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Financial Decoder

Author: Charles Schwab

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Cognitive and emotional biases can have a big impact on your financial life. Each episode of Financial Decoder looks closely at one financial decision--and the biases that might cloud your judgment and cost you money. Host Mark Riepe, head of the Schwab Center for Financial Research, decodes the behavioral and psychological factors at play and shares strategies designed to improve the way you approach financial crossroads. Other experts join Mark to provide their unique perspective on behavioral economics, portfolio management, retirement planning, personal finance and more.

Podcasts are for informational purposes only. This channel is not monitored by Charles Schwab. Please visit schwab.com/contactus for contact options.
15 Episodes
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Trading is a crucible of emotions and analysis. During volatile markets and periods of economic change, it is common for regular investors to ask whether they should be more active with their portfolios. In this episode, Mark Riepe is joined by Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research. Mark and Randy review a list of biases that have an impact when you’re making trading decisions, and then they discuss techniques that can blunt the impact of those biases.This study of day traders using real money revealed the link between emotions and trading performance.This study from the Journal of Marketing Research documented the tendency of investors to repurchase stocks they previously sold for a gain rather than ones they previously sold for a loss and repurchase stocks that have lost value subsequent to a prior sale rather than those that have gained value.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0619-9406)
Discussing what will happen to your children and your assets after you die might not sound like the most pleasant task. Is that why so many people don’t have wills or estate plans? Mark talks with Colleen O’Brien about what’s actually in an estate plan and how you can get started creating one.You can read more about the number of people without wills in this NBER working paper.The concept of “choice bracketing” is explored in this article from the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This is for general informational purposes only and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as tax, investment or legal advice. Consult with your legal counsel and tax advisors about your particular circumstances.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC. Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB. (0619-9FP2)
When Should You Retire?

When Should You Retire?

2019-05-2000:29:34

After saving up your whole life, is it finally the right time to retire? It’s a complex decision with a lot of variables. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines how affective forecasting and optimism bias could hinder you from making the best decision. Mark talks with Robert Aruldoss, a senior research analyst for financial planning at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, about how much savings you should have, when you should sign up for Medicare, when you should take Social Security, and other factors influencing your decision of when to retire.You can read more about the rising costs of health expenses in retirement from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.Working longer and delaying retirement can be a powerful strategy. Read more about the benefits in this study.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures: The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0519-9YBN)
Saving for retirement can seem overwhelming—especially if you are 50 years old and haven’t saved nearly enough. Fortunately there are some provisions in the tax code that allow you to make additional contributions to tax-advantaged accounts. In this episode, Mark Riepe examines some of those provisions as well as a few biases that might actually help you get back on track.Mark is joined by Hayden Adams, director of tax and financial planning for the Schwab Center for Financial Research. They discuss the catch-up provisions available with employer-sponsored plans as well as individual plans.You can read more about the specifics of each type of catch-up contribution allowed at IRS.gov.The benefits of immediate rewards as they relate to long-term goals are explained in this article from the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.0519-91AN
Your willingness and ability to take on risk in your portfolio has a significant effect on how your portfolio performs. However, perceptions of risk can be skewed by overconfidence, affective forecasting errors and other biases.In this episode, Mark Riepe explains how people’s tolerance for risk differs on a cognitive and emotional level, as well as how “risk capacity” is a more objective matter. Tobin McDaniel, Schwab’s SVP of Digital Advice and Innovation, joins Mark to discuss how investors view risk in real-world situations, and how they respond to changing market conditions.You can read more about risk capacity in this article by Season 1 Episode 2 guest Rob Williams.Risk-taking and realized versus paper losses is explained in this article from American Economic Review.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave us a ★★★★★ review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures: Please read the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Solutions™ disclosure brochures for important information, pricing, and disclosures related to the Schwab Intelligent Portfolios and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium programs.Schwab Intelligent Portfolios® and Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™ are made available through Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. ("Schwab"), a dually registered investment advisor and broker-dealer. Portfolio management services are provided by Charles Schwab Investment Advisory, Inc. ("CSIA"). Schwab and CSIA are subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation.The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not ensure a profit and cannot protect against losses in a declining market.Investing involves risk including loss of principal.Hypothetical examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to represent the past or future performance of any specific investment.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.The Schwab Center for Financial Research is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0419-96JD)
Two corrections for the broad market in 2018, coupled with bear markets in various segments of the market have many investors facing a decision: do I have the right level of diversification in my portfolio or do I need to make some changes? It’s likely that many people aren’t diversified as well as they should be.In this episode, Mark Riepe breaks down the ways your cognitive biases might be preventing you from building a truly diversified portfolio. Joining Mark is Omar Aguilar from Charles Schwab Investment Management. Mark and Omar discuss how you can tell if your portfolio isn’t diversified enough—and how you can change that.You can read more about how diversification works in this study: “Equity Portfolio Diversification,” William N. Goetzmann and Alok Kumar, Review of Finance, 2008Omar Aguilar discusses home country bias in investing in this article: “The Comforts of Home”Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Correlation is a statistical measure of how two investments have historically moved in relation to each other, and ranges from -1 to +1. A correlation of 1 indicates a perfect positive correlation, while a correlation of -1 indicates a perfect negative correlation. A correlation of zero means the assets are not correlated.Diversification and asset allocation strategies do not ensure a profit and cannot protect against losses in a declining market.International investments involve additional risks, which include differences in financial accounting standards, currency fluctuations, geopolitical risk, foreign taxes and regulations, and the potential for illiquid markets.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed‐income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factorsInvesting involves risk including loss of principal.Hypothetical examples are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to represent the past or future performance of any specific investment.Past performance is no guarantee of future results.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0419-92ZJ)
A recent survey of people participating in 401(k) plans revealed that 62% of them expect their 401(k) to be their biggest source of income in retirement. But if these accounts are so critical to retirement, why are they so often neglected? In this episode Mark Riepe talks with experts from the world of retirement plan services: Catherine Golladay and Nathan Voris. They discuss saving strategies and the major stumbling blocks that can prevent you from maximizing your 401(k).You can read more about how 401(k)s have evolved in these studies:“Defined Contribution Pension Plans: Determinants of Participationand Contribution Rates,” Journal of Financial Services Research, 2007, Gur Huberman, Sheena S. Iyengar, and Wei Jiang.“Increasing Saving Behavior Through Age-Progressed Renderings of theFuture Self,” Journal of Marketing Research, November 2011, Hal E. Hershfield, Daniel G. Goldstein, William F. Sharpe, Jesse Fox, Leo Yeykelis, Laura L. Carstensen, and Jeremy N. Balinesen.And if you’d like to help shape the future direction of the show, please consider taking this brief survey.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave us a rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important DisclosuresThe information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Any examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Vesting means ownership of your account or your entitlement to benefits. You are always 100% vested in any contributions that you make to your retirement plan, even if you leave your employer. However, depending on what type of retirement plan you have and the choices your employer has made about the benefits under the plan, vesting of employer contributions may be immediate or may take up to seven years. Your plan’s disclosure documents will contain the specific vesting schedule.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0219-997H)
Like any investment, bonds do come with their own set of risks. How can you best evaluate these different risks? It’s easy to be distracted by stories or personal experiences that aren’t necessarily representative of the current situation. In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Kathy Jones, Schwab’s chief fixed income strategist, about the specific risks related to bond investing and how to objectively evaluate them.You can read more about how people’s experiences living through tough economic times affected their future investment decisions in these studies:“Formative Experiences and Portfolio Choice: Evidence from the Finnish Great Depression,” Journal of Finance, February 2-17, Samuli Knupfer, Elias Rantapuska, and Matti Sarvimaki“Depression Babies: Do Macroeconomic Experiences Affect Risk Taking?” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2011, Ulrike Malmendier and Stefan NagelSubscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Diversification does not eliminate the risk of investment losses.Any examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only.Fixed income securities are subject to increased loss of principal during periods of rising interest rates. Fixed-income investments are subject to various other risks including changes in credit quality, market valuations, liquidity, prepayments, early redemption, corporate events, tax ramifications and other factors. Lower-rated securities are subject to greater credit risk, default risk, and liquidity risk.Tax-exempt bonds are not necessarily suitable for all investors. Information related to a security's tax-exempt status (federal and in-state) is obtained from third parties, and Schwab does not guarantee its accuracy. Tax-exempt income may be subject to the alternative minimum tax. Capital appreciation from bond funds and discounted bonds may be subject to state or local taxes. Capital gains are not exempt from federal income tax.Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) are inflation-linked securities issued by the U.S. government whose principal value is adjusted periodically in accordance with the rise and fall in the inflation rate. Thus, the dividend amount payable is also impacted by variations in the inflation rate, as it is based upon the principal value of the bond. It may fluctuate up or down. Repayment at maturity is guaranteed by the U.S. government and may be adjusted for inflation to become the greater of the original face amount at issuance or that face amount plus an adjustment for inflation.A bond ladder, depending on the types and amount of securities within the ladder, may not ensure adequate diversification of your investment portfolio. This potential lack of diversification may result in heightened volatility of the value of your portfolio. You must perform your own evaluation of whether a bond ladder and the securities held within it are consistent with your investment objective, risk tolerance and financial circumstances.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0219-9FCR)
How Do You Evaluate an ETF?

How Do You Evaluate an ETF?

2019-01-2800:20:01

In the U.S. alone, ETFs now account for more than $3 trillion in assets. When deciding whether or not to invest in a particular fund, what are the most important factors to consider? Are there psychological biases preventing investors from making the best decisions? In this episode, Mark Riepe talks with Michael Iachini about the ways investors can evaluate the fees, cost structure and underlying indexes of ETFs.Read more from Michael Iachini on Insights & Ideas and in the Schwab client Learning Center.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining markets.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Investment returns will fluctuate and are subject to market volatility, so that an investor’s shares, when redeemed or sold, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Unlike mutual funds, shares of ETFs are not individually redeemable directly with the ETF. Shares of ETFs are bought and sold at market price, which may be higher or lower than the net asset value (NAV). All ETFs are subject to management fees and expenses.Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. receives remuneration from third-party ETF companies participating in Schwab ETF OneSource™ for record keeping, shareholder services and other administrative services, including program development and maintenance.Diversification does not eliminate the risk of investment losses.Any examples are hypothetical and provided for illustrative purposes only.This information does not constitute and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal, or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, Schwab recommends consultation with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner, or investment manager.Apple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0119-90BG)
We all have goals. Juggling multiple goals in a world of finite time and money can be tough. Whatever your goal in life is, can you name the steps you need to take in order to actually achieve it? There’s clear evidence that the best way to achieve your financial goals is by starting with a plan. Unfortunately, the majority of people do not have a written plan. Why is that? In this episode, Mark Riepe and guest Chris Thom discuss strategies to overcome some of the common mental barriers to getting started with a plan.Read more about Schwab's Modern Wealth Index, which includes surprising results such as how millennials are in many cases more focused on saving, investing and financial planning than older generations.The study “Wealth Accumulation and the Propensity to Plan” shows that similar households often end up with differentlevels of wealth because of the varying attitudes and skills with which they approach financial planning.Choiceology host Katy Milkman contributed to research about how prompting people to plan can improve follow-through on important tasks.Subscribe to Financial Decoder for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.Financial Decoder is an original podcast from Charles Schwab.If you enjoy the show, please leave a ★★★★★ rating or review on Apple Podcasts.Important Disclosures:The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third-party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.Diversification strategies do not ensure a profit and do not protect against losses in declining marketsApple Podcasts and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.Google Podcasts and the Google Podcasts logo are trademarks of Google LLC.Spotify and the Spotify logo are registered trademarks of Spotify AB.(0119-8DBE)
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