The news about retirement portfolio investing this week has been a little light, so we start with the lighter side. Kiefer Sutherland’s misfortune is not funny, but we’ve watched our hero in “24” defy the odds of multiple life and death situations. So it’s ironic that in real life, he too fell victim to an investment scam. “24” main man Kiefer Sutherland has lost $869,000 in a rip-off investment scheme. The 43-year-old actor is just one of several victims of Michael Wayne Carr, who enticed investors to fork out cash for a cattle deal that turns out to be a fraud. It happens all the time, no matter how rich and famous you are and when you can have the smartest advisors money can buy. Note to Kiefer and the producers of 24: for Day 9 (next year’s season), replace the terrorists with financial terrorists. Kiefer’s acting will be supercharged from personal experience!
Second, according to the NY Times, if you want to be considered “in the know”, just start talking about ETFs at your next party. The wave is sweeping the investment landscape and investing in them might soon be considered “cool.” “Average investors haven’t really latched onto perhaps the biggest investing innovation of the past two decades. Despite being low-cost, tax-efficient and easy to buy or sell at a moment’s notice, exchange-traded funds remain largely the domain of institutional investors and stock-market aficionados. ‘Main Street still barely knows what they are,’ acknowledges ETF expert Matt Hougan of IndexUniverse, an independent Web site on exchange-traded and other index funds. That may soon change.”
Third, one of our Experts at MarketRiders is John Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. When he writes in the Wall Street Journal, we listen. There’s a group of investors so enamored with him, that they host a popular and growing website dedicated to following his investment theories: www.bogleheads.org. Jane Bryant Quinn lists this site as her favorite. Bogle’s editorial is well worth reading. He writes:
“(At the end of 2009) I concluded that ‘the faith of investors has been betrayed.’ How so? Because the returns generated by our corporate stewards have often been illusory, created by so-called financial engineering and produced only by the assumption of massive risks. What’s more, too many of our professional money managers have failed to act as vigilant stewards of the money that we investors entrusted to them.”
We can’t emphasize it enough — maintain an asset allocation that’s good for you so that you have diversification, and own ETFs in each asset class.