Posts by Steve Schullo, PhD

Wild Ride! Followed by Boring Returns. 22 Years of Portfolio Data. 0

Wild Ride! Followed by Boring Returns. 22 Years of Portfolio Data.

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Annual and per quarter returns

Constructing a broadly diversified, low-cost portfolio is straight forward. But human beings continue to struggle to wrap their heads around this idea of the nonmechanical aspect of investing–what’s between our ears. The financial media is of NO HELP what-so-ever! First off, the well-known financial pundits imply that you can beat the averages by constructing an “exciting” portfolio. On the other side of the argument based on Jack Bogle and his author followers including this writer is to construct a “boring” portfolio. A boring portfolio is defined as a broadly diversified plan that performs close to the market averages, not too high (speculative) and not too low (managers making bad choices and charging the investor too much). My portfolio is boring because it neither exceeds or falls below the averages. It’s just right. That’s what I call genuine excitement. This excitement is the reasonable and sane returns I earned this past year. Nothing wrong with my 5.9% return for a conservatively constructed portfolio and the fun I have spending it supporting my values.
I have updated my data to include the 2016 returns of my portfolio. You can see for yourself. The enclosed graph shows an exciting portfolio during the 1990s and a boring portfolio since 2003. My graph will help you answer the question: Do you want to construct an exciting or a boring portfolio?

Learn More
One Year Later 4

One Year Later

Posted by on Dec 12, 2016 in Loss, Retirement Planning

What do you do in the wake of a personal devastation? How would you heal from the shock, pain, fear, and anger of a sudden loss? In this blog post, I hope you will find a sense of security, or even inspiration as you walk with me on my path this past year. Sudden misfortune creates strong emotions, and opportunities. Preparing for the death of a loved one overlaps with preparing for a loss after a divorce, a close family member, relationship, or a significant financial loss of any kind through litigation, job loss, or from a stock market crash. Emotional preparation has limitations, but not all is impossible. Know how you might react and plan ahead of time to begin the healing process.
I know what it’s like to lose the love of my life for 40 years. I can confidently say that it was how I reacted to my shocking tragedy that made the difference. When tragedy strikes isn’t it always how we respond over the long term that counts? Will I be bitter and angry forever, or will I grow into a better human being with more compassion and kindness than ever before.

Learn More
What makes Vanguard and Tesla Similar? 0

What makes Vanguard and Tesla Similar?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2016 in Consumer Finance, Frugal Habits, Retirement Planning, Socially Responsible Investing

On April 22, 2014, was an exciting day for Dan and I. We picked up our brand new Tesla 2014 Model S. As you know, this car is very expensive. Almost a year had passed before we decided to purchase one. When it comes to supporting our values of buying American made products, supporting American ingenuity, American workers, sustainable energy movement, and a clean environment, money should not be an obstacle, especially when we could afford the price tag.

Learn More
New York Times 403(b) Horrific K-12 Stories 0

New York Times 403(b) Horrific K-12 Stories

Posted by on Oct 28, 2016 in LAUSD Employees, PreK-12 Educators, Women Investors

Welcome New York Times Readers to my Blog. My name is Steve Schullo, a retired Los Angeles Unified School teacher and an advocate for cheaper 403(b) plans for over 20 years. Please follow up on these fantastic (and rare) print media articles by a fantastic New York Times editorial staff, and their superb reporter Tara Siegel-Bernard.

She has been working on these articles since the beginning of the year. The educational professional and its institutions are reticent to talk about the 403(b). The rationale is easy. We educators hardly ever talk about the 403(b) publically or in any organized manner. Why? Nothing wrong with talking about how to best invest our retirement money that supplements our pension plan. After all, the 403(b) is 100% of our money.

Learn More