Christine Benz, Morningstar’s Director of Personal Finance is a huge fan of the “Bucket Approach” to retirement, a concept created by financial planning guru and another WEALTHTRACK guest, Harold Evensky. In order to protect a retirement portfolio from the shock of significant market fluctuations, they recommend separating your money into three investment buckets. Bucket one is completely liquid and safe to cover near term expenses. Bucket two is intermediate term, high quality bond and balanced funds for peace of mind. Bucket three is for long-term appreciation. We asked Benz to give us specific recommendations for each bucket. Here are some of her core recommendations. Continue Reading »
She shares more on her contrarian strategy on getting more income from your portfolio here at Morningstar.
Only 5 percent of U.S. companies offer paid sabbaticals. One of those enlightened institutions is independent research firm Morningstar known for its objective, thorough and shareholder-friendly mutual fund research. Employees get a six-week paid sabbatical after just four years of employment, and every four years thereafter. Christine Benz and Russ Kinnel, both twenty-year Morningstar veterans have taken four apiece. They talk about their favorites and the differences these extended times off have meant to them.
The mutual fund industry is being buffeted by two enormous shifts: investors are deserting actively managed funds for passive ones and they are fleeing bond funds for other sources of income. What do these changes mean for investors? In their first joint television appearance, two Morningstar all-stars give us their perspective and advice. Continue Reading »
Regardless of what happens with the “fiscal cliff”, the economy, markets or the deficit, you name it, you are looking at climbing tax rate over the next few years. Our guests this week are two pros who can help you plan ahead with a tax-efficiency plan. Christine Benz is Director of Personal Finance and Senior Columnist for Morningstar.com, where she gives sound advice on just about everything having to do with managing your finances. Our other guest is Robert Amodeo, Head of Municipals at Western Asset Management, who was named Municipal Manager of the Year by Institutional Investor Magazine in 2011. The taxman cometh, so you’d better be ready. Continue Reading »