Scott Burns (newspaper columnist)

Scott Burns (newspaper columnist)

Scott Burns is a newspaper columnist and author who has covered personal finance and investments for nearly 40 years. Today, he ranks as one of the five most widely read personal finance writers in the country, according to The Dallas Morning News. He is best known for creating the "Couch Potato Portfolio" investment strategy, which advocates the use of index funds over managed funds or stock-picking. [ [ Scott Burns biography] , The Dallas Morning News] In 2006, he co-founded the Web startup AssetBuilder, where he serves as chief investment strategist.



Burns graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in humanities and biology (1962).


Burns began his career as a newspaper columnist at the "Boston Herald" in 1977 where he was also the financial editor. The column was nationally syndicated in 1981 and is now distributed by Universal Press Syndicate. [ [ Scott Burns biography] , Universal Press Syndicate] In 1985 he joined the staff of The "Dallas Morning News" where his column became one of the most widely read features in the paper. Retiring as a "Dallas Morning News" staff member in 2006, he continues to contribute to the paper through his ongoing syndication.

In August 2006, Burns co-founded AssetBuilder, a registered investment advisory firm, with former Microsoft executive Kennon Grose. The firm offers investors a means to employ an advanced version of Burns' "Couch Potato Portfolio" investment methodology through a Web-based service platform. Burns is chief investment strategist for AssetBuilder.

Financial writing

In December 2001 the National Center for Policy Analysis published a paper Burns co-authored with benefits attorney Brooks Hamilton titled, "Reinventing Retirement Income in America." The paper was influential in advocating automatic enrollment, automatic increases in contributions, managed accounts, and little or no company stock, all of which have become trends in corporate retirement plans.

Burns' book [ "The Coming Generational Storm"] (MIT Press, 2004) was co-authored with Boston University economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff. The book was endorsed by five Nobel laureates, listed as one of the 25 best books of 2004 by Barron's, and named one of the top 10 business books of 2004 by Forbes. The book warns of a worldwide generational financial crunch and advises investors on how to protect themselves.

Kotlikoff and Burns recently wrote a second book, "Spend 'Til the End," presenting new ideas in financial planning based on consumption smoothing. The book was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2008.

The Couch Potato Portfolio

The original Couch Potato Portfolio strategy included investing half of the investor's assets in a Standard & Poor's 500 Index fund and half in a fund mirroring the Shearson/Lehman Intermediate Bond Index. Burns used the Vanguard 500 Index and Vanguard Total Bond Fund Index.

As described by Shauna Croome-Carther in Investopedia:

"Those with higher risk tolerance can modify the 50/50 asset allocation strategy to 25% in the Vanguard Total Bond Fund Index and 75% in the Vanguard 500 Index. The 25/75 allocation is known as the 'sophisticated couch-potato portfolio'. The higher weighting in equities is more suitable for younger investors, and those closer to retirement need more security. Ever since the concept originated, the couch-potato strategy has been modified to suit individual needs from various countries." [ [ How Portfolio Laziness Pays Off] , Shauna Croome-Carther, Investopedia]

Published works

*"Squeeze It Till the Eagle Grins" (1972)
*"Home, Inc., The Hidden Wealth and Power of the American Household" (1975).
*"Reinventing Retirement Income in America" (with Brooks Hamilton; National Center for Policy Analysis, 2001)
*"The Coming Generational Storm" (with Laurence Kotlikoff; MIT Press, 2004)
*"Spend Til' the End" (with Laurence Kotlikoff; Simon & Shuster, 2008)

Burns' articles and columns have appeared in Worth, Boston, Playboy, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Scott Burns — Infobox afl player firstname = Scott lastname = Burns | birthdate = birth date and age|1974|12|23|df=y birthplace = South Australia heightweight = 181cm / 85kg originalteam = Norwood (SA) dead = alive deathdate = deathplace = debutdate = Round… …   Wikipedia

  • Contributors — ▪ 2000       Adams, Andy. Editor and Publisher, Sumo World. Author of Sumo; Sumo World Record Book. • sports and games: Judo; Wrestling: Sumo       Ahn, Ki suk. Assistant Editor, Shindonga of Donga Ilbo. • biographies (in part)       Alder,… …   Universalium

  • List of people from Texas — The following are people who were either born/raised or have lived for a significant period of time in Texas. Military/war Founders of The Republic of Texas *Stephen F. Austin (1793–1836), the Father of Texas *Edward Burleson (1798–1851), Texas… …   Wikipedia

  • Ann Coulter — At a book signing at CPAC FL in Orlando, Florida …   Wikipedia

  • United Kingdom — a kingdom in NW Europe, consisting of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: formerly comprising Great Britain and Ireland 1801 1922. 58,610,182; 94,242 sq. mi. (244,100 sq. km). Cap.: London. Abbr.: U.K. Official name, United Kingdom of Great… …   Universalium

  • Calendar of 2003 — ▪ 2004 January So long as there is a single Brazilian brother or sister going hungry, we have ample reason to be ashamed of ourselves. Lula, in his inaugural address as president of Brazil, January 1 January 1       The Socialist Lula (Luiz… …   Universalium

  • I Love Lucy — title card in syndication This file is a candidate for speedy deletion. It may be deleted after Sunday, 20 November 2011. Format Sitcom Cr …   Wikipedia

  • 1965 — This article is about the year 1965. Millennium: 2nd millennium Centuries: 19th century – 20th century – 21st century Decades: 1930s  1940s  1950s  – 1960s –  1970s   …   Wikipedia

  • Cynthia Tucker — Born March 13, 1955 (1955 03 13) (age 56) Monroeville, Alabama, USA Residence Washington, D.C. Alma mater Auburn University …   Wikipedia

  • Jack London — Infobox Writer name = Jack London caption = Jack London in 1900 birthdate = Birth date|1876|1|12 birthplace = San Francisco, California United States deathdate = Death date and age|1916|11|22|1876|1|12 deathplace = Glen Ellen, California United… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”