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Investing Blog Roundup: Index Fund Accusations

For most investors, index funds (or ETFs) are the best tool for building a simple, low-cost, diversified portfolio. Many people argue, however, that index funds have detrimental effects not on their shareholders but on the market overall. This week Morningstar’s John Rekenthaler takes a look at three of those assertions.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Choosing a Financial Advisor

Finding a financial advisor who meets your needs is often a challenge. There are many good advisors out there, but there are plenty of bad ones too (i.e., advisors who have insurmountable conflicts of interest, advisors who charge far too much for what they provide, and advisors who simply aren’t well informed about the topics for which they’re providing advice).

Christine Benz has a two-part series this week providing a list of questions you should ask yourself (to figure out what kind of advisor you’re seeking) as well as a list of questions to ask a potential advisor.

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Investing Blog Roundup: In Defense of the Easy Way

As we’ve discussed at various points previously (here, for example), it’s the overall allocation of your portfolio that matters, not the allocation of each individual account. And, given that fact, you can often minimize costs (either in the form of expense ratios, tax costs, or both) by allocating each account differently to take advantage of the best option(s) for that particular account.

As Jim Dahle recently pointed out, however, some people will find the “all one portfolio” approach to be rather harder to implement than the “same allocation in each account” approach. And that’s not a trivial point. It’s important to be able to confidently manage your portfolio.

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Investing Blog Roundup: What Drives Muni Bond Yields?

Relative to Treasury bonds, muni bonds often yield more than we would expect based on just the different tax treatment and different credit risk of the two types of bonds. So what’s the other characteristic of muni bonds that drives their yields up? Larry Swedroe takes a look at that question in an article this week at Advisor Perspectives.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Retirement Income, Before Age 59.5

For people considering early retirement, an important part of the process is to plan for how you will satisfy your expenses prior to reaching the magical “age 59.5” threshold. In a recent article, Darrow Kirkpatrick (himself an early retiree) runs through the various options available, discussing the pros and cons of each.

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Investing Blog Roundup: Lessons from a Practice Retirement

Housekeeping note: There will be no articles this upcoming week. I’m traveling with family and enjoy the chance to be “unplugged” for a bit. The regular publishing schedule will resume on Monday 7/17/17.

A common piece of retirement planning advice — one that I think is a great idea for people for whom it is possible — is to take a “practice retirement” prior to actually retiring. This week Christine Benz shares the lessons she learned from her own such experiment.

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