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E&K Cash Flow Strategy. Sometime in the early 1980s, at Evensky and Katz we developed the E&K cash flow strategy that we continue to use today. It allows us to break the paycheck syndrome -The traditional withdrawal strategy for retirement is the income portfolio. It is a deeply flawed strategy, and any financial adviser who recommends income portfolios should cease and desist. Clients think that because they are retired, the way to get income is through dividends and interest. Such thinking arises from what my partner Deena calls the “paycheck syndrome,” by providing clients with a regular cash flow that they can depend on. Typically, it also includes an inflation adjustment because pay typically goes up with inflation.
To implement the cash flow strategy, we bifurcate the portfolio into two components—the cash flow reserve and the investment portfolio. The cash flow reserve portfolio is made up of two parts: two years’ worth of cash flow and any amounts needed for lump-sum expenses—a wedding, a new car, for instance—over the next five years. We base this amount on our five-year planning model. We do not believe in investing in stocks or bonds unless we have a five-year window in which to decide when to sell. We thereby mitigate the timing risk because we have control over the timing.