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John H. Robinson

Personal Finance, Retirement, Small Business
“J.R. is the owner of Financial Planning Hawaii and a co-founder of Nest Egg Guru”

Financial Planning Hawaii

Job Title:




At Financial Planning Hawaii, J.R. provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management guidance to individual investors, including small business owners, working professionals, and retirees.  His approach places equal emphasis on the important investment and non-investment aspects of financial planning. 

His value proposition involves helping people manage their finances more efficiently and catching/correcting potentially costly planning mistakes.  To facilitate this, J.R. provides each client with a platform that enables them to centralize, organize, monitor and maintain all aspects of their financial lives.

Compensation structure includes flat fee planning, asset-based management fees, and/or traditional transaction-based charges. Frequent communication, up front disclosure, objectivity, and transparency are the hallmarks of his practice.

See Also – Financial Planning Hawaii YouTube Channel


J.R. is also a co-founder of Nest Egg Guru, a web-based application for helping financial advisors evaluate their clients' college and retirement planning preparedness.  The application is 100% client-facing and has a user-friendly design that makes it easy to test how changing factors that are within one’s control may impact the planning outcomes.

Nest Egg Guru features a powerful simulation engine, critical functionality that is not offered in competing applications, and a low annual subscription price for a private labeled advisor portal.  The application was recently featured in Financial Planning Magazine and AdvisoryQuest.

See Also:  Nest Egg Guru YouTube Channel



J.R. has published numerous papers in peer-reviewed academic journals including Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Wealth Management, Financial Services Review, and Retirement Management Journal.  Papers he co-authored on retirement income sustainability won the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards® and International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE) best paper awards. 

Articles he has written on a wide range of financial planning topics have been published by Investopedia, MSN, The Christian Science Monitor, Nasdaq.com, Advisor Perspectives, Thought Catalog, etc.  His commentary has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Financial Planning Magazine, and many other publications.

J.R. is recognized as one of the top financial professionals in Hawaii. He has been a financial advisor since 1989.  He holds a B.A. in economics from Williams College.


BA, Economics, Williams College

Assets Under Management:

$185 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


Insurance License:



Financial planning services are provided through Financial Planning Hawaii, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisory firm. Investment brokerage services and wrap fee investment advisory platforms are provided through J.W. Cole Financial Inc. and J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc., a dual-registered broker-dealer and registered investment advisor. National Financial Services, LLC [NFS], a Fidelity Investments© company, serves as custodian for client assets and provides clearing and trade execution for client accounts. Financial Planning Hawaii is a separate company from J.W. Cole and NFS. Financial Planning Hawaii does not take custody of client assets nor do its advisers accept discretionary authority over client accounts.

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June 2017
    Investing, ETFs, Stocks, Mutual Funds, Asset Allocation
March 2016
    Asset Allocation, Retirement, Retirement Savings
October 2016

All Answers
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    Investing, IRAs
What should I do with an IRA that is currently in cash?
73% of people found this answer helpful

Hello. Without knowing important details such as your age, marital status, sources of income, income need from portfolio, investment history, etc., it is difficult to give specific, meaningful suggestions. However, the following pieces of advice may be helpful.
-    Investment Income is hard to come by. 20 years ago, the retirement planning model centered around building a portfolio of income producing bonds for income with a portion of the portfolio allocated to stocks for future growth and later conversion to more bonds. Today interest rates remain near historic lows. Cash pays close to nothing. Classic retiree income producing staples such as CDs, municipal bonds, and treasuries pay only nominally more. What’s more historically safe bond funds have little room to appreciate from falling interest rates and may now face principle risk if interest rates do eventually creep up.  
-    In response to the low rate environment many investor have been turning to higher yielding stocks for income. While this can be an effective strategy, particularly if the stock dividends increase over time, investors who head down this path must accept the greater volatility that comes with the turf. For more on this, see the following links.
On the Hunt for Rising Dividends (Bloomberg)
The Biggest Dividends Aren’t Necessarily the Best (NY Times)
Stocks That Pay Rising Dividends (Kiplinger’s)
Not enough income to retire? Dividends can help (USA Today)
-    The two greatest risks to your retirement security are sequence of returns risk and longevity risk. Sequence of returns risk is the risk of sharp market returns early in retirement. This is undoubtedly the fear expressed in your question.  Fortunately, there are two solutions to this problem – (1) Don’t put all of your retirement savings in stocks, and (2) Don’t sell stocks when they are down. For more on this, see the following article I wrote for Investopedia last week:
How to Make Your Nest Egg Last Longer?  Don’t Sell Stocks When They are Down! (Investopedia)
-    By keeping all of your rollover money in cash, you are effectively engaging in market timing. What you are saying is that you are pretty sure the stock market is going to decline sharply, and that you are going to wait for a time when it is safer to invest. Unfortunately, this is a fool’s gambit. There is a mountain of research to suggest that this approach hinders investor returns.  Having been a financial advisor for almost 30 years, I can tell you, there is NEVER a time when the market direction is clear. As an example, when the stock market hit its nadir in March 2009, most investors thought it was headed far lower.  Many investors did not feel comfortable coming back into the market until it had risen 30% or more from that low.  See also:
Don't Make the Trading Gods Laugh (Bloomberg)
Why Market-Timers Go Nuts (Advisor Perspectives)
You are your portfolio’s worst enemy (MarketWatch)
-    Use dollar cost averaging to reduce the possibility of  “Buyer’s Remorse.” While some researchers have suggested that dollar cost averaging does not help and may slightly hinder long term performance, there is little debate over its value as a psychological tool for helping investors cope with market volatility. If you believe that you need to have diversified stock market exposure to help your portfolio keep pace with the cost of living over a potential decades long retirement horizon, one way to address your fear of market conditions may be to wade back into the water slowly over time. Under this approach you may actually adopt the mind set of hoping for near term market declines so that you may have an opportunity to “buy low”.
-    What you may have been taught about retirement spending is wrong.  Many retirees have been lead to believe that their retirement portfolios should become more conservative over time and that they should spend down the riskier stock portion of their portfolios first or, at the very least, spend proportionately from each asset class and re-balance each year. A grown body of research now suggests that such an approach actually hinders sustainability and provides greater exposure to sequence of returns risk. Conversely, a strategy of either spending down the cash an bond portion of the portfolio first or a more dynamic approach that involves certain “guardrails,” such as not selling stocks when they are down, may significantly enhance portfolio longevity. This concept is explored in greater detail in the following article from my blog –

     The Most Underrated Factor in Retirement Income Sustainability  
-    Asset allocation is also a key to successful retirement income planning. If you have enough of your portfolio allocated to investments that are not exposed to market risk, you may be able to withdraw from your portfolio for many years without having to worry about market fluctuations. Many planners suggest an initial retirement allocation of 70:30 to 60:40 Stocks:Bonds/cash, but individual circumstances may make alternative allocations appropriate too.   
I hope these general tips are helpful. If you would like to test how different factors that you can control (i.e., asset allocation, withdrawal amount, investment expenses, withdrawal strategy,etc.) may impact your portfolio’s sustainability, you may wish to check out the free consumer version of Nest Egg Guru’s Retirement Spending Calculator.
Best wishes for a long, happy, health retirement!

February 2016
    Retirement, IRAs
How do I roll over a Simple IRA to a Roth IRA?
71% of people found this answer helpful
July 2017
    Financial Planning, Personal Finance, Retirement Savings, Investing
What should I do with $100,000 in tax-free cash?
70% of people found this answer helpful
April 2016
Are ETFs that pay dividends less desirable?
69% of people found this answer helpful
February 2016
    Banking, Investing, Mutual Funds
How does the compound interest concept vary between a basic savings account and an index fund?
68% of people found this answer helpful
March 2016