Personal Financial Planning

Not All Financial Advisers Are Created Equal

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I created this infographic to illustrate what I have learned about the retail financial advice industry. Let it be known – I did not start with the ideal practice. My career as an adviser began while I was at a large broker dealer. The broker dealer model inherently has conflicts of interest. For example, there is pressure from management to produce revenue and show certain products to clients, generally ones with higher fees (an annuity may pay the adviser 6%, a structured product 3% and a wrap account 1.5-2%). These conflicts of interest pushed me to open my own registered […]

Personal Financial Planning

$3.50 = $131,000

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Disclosures: This bulletin expresses the views of the author as the date indicated and such views are subject to change without notice. It is important to understand investing in general involves risk of loss that you should be prepared to bear. Please refer to our Firm’s Form ADV Part 2 Disclosure Brochure for more information regarding the risks of the investments held in your account. Our calculated perceived value is an opinion based on the information we have at the time of our forecast. The risk assumed is that the market will fail to reach expectations of perceived value. Our opinions, […]

Market Commentary

Can You Beat the Market?

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Economist Justin Wolfers, who has a PhD from Harvard, published an article in the New York Times on September 30th called “Debate Night Message: The Markets are Afraid of Donald Trump”. I quote the article’s first two sentences: Political leaning aside, let’s breakdown this argument. The article proceeds to tell us that “decoding markets is no easy task”, the process used “close analysis of financial markets during Monday’s debate” and cited specific examples of what Trump said versus how the market on a whole reacted to it. Wolfers also cited his conjoined research with two other well-respected economists at venerated […]

Personal Financial Planning

5 Things to Remember Before the Holidays

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Deck the halls with pressured gift giving, fa la la la la… *credit card interest* ‘Tis the season to break the budget, fa la la la la la… *overdraft fee* Don we now, no thought to savings, fa la la la la la… *opportunity cost* I hope I don’t sound like a broken record when I say: your long-term financial goals matter much more than your short-term gratification. I won’t spend the next 500+ words scolding you to become a minimalist monk who shuns all Christmas cheer. Please continue to be yourself, but in the spirit of the holidays, I […]

Personal Financial Planning

Creating a Healthy Relationship with Your Finances

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Shop (verb): to visit places (or websites) where goods (or services) are sold to look at and buy things. Overshop (verb): to visit places (or websites) where goods (or services) are sold to look at and buy things in the face of adverse consequences (long term detriment of finances, relationships and self-esteem). We all overshop. Reflect on what you have purchased over the past month. I guarantee you can find something that you didn’t need and will rarely use. Classically, we think of the overshopper as a woman who frequently arrives home from the mall with 10-15 bags of frivolous items. Contrary […]

Personal Financial Planning

How to Create Your Own Whole Life Insurance Policy

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You probably need life insurance if you: Are the primary breadwinner and need protection for your family against the loss of your income Have family members who would be responsible for your debts Have expenses that you need or would like for your estate to cover (examples: estate taxes, funeral costs, unique costs like children’s or grandchildren’s schooling, etc…) Have debts that would eat up assets you would like to pass on to family or loved ones The type of life insurance you buy is contingent on your particular circumstances and needs. That being said, most people only need a […]

Personal Financial Planning

The Power to Revoke Fear

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“If you are not ready today, you will be even less so tomorrow.” -Ovid Do you ever lie awake at night worrying about the strangest things? Sometimes when that light goes off, I start thinking, “Did I turn on the alarm? Am I prepared for a meeting with XYZ? Did I write down that idea I had for a blog post? Did I review my credit card bill before I auto-paid?” Sometimes this can elevate my heart rate and makes it more difficult to relax (and ultimately sleep)! Fear*  sets in. Fear is the expectation or anticipation of possible harm. […]

Personal Financial Planning

“Discipline Equals [Financial] Freedom”

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I admit it! I have a complete and utter obsession with Jocko Podcast, a series of audio lectures where former Navy Seal Officer Jocko Willink offers life and leadership lessons. He encourages leadership through taking ownership, being disciplined, and embracing continuous improvement. If you haven’t yet listened, do yourself a favor and “get after it”. These lessons apply directly to your financial life. “Discipline equals freedom” is a Jocko-ism. Here is the truth: financial freedom is not free. It takes painstaking efforts of self-restraint and self-motivation. What does financial freedom mean? To some it means retiring to the golf course; […]

Market Commentary

Crying Over EU

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The clock is ticking as the June 23rd European Union (EU) referendum approaches. Should the UK stay or should it go? Britain’s decision to leave the EU boils down to questions of migration. Foreign born residents in the UK and Wales have doubled, from 7.3% to 13.4% of the population, in 20 years. The UK has an average of 500 people added to its population every day. A vast number of UK citizens are growing tired of the open borders of their country. These people make up the “leave-camp”. Departing the EU would result in an immediate cost savings, as […]

Personal Financial Planning

The Secret to Success

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I would like to start off this month’s commentary by encouraging you to live the highest quality of life you can.  Let’s take risks, face fears and make the most of every day. We need to take control of the things within our control, stop worrying about the things outside of our control, make purposeful choices and live a wonderful life. But let’s face it: some days are just plain ol’ bad. Other days are just average. Every day can’t be extraordinary and that is alright. Every minute can’t be about living life to the fullest, in fact that sounds […]