Top Five Money Habits Of Happy Couples

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! It was in the 60’s this weekend — I think spring is on the way!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Top Five Money Habits Of Happy Couples” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

Ever wonder how some couples seem to navigate the money thing so easily? The article below reveals their secret money habits!

Have a wonderful week!

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Top Five Money Habits Of Happy Couples

By Michael S. Fischer, Contributor, ThinkAdvisor

Most couples disagree about money from time to time, but the happiest ones know how to work through their differences, according to Ameriprise Financial.

Three-quarters of participants in a recent Ameriprise study on couples and money said they agreed on most financial matters, while more than a third also said there was room for improvement.

The study found that 88% of couples were happy with how they had divided up financial responsibilities in their relationship, and 68% said they communicated well about their financial situation. Both individuals in the pair rated themselves as engaged, responsible and confident in managing their money.

“Money doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for couples,” Marcy Keckler, Ameriprise’s vice president of financial advice strategy, said in a statement. “Instead, it provides them with the opportunity to work as a team to create a strong financial foundation built on communication, planning and shared responsibilities.”

The Ameriprise study was conducted online by Artemis Strategy Group among 1,514 U.S. opposite and same-sex couples (married or living together for at least six months with shared financial responsibility), ages 25 to 70 with at least $25,000 in investable assets.

Getting Along

While 82% of couples said they work to quickly resolve differences in financial decisions, 31% said they argue about money at least once a month. The most common points of disagreement:

  • Major purchases: 34%
  • Decisions about finance and children: 24% of respondents with offspring
  • A partner’s spending habits: 23%
  • Important investment decisions: 14%

The study found a neutral party, such as a shared financial advisor, can help couples deal with disagreements about money. “Couples who see the same advisor report that it has helped them improve both their communication and their understanding about financial matters,” Keckler said. “It’s also helped many of them defuse potential conflicts. Approximately 40% of couples who describe themselves as not ‘on the same page’ financially say that advisors have helped them negotiate money issues that might otherwise have caused tension.”

Following are the top five money habits of happy couples in the Ameriprise study.

1. They make money a priority

Half of survey respondents believed that money was an important factor in their relationship, and only 15% said it was not important.

2. Most talk about and agree on financial goals and shared responsibilities

Sixty-eight percent of couples rated their communication on financial matters as good or perfect, and 82% said they had discussed retirement and had similar views on how to approach it.

3. They set spending limits

Any purchases over $400 on average need to be discussed.

4. The majority have joint banking accounts

If one partner keeps money separate from the joint account, the other is typically aware of it.

5. They share the responsibility for retirement planning and investment decisions

Ninety-two percent said they agreed on their target retirement savings goals.

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About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to retirement plan sponsors. The firm currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on more than $400 million in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or bob@lawtonrpc.com or visit the firm’s website at http://www.lawtonrpc.com. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.

Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Remember Valentine’s Day is tomorrow!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

As his retirement approaches, Brian Rogers, Chairman and CIO at T. Rowe Price, shares his knowledge gained from 35 years working with investments.

Have a wonderful week!

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Six Keys To Investment Success: T. Rowe’s Brian Rogers Reflects

By Emily Zulz, Staff Reporter, ThinkAdvisor

On Brian Rogers’ desk at T. Rowe Price is an engraved cube displaying the reminder, “Doubt everything. Believe nothing.” “And I think those are good things for investors to do,” as well, Rogers said

As the time nears for him to step down from his current roles as chairman and CIO at T. Rowe, Rogers is taking time to reflect on his career. “One thing that really struck me” in 1982 when he joined T. Rowe, he recalled at the event, is how “passive was making increasing inroads into our business.” In addition, he said, “fees were under cyclical pressure in 1982. Fast forward to 2016 and it feels like the same two trends are in place, and will continue.”

Recently, T. Rowe Price announced that Rogers will retire as chairman and CIO on March 31, 2017, after nearly 35 years at the firm. While he will stay on as a non-executive chair, his role as CIO will be taken on by six senior investment executives. Recently, Rogers shared six keys to investment success he’s learned over his career.

1. Be an optimist

“When I think back over the course of my career I think back to Warren Buffett’s description of the 20th century,” in which Buffett suggested that ‘If you had $1,000 to invest in 1901 but you knew about everything that was going to happen in the 20th century, you never would have invested the money.’”

However, despite two world wars, depressions, financial crises, oil embargos, global tension and the Cold War, it actually was a good century in which to invest. Rogers suspects this century will be similar to the last. “So be an optimist despite how bad things seem and despite how volatile markets may be,” Rogers said. “Being optimistic, I think, is something that really makes sense for the individual and the institutional investor.”

2. View crises as opportunities

“When you look back over history, a lot of the crises we’ve lived through now just look like little blips on a price chart,” Rogers said. “If you think back to the crash of ’87, the downturn in 1990-91, even the Dot Com crash…when you look at a long-term price chart, they look like little blips. So you have to view those things as opportunities. Everything is cyclical.”

3. Price determines success

“Think of your own lives: If you pay too much for a house, it may not be a good investment for you. If you pay too much for a stock or bond, it may not be a good investment for you,” Rogers said. “Ultimately price and value converge, but it can happen from different directions. You can have price and value, and price drops. Or you can have value and price, and price rises. “Not surprisingly, it’s tougher to make money when prices are high.”

4. Be humble

“One of the things I think I’m known for within our organization is — -very gently — -from time to time telling people that they don’t know as much as they think they know,” Rogers said. “Over-confidence as an investor is a great challenge.” To support his point, Rogers quoted Confucius: Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance. “One of the things we preach within the investment organization is ‘Know what you know. Know what you don’t know. And don’t be overconfident about it all,’” he added.

5. Avoid complexity

“Simplicity is a virtue. I have seen so many investors get into so much trouble over the years with what I call ‘fancy products,’” Rogers said. Today one of Rogers’ favorite investment products to “really go after” is leveraged ETFs. “Does anyone really think that betting the 3x Brazil [will go] up is a good bet for the individual investor?”  though he acknowledges “it would have been this year, but it’s a very difficult thing to do and I think the financial services industry from time to time should be criticized for offering products that are so complicated, so complex that investors can’t really understand the risk and return framework of them.”

6. Avoid investment cults

“I remember Bethany McLean when she wrote the book The Smartest Guys in the Room [about the Enron scandal], she talked about steering clear of companies that are so popular, so much in the press — think Valeant, think Theranos, think companies like that. Over the years it’s been companies like Enron and Tyco.”

For example, Rogers pointed out that the leaders of the equity markets in the ‘80s — like Digital Equipment Corporation, Data General and Intergraph — are barely remembered today. “Beware the ‘It’ stock,” he said. “And beware of companies always on the front page. Beware of hot sectors and companies with very low entries into their businesses.”

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About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to retirement plan sponsors. The firm currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on more than $400 million in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or bob@lawtonrpc.com or visit the firm’s website at http://www.lawtonrpc.com. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.

Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! How about that Superbowl?

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

It’s time to start thinking about filing your taxes. If you are an early filer — which is smart since early filing reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim of tax filing fraud — or someone who files at the last minute, you will find these tax-filing tips helpful.

Have a wonderful week!

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Five Tax-Filing Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

From Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

When the IRS is reviewing your tax return, it doesn’t care whether a filing mistake is intentional or inadvertent. Any error can trigger a notice, says Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

While a mistake won’t necessarily lead to an audit, you want to avoid as many red flags as possible — particularly if you’re a high-income taxpayer since they tend to be audited more frequently.

Understating income and overstating deductions are two potential problem areas for filers, Rande warns. But those aren’t the only places where returns can go off the rails. Here are five frequent mistakes people make, and ways to prevent them. [Read more…]

Six Keys To Being Excellent At Anything

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to tax season!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Six Keys To Being Excellent At Anything” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Tony Schwartz. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

We all need inspiration every now and then. Each month I like to share some words that I feel are uplifting. This month’s article talks about how you can excel at anything. Really. Give it a look.

Have a wonderful week!

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Six Keys To Being Excellent At Anything

By Tony Schwartz

I’ve been playing tennis for nearly five decades. I love the game and I hit the ball well, but I’m far from the player I wish I were.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot the past couple of weeks, because I’ve taken the opportunity, for the first time in many years, to play tennis nearly every day. My game has gotten progressively stronger. I’ve had a number of rapturous moments during which I’ve played like the player I long to be.

And almost certainly could be, even though I’m 58 years old. Until recently, I never believed that was possible. For most of my adult life, I’ve accepted the incredibly durable myth that some people are born with special talents and gifts and that the potential to truly excel in any given pursuit is largely determined by our genetic inheritance. [Read more…]

How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Welcome to the Donald Trump presidency. Hang on!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

You can make better financial decisions if you know what information is important and use the right financial knowledge base. This piece from Schwab can help you focus on the essential financial knowledge you need to make better financial decisions.

Have a wonderful week!

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How To Raise Your Financial IQ In 2017

By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Want to make smarter financial decisions in 2017? Start by focusing on the key elements that should comprise your financial knowledge base.
  • Help raise your personal financial IQ by zeroing in on just 10 important details of your own financial situation.
  • Instead of making resolutions you might not keep, set up a support system that can help sustain you throughout the year.

It’s that time again. And while you may have promised yourself to be smarter about your finances in 2017, we all know that New Year’s resolutions are notoriously ineffective. Despite our best intentions, the vast majority of us simply don’t follow through. So this year, instead of making an overwhelming list of things to do, I’m suggesting that you focus on a few concrete things you need to know. In other words, if you educate yourself about your finances, you’ll be laying the foundation for success by building the right financial knowledge base.

Improve your financial knowledge base by raising your financial IQ

The financial world is filled with numbers and details, many of which you don’t really need to think about. I believe you can improve your financial knowledge base in 2017 by just zeroing in on the following 10 things — all practical information that only require simple math: [Read more…]

Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Looks like we might reach the low 50’s in Wisconsin this week!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Taxes: What’s New For 2017?” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the headings below.

As you work on your tax return for 2016, it may be wise to look at what is changing in the world of taxes for 2017. Understanding right now what is different this year ensures that you have ample time to reduce what you pay in 2017 taxes.

Have a wonderful week!

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Taxes: What’s New For 2017?

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • Tax changes in recent years included an additional Medicare surtax for high-income earners, a new top rate for dividends and long-term capital gains, and the phase-out of itemized deductions for high earners.
  • If you’re subject to higher taxes, it’s even more important to take advantage of whatever tax breaks apply to you.
  • Learn more about this year’s inflation adjustments and common tax breaks, including retirement plan contributions and charitable giving.

Although there are no major tax law changes this year, there are still inflation adjustments and other routine changes to consider. Remember, it’s important to take advantage of the tax break you’re entitled to — it’s not what you make but what you keep that counts. Here are a number of items to consider as you plan for the year ahead. [Read more…]

Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are finding a way to stay warm!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the ten headings.

Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen, is famous for his annual top ten list of predictions. The list has gained notoriety because he has often been right. His top ten list of 2017 predictions may surprise you.

Have a wonderful week!

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Bob Doll’s Ten 2017 Predictions

By Bernice Napach, Senior Writer, ThinkAdvisor

This year will be a year of transition for the global economy and global markets, moving from concerns about “relentless stagnation in economic growth” to rising confidence among consumers and businesses, says Bob Doll, chief equity strategist at Nuveen.

It’s not “necessarily animal spirits,” but “we have turned the corner,” Doll explained at his annual New York City event announcing his top ten 2017 predictions.

Indeed, the S&P 500 index ended 2016 with a 9.5% gain while the Dow Jones industrial average finished the year 13.4% higher.  Doll had predicted a high single-digit gain in the S&P 500 this time last year — one of  8.5 correct predictions he says he made then (he missed when his most favored stock sectors underperformed his least favorite and when non-U.S. stocks did not outperform U.S. stocks).

Unlike most market strategists, however, Doll correctly predicted that Republicans would sweep the White House and Congress during the November election.

In his ten 2017 predictions, Doll says he feels like he’s going further out on a limb than normal because the global economy is shifting toward stronger growth, higher inflation and rising interest rates at a time of increasing uncertainty including possible significant changes in U.S. tax, trade, immigration and regulatory policies under the Donald Trump presidency.

“The 35-year disinflationary, falling interest rate world is ending, and that brings some challenges,” writes Doll. Among them, are a stronger dollar, which, along with rising rates, may offset the positives of an improving economy and tax reform that could help boost corporate earnings. “In their environment, investors may be in for a difficult ride,” writes Doll about one of his 2017 predictions.

Here are his top ten 2017 predictions: [Read more…]

Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017

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Happy New Year!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Get Your Finances In Shape For 2017” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Schwab. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each heading.

Start the new year off right by organizing your finances. This piece from Schwab provides guidance on what to focus on as you begin your 2017 financial planning.

Have a wonderful week!

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Get Your Finances in Shape for 2017

By Rande Spiegelman, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

Key points

  • The New Year is a great time to reevaluate where you stand financially.
  • Consider these five resolutions as you start your 2017 financial planning. They include tips on budgeting, estate planning and more.

It wouldn’t be the New Year without resolutions. But whether it’s trimming your waistline or firming your financial profile, the key isn’t making the list, it’s sticking with it. Here are five steps to get you started on your 2017 financial planning road to financial fitness. [Read more…]

15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year

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I hope you had a great weekend and are enjoying the holidays!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Taylor Leddin. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. This is a short piece I believe everyone can read in less than 60 seconds.

As the new year beckons, it’s time for renewal. Whether 2016 was a great year for you or could have been better, 2017 is filled with exciting possibilities. Check out these quotes on renewal below. I hope they get you rolling into a wonderful 2017.

Have a wonderful week!

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15 Quotes On Renewal For The New Year

By Taylor Leddin

New Year, new you (or so they say). If 2016 has you feeling tired and not like yourself, these 15 quotes on renewal will light a fire under you.

With each New Year comes a new sense of renewal. Renewal of hope, renewal of goals, and renewal of inspiration. It can be difficult to keep in the mindset of actively pursuing hope, goals, and inspiration.

But, to keep in said mindset, we often look to successful people who have blazed the trail before us for advice. Here are 15 quotes on renewal: [Read more…]

The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing

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I hope you had a great weekend! Time’s running out for you holiday shoppers!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of ThinkAdvisor. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week. If you are short on time, make sure you take a look at each of the five headings below.

Sometimes the best way to improve how you invest is to learn what not to do. This week’s article outlines some of the biggest investing mistakes all investors should avoid.

Have a wonderful week!

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The Five Deadly Sins Of Investing

By Daniel S. Kern, appearing in ThinkAdvisor

One of my friends in school was renowned for frequently telling us: “I aced that test!” He was never shy about sharing his answers after a test. His certainty about the answers made me question whether my answers were correct.

I eventually realized that he was wrong more often than right, and he became notorious for misplaced self-confidence. When he joined an investment firm after graduating from school, some of us joked about starting a “contrarian” fund to bet against his stock picks. Overconfidence is one of the “deadly sins” highlighted in studies of behavioral economics.

The investment industry is filled with confident people similar to my friend, who may be well-meaning but who also pass along bad ideas that become accepted as conventional wisdom. Here’s my top five list of investing mistakes that become deadly sins of investing: [Read more…]