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Investing is risky. Not investing is also risky. So, what’s a person to do in seeking a strong financial future and timely retirement? Right or wrong, many venture into the world of annuities. Their promise of a stream of income when your working years are complete can be appealing and comforting. These products are often sold under the premise that they can take the risk out of...

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There is an inverse relationship between fund expenses and returns. In short, costs matter. Nobel Laureate Dr. William Sharpe points to this in his landmark article, “The Arithmetic of Active Management,” in which he asserts simply: “If active and passive management styles are defined in sensible ways, it must be the case that (1) before costs, the return on the average actively managed dollar will equal the return on the average...

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Author’s note and warning: Heavy, heavy sports analogy follows. I am an avid baseball fan and die-hard Kansas City Royals supporter. Even if you don’t follow sports, you probably were aware that the Royals made it all the way to the World Series. The epic seven-game series against the San Francisco Giants ended in a heart-breaking 3-2 defeat in the final, and deciding, game seven. ...

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Most investors believe successful investing involves outperforming the market. Forget the fact that for investing to be truly successful, it must help you achieve your goals, not merely be a number with no context or simply better than some benchmark…that’s an entire topic for another day. Many investors attempt to outperform the market through an active management approach. Bad news for those in this camp…overwhelming evidence demonstrates that this strategy...

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What's your measurement? “Our worries – when it comes to money – are about psychology as much as economics, the soul as much as the bank balance.” John Armstrong, How to Worry Less About Money 2012 and 2013 were such good years for US stock investors that some of us can begin to forget what large losses feel like. In recent conversations with physician investors, especially younger ones, I've been posing the question,...

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Just as people require regular checkups with their doctors to maintain the health of their body, so do people need to meet with their financial planner regularly to ensure the health of their financial plans. In a similar vein, doctors regularly continue their education to follow the most up-to-date medical practices and provide the most comprehensive care to their patients. Individuals follow the same path by continuing their financial education...

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The landscape of the bond market has undergone massive changes over the years. What was once a plain-vanilla way to create steady income is now replete with variety as well as risk. First, the basics. Bonds are a form of debt, a loan to a borrower with the promise of future payback of the loan amount, plus interest. The credit-worthiness of the borrower and the amount...

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Mistakes happen in the personal financial world. We can learn from our own mistakes, and others’, to improve our results. Consider this assortment of common investor gaffes, and do a status check of your own plan to ensure these do not inhibit progress toward your long-term goals! 1. Ignorance is not bliss “Stay the course,” is a common phrase to describe remaining invested and consistent with your...

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“Do I really need to buy still another insurance policy?” For many types of insurance, the need to purchase coverage is pretty much a given. Life, Health, Disability, Homeowners and Auto insurance all play a role in protecting against the risk of financial calamity. But when it comes to Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance, there is no one right answer for everyone. With the national cost of nursing home care averaging $75,000 a...

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Nearly 500,000 Americans fall under the loose description of “financial advisor” as their profession and, typically, most are happy to manage your money for you. However, less than 7% of these advisors actually provide any level of critical advanced personal financial planning, which essentially addresses all of life’s other financial complexities outside of their client’s portfolio of assets. In addition, most investors are not aware that there exists a difference...

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