About the author

In 1996, Gary Karz was working for an investment banking firm in Los Angeles headed by a former Partner of Goldman Sachs as the internet was just starting to revolutionize the financial world. He became an early adaptor by personally launching several simple, but useful web sites including InvestorHome.com, which was featured on CNBC shortly thereafter. Nobel Laureate William Sharpe described the site as “a treasure trove of information” and later shared with Gary the pre-launch website of FinancialEngines.com, which was effectively the forefather of what is now called the “Robo-Advisor” industry (the firm Sharpe founded went on to become the largest registered investment advisory firm in the United States).

For more than a decade, Gary consulted to many of the largest investment firms in the world on best execution, trading efficiency, and improving performance through minimizing costs. His research has been cited in best-selling books including Eric Tyson’s Investing For Dummies and Jason Zweig's revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s classic The Intelligent Investor, as well as in leading academic journals including the Financial Analysts Journal, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Trading, and the Journal of Portfolio Management. His research has been cited in Forbes, Barron’s, Kiplinger's, Morningstar.com, TheStreet.com, and he was once described as an "indefatigable organizer" in Individual Investor Magazine. An article in the San Francisco Examiner summarized "Entrepreneurs like Karz who are more interested in providing good information than making a quick buck are a rare breed." In a 2014 article at the Wall Street Journal, Jason Zweig listed him among fifteen “Smart People for Investors to Follow” (along with Warren Buffett, Howard Marks, William Bernstein, and others).

Gary holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a graduate of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. He lives in Los Angles with his wife and four children.

Presentations by Gary Karz

February 2018 - Is the Investment Business a Scam? American Association of Individual Investors (Los Angeles Chapter)

September 2017 - Robo-Advisors and the Evolution in Financial Planning California Society of CPAs (LA Personal Financial Planners Committee)

May 2016 - Robo-Advisors: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly California Society of CPAs (Pasadena)

October 2015 - Robo-Advisors: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly American Association of Individual Investors (San Diego Chapter)

August 2015 - Robo-Advisors and The Evolution of Wealth Management CFA Society of Los Angeles

June 2015 - Robo-Advisors and the Evolution of Investment Advice American Association of Individual Investors (Los Angeles Chapter)
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About The Peaceful Investor

The Peaceful Investor is a website (and forthcoming book) that synthesizes decades of research into a plain language guide to investing for individual investors. Appropriate investing is a process that should be implemented to achieve an individual's goals and limit risks, but too many investors make financial decisions based on instincts, or influenced by their circle of friends, family, or media.

The Peaceful Investor starts with the psychology of investing and relatively recent discoveries from behavioral finance because individual's experiences and pre-existing beliefs affect how they interpret new information. It can be critical to recognize risk tolerances and biases and consider how they may impact decision making to help prevent investors from shooting themselves in the foot. The book then bluntly discusses statements by some prominent individuals that the investment business is a "scam" and analyzes in depth the many (often unreasonable) costs of financial services. Informed investors should avoid being taken advantage of, or allowing Wall Street, or advisors to syphon off any more of their funds than necessary.

Investors should differentiate investing from speculation (or gambling) activities, understand the differences between trading and investing, and understand how skill and luck impact investing. Historical performance for individual asset classes like bonds, stocks, and real estate, as well as alternative investments and tangibles (most of which have hundreds of years of empirical data) should be considered, but reasonable current projections should be adjusted based on current rates and conditions. Risk factors, or so-called efficient market anomalies are summarized to help investors evaluate whether it makes sense to invest passively, actively, or using social/environmental or other screens. Then appropriate asset classes and specific securities can be selected in a portfolio designed to meet an individual's goals and constraints. Finally, investors should evaluate their expectations and actual performance versus appropriate benchmarks, including the global investment universe.

Individuals often pay attention to noise, use bad assumptions, and often make mistakes (like buying high and selling low), but so do high net worth and institutional investors, which often have their own conflicts of interest and pre-existing commitments. The playing field has become so level that individual investors today can not only do as well as so-called professionals, they can outperform them. The Peaceful Investor provides a roadmap to avoiding financial hazards, and closes with a checklist to help investors implement a financial plan designed to achieve their goals and live a peaceful financial life.

Praise for InvestorHome.com


Less Is More: What Small Investors Can Learn From a Pension Giant at The Wall Street Journal (6/13-14/2015)

Read 'Em and Reap: Smart People for Investors to Follow at The Wall Street Journal (9/6/2014)

At the Open in Barron's (10/23/2013) (10/20/2013 tweet exchange)

What We Learned From the Financial Crisis in The Wall Street Journal (9/14-15/2013)

Learning From the 2008 Financial Panic from EricTyson.com (2/2/2011)

Clients Behaving Badly in Financial Planning (11/1/2010)

Index Fund Portfolios Trample Active Fund Portfolios from Forbes Blog (9/21/2010)

Practicing versus preaching in Forbes (2/23/1998)