Little Jack

Dennis Friedman

I SUBSCRIBE TO a number of financial magazines, as well as a daily newspaper. Lately, they’ve been piling up in my garage unread. I scan the front cover of the magazines and the headlines of the newspaper, but I’m not that interested. I don’t care about “Where to Invest Your Money in 2019” or “The Best Stocks for the Long Run.”

I guess it’s because I’m no longer in charge of my investment portfolio. I have a financial advisor, Carl, who has been overseeing my investments for the past six months. And I have been satisfied with the way things have been going.

Just between you and me, Carl—who is human—hasn’t been selecting my investments. Instead, it’s been a computer. I call the computer Little Jack, after the late Jack Bogle, because it picks nothing but index funds. Right now, Little Jack has me in a mix of six index funds that track the total U.S. stock market, total international stock market, total international bond market and three different segments of the U.S bond market—short, intermediate and long-term securities. Overall, my portfolio is 40% in stocks and 60% in bonds.

I know for a fact that Little Jack hasn’t read those periodicals that are piling up in my garage. If he isn’t bothering, why should I?

What I like about Little Jack is that he isn’t human. There is no emotion or prejudice in picking my investments. You can’t say the same thing about those magazines and newspapers in my garage, all of which are written by humans, who are quoting other humans, who are supposedly experts.

I bet that, over the long run, Little Jack will beat the performance of the picks from those magazines and newspapers. I guess that’s another reason those periodicals are piling up in my garage unread.

Dennis Friedman retired at age 58 from Boeing Aerospace Company. He enjoys reading and writing about personal finance. His previous articles include Cancel the Movers, Let’s Take a Ride and I Can’t Do That. Follow Dennis on Twitter @dmfrie.

Do you enjoy HumbleDollar? Please support our work with a donation. Want to receive daily email alerts about new articles? Click here. How about getting our twice-weekly newsletter? Sign up now.

Browse Articles

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Free Newsletter