Sam Benen

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
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“With a decade of experience in the financial world, Sam Benen is committed to being a helpful resource for a wide range of personal financial decisions.”
Firm:

SJBenen Advisory, LLC

Job Title:

Investment Adviser

Biography:

Sam Benen is an Investment Advisor at SJBenen Advisory, LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser firm, established in 2016, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Sam and his team are committed to upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct and acting as a fiduciary to serve the best interests of his clients above all else.

Sam has been in the investing business since graduating from Princeton in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in economics.  He got his start in financial markets right out of college working as a trading assistant at Susquehanna International Group, participating in arbitrage strategies in options and ETFs. Sam worked for nearly 4 years as a trader at a hedge fund in Greenwich, Connecticut called Paloma Partners, where he worked for one of their internal groups called Xaraf Management.  At Xaraf, Sam and his team traded in a wide range of derivatives markets, ranging from bonds to stocks to currencies. He worked for nearly 5 years as a portfolio manager at Talpion, a family office in New York City. His focus there was trying to generate absolute return in all market environments, meaning he tried to make returns whether the market was up or down by finding niche pockets of financial markets where he had an edge. 

Sam was a top-ranked chess player in the nation, winning 7 individual national chess championships between the ages of 8 and 18.  He is an ever-aspiring dilettante at all kinds of strategic games like Scrabble, Boggle, gin rummy, poker, and his favorite of them all, golf.  Sam is originally from New York City and now lives with his wife in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Education:

BA, Economics, Princeton University

Assets Under Management:

$45 million

CRD Number:

6634000

Disclaimer:

SJBENEN ADVISORY, LLC IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN

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  • Sam Benen -- SJBenen Advisory, LLC
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May 2017

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    Debt, Financial Planning, Retirement, Investing
Should I use my saved money to pay off my mortgage or invest?
80% of people found this answer helpful

You can think of paying down your mortgage as akin to buying a bond or a bond fund.  Instead of a traditional bond ownership arrangement in which you buy a bond and get a regular coupon payment, in the mortgage paydown example your 'coupon' is the privilege of not paying the bank each month.  Reversing a negative cash flow each month is effectively the same as adding a positive cash flow in equal and opposite amount.  In this way, paying down a mortgage is like buying back your own bond, from an asset allocation standpoint.

A traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds consists of roughly 60% stocks and 40% bonds.  The 10-year rate from the government is about 3.06% and there are several bond ETFs that yield in the range of 3-3.5%.  For example, the Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF yields about 3.3%.

So, as you consider how to deploy the $343k, maybe you can construct a 60-40 stock-bond portfolio by putting 60% of it in the stock market, and instead of allocating the remaining 40% to bonds, you simply pay off your mortgage.  In this way, you replace the traditional bond component with mortgage paydown.  This is a balanced approach, and you are using the mortgage paydown as a bond investment that is superior to the average bond fund out there right now.  Naturally you would never want to buy the Vanguard bond fund at 3.3% or the 10-year treasury at 3.06% when you could simply earn 4% by paying back your own debt.

Then, as you save off of your monthly paychecks and allocate your savings to new investments, you can continue to put 60% towards the stock market and 40% toward "the bond market" i.e. your mortgage principal.

Hope that helps you think about it.

May 2018
    Investing, ETFs
How do I differentiate and determine which ETF is right for me?
79% of people found this answer helpful
February 2017
    Debt, Investing
Should I begin to invest despite being in debt?
77% of people found this answer helpful
May 2017
    Real Estate
Is it a sound financial decision to buy a house that you will only live in for four to five years?
71% of people found this answer helpful
February 2018
    Banking, Bonds / Fixed Income
In the movie The Big Short, how does Dr. Burry buy credit default swaps?
71% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017