Dimensional

Episode 34: The Safe Savings Rate: Shifting the Focus Away from Wealth Accumulation

Welcome to Episode 34 of the Rational Reminder Podcast. Today we are discussing how our new ETF model portfolios will be employed to better accommodate our non-client listeners to whom Dimensional Fund Advisors are not as relevant. We talk about how BlackRock and Vanguard are dominating the market, why the US is leading in passive investment and why traditional financial planning needs to be re-evaluated. In addressing our main topic—safe savings rates—we explore the need for moving away from a focus exclusively on wealth accumulation to an approach more concerned with a safe savings strategy. We ask the all-important question, “How much will I need a month when I stop working?” and provide helpful guidelines on how focusing on the process rather than on the number that can help you to achieve your financial goals. Join us today to find out how you can adopt a safe savings approach! 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • How we will accommodate non-client listeners using ETF model portfolios. [0:03:34.0]

  • The issue of accessibility with Dimensional Fund Advisors. [0:04:51.0]

  • How the world is exploding with asset allocation ETFs. [0:05:26.0]

  • The dominance of BlackRock and Vanguard in the market. [0:09:33.0]

  • How the US is leading in passive management. [0:10:06.0]

  • What the Vanguard-effect does [0:10:27.0]

  • Investing in factor funds versus portfolios of factor funds. [0:11:17.0]

  • The benefit of having a one-decision portfolio that has a variety of different factors. [0:13:28.0]

  • Factor returns versus smart beta returns. [0:15:33.0]

  • Why low beta looks good on the factor side, but bad on the implementation side. [0:16:19.0]

  • More about the 4% rule. [0:17:35.0]

  • The four steps of traditional financial planning. [0:18:06.0]

  • Pfau’s suggestion for a better alternative to traditional financial planning [0:20:27.0]

  • What your savings rate should be [0:24:00.0].

  • The benefit of having a safe savings approach rather than focusing on wealth accumulation. [0:25:09.0]

  • The challenge of knowing how much you need when you stop working. [0:25:49.0]

  • Why you need to focus on the habit rather than on the target. [0:27:10.0]

  • And much more!

Episode 28: Staying Ahead of the Curve: The History of Dimensional Fund Advisors

Today on the podcast we are very excited to welcome Brad Steiman who is the Canadian Head of Financial Advisor Services for Dimensional! This is an episode we literally cannot wait to share with our listeners as it is jam packed with really useful information, history, and inside scoops on Dimensional and what has helped them get to where they are today. As huge fans and associates of DFA this is the type of conversation we have been hoping to have for quite some time and hope you are as excited as we are. In our discussion, we cover Brad’s early career and how he became involved and employed by Dimensional. From there, Brad gives us some great insight into the important early events that shaped his and the companies trajectories as well as laying out the vital characters in DFA’s story. We also get into some of the ideas and the ethos that underpins the work done at the company, particularly around research, findings and implementation. For all of this and host of other interesting subjects be sure to join us for this episode!

 

Key Points From This Episode:

 

  • Brad’s initial attraction to working at Dimensional. [0:01:45.5]

  • The college years and the following epiphanies. [0:02:37.9]

  • Why Brad did not look at his early paychecks at Dimensional. [0:06:29.3]

  • How David Booth preempted the evidence-based approach. [0:08:53.1]

  • Dimensional’s continual approach to new research and data mining. [0:14:55.5]

  • The criteria Dimensional apply when assessing findings. [0:17:26.9]

  • Brad and Dimensional’s philosophy when it comes to stock momentum. [0:20:41.1]

  • The implementation strategy at Dimensional. [0:25:51.1]

  • ETFs versus mutual funds and Dimensional’s decision in this battle. [0:28:05.1]

  • Dimensional’s unique approach to working with the advisor community. [0:30:51.5]

  • Three of Brad’s favorite stories from his time at the company. [0:32:49.6]

  • Brad’s science based approach to happiness! [0:37:34.1]

  • And much more!