Worried about your finances? Let your priorities guide you. Questions to ask yourself that will help you make the right money moves for the life you want.
Color of Money question of the week
What money moves have you decided to make in 2017? I want to hear your plan for making them stick. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line put “Money Moves for 2017.”
Live chat today
This is my last chat for 2016. Let’s make it a year-end review. Join me live at noon (ET) to talk about your financial successes and regrets. It’s just you and me today. To participate in the chat click this link.
Trying to pick the hottest stocks for 2017?
Forget about those lists of stocks that are sure picks for the New Year, says Barry Ritholtz, chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management.
Ritholtz looked at three “top 10 stock lists” from a year ago — all near the top of a Google search. And how did the stock picks from Barron’s, Forbes and CNBC do?
“The stock picker lists saw performances that ranged from 2 percent on the low end to about 15 percent on the high end — and that was before costs,” Ritholtz writes. “If we were to take hundreds of lists, some would outperform, most would not and the average would be below the index. It is not a coincidence that these lists tend to underperform the benchmark.”
He adds: “Unlike a benchmark of 500 or 3,000 equities, 10 stocks is very concentrated. It’s too few to reap the benefits of proper diversification; any one stock can drive down total performance of the group by having a bad year. Some of the performance downside was caused by the disaster stocks, ones that were down 30, 40, even 50 percent. Recovering from that is mathematically daunting, even if your list has some big winners on it.”
If you’re tempted to buy individual stocks based on these types of lists, read Ritholtz reasoning why that may be a mistake.
My favorite 2016 Color of Money columns
As the year comes to an end, here’s a look back at the columns and newsletters I hope made people think and even act to better their financial situations.
#Ridethelion to become a ferocious money manager. If you have children, you’ve got to read this column. This is my top pick. Love the kid in the story!
Recent Color of Money Columns
Changing the conversation on your year-end financial checklist
Farewell to a good friend
This was the last week for Rodney Brooks’s retirement column and newsletter. I’ll miss his take on the financial issues affecting people as they head into retirement or for those already retired. It’s never too early to think about how you’ll handle your money in your senior years.
Here are Brooks’s last retirement column and newsletter:
Just in time for the new year, some financial planners’ best retirement tips Brooks asked financial advisers for their best retirement advice.
Turns out people rank retirement planning as a much-hated chore.
“One thing financial planners suggest everyone do for the New Year is review their retirement plan,” Brooks writes. “Well, a new survey from Voya Financial gives us some insight into why people don’t do it. They hate it! The survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that 80 percent of respondents said they had not taken the time to review or revise their retirement plan within the past year, in effect ignoring their retirement realities.”
Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or email@example.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to washingtonpost.com/business.