Print the page
Increase font size

Posted January 27, 2021

Byron King

By Byron King

National MAXIMUM Wage?

You are a fool, a reader slings at your editor. I am deleting you today because of your idiotic statements, you socialist.

Just a quick refresher for anyone new to The Rundown: the top portion of this e-letter is normally reserved for reader feedback -- opinions that run the ideological spectrum.

Unlike social media platforms today, we actually appreciate the give and take of ideas. But please dont confuse readers opinions for my own. Back to readers opinions

No, not tongue in cheek, a reader says, correcting something we said Monday. I'm serious.

If no one made more than $1 million a year, think of the good that could be done. Lower prices on everything because they would have lower wages to pay, and the big shots would have to make do with less.

I got my proxy vote for Apple today with a vote for the board of directors, and Al Gore is on the board. I voted NO to him. (How does a politician even become a multi-millionaire?) Say Lebron James was paid $1 million instead of $100 million, what could be done with that $99 million?

If we have a national minimum wage, why not a maximum wage?

Well leave these questions for our readers to respond to But instead of name calling, how about a thoughtful, well-reasoned discussion?

Send your opinions to,

Your Rundown for Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

The New 4% Rule

William Bengen -- a MIT graduate and long-time financial planner -- made his mark in the retirement space when he developed his thesis that the maximum safe withdrawal rate is 4% to preserve retirement portfolios.

Mr. Bengen introduced his 4% rule in 1994 in a paper titled: Determining Withdrawal Rates Using Historical Data.

Now hes amended that number

The 4% rule is actually the 4.5% rule, Bengen says. I modified it some years ago on the basis of new research.

The 4.5% is the percentage you could safely withdraw from a tax-advantaged portfolio (like an IRA, Roth IRA, or 401k) the first year of retirement, with the expectation you would live for 30 years in retirement.

After the first year, he continues, you throw away the 4.5% rule and just increase the dollar amount of your withdrawals each year by the prior years inflation rate.

Example: $100,000 in an IRA at retirement. First year withdrawal $4,500. Inflation first year is 10%, so second-year withdrawal would be $4,950.

I like to remind people that the 4.5% rule is not a law of nature, Bengen says, like Newtons laws of motion, which will probably never change. Markets can change

Both the 2000 and 2007 retirees, who experienced big bear markets early in retirement, appear to be doing OK with 4.5%. However, if we were to encounter a decade or more of high inflation, that might change things.

In my opinion, inflation is the retirees worst enemy, Bengen contends. As your time horizon increases beyond 30 years, as you might expect, the safe withdrawal rate decreases.

For example for 35 years, I calculated 4.3%; for 40 years, 4.2%; and for 45 years, 4.1%. If you plan to live forever, 4% should do it. Now thats tongue in cheek

Bengen concludes: It is possible that in the future the 4.5% rule, which has held up for 50 years, might be violated. But I havent seen those circumstances yet.

Market Rundown for Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021

S&P 500 is down more than 1% to 3,800.

Oils stuck in neutral at $52.49 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold is down $11.90 to $1,838.90 per ounce.

Bitcoin is down 7% to $30,059.25.

Send your comments and questions to,

Well talk more Friday; until then, take care.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

“I Experienced Jimmy Carter”

“I Experienced Jimmy Carter”

Posted August 02, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

2,700-page Infrastructure Bill (Senators Work Weekend)
Brace for Impact

Brace for Impact

Posted July 30, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

DG continues to be a great stock to recession-proof your portfolio.
Lockdowns? Again?

Lockdowns? Again?

Posted July 28, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

“[AI] is expected to add $15 TRILLION to the world economy in the next decade,” Ray Blanco says. “The ‘when in doubt, regulate’ approach is not going to work.”
   Suspicious Timing (Wells Fargo)

Suspicious Timing (Wells Fargo)

Posted July 26, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

Infrastructure is the hot-potato issue that’s been put off for decades. Will crumbling infrastructure finally get the attention it deserves?
Australia’s Resurgence

Australia’s Resurgence

Posted July 23, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

The Delta variant raises a critical question: Will vaccinated folks need a booster shot?
Getting Along in the Lone Star State

Getting Along in the Lone Star State

Posted July 21, 2021

By Aaron Gentzler

As for Monday’s sell-off, we think it was a rational, contained market blip -- just one of those corrective days. Particularly for one winning consumer staple…