Jason Kelly is the author of The 3% Signal (3Sig), which introduced the technique that pushed dollar-cost averaging aside as the stock market’s new best practice. His nine other books include The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing, a BusinessWeek best seller now in its fifth edition; and its companion volume, Stock Market Contest.

Every Sunday morning he sends out The Kelly Letter. It highlights the latest coin-toss forecasts being foisted on the unsuspecting by “z-vals,” a shorthand introduced in 3Sig for zero-validity pundits, proven to be wrong half the time but still blathering on a regular basis. The letter also runs the original 3 percent signal plan and two permutations, providing subscribers with a clear (and usually humorous) look at financial markets. Yes, 3Sig is still running circles around the z-vals with just a single quarterly rebalance to its famous signal line, no forecasting required — or desired.

He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1993 with a BA in English, but not before a professor told him that he would never succeed as an author because he “lacked a basic command of the English language.” Luckily, IBM disagreed and hired Jason as a technical writer at its Silicon Valley Laboratory in San Jose, California. Once income from his freelance writing matched his income from IBM, Jason left corporate life to become a full-time freelance writer. About IBM hiring him for the only “real” job he’s ever had, Jason wrote in his book Financially Stupid People, “I keep a special smile for Big Blue because of that break. It was the only company that believed in me. I never knew the meaning of the term ‘competing offer.'”

One of Jason’s Japanese publishers, Shueisha, brought him to Tokyo on book tour in 1999. He took that opportunity to visit his old high school exchange student friend, and wrote a funny article about the experience. That article remains one of Jason’s most widely read. It’s still on his site. Japan went straight to Jason’s heart, and he decided to live there. He rented out his home in California and moved to Sano, Japan in 2002 for what he thought was going to be a one-year stay. This many years later, he still lives and works there.

After the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, he started Socks for Japan, a volunteer organization that hand-delivered 160,000 care packages from around the world to survivors. See photos and read reports about the effort here.

In addition to writing new books and The Kelly Letter, he’s an investor in Red Frog Coffee in Longmont, Colorado, a delightful shop managed by his sister and business partner, Emily. It was voted Longmont’s Small Business of the Year in 2014.

He divides his time between Japan and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

You can contact Jason on the contact page.

Elsewhere Online

Jason is on LinkedIn and Twitter, but your best bet for timely investing info is a subscription to The Kelly Letter.


  1. Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Jason, would it make sense to apply a 1% rule at the end of each month instead of a 3% rule each quarter to take advantage of market volatility in attempt to earn 12% annual return per year? Thank you

    • Posted June 28, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Hi Paul,

      No, more frequent rebalancing schedules do not improve performance. They create additional activity for no benefit. Less activity can work as well as quarterly does, such as annually, but not more activity. The reason less activity is undesirable is psychological. People feel skittish about leaving their investments unattended for more than about a quarter.

      For best results, stick with the quarterly plan.

      Happy Sigging!


  2. William Riles
    Posted December 14, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Jason:

    I was just wondering how your peer to peer lending investment is working out. Thanks.


  3. Noah J
    Posted September 3, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jason,

    One of the first finance books I read was The Neatest Little Guide to Stock Market Investing and it got me interested in pursuing a career in finance.

    I am currently a student of finance at the University of Colorado Denver and am involved in the management team for a club called Portfolio Management Group (PMG). I noticed in your biography that you spend time in the Longmont area not far from Denver. The group and I would love to have you speak to us regarding finance and your books. If you’re unable to meet at the group would it be possible to meet over coffee and do an informal informational interview about different career paths in finance?

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read this, and I am looking forward to your response.

    Best Regards,
    Noah J

    • Posted September 6, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Noah,

      I’m happy to know that my stock book began your career in finance, and would be delighted to speak with your club. I like helping students.

      Let’s make arrangements via email. Please watch for a note from me.

      My best,

  4. Brian O'Reilly
    Posted February 17, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Well, Hi again, ordered 3% should arrive Sunday 2/18/2018. Looking forward to the read and newsletters. Thanks!

    • Posted February 20, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad to hear it, Brian! Enjoy the read. See you Sunday.

  5. Tommy Fredericksen
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    I’m long time subscriber to Kelly newsletter. My monthly payment is thru PayPal. Recently i had to terminate use of my credit card on the paypal account. I entered a diff. one at paypal. My Apr subscription came due and the new card was not used and my subxcription payment was not made. I called and they told me they could not use the new card for continuing subscription. So how can i make payment to you.
    Enjoy the newsletter
    Tom Fredericksen

    • Posted May 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      This is all taken care of, Tom, and you’re good to go again. Thank you for the long patronage!

  6. Dane Robertson
    Posted October 25, 2016 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Aloha Jason,

    We are currently using the 3% signal. Since this strategy requires “shuffling” funds between an index and a bond, how do we avoid the commission fees that go with it every quarter? Also, if the index is “pretty close” to the 3% signal line, should we just skip the signal for that quarter?


    • Mark Faasse
      Posted December 10, 2018 at 3:49 am | Permalink


      I’d be interested in your response to this query, which got posted a while ago.


    • Posted December 14, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      At long last, Dane, a reply.

      It’s easy to get around commissions on ETFs needed for the plan by using commission-free ones, such as the iShares family at Fidelity, i.e. IJR/AGG for the stock/bond combination used in 3Sig.

      You can skip the signal when it’s pretty close. The plan is very forgiving, and hard to derail. Even if you skipped a big signal one quarter, the plan would get itself back on track the next quarter and such hiccups along a lifetime path of investing don’t matter much. If so, then you can imagine the low stress stakes involved in skipping a tiny signal.

      Happy Sigging,

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