What Makes a College Essay Stand Out From the Rest

Seth Allen, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Pomona College, Claremont, Calif. College essays carry far more weight than they have in previous decades. With a record number of students applying for college, admissions offices have become highly selective when considering student applications. While each school has its own criteria, schools typically look for students …Read More.

Changing Lanes by Neal Merbaum

“My name is Neal, and I’m a lane changer. It’s been two weeks since I changed lanes — and that’s only because it’s been two weeks since I was on the highway!” If there were an organization similar to Alcoholics Anonymous for chronic lane changers, I would join. I know I have a problem, but …Read More.

Asset Allocation Guide: U.S. vs. International Equity

CBS News

In our ongoing series looking at asset allocation issues, we’ve already covered some essentials, namely, how to analyze your ability, willingness and need to take risk — and what do when one or more of those factors conflict. Figuring out where you fit along the risk spectrum will help you figure how much of your portfolio to put into stocks. Now, …Read More.

Expected Stock Returns Around the Globe

Seeking Alpha

In order to rationally develop an investment plan you need to estimate long-term returns for the asset classes in which to invest – without doing so you cannot determine how much to allocate to risky stocks and how much to safer bonds. When estimating returns we know that current valuations provide valuable information. As good …Read More.

Are Demographics Really Destiny?

Seeking Alpha

I recently came across an article on Seeking Alpha by The Statistical Investor entitled “Demographics Are Destiny: World Population Trends“. The article begins: “As they say, demographics is destiny. Just ask Japan. The longer your investment horizon, the more exposed you are to demographic trends.” The author continues with what we might call “conventional wisdom” …Read More.

Volatility & Corrosive Contango


  The presence of regularly occurring anomalies in conventional economic theory led to the development of the field of behavioral finance, and the volatility anomaly is one that deserves some special attention.   Anomalies directly violate modern financial and economic theories, which assume rational and logical behavior. We now have a laundry list of anomalies, including …Read More.

Dividends and Behavioral Econ


It’s long been known that many investors have a preference for cash dividends. But from the perspective of classical financial theory, this behavior is an anomaly. Here’s why. It’s perplexing behavior because before taking into consideration what are referred to as “frictions” such as transaction costs and taxes, dividends and capital gains should be perfect …Read More.

Do Corporate Bonds Add Value in Portfolios

Multifactor World

I frequently get asked about the merits of corporate bonds, both investment-grade (IG) and high-yield (HY), relative to government and municipal bonds. I don’t believe the risk-return profile for long-term investors (particularly taxable individual investors) is improved by owning IG or HY corporate bonds compared with simply owning a diversified portfolio of stocks and high-quality …Read More.

How to Confront Debt Before You Retire

It used to be that once Americans neared retirement, they had whittled down (or eliminated) their debt. Freed from monthly principal and interest payments, these fortunate individuals were prepared to retirewith dignity. Times have changed. Read the rest of the article on US News. …Read More.

A Thriving Export to Canada: Broker Misconduct

Huffington Post

Most Americans have a high regard for our Canadian neighbors to the north. We respect their honesty, their integrity and, especially, their civility. The statistics on crime in the U.S. and Canada show that Canadians live in a more lawful, peaceful society. Violent crime in the U.S. is appallingly higher per 100,000 inhabitants than in Canada. Murder …Read More.

Making the Most of a Bad 401(k)

We need not look far to learn that 401(k) plans are imperfect or worse, so instead of lumping on more criticism about how you and your employer have botched your 401(k), let’s discuss how to make the most of a not-so-great situation. Read the rest of the article on Forbes. …Read More.

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