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The Worst Time To Retire?

Life is about timing. Graduating in 1999 would've placed you into a booming economy with jobs galore. Graduate a year later and you'll struggle for an interview (post-tech crash). Through no fault of your own, a full 180 in your life trajectory.  Timing can be the sole difference between success and failure. Retirees know this all too well. As investors, we face the risk of retiring into a down market, known as  sequence of returns risk. Positive returns in the early years of retirement equals a larger nest egg to withdraw and grow from. Retiring into a bear market would mean withdrawing and growing from a depleted position - kicking your portfolio while it's down. Even the same returns could lead to starkly different outcomes depending on the order (20%, 10%, -30% Vs. -30%, 10%, 20%). The sequence matters. Returns compound and how you start will be the difference between an upward or downward spiral.  A strong start in football could mean the difference between winning and

Does Gold Work As Money?

Gold. The symbol of royalty. The olympian's trophy. The most precious of the precious metals. Scarce and beautiful. Durable yet divisible. Civilizations universally agreed it was valuable.  Up until the past century, paper money was backed by gold - a dollar representing claim to a given weight. Now we operate in a fiat system where money is backed only by government decreed - giving them the power to create money "out of thin air".  Whenever there's fiscal stimulus or "money printing" as some would have it, inflation fears arise along with demand for the gold standard.   But does gold really work as money?  Inflation happens where there's too much money chasing too few goods. Fiat currency can lead to this if we're not careful. Zimbabwe is notorious for hyperinflation.  However, managed properly, fiat currencies enables policymakers to adjust the money supply based on economic needs - smoothing out the cyclical ups and downs.  With the gold standard

Living To Compound Another Day

A single workout won't do much for your health. Reading a few pages won't make you much smarter. Meaningful results are a product of consistency over time. Today's reps are not today's results. True change comes from compounded effort. 

The Broken Record of Broken Records.

  When Roger Bannister first ran the 4 minute mile, it changed running forever. Broken records shake up preconceive notions and challenge our limits. Bannister's performance, a feat once considered impossible is now commonplace for runners.  If you pay attention to financial news, it'll appear that records are being broken everyday. The S&P 500 hitting a new high. The Dow suffering its largest drop. These headlines are dramatic but are they meaningful? In markets, things that never happened before ironically happen all the time. The novel is routine and nothing to fret about.  There's a lot of moving pieces in finance and endless combinations can occur to form a record-breaking narrative. These are largely cosmetic. The markets are rich with data, data that can be sliced and diced until you find something "historic". Timeframes, sectors, factors - tweak the parameters enough and you'll find something everyday. You can do the same in your life. When you had

Financial News, Insights Wanted

  I consume an embarrassing amount of financial media. I'm working on cutting back. If my avid consumption has taught me anything, most is just noise. Genuine insights are rare to come by and little is gained by paying such close attention.