106, 2017

The Importance of Identity Monitoring

I know most of us, like the companies we do business with, are careful with our personal information.  This is not enough, though!   Sometimes it is not data we shared recently that is to blame for a breach in our identity.  It could have been from something we shared 15 or more years ago with a company or organization or even a friend.   All it takes, in most cases, is a Social Security number and Date of Birth.   Think about how many people and companies you might have given this information to over the last 20 years!Succeeding financially is usually […]

303, 2017

H2H – Human to Human Service Models

When it comes your investments, consider having at least a portion of them in an H2H service model.  I know, some of you are saying, what’s H2H?  It’s a term used to describe how a business serves clients. In other words, they help clients human to human — versus computer to human. Just the fact that there is a term for this gives you a sense of how fast computers have become the frontline service provider for many service companies.  If you go into most Panera Bread stores, you now have the option to order via a computer terminal versus […]

1302, 2017

3 Services People Should Not Do Themselves

DIY…Do-It-Yourself is the rage. Home Depot, E-Trade, TurboTax, LegalZoom, all have DIY business models, and the list goes on. In this age of do-it-yourself, I caution you not to fall into the potential trap of doing the following 3 things yourself:  Do not do your own taxes. Do not invest your own money.  And do not do your own legal work.  One way to learn something from other people is to model a specific behavior they are exhibiting to achieve success in a specific area. My suggestion is, if you are striving to either be rich or stay rich, then […]

1102, 2017

The Cost and Benefit of Investment Advice

Investment advice can be one of the larger expenses when it comes to investing your money. In this article, we’re going to break down the investment landscape as it relates to fees.  My goal is to help you, the investor, better understand how investment fees work, what the Average Advisory Fee is and lastly, why it is worth paying for investment advice.Difference between a Broker and an Investment AdvisorTo start with, it is important to understand the two primary ways a financial advisor or financial firm charges for their services.   At the core of how they charge is whether they […]

2501, 2017

Hiring a Financial Advisor? Here are the Questions to Ask.

Peter Mallouk does a great job highlighting the common mistakes many investors encounter in his book entitled “5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes And How to Avoid Them”.  It is a very well written and informative book.  If you haven’t yet read it, I highly recommend you do so.   One of the 5 mistakes he identifies is Working with the Wrong Advisor.   He outlines seven questions he thinks investors should ask, and I’ve taken the liberty of providing the answers you might consider. I also added one question that I think you should consider asking as well.My goal is to provide […]

2811, 2016

Social Security: Myths vs. Facts

Social Security will go away before you do. The federal government has announced that Social Security may become insolvent between 2033 and 2037 if no action is taken – but it is practically a given that Congress will act on the program's behalf.

2811, 2016

Year End Checklist

The end of a year makes us think about last-minute things we need to address and good habits we want to start keeping. To that end, here are seven aspects of your financial life to think about as this year leads into the next...

1908, 2016

Analyze Your Investments

A good investment strategy starts and ends with the ability to easily analyze an investor’s investments.  Can you tell how a specific portfolio has done year to date?  How it has performed versus the S&P 500 based on multiple/different time frames?  How it has performed versus other portfolios you might have?  I find most investors cannot answer these simplest of questions, and questions like these are just a start to analyzing a person’s investments.Why are so many investors still using 20-year old technology to manage their investments today?   Are you one of them?  In my opinion, logging onto your employer’s […]

1608, 2016

Foundation to Investing Successfully: Knowledge – Confidence – Discipline

Investors have a lot of websites, people, and companies providing opinions.  Some of it is good advice, while some is not so good. The challenge for most of us as investors is deciphering what we should listen to and what we should ignore.  I have found it helpful to ‘triage’ the information around knowledge, confidence, and discipline. There does not seem to be an order of importance, just that they are interconnected.Knowledge, at its core, is about only investing in investments you understand.  Warren Buffett is famously known for avoiding investments in industries he does not completely understand. The Berkshire […]

807, 2016

Three Common Attributes Many Successful Investors Share

Outlined below are three common investor attributes I have found endemic among the hundreds of investors I have met and/or worked with over my 25 year career in the investment industry.  These are not silver bullets to investing – just interesting commonalities.   Like most difficult things, there is rarely a simple solution.   And investing is one of those difficult endeavors.   The first attribute is this: most successful investors are investors and not savers.   This seems obvious but it is not.  There is a very big difference between how an investor thinks and a saver thinks.   I did a quick Google […]