Articles 2017-08-03T12:20:53+00:00
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 [...]

2806, 2016

The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes

Peter Mallouk wrote a book titled “The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How to Avoid Them: Getting Investing Right”.  **(SUMMARY) The video does not get into all 5 of the mistakes he mentions in the book, but it is a very informative interview because he takes a call from a listener concerned about the debt crisis.  Here is the link to the video.Peter Mallouk Interview - The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes*The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes offers investors an accessible guide that can dramatically improve investment performance, reduce stress, substantially increase the probability of achieving investment goals, and even improve [...]

1706, 2016

The A, B, C, & D of Medicare – Breaking down the basics & what each part covers

Whether your 65th birthday is on the horizon or decades away, you should understand the parts of Medicare – what they cover, and where they come from.Parts A & B: Original Medicare. America created a national health insurance program for seniors in 1965 with two components. Part A is hospital insurance. It provides coverage for inpatient stays at medical facilities. It can also help cover the costs of hospice care, home health care, and nursing home care – but not for long, and only under certain parameters.1Seniors are frequently warned that Medicare will only pay for a maximum of 100 [...]

2305, 2016

Risk and Reward is not Always an Easy Balance

Some investors are challenged with balancing investment risk with the potential reward. One of the reasons seems to be because some investors invest based on extreme market movements.  Now don’t get me wrong, markets can make extreme movements — but not often.  In fact, based on an article by Novel Investor, there have been only 5  times that the S&P 500 has gone up more than 40% in one year since 1926, and only 3 times during this period did it go down more than 30% in a year.  And that's over 9 decades!Based on this fact, investing with the [...]

1505, 2016

How Much are You Paying for Financial Advice?

You would think the question posed in our title would be an easy one to answer, but it’s not. The financial services industry has done a fantastic job of making it difficult to compare one service to another.  I know, I know, it doesn’t matter what you pay, it matters what you earn, right?  Cost is not the issue, we are told, the value is in the quality of the advice and the level of investment returns. There are other clichés that come to mind.  The age old saying “You get what you pay for,” or “Always consider Value versus Price.”  [...]

705, 2016

When to Consider Hiring a Financial Advisor

In this article, I am going to outline three situations where you should consider talking to one or more financial advisors for input as to how you should personally address each situation. Although there are general ‘rules of thumb’ in almost every case, they need to be individualized and personalized.1. You have decided you need to get your finances organized. Maybe you have multiple IRA accounts, a 401(k) account left at a previous employer, or investment accounts at different firms you are not even looking at, let alone monitoring properly. Many times these accounts are costing you fees that you [...]