We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I like Guggenheim S&P500 Equal Weight (RSP). For equities, I prefer it to S&P 500 funds, which are weighted by market cap, but I keep my equity money to a relatively small % of my modest pile of financial assets.
My Godfather was one of the original inventors of mutual funds. At the time, he only sold his funds to rich guys.
His first fund was simply to sell shares of his own portfolio from his inheritance from his family. He had done well with it, and had sold the family business.
When I was a kid, he would tell me that he was certain that, in the future, retail funds would be a big business, diluting risk. I didn't really know what he was talking about. He was slightly ahead of his time but made enough money to build a custom 92-foot sailboat which is all he ever dreamed of.
Guy did not leave me a penny, but left me the memories of his companionship and the example of his Christian faith which has been a great gift indeed. I never told him that before he died at his desk in his office, aged 88.
I do not care to pay for actively-managed money. When it comes to investing on the retail level, I have always said that one can never get rich that way unless one is blessed with the same combination of recklessness and luck that wins the Powerball. Like investing every penny you had in Microsoft when it first went public in 1986. Some office secretaries did, though, just like all the regular citizens of Omaha invested in Berkshire 40 years ago just because they knew Warren from around town.
Over time, however, one can hope to maintain one's financial assets and keep up with inflation and sometimes exceed it. Public equity markets are a sophisticated casino. Over the years I have gotten some very good tips, but a prudent person without inside info never wants to risk enough for it to make a meaningful difference in the end. I will confess that I own a few individual stocks.
It's those occasional base hits in bullish markets which keep retail citizen dopes like me coming back to the casino, while the people making big money in markets are those who construct and sell the financial products we little people buy, and the people in the non-public markets (eg venture capital, hedge funds, etc).
I am still waiting for a major market crash or correction. I have cash waiting in my "retirement" account, but that ammo is getting rusty.
My stepdad was a good man. Midwestern German Lutheran. When he retired from his lifelong career he became a salesman for IDS. Not a big gamer--just a small part time job around his retirement community. His clients were mostly older folks. There was a crash in the mid 1970's you may remember what year exactly--I do not. What I do remember is him getting two jobs:night security at a bank, and part time driver for an elderly person. He used the income from these jobs to re-pay out of his own pocket every penny that any of his customers lost. He walked the talk and I am proud of him, though at the time I thought he was foolish. His is a story of another good Christian in the money business.