Just So Dimensional



A Wendy’s Wednesday Whimsy

If you haven’t been paying close attention, you may not have noticed that Dimensional Fund Advisors has just released a powerful new, massively overhauled public-facing website, www.dimensional.com.

It’s just so Dimensional, isn’t it, to do something fabulous and virtually whisper about the news?

Now, whenever you’re struggling to explain to current or would-be clients why they shouldn’t be loading up on gold, chasing the latest red-hot ETF, dumping everything into an S&P 500 index fund, avoiding all things international, or otherwise pursuing the most popular possibilities of the day … you’ve got a great first stop on the tour. Just point your visitor to Dimensional’s new site in his or her chosen language, and your work may very nearly be done.

Using the U.S. site as my reference point, here are a few of my favorite things:

Being Seen – I wouldn’t swear by it, but I think their “find an advisor” function has gotten a lot more functional. That’s good news for those of you who would like to be found.

Being Heard – You and I have known all along that Dimensional’s returns are a thing of beauty, and that its track record for inflows is often second to none … especially during the ugliest times when everybody else is heading for the hills. Now, these sorts of critical stats are almost the first thing a visitor sees, in stunningly simple glory. They’ve even managed to keep the disclosures from cluttering up the scenery. (Hopefully no compliance attorneys were harmed in the making of this site.)

Being Quietly Compliant – Sure, you may run aground on the shoals of compliance if you start showcasing outperforming returns. Dimensional’s disclosure requirements are not the same as yours. You should be able to point visitors to their site and let them do the talking for you.

Being True to Form – For those of us already familiar with Dimensional, the site is a fun and fresh reminder of everything we already know and appreciate about them – the history, the science, the academic underpinnings.

It’s just so Dimensional.

In Memoriam to Phil, My Friend and Adviser

Today’s blog is not whimsical. Today, I received the news that, earlier this week, my financial adviser passed away suddenly while vacationing in Hawaii with his family. Phil – who I blogged about just last August – is gone.


I share this news with you, my adviser friends, for two reasons.

First, especially for those among you who knew Phil personally, nobody could more fully understand the feelings I’m experiencing today, as I think about how my good friend and adviser (decidedly in that order!) will now no longer be there.

He’ll no longer be there to celebrate – as only Phil could do – the good-news milestones in our lives. I won’t be able to remind him how grateful I am that he and his team have helped make those milestones possible, and to share in how happy that always made him, right to the bottom of his fiduciary soul.

He won’t be there to shake his head along with me whenever the market has lost its flipping mind. Even though I know better than to succumb to the insanity, it will no longer be us and Phil against a crazy world.

He won’t be there to gently disagree with me when I’m wrong. Not that he’d ever come right out and say so. There was that pause of his. His hands would fold together as if he were stitching together his thoughts on the matter. He’d give me that look, affectionate and amused. “That’s right,” he’d begin, “but …” Whatever misguided idea I may have had would be a goner by the time he was done.

But now, Phil is the one who is gone. And yet, not really. First of all, he’s still lodged firmly inside my head. I have an “inner Phil” who will remain my advisor for life.

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Fiduciary, Fee-Only Friends Found All Around the World

A Wendy’s Wednesday Whimsy

As we reflect on the outcome of yesterday’s presidential elections, you may enjoy a reminder that, big picture, the world has a way of continuing to turn, come what may. My personal inspiration came last week when I took a little longer than usual to knock off for the day, scheduling a 6 pm Skype with a new friend I’d recently met: Phil Stockton of Private Capital Ltd.

BREAKING NEWS: As I was putting together this week’s whimsy, I was delighted to see that my British communications colleague and Evidence-Based Investor author Robin Powell published a podcast conversation between us. In “What’s With the Name?” we explore the origin and meaning of Evidence-Based Investing. I also happened to mention my conversation with Phil toward the end. I do hope you’ll give the show a listen. We’re all one, big happy global family!

Now, back to my own post: I was willing to delay happy hour last week, because my Wednesday evening was Phil’s Thursday morning, and another busy day for him as he and his partners Rick Adkinson and Mathew Bate are spreading the mostly unheard-of word on evidence-based investing to families sorely in need of hearing more about it – in Hong Kong.

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