Sometimes the best tool is to work alongside someone who knows how to use the tool.  I remember learning how to hang cabinet doors from a friend who was a master carpenter. He had a special tool for drilling the hinges. That was an eye-opener. It was called a vix bit. The other eye-opener was the technique he used to make certain all the doors hung at the same height. He rested all of the doors on a straight edge that was level. Viola! (Viola: used to call attention, to express satisfaction or approval, or to suggest an appearance as if by magic.)

VIX Bits

Most of the time when I look at a friend’s investment portfolio, my first reaction is often “this is far more complicated than it needs to be.” Enter Chris Mamula. He also realizes the value of simplicity. Read his blog if you want to gain some valuable insights. He has the right tool set.

My general recommendation is that the average investor, who wants good returns with minimal work or babysitting of the portfolio, needs only a couple of good low-cost index mutual funds or perhaps a mix of that and some great dividend-growth ETF investments. Examples of those are VYM, SCHD and DVY.