2 Minutes With Magis Wealth Planning” is published on the second Friday of every month and includes brief summaries of articles and data points that we’ve come across during the course of our daily reading and research. The focus is on content that we find both relevant and interesting on various topics including investments, retirement, taxes, industry news, etc.
- According to a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal, several of the early proponents of the 401(k) now have regrets due to low savings rates, unsuitable investment decisions and Wall Street fees. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-champions-of-the-401-k-lament-the-revolution-they-started-1483382348
- Last week Charles Schwab lowered its standard commission price to $6.95 per trade, which is now the lowest in the industry. Expense ratios are also being reduced on several Schwab mutual funds including the Schwab S&P 500 Index fund (0.03%). This is good news for our clients. While investors cannot control market fluctuations, they can (and should) control investment expenses – a foundational element of our business model.
- In January, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fined both Citigroup and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for overbilling clients. Billing errors aside, a lot of people are paying more for financial advice than they realize. We employ a flat fee retainer model that is easy to understand and we do not sell products or accept commissions, kickbacks or any other sources of income. Our clients always know exactly what they are paying – because we have nothing to hide!! https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2017-12.html https://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2017-35.html
- Bloomberg Businessweek magazine published an interesting profile of the founder of “My Pillow” which shows the power of the entrepreneurial spirit…. and a good infomercial. To summarize, Mike Lindell has built a wildly successful business from an idea that came to him in a dream and along the way lost his house, battled drug and alcohol addictions, almost died in skydiving and motorcycle accidents, and was banned from multiple casinos for counting cards at the blackjack table to pay suppliers. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-11/the-preposterous-success-story-of-america-s-pillow-king
- Chart of the Month: The Price of Poor Timing. Returns for average investors are lower than market returns (i.e. stock/bond indices) over the past 10 years. Key take away: Don’t try to be a market timer. You have to make two decisions correctly, when to sell and when to buy back in, and that’s a losing proposition.