Will LPL's new emphasis on recruiting from wirehouses pay off?

Recent moves in the recruiting group at LPL Financial make it clear that the firm is trying to target more registered reps and financial advisers who currently work at wirehouses and convince them to leap to a broker-dealer where they labor as independent contractors rather than employees. LPL is the industry leader in recruiting and […]

Friday links: the list edition

Due to unavoidable circumstances, we are going to something a little different with today’s linkfest. We accumulated a slew of best-of links over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully these lists generate some ideas for you over the coming holidays. Chart of the Day How much time Americans spend on various forms of media. (axios.com) […]

My Big Lessons from 2018

These are the major things I’ve learned this year, in no particular order… Five people who buy into your mission are better than a hundred people who don’t. This applies to clients, to personnel you’re hiring, to partners you’re going into business with, to allies you’re bringing in to a project. There is strength in […]

Podcast links: granular data

Fridays are all about podcast links here at Abnormal Returns. You can check out last week’s links including a look at some of the best investment podcasts of 2018. The biz Finance Business Economy Non-finance

You’re Not Crazy

The resignation of General Mattis and the new bear market in stocks both have a silver lining. They’re the first signs in awhile that you’re not crazy. 35% of America has lost its mind. But the other two thirds has not. It recognizes what is going on and it still reacts accordingly. You are not […]

Don’t Be Your Worst Enemy: Self-Inflicted Wounds Are Terribly Unnecessary

A self-inflicted wound is so sad. Unlike financial blindspots, where you can plead ignorance for your actions, a self-inflicted wound is a willful and always a harmful action that puts you in a worse off situation than before. As the markets tumble, it’s worth highlighting some self-inflicted wounds that could have prevented this fall. We’ll also learn about other common self-inflicted wounds that […]

Why Aren’t You Doing What You Recommend?

[Editor’s Note: Just a reminder that the CityVest deal discussed on the blog last Friday only lasts through the end of the year. If you missed that post, this is basically a chance to get into a private multi-family real estate fund with only a $25K minimum. More details at the blog post link above […]

It’s Not Time to Panic (Yet)

So, the market’s finally gotten a little interesting. It’s been a while. I feel like we’ve been sleepwalking through years of stable and steady market returns. In fact, the last few years have been unusually stable. The 3 year rolling standard deviation of a 60/40 stock/bond portfolio has been just 6.2 since 2010. The average […]

The Big Jump

The average holding period for a mutual fund is something like three years. This is an average, so some people have more patience and some have less. But that’s at the product level. What about the average holding period for a particular investing strategy? Let’s just say that it’s probably similar. The reality of the […]

Well, that could have gone better…

This morning I explained briefly why I thought the Federal Reserve had an opportunity to pause today as opposed to doing its widely expected fourth interest rate hike of 2018. But they hiked. And, I guess, attempted to accompany the hike with somewhat dovish language to cushion the blow, sort of? It didn’t go well. […]

Unforced Errors

I have to make this quick but I want to mention it… Here’s the CEO of Fedex, whose stock is tanking this morning after saying this, while slashing earnings and revenue guidance for 2009: “This is very, very important, and I’ll just conclude by saying most of the issues that we’re dealing with today are […]

Changes to IRMAA for 2019

For 2019, there is a change to the Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts (IRMAA) for Medicare. The change is to add another level of adjustment to IRMAA for 2019. In the past, there were five levels of IRMAA. For 2019, there is a new level added to the top end of the IRMAA adjustments. IRMAA for […]

The Biggest Benefits Of A Stock Market Meltdown

Today is an exciting day. Today we find out whether Fed Chair and centimillionaire Jerome Powell helps ignite the DIRE Movement by telegraphing aggressive rate hikes in 2019 to stem nonexistent inflation or whether he decides to ease off the gas given the recent meltdown in the stock market. A market-friendly Fed Chair would take […]

7 Tips to Avoid Investment Scams

[Editor’s Note: The following guest post was submitted by Mark Pugsley, a lawyer who specializes in recovering losses for victims of investment fraud, unsuitable recommendations, and Ponzi schemes. He is a local attorney here in Utah. We met over lunch one day and lamented the prevalence of financial scams in the world, the epicenter of […]

Three Reasons You’re Never Satisfied

Michael and Ben were talking about a new study they’d read at The Atlantic about how no one is happy with the amount of money they have, up and down the scale. The conclusion of the piece is that pretty much everyone says they’d be contented if they only had 2 to 3 times more […]

Three Things I Learned From My Estate Planning Lawyer Everyone Should Do

My estate planning lawyer said something interesting before I decided to hire her. “People who aren’t rich might need estate planning more than rich people because they might not be able to afford to pay probate fees in the case of an untimely death.” Leave it to the US court system to make the distribution […]

Why I’m Dumping My Disability Insurance Policy at 43

Most of the articles on this website about term life insurance and disability insurance deal with the front end: how to buy it, what kind of policy to buy, how much to pay for it etc. There are very few posts (this one and this one) about the back end – when and how to […]

Did Dow Theory just trigger an important sell signal?

You know how skeptical I am of market maxims and rules of thumb and pattern recognition in general… At best, these “signals” work sometimes and there are too many variables that are exogenous to the signal – so that a practitioner cannot know when it’s about to work and when it’s not. They can take […]

Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy

[Editor’s Note: This post originally published on WCI Network partner site Physician on FIRE. I love the idea of stealth wealth. If you were to ask any of my neighbors if Katie and I were millionaires I think 9 out of 10 would have no idea. Sure, they’ve seen a boat parked in my driveway […]

2018 Form 1040: Say hello to my little friend

The long-awaited 2018 Form 1040 has been finalized by the IRS. It comes very close to the promised “postcard” size, at 8½ x 5½, two-sided. Here’s the front page: And here’s the back page: You can go to the IRS.gov website to see Form 1040 “live”. Turns out that, apparently, all that was necessary to […]

Can You Beat the Market?

In investing and finance, the words “beat the market” appear from time to time either as part of an investment strategy, conversation, or a combination of both. Investors can often be lured by the phrase in the hopes of achieving returns superior than the market or “above average”. When we refer to the market, we’re […]

Why I Never Contributed To A Roth IRA But Why You Probably Should

My dad is in his 70s and he mentioned he wish he’d started a Roth IRA when he was young. When you’re in your 70s, you must take required minimum distributions from your pre-tax retirement savings accounts and pay taxes. Given nobody likes to pay taxes, I empathized with his regret. It’s also a good idea […]

Bonds in a Rising Interest Rate Environment – Podcast #84

Podcast #84 Show Notes: Bonds in a Rising Interest Rate Environment I was asked for some good strategies for investing in bonds in a rising interest rate environment, like short term bonds, money market funds, inflation adjusted bonds, and stable value funds. Don’t extrapolate the past into the future. Interest rates may go up, down, […]

5 hot posts I’m reading today

Busy week and it’s only Wednesday, so posting has been light here. Last night we assembled the firm’s Investment Committee and I took everyone out to dinner. The IC does it’s work throughout the year mostly remote, so it was cool to have Blair, Dan, Barry, Ben and Michael all in one place for their […]

Principles of Pollex: The Rule of 72/Rule of 78’s

(In case you are confused by the headline: a principle is a rule, and pollex is an obscure term for thumb. Therefore, we’re talking about Rules of Thumb.) In this installment of our ongoing Principles of Pollex series, we’re going to talk about two Rules from the financial world that are actually real, true, undisputed […]

Self-Directed Solo 401k Real Estate Investing: The Ins-and-Outs

[Editor’s Note: The following guest post was submitted by Bernard Reisz, CPA, and founder of ReSure, LLC, and 401kCheckbook.com, companies that help their clients to invest their tax-sheltered funds in alternative assets. We have no financial relationship.]  Real estate is an attractive asset class for many reasons and should have a place in every diversified portfolio. […]


[embedded content] A discussion between Downtown Josh Brown, CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management and three of the most promising up and coming voices in the industry: Tyrone Ross of Noble Bridge Doug Bonaparth of Bone Fide Justin Castelli of RLS Wealth What is it like to build a financial advisory practice in the modern era, […]

The R Word

You better hope interest rates didn’t just peak for the cycle with the 10-year failing at 3.05%. So says Ari Wald (technician at OpCo), whose chart this weekend looks at 10-year treasury yield breakdowns as a leading (or coincident) indicator for major turning points in the S&P 500 / economy. Here’s Ari: Looking back at […]

You can’t deduct IRA losses any more

As of 2018, it is no longer possible to deduct IRA losses from your income. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018 eliminated this and many other miscellaneous itemized deductions. Prior to 2018, if you had losses in your IRA with non-deductible contributions, you could cash out the entire IRA and deduct the loss […]


I’ll have more thoughts on this later. Here’s the lead markets story at the Journal today: Going back to the 1980s, the S&P 500 has typically rebounded after posting a weekly loss, such as the punishing setback it suffered last week. This year, that “buy-the-dip” trend has broken apart. The broad index has fallen an […]

Move Over FIRE, Welcome DIRE: Delay, Inherit, Retire, Expire

When I first started writing about achieving  financial independence early in 2009, I never thought the FIRE movement would reach such a huge level of interest a decade later. After all, only misfits decide to aggressively forgo material pleasures, save 50% or more of their incomes, and retire from well-paying jobs in their 30s and […]

Investing in Conservation Easements

Q. Should I invest in conservation easements? I keep hearing good things about them but don’t really understand how they work or whether it is a good idea. Conservation Easement Investments Have High Abuse Potential A. Conservation easements are a great idea, in theory. Here’s the way they work. Basically, if you are willing to […]

5 Financial Considerations When Taking Care of Your Aging Parents

[Editor’s Note: For today’s WCI Network post we hear from Passive Income, MD about how he has approached the problem of making sure his parents are taken care of financially as they get older. If you think there are vast differences between the financial situation of one doctor compared to another, those pale in comparison […]

Orange Theory

Today’s WSJ on how the President theorizes over his role in what the Dow Jones does from day to day… Publicly, Mr. Trump has often dismissed market fluctuations as part of a natural correction, but several people close to the president say he places as much importance on the health of the Dow Jones Industrial […]

If / Then

My friend Turney Duff did this Ted Talk that just hit the web. For those who don’t know his story, he’s the fallen angel hedge fund manager who wrote the book on mixing trading with partying, and then paying the price for it. You can watch it below, I thought it was fun and interesting… […]

Plain & Simple

I read lots of technical analysis research. A lot of it is produced by friends of mine (what’s up JC, Ari, Jon, Andy!). Some of it comes from large firms and some of it comes from independent traders. I don’t place trades based upon it but I use it inform my opinions and views. Price […]

Once The Money Is Gone Your Tolerance For BS Disappears

Some of you don’t believe me that it’s better to retire in a bear market, when all is in shambles, than in a bull market. I, for one, found it very hard to quit the money when times were good. I was always suffering from the “one more year syndrome.” Seriously, as soon as my […]

A Round Trip Through a Crowdfunded Equity Investment

[Update Prior to Publication: I first wrote this post a couple of months ago. It was written now that after several years of investing with, monitoring, and writing about RealtyShares, I was finally comfortable giving them a pretty strong recommendation. I had been round trip with four debt investments and an equity investment and the […]

Wall Street is in a box right now

I did my friend Stephanie Ruhle’s show this morning to let MSNBC viewers in on what’s happening with the recent stock market volatility. I’m joined on the panel by Bill Cohan (Vanity Fair) and Bret Stephens (New York Times). Hope this was helpful, you watch it here: Is there reason to hope tariff progress is […]

The Business of Medicine with Dr. Jason Mizell – Podcast #83

Dr. Jason Mizell has been teaching a personal finance course, the Business of Medicine class, at his academic institution for medical students and residents for several years. It is inspiring to see what he has created and the difference he is making in the lives of these trainees. There is a growing number of academic […]

Google’s “Other Bets”

I’m using the day to catch up on a bunch of reading. I came across this story about Alphabet’s Waymo division hitting another milestone – they’re now the first company to charge passengers money for an automated taxi service on the streets of the real world. Reuters says a 15 minute / 3 mile ride […]

A Bond Yield Table Makes It Clear Which Duration You Must Choose

Hopefully, everybody has been building a CD Step Stool or a Bond Step Stool (not a ladder) in this rising interest rate environment. A Step Stool is the smarter approach because the short end of the yield curve has been rising faster than the long end. The Fed Funds rate is the shortest of the […]

8 Tips for Employing a Nanny the Right Way

[Editor’s Note: The following post was submitted by regular reader and occasional contributor, Dr. Matthew Pirotte, MD, FACEP, an Assistant Residency Director for the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Emergency Medicine Residency Program. You can follow him on Twitter @ MJP_MD. We have no financial relationship.] Many couples will end up paying for childcare in one form or […]

Is The Yield Curve Coming to Kill You?

 Is the yield curve about to invert? If it does, are we guaranteed to have a recession in the US economy? What about a stock market crash? How do we separate fact from fiction, noise from signal regarding this important topic? Josh Brown and Michael Batnick break it down for you and share some […]

Sicko Mode

How did Travis Scott notch the number one single in America this week, despite the fact that it’s been on the radio since August? How does he keep the album it’s on at the top of the Billboard 200 all these weeks later, in the age of streaming and infinite new music drops? He found […]

IRAs and Blended Families

In today’s society, the historically “traditional” family is becoming less and less commonplace – apparently as many as 50% of all children under age 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent’s current partner who is not a biological parent of the child.  Often as well, there is a significant age differential […]