John Spoto

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Helping your children pay for college is one of the biggest and most important challenges you will face. Currently, a four-year education (tuition, fees, room and board, supplies and personal expenses) can range from almost $120,000 at a public college to more than $280,000 at some of the most expensive private institutions, such as Boston […]
“Surprise! The returns reported by mutual funds are not actually earned by mutual fund investors.” This is how John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds, begins the chapter titled “The Grand Illusion” in his 2007 book, “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.” The “grand illusion” he is referring to is the fact that mutual-fund […]
Last time, we introduced the concept of behavioral finance, a relatively new field attracting the attention of mainstream investors over the last 20 years. Behavioral finance is the area of economics that studies how the financial decisions we make are influenced by factors beyond a purely logical analysis of the situations we face. Specifically, it […]
Emotions trump smarts. Making good financial decisions can be difficult, even for smart people. One reason is that most people make decisions based, in large part, on their biases and the emotions they are experiencing at the time rather than a thorough review of the facts. In other words, their choices hinge more on what […]
Harry Markowitz, Nobel laureate in economics and a pioneer in investment theory, suggested that a fundamental responsibility of any investor is to manage the risk of their portfolio. The risk he was referring to is volatility: the ups and downs of stock prices during the year and from year to year. Investors who ignore risk […]
Taxes take a big bite out of investment earnings. An important goal of successful investing, therefore, is maximizing after-tax returns. This involves both assembling the correct mix of assets and placing them in the right types of accounts. Since different investments and different types of accounts are taxed at different rates, how investors allocate assets […]
A modest but consistent savings program, combined with a prudent investment strategy, can yield astounding results when allowed to grow over a long period of time. This is the power of compound growth, and investors can harness it to achieve their long-term financial goals. However, in an effort to attract money from investors, some in […]
Why pensions are a thing of the past
In our last article, we discussed specific obstacles that can get in the way of securing a comfortable retirement. In this article, we’ll offer some solutions to help improve those chances. Fortunately, the study of the behavioral forces that result in poor decisions has enabled researchers to develop strategies to employ those forces to produce […]