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TSP (for Federal Employees and Retirees): Is there a Problem with the I Fund?

Mike Causey recently interviewed me on Federal News Radio. (You can listen to the interview here). One of the main topics of our discussion was the I Fund, which turns out to have low performance even when compared to many other international funds.

Hire an Investment Manager or Do It Yourself? The Surprising Answer from Vanguard

Are investment managers cost effective? Vanguard says they are.
Vanguard is often associated with DIY (do it yourself) investors. However, Vanguard doesn’t seem to think that DIY is the best solution.

A “Trump Bump” Instead of a “Trump Slump” Makes Chumps Out of Stock Market Experts

It wasn’t just political experts who looked bad after Donald Trump’s recent victory. Stock market forecasters also looked bad. Most predicted that if Trump won, it would be bad for stock prices.

Donald Trump and the Stock Market

Will the election affect the stock market?
One of my clients asked me if we should be preparing for a Trump victory that causes the stock market to fall dramatically.
Not an easy question to answer but consider these points:

Who Is Your Custodian?

Your custodian? No, this is not about the workers who clean and maintain buildings.
It is about something much more important: companies that hold and safeguard investments.

Brexit and Your Investments

US and international stocks declined sharply Friday, June 24 2016, as a result of the British vote to leave the European Union (Brexit).The vote will affect stock and bond markets -- and investor portfolios -- for a long time.There may be further declines and volatility is expected to increase.

The TSP (for Federal Employees and Retirees): Art's Interview with Mike Causey

Mike Causey of Federal News Radio just interviewed me about recent declines in the TSP stock funds. We discussed how TSP investors could adjust their allocations and whether the G Fund is a good alternative for long-term investors.
You can listen to the interview here.
Recent TSP Returns

Tax Time Is Coming!

You may already be thinking about your taxes but you can’t prepare them until you receive all your 1099s and other tax information.

Consolidated 1099s for brokerage accounts (not IRAs) have to be mailed by February 16 this year. The normal February 15 deadline was delayed one day due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.

Stock Market Forecasts That Are Worth Reading

I recently blogged on the unreliability of stock market forecasts (Are Stock Market Forecasts Worth Reading?).
Mutual fund firm Dimensional Fund Advisors published a similar article (Jim Parker, 2016: Ten Predictions to Count On) a few days ago. The author details additional examples on the unreliability of forecasts but also listed ten forecasts for which he has complete confidence.

Your Anterior Cingulate Cortex and the Stock Market

2015 was a poor year for stocks. The S&P 500 Index (with reinvested dividends) increased only 1.4%. The beginning of 2016 has been worse. The S&P has declined approximately 7.5% year to date. Small cap stocks were worse in both periods.
Both stocks and bonds fluctuate in value; we call that volatility. No one worries when prices fluctuate up. But when prices suddenly fluctuate down, it is felt to be a surprising and painful event.
According to Jason Zweig at the Wall Street Journal, a sudden, unexpected decline in our investments can set off alarm bells in the brain that cause “specialized cells in a region of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex… [to]respond… firing out warning signals to other parts of your brain that control your pulse, blood pressure and stress hormones — putting your body on almost instant alert.”
Instant alert as in: We worry. We stress. We want to do something. Many investors sell in a panic.
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