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Michael Falk: 'Retirement Planning Can Be Done More Simply'

The author and financial expert discusses what target-date funds get wrong, how investors should navigate the low-yield environment, and whether active management can add value.

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Our guest on the podcast today is Michael Falk. Falk is a partner at the Focus Consulting Group, where he specializes in helping investment and wealth management firms with investment decision-making, strategic planning, and succession. Previously, he was a chief strategist at Global Macro LP and a chief investment officer in charge of manager due diligence and asset allocation for a multi-billion-dollar advisory practice. Falk has authored or coauthored several books, including Let's All Learn How to Fish To Sustain Long-Term Economic GrowthGet to Work on OUR Future, and Money, Meaning, and Mindsets. He is a frequent public speaker and is also a CFA charterholder.



Let's All Learn How to Fish … To Sustain Long-Term Economic Growth, by Michael Falk

Get to Work … On OUR Future, by Michael Falk

Money, Meaning, and Mindsets: Radical Reform for the Investment Industry, by Michael Falk

"Jason Zweig: Temperament Is Everything for Most Investors," The Long View podcast,, June 29, 2021.

Retirement and Target-Date Funds

"Psychological Safety & Career Risk in the Investment Management Industry," by Michael Falk and Bob Schmidt, Brandes Institute, February 2020.

Enough About the Assets, Already!" by Michael Falk, Retirement InSight and Trends, 2014.

"Falk: Immunize Your Retirement Portfolio Before Optimizing,", June 30, 2014.

"Off With Your (Rules of) Thumbs!" by Michael Falk, Retirement InSight and Trends, 2015.

"Target Date Fund Warning," by Terry Savage,, July 6, 2021.

"Is Retirement Past Its Prime? The Economic & Behavioral Realities of Retirement," by Michael Falk, Retirement InSight and Trends, 2014.

"A Popular Retirement Rule of Thumb Isn't Wrong, but It Could Be Disruptive for Retirees," by Stephanie Yang,, July 9, 2014.

Investments and Asset Allocation

"Michael Falk: Emotional Intelligence as Investment Alpha," Standard Deviations With Dr. Daniel Crosby, Aug. 17, 2021.

"Still Learning to Fish: Three Years On," by Michael Falk, CFA Institute, Jan. 23, 2020.

"Everything You Need to Know About Investing," by Michael Falk, Investments & Wealth Monitor, November/December 2020.

"Taking Investment Teams From Good to Great," by Michael Falk, CFA Institute, Oct. 4, 2018.

"Michael Falk: I'll Never Buy Bonds Again, and You Shouldn't Either," Money Life With Chuck Jaffe, Dec. 31, 2020.

Herfindahl-Hirschman Index

"Crypto Dreamin'? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," by Michael Falk, CFA Institute, June 16, 2020.

"Green Carrots and Sticks: Incentivizing Climate Solutions," by Michael Falk and Joachim Klement, CFA Institute, June 23, 2021.

"An Alternative to the 60/40 Portfolio," by Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense, March 5, 2015.

"Michael Falk: How a Money Mind Deals With a Terminal Diagnosis," Money Life With Chuck Jaffe, Feb. 26, 2020.