I'm a retired physics teacher with a love of classical music, photography, and investing. Since this is principally an investing blog, ITA Wealth Management readers likely want to know who is writing this investment material and why place any trust in the editor. Raised in a humble family in Central Pennsylvania, it required a little audacity to think I might have something to say about such a serious subject. While the 200 billion per year investment industry would like to con you into thinking investing requires an MBA from the University of Chicago, I set out a number of years ago to explain how easy investing can be if one is willing to take a few basic steps.
Before launching into the world of investing, let me say a few words about music and photography. Nearly every Sunday I post a music recommendation. You will find them by clicking on Music in the Category section. As I write this blog, you can be sure I am listening to music of all genre even though 90% of my 450 days of music is classical.
A second major interest is photography and I scatter it all over the blog. You will find more of my photographs on lowellherr.Smugmug.com. Call me a serious amateur.
Now back to the world of investing. If you've read even a small fraction of this blog you picked up the emphasis on index investing. Index or a passive approach to investing is a minority viewpoint in the investing world. I go into more detail in the blog as to why this is the case. I've been interested in the stock market since the late 1950s when my father-in-law encouraged me to make a few small purchases. As I recall, I first purchased an actively managed mutual fund and one preferred stock. Once our wages increased, my wife and I began to save the maximum amount in 403(b) plans through our respective educational institutions. I've made plenty of mistakes and this blog is to help readers avoid those snares.
In the early to mid-1980s I co-authored a mutual fund news letter titled, "Investment Trend Analysts Inc." The ITA in ITA Wealth Management comes from that old newsletter. During the 1980s and most of the 1990s I was convinced actively managed no-load mutual funds were the place to be. Only later, after much research, did I learn I was mistaken.
After my no-load mutual fund days I went through a phase of stock analysis. The late 1990s made any stock picker feel like a genius. As they say, don't confuse brains with a bull market. The tech market crash in 2000 through 2002 was a humbling experience. It drove me deeper into academic papers and books written by William J. Bernstein and other authors I discuss in this blog. Out of these experiences emerged my current investment philosophy of asset allocation and index investing.
Serving on two non-profit boards, the Shangri-La Corporation and the Mennonite Educational Agency (MEA), is a way of giving back to the community. The task of the MEA Board is to provide oversight to the endowment funds for several colleges, private schools, and seminaries.
I began the ITA Wealth Management blog back on February 14, 2008. Blog articles do not go back that far as I've experienced several crashes at the hosting sites where this blog once resided. Needless to say, this blog is now hosted on a more robust site. There is a lot of material to digest. Enjoy and ask questions.
Awards & Honors
- 1986 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching
- 1991 OMSI-Tektronix Award for Excellence in Science & Mathematics Teaching
- 2002 Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching – American Association of Physics Teachers
- Braitmayer Fellowship – 1977-78
- CINI Gold Eagle Award for "Kinematics of Vectors" film – 1978
- Chris Bronze Plaque Award for "Kinematics of Vectors" film – 1978
- 1970 – Recognized by the American Association of Physics Teachers as one of the five most innovative physics teachers in the USA.
- National Science Foundation Academic Year Institute – Temple University – 1962-63
- NSF grant as Director of Project PHYSLab – 1992-2001.
- 1985, 1990, 1994, & 1995 Outstanding Teaching Awards (Student Nominations) – University of Chicago and Tufts University
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor or a certified financial planner. Information provided on this blog is a description of my own personal financial journey and the research I am currently conducting to better manage a few portfolios. The portfolios tracked on this blog do not all belong to me and the transaction details are not available for several portfolios, even to Platinum members. Readers need to do their own research as they manage and monitor their own portfolios.