What you need to know about RMDs

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are annual withdrawals that owners of tax-deferred retirement accounts[1] must take once they reach age 70½.[2] Benjamin Franklin popularized the notion that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”; in exchange for allowing contributions and growth in tax-deferred accounts to escape taxation for so… Read more »

‘Zero Cost’ Investments are Here

It appears as if the era of ‘no cost’ investments may be upon us. Fidelity has announced that they are launching several no-load Fidelity ZEROsm index funds which have no annual operating expenses.1 Although Schultz Collins [SC] welcomes this development, it may be a bit premature to buy these funds. Consider, for example, the Fidelity… Read more »

But Aren’t All Investment Advisors Fiduciaries?

From time to time, we are asked about differences in standards of practice among various types of investment practitioners. Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) that meet a threshold of assets under management are regulated by the SEC under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (the 1940 Act). Smaller RIAs are regulated by state securities regulators. Generally,… Read more »

Building Blocks Chart

The Building Blocks Chart is a pictorial depiction of the relative performance of asset classes over calendar-year periods. What’s the likelihood that last year’s winners will repeat? Should the investor avoid asset classes exhibiting recent poor performance? As the table illustrates, the relative performance of asset classes can shift dramatically from year to year. Investors… Read more »

Diversification Through Time

Investors have two basic options. They can concentrate their portfolios – in, say, the S&P 500 or U.S. Treasuries, or real estate – or they diversify broadly over a weighted cross-section of global stocks, bonds and real estate. Which strategy is more likely to produce better long-terms results? Which strategy is less risky? To investigate… Read more »

Change in Custody Rule for Assets

A No Action letter released by the SEC in February 2017 clarified its interpretation of the rule1 for asset custody. Quoting from a précis on the subject prepared by Fidelity Investments: The SEC has clarified that an adviser who has the power to disburse client funds to a third party under a standing letter of… Read more »

Observations on Risk Tolerance and Risk Capacity

The famous Temple of Apollo at Delphi—an important source of prophetic wisdom for the ancient Greeks—is well known for the two inscriptions on its portal: Know Thyself Nothing in Excess As several world capital markets continue to flirt with record high asset price levels, it is worth revisiting Delphic wisdom in order to prepare for… Read more »

Investment Publications: Patrick Collins et al.

A list of published articles on the topics of Asset Management, Trustee duties in portfolio design, monitoring and surveillance, Family Trust, Longevity Risk and Retirement Income Planning.   A Risk Primer for Investment Fiduciaries (with special attention to the management of endowment funds) – Patrick J. Collins, Ph.D., CLU, CFA, California Trusts and Estates Quarterly… Read more »

Cooking up a Diversified Portfolio

A diversified portfolio owns securities from various markets – the bond market, the real estate market, and the stock market. Additionally, a diversified portfolio benefits from geographic diversification. This means that it typically owns both U.S. and foreign securities. By contrast, a “focused” portfolio owns only a few securities – often within just one market…. Read more »