piece, " How women can make estate planning easier " columnist Andrea Coombes points out a U.S. Census Bureau statistic that "36% of women 65 and older are widowed, compared with 12% of men 65 and older." That means, ready or not, there are three times as many widows as widowers out there shouldering the role of surviving spouse. That's a lot of woman-power. While most couples are...
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Can You Handle the Truth About Tracking Error?

To a point, I'm glad that the current market climate (at least as we write) has caused some investors' globally diversified portfolios to underperform the familiar S&P 500 Index this year. Why might this make me happy? It could be the best, "tough love" learning experience ever if you can handle the truth, which is as follows: The difference between planning for the atypical market risk inherent to diversified investing and experiencing the actual pain when it occurs reminds me of a quote from heavyweight champion Mike Tyson (who certainly knows his way around pain): "Everybody has a plan until...
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