Research and Writing for Professionals

Please refer to our newsletters for our most current thoughts on the financial markets and other topics.

National Savings Guidelines

Robert and Charles Kreitler co-authored a landmark retirement savings study, the National Savings Rate Guidelines for Individuals, with Roger Ibbotson, Peng Chen and James Xiong of Ibbotson Associates in the Journal of Financial Planning. The study addressed the complex issues of retirement saving and created a methodology for individuals to simply and quickly estimate the savings rate needed to retire successfully.

The study received wide coverage from the press. described it as “Your Magic Number.” Both and use it as the basis for their online retirement calculators.

Articles for Professionals

  • Executive Summary
  • Drawing a Hard Line – The Critical Path
  • Investment Strategies for the New World
    Financial Planners and portfolio managers are reevaluating their strategies in light of the global turmoil over the last several years.
  • The Critical Path
    The Critical Path is the plot over time of how much capital an individual needs to reach a must-achieve objective. A likely example of such an objective is to produce the minimum level of retirement income that an individual says he or she will not be able to live without. This article discusses the implications of the Critical Path for financial planners and individuals.
  • Roth Conversion Article
    With Roth IRA conversions a hot topic for 2010, we provided a thought piece on the questions individuals and their advisors should be addressing as they consider whether converting is right for them.
  • Volatility Enhanced GRATs
    We address a way to increase the tax-free gift to beneficiaries versus traditional GRATs.

Tools and Pools

Retirees have a variety of options for meeting retirement income needs. In this article, Robert Kreitler lays out a strategy using two components: “tools,” to increase cash flow from available resources, and “pools,” to prioritize assets and identify the most efficient way to use them to meet a retiree’s income needs and lifetime objectives. The article was originally published in the Journal of Retirement Planning and the book Retirement Income Redesigned: Master Plans for Distributions: An Adviser’s Guide for Funding Boomers’ Best Years (edited by Harold Evensky and Deena B. Katz).

Getting Started in Global Investing: The Island Principle

Robert Kreitler’s 2000 book Getting Started in Global Investing (John Wiley & Sons) addressed the following question: if an investor lived on an island in the middle of one of our oceans, how would that location affect the way he or she constructed an investment portfolio?

With a whole world full of stocks, this investor would probably not limit him or herself to buying only companies headquartered on the island, but would buy stocks from many countries. He or she would have a globally diversified portfolio. This was the basis for the “Island Principle.”

The Island Principle approaches global investing logically and thoughtfully, seeking to make global investing a less risky proposition than many investors seem to believe it is. It suggests new ways to diversify, ways that can possibly help investors reduce portfolio risk. Then they can enjoy another benefit: lowering risk gives investors the freedom to make new choices, with the potential to increase their portfolio returns.

You can learn more at the book’s website:

Global investing also involves special risks, including currency fluctuations, different financial accounting standards, and possible political and economic volatility. Investing involves risk and investors may incur a profit or a loss. Alternative investments involve specific risks that may be greater than those associated with traditional investments and may be offered only to clients who meet specific suitability requirements, including minimum net worth tests.

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