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Fingfool wrote:

<<1. I liked your selection for quest articles during your vacation, particularly the article issued first. I was surprised that these life experiences did not receive more posting responses.>>

I had expected a bit more response myself. Perhaps the lack of response has something to do with the fact both articles dealt with negative issues that many of us prefer to ignore. Still, they help as a remainder if for no other reason.

<<2. (SNIP) ... I was wondering about your retirement plan with a five year buffer in safe investments to ride out a down market. Was this a concept (the 5 year buffer) that you came up with or was original with someone else? When testing it versus historic market performances and alternative strategies, it does very well. I've had 3 year buffers in the past with no particular analysis to show what was really safe. The concept and testing/analysis of it are probably the most valuable information that I've garnered from this site.>>

I certainly can't claim the concept as anything super-original to me, although when I evaluated it some years back I had yet to read of anyone espousing quite that approach. Since then, though, it's obvious to me that others do as well.

<<3. As pointed out by others in past posts, your articles are invariably well written and researched. My question is: Where do you obtain most of your information? From the internet? From your past life as retirement advisor? From hard copy material? Also approximately how much time does it take you each week to prepare an article on average? Feel free to use your answers in your job evaluation to extract increased rewards from those young (but hopefully, not unappreciative of us savvy veterans) Fools.>>

My information comes from my personal and extensive collection of financial planning works and software, my experiences during my former working life, and from the internet. One source doesn't outweigh another as I try to verify information from more than one. Where I get into trouble is when I rely on memory for numerical data. That's what I did last week, and screwed up a data point because of it. (A senior moment perhaps? ;-P ) As to time devoted to researching and writing the actual column, that, too, varies depending on the topic. Usually my research is ongoing until I feel comfortable enough to do the writing in one or more columns. I write most columns on Friday mornings from about 9:00 to Noon. I let them sit until about 3:00, and then I reread them for errors and make necessary revisions. Then they go to my editors to meet my submission deadline of 7:00PM.

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