About Kenneth R. Smith

Ken is the Chief Executive Officer of Empirical Wealth Management. He holds an M.S. in financial analysis and is a Certified Financial Planner®.

Quantitative Easing and Tapering – What it Means For You

Quantitative easing followed by tapering – the newest diet fad?  No, but they are concepts that may be of importance to your fiscal health.  These are the buzzwords repeated by financial reporters before, during, and after each policy meeting by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. While the media often seems more […]

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New Market Factors: A Look At Fundamental Index Investing

A key tenet of Empirical’s investment philosophy is that certain “factors” exist within equity markets that offer long-term risk-adjusted return premiums (or returns in excess of the market as a whole).  The specific factors used in Empirical models are the size premium (tilting the portfolio allocation toward companies with a smaller market capitalization) and the […]

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Financial Fraud and Advisor Compensation

Consider the following phrases: An investment recommendation that is “suitable for you” versus one that is “in your best interest.”  These may sound identical, but there is a difference between the two types of recommendations The former can be labeled as a suitability standard and coincides with how brokers operate. The latter is the fiduciary […]

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4 facts to never forget when investing

In our latest quarterly letter, we covered Empirical’s 10 steps to investment success. Today, we will take a look at a few of Larry Swedroe’s lessons for investors: 1. Maintaining a disciplined approach is key 2. Economic growth doesn’t always translate into stock market growth 3. Forecasts are best when they are ignored 4. Crises […]

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The World’s Most Misleading ETF Names

Article Spotlight:  When selecting an investment product, it is crucial to research that product thoroughly to make sure that you understand exactly what you are purchasing. Often times, names or descriptions of funds or other investments can be quite misleading. This week, we want to highlight an article by Ana Kostioukova, an ETF Analyst at […]

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Should I loan money to family or friends?

Loaning money to family and friends There are many reasons why loaning money to family and friends is unsuitable for certain individuals and an uncomfortable subject for those who choose to do it. However, it can be difficult to turn others down or withhold help, especially if close family members are involved. Given the sensitive […]

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Should I Buy Gold? – What you need to know before making this decision!

From time to time we are asked by clients why we do not use a specific allocation to gold.  Gold has been a store of value for nearly as long as commerce has existed, it is considered to be a hedge against inflation, and now with the creation of exchanges traded funds (ETFs) that hold […]

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Mutual Funds vs. Exchange Traded Products: Is There a Clear Winner?

At Empirical, we generally advise individual investors to avoid investing in individual securities (such as single stocks or bonds), instead recommending the use of funds of these assets to get market exposure.  The main reason behind this is the diversification benefit received from owning a portfolio of assets as opposed to a few individual assets, […]

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