Higher retirement spending by staying flexible

In earlier posts I’ve covered how much it takes to retire, the safe withdrawal rate (SWR), and one method of increasing the safe withdrawal rate. Today I wanted to cover the method I use to increase my SWR significantly without taking on any more risk. Sounds exciting huh? Well, maybe to a retirement calculating geek like me….. The answer to…

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Risk management for retirement portfolios

I’ve been thinking a lot about risk management lately. A retiree faces a lot of risks but not the ones that are usually talked about. The biggest two, in my opinion, are suffering a very large portfolio decline and retirement income not keeping up with inflation and taxes. This is mainly a thought post on these risks and what are…

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Structured Products: a prudent investment or an imprudent bet?

I wanted to start discussing some alternative investment strategies that are often not discussed or a just dismissed outright as being too risky. Today, I’ll start with structured products. A structured product is a fancy name for an investment vehicle that combines a traditional investment, like a bond, with a derivative investment, like an option, that generates a different return…

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Is it time to sell KMP?

Total returns of 27% per year since 1996. 15% annual growth for dividends in the same time. A $100 investment in ’96 would have turned into $2,518 as of 9/3/2010 compared to $185 for the S&P500. It’s no doubt that Kinder Morgan (KMP) has been a stellar investment over the last 14 years. It is still considered by many to…

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My personal portfolio

Today I finally wanted to get to discussing my investment portfolio and some of the reasons behind my allocation decisions. I think its better to see actual ideas being implemented rather than just talk about generalities. Lets get right to it then. You can see the bulk of my portfolio on how it is performing at tickerspy here. In general,…

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On-line financial education

In my post yesterday I mentioned the important need to get educated on financial matters. I forgot to mention one of my favorite resources for on-line for educational content, the Khan Academy. If you have not heard of the Khan Academy I highly recommend that you check the website out. Here is their brief story; My uncle’s family visited me…

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The gov’t is waging war on your savings

I wanted to talk about saving money tonight. Specifically, how the government is waging a war on your ability to save money and build wealth. Most people first start to save by building up short term savings, a rainy day fund, emergency fund, etc… Currently, the gov’t is making this harder and harder by keeping short term interest rates too…

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Update on MLP valuation: frothier but not overvalued yet

I an earlier post I talked about MLP valuation and considered if the sector was overvalued. My conclusion was that based on avg historical yield the sector seemed pricey but based on my preferred metric, the yield spread to the 10yr note, the sector was not over valued. Today I thought I would update the data, considering the recent market…

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Retirement and risk

Modern finance theory teaches that market risk is measured by the volatility of asset prices. JustĀ  calculate the standard deviation of asset returns and there you have it – risk. But risk of what? Volatility measures risk as how much your portfolio varies over time (also to the upside remember). That is ONE way to measure risk but certainly not…

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Yield on cost: a critical dividend metric

Today I wanted to cover one of the most critical dividend stock metrics, yield on cost (YOC for short). Rising YOC is one of the great benefits of owning dividend stocks, in particular one with good dividend growth. YOC is simply the current dividend rate divided by the price you paid for the stock. For example, if you bought a…

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