News & Updates

Book Review: The Soul of Money

Posted by on 6:25 am in Consumer Finance, Donating to Charities, Financial Education/Literacy, Frugal Habits, Women Investors | 0 comments

Book Review: The Soul of Money

If you want a more emotional, personal, and passionate point of view of money, read my review of The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist. It is surprising similar to John Bogle’s Enough book.

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Steve’s Q1 2017 Returns of his Portfolio and “Dating”

Posted by on 6:31 am in Annual and per quarter returns, Personal Finance | 2 comments

Steve’s Q1 2017 Returns of his Portfolio and “Dating”

Yep, you read the title of this blog correctly. But first I apologize, as it’s been a long time since my last post.

Since the beginning of the year, my portfolio and my personal life are growing and changing. As you know, I have experienced the worst personal loss of my life for the last 1.5 years. Because of my work with a grief group, 1 X 1 with a life coach, and maintaining connections with family and friends, being single again sucks sometimes, but I have begun the impossible, dating! I had never planned to be single so soon in my retirement and in the most shocking way. So what am I doing differently? I put my personal profile on a couple of dating sites, and I have actually gone out on coffee, hiking and dinner dates for the first time in 40+ years! I am beginning to appreciate being free and single again. I can do anything I want, and I have the financial resources to do just that.

Besides my personal life going in a positive direction, this stock market continues to grow, and so does my portfolio. Take a look at how my investments performed, my asset allocation and my costs. It’s only one click away.

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7 Ways to Assist Your Parents

Posted by on 12:26 pm in Financial Education/Literacy, Retired Couples, Retirement Planning | 0 comments

7 Ways to Assist Your Parents

If you’ve got aging parents as well as children of your own to look after, you’re part of the “sandwich generation”. You may want to ensure secure future for both your parents and your kids, the stress of juggling these responsibilities can become overpowering. Retirement is becoming more expensive every day, but have your parents been investing for it?

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Updated Award Winning Los Angeles Unified 457(b) Plan

Posted by on 8:49 am in LAUSD Employees, PreK-12 Educators | 3 comments

Updated Award Winning Los Angeles Unified 457(b) Plan

When you think about greatness, we default to Micheal Jordan, President Lincoln or Albert Einstein. The Los Angeles Unified School District’s 457(b) plan may not appear to be great but when compared to the typical 403(b) plan, it is most certainly GREAT!

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Shrinking Middle Class and Federal Income Taxes

Posted by on 7:46 pm in Personal Finance | 0 comments

Shrinking Middle Class and Federal Income Taxes

According to the Tax Foundation, the richest Americans pay almost all of the Federal Income Taxes assessed by the IRS. Is this good news for us ordinary income earners? Well, perhaps not, as it is an indication of a severe decline in the middle class.

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

Posted by on 11:37 am in Annual and per quarter returns | 0 comments

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

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?

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2016 Annual Portfolio Return, from Cuba!

Posted by on 8:33 am in Annual and per quarter returns | 2 comments

2016 Annual Portfolio Return, from Cuba!

Lots to discuss. Pictures of my latest travel adventure to Cuba, dissecting and evaluating my 5.9% portfolio return for the calendar year 2016, and explaining the power of simplicity.

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One Year Later

Posted by on 6:01 am in Loss, Retirement Planning | 4 comments

One Year Later

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.

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What makes Vanguard and Tesla Similar?

Posted by on 10:08 am in Consumer Finance, Frugal Habits, Retirement Planning, Socially Responsible Investing | 0 comments

What makes Vanguard and Tesla Similar?

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.

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

Posted by on 4:56 pm in LAUSD Employees, PreK-12 Educators, Women Investors | 0 comments

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

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.

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