FVIM's Insights

News and information about preserving your life savings

Reflections on the Nature of Independent Advice

There are several ways investors can go about making important financial decisions. One way is described by financial commentator Barry Ritholtz when he tweeted: “My training as a trader consisted of being push[ed] into [the] deep end of the pool while someone yelled ‘swim.’” Fortunately for Ritholtz, he managed to stay afloat in his sink-or-swim trial. He’s a no-nonsense New Yorker, so maybe that explains it. For most of us, there is a much easier way: working with an objective and independent advisor who has your back as well as your best interests in mind. But don’t just take my word...
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Investing for What It's Worth

Having begun his career with a “modest” inheritance of around $100 million, is Donald Trump now worth $3–4 billion, or in excess of $10 billion? As described in this article by Reuters’ James Saft , it depends on whether the media’s estimates or Trump’s own proclamations are closer to the truth. For practical purposes, it’s a moot point either way. Of greater interest, Saft’s article also explored an alternate universe, in which Trump decides to skip all of his high-profile business dealings, plop his original nest egg into a basic, index-based investment strategy and let the market do the heavy...
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Dividend-Paying Stocks and Other Mental Math Tricks

We hear this one a lot: Preserve your principal and live off of the proceeds in retirement . When interest rates disappoint, this often translates into investing in dividend-paying stocks instead. Unfortunately, while a focus on dividend stocks may be a common denominator found in many retirees’ investment equations, the logic doesn’t quite add up. Let’s go over why this is so, and why there may be better ways to both preserve and enjoy your total wealth. Money = Money It’s true that the notion of “principal” versus “interest” versus “dividends” can make for convenient mental accounting when managing your...
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Fed Forecasts and Investor Mishaps

The can-do spirit dies hard in us Americans, and usually that’s a good thing. But when applied to investing, active energy is less advisable, especially if it involves trying to outsmart the market by chasing expert forecasts. Hopefully, you’ve already figured out that you’re best off ignoring the garden-variety talking heads like Jim Cramer and his ilk as more flash than substance. But what about those super-powered Federal Reserve chairmen and chairwomen? If anyone could see what’s coming in the market, shouldn’t it be they, who not only have their finger on the pulse but are actually responsible for regulating...
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