Monday, May 21, 2007

Top Financial Writer Needs Help....Save Lynn O'Shaughnessy

I've been reading Lynn O'Shaughnessy's work now for several years and feel that she is the top financial columnist in the country (I still love Kathy Kristof and Jane Bryant Quinn). Unfortunately, the San Diego Union Tribune feels that Lynn is expendable. We all know how local newspapers are having financial troubles and that they are having to make big changes to stay in business, but it seems that throwing out your best financial columnist won't save you money - it will lose you money.

I subscribe to the Tribune mainly because of Lynn, I could get delivered to me three other newspapers - I chose the Tribune because Lynn has consistently delivered Personal Finance columns that are edgy, right, and help the people of San Diego (not to mention the rest of the country that reads her).

I don't want Lynn's column to be cut, it is too valuable and has saved countless people thousands of dollars over the years. Simply put, she will make you money if you read her column or prevent you from making stupid mistakes (which don't always seem so stupid). It is now time to give back to Lynn and thank her for her service to us all these years, WE NEED TO SAVE LYNN.

What I need for you to do is send an e-mail to the following e-mail addresses and let them know that you want Lynn to stay and if she doesn't you will seriously consider dropping your subscription (I will be drop mine if the column is cut). The addresses are: and

Please forward this to anyone you might know who lives in San Diego (for that matter, anyone).

Lynn is a talented writer and she'll get another gig, but we need to show our support and pray that she keeps this gig, as we are the one's who benefit.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Prepare for Changes in 403(b) Plans -

Prepare for Changes in 403(b) Plans -

Andrea Coombes interviewed me last week for this article and I'm quoted throughout the article! This is an article about how the upcoming 403(b) regulations will affect participants who are currently in these plans.

It's a relatively short article and a good primer for what to expect. I would expect many more of these articles to pop up over the next six months.

A big thank you to Andrea Coombes for quoting me!!

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Rich Dad, Poor Dad Guru Joins Hall of Idiots

Robert Kiyosaki, the famed author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad has recently penned an article for Yahoo!Finance is has officially placed him in the same league of Jim Cramer - Idiot.

I don't bestow that title lightly, however Kiyosaki has earned it with his latest column titled "Playing the Mutual Fund Lottery".

Just to give you a little background, I've read several of Kiyosaki's books and for the most part enjoyed them, they are basically self-help manuals on how to get rich. Unfortunately there is actually very little information about how to do the things Kiyosaki says you need to do to become rich. His books basically are a waste of time in my opinion. Having said that, I do know people who have taken his concepts and made a lot of money - they have decided to take the risks that most people simply will not take and they have been richly rewarded.

I have no problem with people wanting to make more money and trying to better their personal situations, that is the heart of the American Entreprenurial system. However, I do have a problem with Kiyosaki chastising the vast majority of Americans who simply won't quit their jobs and speculate.

If you are of the "get rich slow" mindset, basically living below your means, savings a portion of everything you earn and investing that savings, you are not part of the "Poor" camp, according to Kiyosaki. This is ridiculous.

In his latest column Kiyosaki goes after mutual funds and compares them to buying lottery tickets. This is perhaps the most absurd comparison I've ever heard, it makes no sense.

His arguement is that management fees skim your earnings and that markets can go down, thats it. While management fees can be excessive, there are many ways to invest on a low cost basis, and markets will go up and down, the key is to be diversified and behave correctly. Even if you put all your savings into a one-star (morningstar rating system) mutual fund all your life, you would have way more money at retirement than if you spend it all on lottery tickets. Lottery tickets are guaranteed losers, for a diversified mutual fund to lose all your money we would have to have every single public company go bankrupt - so possible? If it is possible, I guarantee you that in that event anything that Kiyosaki recommends would also be worthless.

It really bothers me when people who have been given a platform abuse it my telling outright lies in order to get people to buy whatever it is they are selling (try a $6,000 seminar). Kiyosaki has gone to far this time and has ended up on my "idiot" list - which at this point also includes Jim Cramer.

Congratulations Robert, you've done something that few have been able to do.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

A Contrarian on Retirement Says Wait (Registration Req)

A Contrarian on Retirement Says Wait - New York Times

This article is about a University Prof who has created a software package and who has the view that you should wait to take Social Security. I like Mr. Kotlifoff (the featured professor), if only because he has a different view and is willing to put it out there - but I do not always agree with him.

I featured his belief that people are saving TOO LITTLE in an earlier blogpost and I think he is 110% wrong. I also don't fully agree with his Social Security advice of waiting to take your benefits. I believe it is an individual decision and the right decision is different for everyone.

It is an interesting article, even if I disagree with much of it.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Bullish Case for Stocks

This is an interesting article by Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel on why he thinks stocks are still a good buy. I'm sure I could find another professor that would say the exact opposite, but I still value Jeremy's opinion.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Friday, May 04, 2007

Aging Populations Can Prosper, or Not: Making the Right Investment Choices - Knowledge@Wharton

Aging Populations Can Prosper, or Not: Making the Right Investment Choices - Knowledge@Wharton

This is a great article about the future of our Baby Boomers assets - Who Will Buy Them?

The answer might surprise you, this is a great read.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Target Date Evolution

I didn't invent the "Target Date Mutual Fund" concept, but I do believe I've come up with a unique idea that will make the Target Date concept even more mainstream. The concept, drum roll please.......Risk-Based Target Date Funds (or portfolios).

For those of you who are not familiar with "Target Date" funds, they are basically mutual funds that invest your money in a diverisified portfolio of stocks and bonds based on your retirement date. The closer to retirement you are, the more conservative the fund becomes. These funds automatically adjust as you age, you don't have to do anything.

The problem with most of these funds is that the asset allocations cannot be controlled by the investor - it is one size fits all. If you don't have the same philosophy about risk as your target date provider does, you are up the creek. This is where my concept comes in.

Basically, instead of a fund company creating one target date fund for those who retire in 2040, they create multiple versions of the 2040 Target Date Fund that scale in terms of risk. For example, a company would have the Conservative 2040 fund, the Moderate 2040 fund, and the Aggressive 2040 fund.

Yes, it does add another layer of decision making, but not much, most people can place themselves within the conservative, moderate, aggressive monikers.

This approach allows people with different risk profiles to still invest in an auto-pilot type fund.

Currently there is not a single company or mutual fund provider doing this, however I know of one high profile firm that will be rolling this concept out soon. In ten years I expect it to be the norm......and you'd have heard it here first!

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF