Retirement GPS: Questions And Answers

By | January 28, 2014

We have been lucky enough to get the author of the book, Retirement GPS, Aaron Karsman, to answer a few questions. Hope you find them just as interesting as we have at Growing Money.

Retirement GPS

Retirement GPS

Who are you?

I am the founder and president of Lighthouse Capital Ltd., a boutique investment firm serving a global clientèle. I offer securities through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc., a registered broker-dealer that is a member of FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, and SIFMA. I have written a popular weekly investment column for the Jerusalem Post for over 5 years. I am also a contributor to Seekingalpha.com and am a Retirementor for Marketwatch.com. I have been a guest on CNBC’s Squawk Box and am  author of the investment blog www.gpsinvestor.com.

I was born in Seattle, Washington, and moved to Israel in 1992. I founded and managed the international personal banking group for Citigroup in Israel. Before Citi I was a senior analyst at a leading Israeli venture capital fund, where I gained an intimate working knowledge of the Israeli high-tech industry and was frequently invited to lecture on the Israeli economy. I am licensed as an investment advisor in the United States by FINRA and by the Israel Securities Authority. I am married+5, and love volunteering, running and fishing.

What make you want to write this book?

Plain and simple, most of the books, advice columns, and radio and TV programs on retirement planning rely on outdated notions of what retirement means in the twenty-first century. Also, too few of the authors of these books highlight international investment strategies and vehicles. After all the world is a very big place full of investment opportunity. By not discussing this they are doing investors a big dis-service. In advising a global clientèle, I’ve found that international investing is key in achieving personalized retirement goals.

What was the point in your life when you knew you wanted to manage money?

From a very young age I was both a political and economics junkie. I started following financial markets when I was about 13-14, when I had my father open an account for me and buy my first investment-with MY money-, the Scudder Latin American Fund. That was when I became hooked on investing. I have always loved the interplay between politics and economics and when it became time for me to pick a career, it was sort of a natural transition for me to apply both of those disciplines and become an investment professional.

Why is a global portfolio important?

The world has changed over the last few decades. This is not a bashing the US book. It’s just that there are many countries that have had and continue to show very strong economic growth and provide compelling investment opportunities. According to all accounts there will be a huge wealth creation in Asia over the next 20 years. Why not take advantage of that? Investing is about trying to capitalize on opportunity and for investors to limit themselves to one market just doesn’t make sense.

What advice do you have for people who is afraid of another major stock market crash?

I can’t predict the future, so trying to predict when an unusual event like a market crash will happen is foolish. That doesn’t mean that you have to put your head in the sand. If you are a retiree or are just plain very nervous about jittery markets, take your foot of the gas pedal, and get your portfolio less aggressive in order to try and ride out the volatility that you expect.

 If you could give advice in just one sentence about investing what would your advice be? 

Find a strategy and stick to it and think global.

What are your plans for the future? Have you any more books to write?

I love what I do so I hope to continue to build my business. I have actually started working on a new investing book. Unfortunately at this time I would rather not divulge the topic.

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