Kiplinger

The Practical Investor Packs It In

When I first saw the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, I was captured by a line uttered by the villainous sea witch, who taunted the heroine to give up her prized possession (her voice) in exchange for the legs she yearned for. "Life's full of tough choices, isn't it?" she said.

I recently found myself at just such a crossroads. I love writing . We launched this column in 2011 as an experiment in whether a buy-and-hold investor (me) could meet or beat the performance of the market by buying individual stocks. The answer: no. Since inception, I'm way behind the market, despite performing better in most years. My undoing: 2015, when my portfolio lost 20% and the market held steady.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Kiplinger

Kiplinger6 min read
The Power Company Fried My Appliances: What Are My Rights?
Who is responsible, and what should you do, when a repair crew from your local power utility negligently causes a power surge and all of your appliances -- everything that has wires and plugs into the wall -- are fried? That was the question from 8
Kiplinger4 min read
Give the Money, Keep the Tax Break with Donor-Advised Funds
I doubt many people would say that getting a deduction on their income taxes is their main motivation for charitable giving. It's more likely they've been inspired to support a cause they believe in or an organization they respect -- a children's ho
Kiplinger2 min read
Olympia, Wash.: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 52,555 Cost of living: 106 Median home price: $345,000 College perk: Evergreen College offers free classes for retirees 60 and older. Olympia, the state capital, is only about an hour away from Seattle but significantly more affordable. T