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Passing Shots

The Fifth Set Blog

Topics: 401k, Fiduciary, Long-term investing, retirement income, Roth Conversion, Roth IRA, Taxes, Traditional IRA, Uncategorized

The SECURE Act – Congress passes significant new retirement plan legislation

In the final session of 2019, Congress passed and the President signed, the SECURE Act (The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), a significant piece of legislation that contains several important updates and changes for investors.  Among the most significant are the following:  …read more »

Getting to Know the Fifth Set Credentials – The Enrolled Agent (EA)

When an individual or business needs a tax professional, the credential most typically sought out is the certified public accountant (CPA). However, there is another, albeit less well-known designation, that also represents tax practitioner professionals authorized by the US Department of the Treasury: Enrolled Agent  …read more »

IPOs – High Profiles, Low Returns – Following the Evidence

One of the benefits derived from the evidence-based investment approach is the systematic avoidance of underperforming investment strategies.  Media narratives and marketing drive many of these strategies, that while they might help increase advertising sales and commissions, do little to help investors develop successful investment  …read more »

Seven Bullet Points to Address Investor Client Standard of Care

The financial advice industry has long been separated between 1) Registered Investment Advisor firms (RIAs), which operate under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and whose representatives’ duty is to deliver investment advice, and 2) Broker-Dealers, whose representatives are in the business of selling financial  …read more »

The Guru and The Investor: Act 2 – The Evidence-Based Advisor Strikes Back

Act Two The Setting Following his interview of a hedge-fund manager to see if he should manage his retirement assets, the Investor turns his search to a different type of advisor, for a philosophy based on something called ‘evidence-based investing’.  This seemingly outlandish idea is  …read more »

The Guru and The Investor: A Hedge Fund Story

Act One The Setting Guru appears on CNBC to explain what will happen with interest rates, Brexit, and the economy over the next two years.  Investor sees Guru on TV and assumes that CNBC would only have people on their shows who knew what they  …read more »

What People Want to Know and What is Knowable Are Two Different Things: The FiveThirtyEight Political Forecast Model and a Better Approach to Investing

With the 2018 midterm elections tomorrow, I noted a similar conceptual approach between a political forecast website I follow called FiveThirtyEight (www.fivethirtyeight.com) and the evidence-based approach to investing.    If you are not familiar with FiveThirtyEight, it is a political and sports forecast website developed by  …read more »

CalPERS Kicks Their Hedge Fund Investments to the Curb

Last week, CalPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages approximately $300 billion on behalf of 1.6 million public school and other local and state employees, announced that they “will eliminate its hedge fund program, known internally as the Absolute Return Strategies (ARS) program,  …read more »

Why Pay for Passive…Part Three

In a recent white paper, “Vanguard – Quantifying Advisor Alpha“, mutual fund company Vanguard attempts to quantify the added value of the “passive” investment advisor.  They estimate the value at as much as 3% per year without any attempt at outperforming the market. In two  …read more »

Broker Conflicts of Interest and Municipal Bond Investments

Is it a coincidence that seemingly every prospective client’s taxable account currently managed by a brokerage firm includes the same two security types; expensive actively-managed equity mutual funds and individual municipal bonds? Viewed through the lens of massive conflicts of interest, it’s easy to see  …read more »