Mountain Money Blog


Thoughts on Current Events

CARES Act Relaxes Rules for Charitable Giving
The $2.2 trillion stimulus package – known as the CARES Act - passed by Congress and signed by the President[...]
Index Funds: Good, But Not Perfect
It’s only been a few weeks since the passing of John Bogle, the inventor of the index fund. In memoriam,[...]
Owed to Saint Jack. RIP
Millions of American investors – including yours truly - owe a debt of gratitude to John “Jack” Bogle, who died[...]
Lessons From the Madoff Fraud, 10 Years later
Has it really been ten years? One of the low lights indelibly associated with the Great Recession of 2008 was[...]
$1 Million May Not be Enough to Retire in Denver – Or in Our Beloved Mountains
As if planning to fund your retirement weren’t difficult enough. In a story in the Denver Post, we now learn[...]
Where are you on the Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence?
Where are you on the Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence? (H/T to financial planning guru Michael Kitces for including[...]
Is Cryptocurrency the Future of Real Estate?
A couple of forward-thinking real estate professionals in Boulder are prognosticating that the blockchain technology and Bitcoin – the most[...]
Fidelity’s Zero Cost Index Funds – Much Ado About Nothing?
On August 1, 2018, Fidelity Investments, by introducing two zero-management fee index funds, seemingly fired a shot across the bow[...]
Do We Face a Retirement Crisis?
In an article in Advisor Perspectives, actuary, financial planner and retirement researcher Joe Tomlinson delves into the question: Do We[...]
The Incomparable Virtues of Goals Based Planning
One of my standard cocktail party questions when conversing with investors is: How much are you trying to earn with[...]

Peak Thoughts

In Depth Reports & Commentary

Is Retirement a Dirty Word?
I made the mistake of asking a client when she wanted to retire. This is a common inquiry to my[...]
DOL Proposed Rule Change Brings Awareness to Sustainable Investing
The current US Department of Labor (DOL) has a bone to pick with sustainable investing; what is now colloquially called[...]
Preparing for Short-Term Election Volatility
What’s better for investors, Republican Presidents or Democrat Presidents? It’s a trick question. First, because in general, over the long[...]
Book Review: The Deficit Myth, Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, Stephanie Kelton (Public Affairs, 2020)
“Trillions of dollars of debt! This is what Republicans stand for?” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, reacting to his own party’s[...]
Retire Early? Retire Late? Or Retire Right on Time? – Lessons from the Early Retirement Movement
The FIRE movement captured my interest only recently. Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is an aspiration of motivated young people[...]
Dreaming of a Mountain Retirement
Do the mountains call you for your dream retirement? Many people, including most of my clients, aspire to retire to[...]
Value Investing and Skiing May be The Key to Living Longer
A recent column entitled, Survivor Bias: Why Successful Value Investors Live Longer, mused on the apparent longevity of legendary value[...]
The Stretch IRA is Dead. Or Maybe Just on Life Support
If you are – or expect to be - the owner of a $500,000 or greater IRA or 401k, you’ll[...]
Book Review: Your Complete Guide to a Successful & Secure Retirement, Larry E. Swedroe & Kevin Grogan
One of the great influences in my practice has been Larry Swedroe. (Another, of course, was the late John Bogle).[...]
Celebrating the Ten-Year Anniversary of the Market Bottom
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… Rudyard Kipling, from the poem If, circa[...]


Quarterly Client Notes

2nd Quarter Client Note – Fed Up With Rising Rates
The S & P 500 (total return) Index bounced back from its first quarter (.75%) loss, rising 3.43% in the[...]
1st Quarter Client Note – Volatility Emerges
It was nice while it lasted. The S & P 500 (total return) Index fell .75%, its first quarterly loss[...]
4th Quarter Client Note – Preparing for an Inevitable Bear Market
Global equity markets defied predictions - and perhaps even gravity – in 2017. The S & P 500 (total return)[...]
3rd Quarter Client Note
Equity markets continued their record run in the 3rd quarter. The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 4.48%[...]
2nd Quarter Client Note – Tribulations of a Value Investor
Stock markets around the globe had their best first six months in years. In the second quarter, The S &[...]
1st Quarter Client Note
The “Trump Bump” continued unabated in the first quarter. The S & P 500 (total return) Index gained 6.07%; tacking[...]
4th Quarter Client Note
Now that was exciting. With the surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the S &[...]
3rd Quarter Client Note
Markets continued to move higher in the 3rd quarter. The S & P 500 (total return) index was up 3.85%[...]
2nd Quarter Client Note
The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 2.46% in the quarter; but not without a whipsaw caused by[...]
1st Quarter Client Note
The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 1.35% in the quarter. This was no mean feat considering what[...]