News & Insights

Readers Continue to Choose Print Books Over Other Formats, According to Recent Survey

Print books continue to be the favored format for readers. A Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year found that, “65% of Americans have read a print book in the last year, more than double the share that has read an e-book (28%) and more than four times the share that has consumed book content via audio book (14%).”1 

Mary Anne Ehlert Featured in Reuters Article on Retirement Planning for Special-Needs Families

Forum partner Mary Anne Ehlert was featured in the November 3 Reuters article “U.S. Special-Needs Families Face Complex Retirement Planning.”

A highly regarded specialist working with families of individuals with disabilities, Mary Anne is also the president and founder of Protected Tomorrows, which helps families plan a safe and fulfilling life for loved ones with special needs or who are aging. 

Markets and Presidential Elections

In July, we posted a commentary on markets and presidential elections. With Election Day 2016 fast approaching on November 8, what follows is an excerpt from that article.

Considering The 100-Year Life

The far-fetched notion that we could live to be 100 years old is a real possibility, according to a new book from Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott of the London Business School.

In a recent article from World Economic Forum, author Peter Vanham wrote that the authors of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity saw medical progress as a driver of living a longer life. However, as Vanham noted, that means we should care more about our health and well-being today. The conclusion: We should spend less time at work and spend more time working on saving for retirement, staying healthy and enjoying the relationships we have with family and friends. 

Article: “Making Billions With One Belief: The Markets Can’t Be Beat”

The Wall Street Journal article “Making Billions With One Belief: The Markets Can’t Be Beat” by Jason Zweig features the story of Dimensional and how it invests.

According to the article, “Dimensional Fund Advisors LP, or DFA, is the sixth-largest mutual-fund manager, up from eighth a year ago, according to Morningstar Inc., adding nearly $2 billion in net assets per month at a time when investors are fleeing many other firms.”

 

Eugene Fama on Modern Finance

Three years ago, Eugene Fama was awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Lars Hansen and Robert Shiller were also named 2013 Nobel laureates along with Fama “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”1

After the announcement from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in October 2013, Dimensional Fund Advisors posted the following retrospective on Fama’s academic career and the evolution of modern finance.

Quarter-End Summary

Baseball fans and investors have something in common. With a view from the stands, they cannot control what happens on the baseball field or in the stock market. However, while some investors fear the month of October, those who follow America's national pastime have reason to cheer. For the hopeful fans of teams advancing to the postseason, October baseball is a whole new ball game. 

Conversations with Norm Mindel and David Booth: “A Kid from Kansas”

In “A Kid from Kansas” David Booth tells Norm Mindel about his journey to Dimensional and why everybody should have a place where they can be a rock star.

Forum Partner Mary Pat Wesche Obtains Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® Certification

Forum Partner Mary Pat Wesche, CPA, PFS, CFP® has obtained her Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® certification. With this advanced focus on the financial issues associated with divorce, Mary Pat expands upon her experience helping individuals in transition.

Article on Managing Higher Education Costs, News on Changes to FAFSA Filing Dates

In our new Value of Advice white paper, we discuss student loan debt and why having a plan that outlines associated college expenses can benefit a student long after graduation.

We also want to let you know about some important date changes for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 

Allison Tronnes Earns Compliance Professional Designation, Strengthens Forum Compliance Program

Compliance Director Allison Tronnes has earned the NRS Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional (IACCP®) designation. The IACCP® program requires professionals to complete numerous requirements over an 18-month period including completing 20 Compliance courses and passing a three-hour certifying examination.

History on the Run

This article by Jim Parker, vice president for Dimensional Fund Advisors, was featured in his “Outside the Flags” column on August 17. From his office in Australia, Jim provides his perspective on issues occupying investors' minds and on those beyond their immediate view.

Financial Literacy: Working to Bridge the Financial Knowledge Gap

Research from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) indicates there is a significant financial knowledge gap among Millennials across different areas of financial engagement, including budgeting and saving as well as debt management. Regarding this gap, the NEFE commented, “Millennials are going to need that confidence to tackle the myriad financial challenges they face.”

Here we highlight a few findings. 

Karma Forrestal Joins Forum’s Partner Group

Forum is pleased to announce that Karma Forrestal, CFP® has been named a partner for Forum Financial Management, LP.

 

Quarter-End Summary

Since the beginning of the year, people have been tuned in to election news. One can only assume that coverage will gradually dominate the social conversation as we move closer to November.

Potential Benefits of Refinancing

In this low-interest-rate environment, many homeowners would benefit from refinancing. Doing so may serve to improve cash flow or decrease the overall life of a mortgage. While there are a few exceptions, including those who may be nearing the end of their mortgage or plan to sell their home in the very near term, most homeowners should at least consider refinancing their mortgage. It is important for homeowners to be aware of any associated fees and how the terms of refinancing may change their mortgage type, term, principal paid and monthly payments.

When Children Leave Home, Do Parents Save More for Retirement?

Researchers at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) found that parents do not meaningfully increase their rate of saving when children leave home. Instead, they find new places to spend the money they had been spending to take care of their children. The analysis showed that, “Households save only slightly more in 401(k)s when kids leave, far below what is likely needed for a secure retirement.”

10 Reasons to Be Cheerful

This article by Jim Parker, vice president for Dimensional Fund Advisors, was featured in his “Outside the Flags” column on June 28. From his office in Australia, Jim provides his perspective on issues occupying investors' minds and on those beyond their immediate view.

Brexit and Global Market Volatility

On the evening of June 23, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union by a margin of 52% to 48% with more than 30 million people voting. Nicknamed Brexit as a combination of the words "Britain" and "exit," the vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union surprised global markets, including U.S. markets, in which the S&P 500 Index was down 2.72% in the first five minutes of trading on Friday. This is in contrast to the strong upward close in world markets earlier this week in anticipation of a vote to remain in the European Union.

Factors in the Retirement Income Equation: How Spending Needs Change

The 2013 paper “The Retirement Income Equation” by Marlena Lee, PhD considered how much income is needed to support individuals in retirement by exploring savings rates and spending needs.

The paper noted that, because of changes in certain spending patterns, overall spending has typically decreased. For example, when a homeowner’s housing expenses decline after paying off a mortgage or an individual moves from the workforce into retirement.

Here we highlight the findings for three significant spending categories. 

Behavioral Biases

Behavioral biases play a role in the decisions we make about how to invest. Of the vast amount of literature on the subject, we were struck by Professor Craig Fox’s comment from a 2014 interview on how behavioral biases can affect the way investors use (or do not use) their company-sponsored 401(k) plans to save for retirement.

Fox responded, “The decisions they make when they first become eligible — whether or not to participate, how much to contribute, how to diversify, etc. — can cast a long shadow over their financial future.”

 

Conversations With Norm Mindel and David Booth

In the second conversation in this three-part series, Norm Mindel and David Booth talk about the difference between index funds and Dimensional funds and why a good bottle of wine is made by knowing which grapes to leave on the vine.

How We Use Our Smartphones

More Than Half of Smartphone Owners Have Used Their Phone to Find Health Information, Do Online Banking

According to the results of a Pew Research Center survey on smartphone use, “For a number of Americans, smartphones serve as an essential connection to the broader world of online information.”

Is It Possible to Ignore Rate Hikes as an Investor?

In this Bloomberg video from May 20, David Booth, Chairman and co-CEO of Dimensional Fund Advisors, answers questions on interest rates and shares some thoughts on evidence-based investing.