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

1404, 2016

The Enemy…Fear and Greed

When it comes to investing successfully there are two emotions you never want to experience – fear and greed.  When I say this it is very easy to look to our spouses, friends, sometimes even our financial advisors and see how they have succumbed to these deadly emotions.  It is much harder to see how these emotions have influenced our investment decisions. Fear comes in many shapes and forms when investing.  The two ends of the spectrum go from panicking when the market or an investment goes down, to keeping all of your retirement money in cash for fear of the [...]

3103, 2016

A Tale of Three Buckets – Investing, Saving, and Living

Most of us have assets we would define as investments.   We also have accounts we consider to be our savings.  And lastly, we have funds we use to live (i.e. pay bills and buy things). Simple, right?   Well, I contend the concept of viewing each of  these buckets separately and differently is far from simple for many of us. I also believe it is critical we learn to manage each bucket appropriately and find the right balance for us individually in order to build wealth and/or maintain it. The goals for each of these buckets may be different and therefore, [...]

702, 2016

Investing – Control What You Can Control… Costs, Taxes, Portfolio Risk

You cannot control the market's direction, up, down or sideways.  What you can control are costs associated with a portfolio.  You can control taxes to some degree.   And you do have some control over the amount of risk a portfolio takes.  Okay, so let’s take a quick look at each of these factors.Cost – Do not make an assumption that lower is better, or on the other end of the scale 'you get what you pay for'. In my opinion, both of these positions are too simple and neither one is correct.  The best place to start when it comes [...]

110, 2015

Putting this Market Pullback into Perspective

The rush to fill the 24 hour news cycle continues, and as an investor you may be surrounded by alarming statements.   Many of which will not come to pass…but it does sell newspapers, drive traffic to websites, and keep you watching or listening to that channel! I want to put some perspective around the last few months in the investment market, both in terms of volatility and the declines we are seeing.  To help with this, here is a link to a piece that Franklin Templeton put together showing the Bull and Bear Markets over the last 85 years…beginning with the [...]

808, 2015

Formula for Investing Successfully

Over the years I have heard and read many different formulas for success in all different areas of life.   I think we are all looking for a simple recipe that will insure our success in staying healthy, succeeding in business, investing, raising children, keeping our marriages strong, and so on.   There is no shortage of these formulas! Let me share yet another success formula with you.   I was in an entrepreneurial program at the University of Central Florida and one of the Mentors, Jerry Ross, shared his story as a businessman.  He believes there are three things an entrepreneur needs [...]

2807, 2015

How to Quiet the Financial Advice Noise

There is no shortage of financial advice available to us these days.   You hear financial advice on the radio and TV, from financial advisors, your neighbor, or your brother-in-law…and the list goes on.   In some cases, we find it is so overwhelming that people have a tendency to do one of three things: Block out all the financial advice they hear and only listen to their advisor. Listen to all of it and then use some of it based on their personal knowledge and feelings about particular investments. Basically they pick and choose or selectively implement some of what they [...]

2306, 2015

Quick Quiz….on Diversification

Are your investments really diversified? Do you have a Natural Resource investment? Do you have Real Estate as an investment class? Are each of the Nine Style Boxes represented when you look at a portfolio report? Is your portfolio aligned with your risk tolerance and your investment goals? These are not “Got Ya” questions, nor are they being asked to make you feel uncomfortable.   If you answered ‘yes’ to each of these questions, it is very likely that either you or your investment advisor are doing two things very well – staying informed and building a diversified portfolio. Today it’s [...]

306, 2015

Investing Using a Core and Explore Strategy

When I worked at Charles Schwab, we shared this strategy with our clients.  Many of them found it simple to do and helpful.  In some cases the concept was consistent with how they were already investing.  On a personal basis, as both an investor and financial advisor, I have found this strategy to be a powerful wealth building tool – easy to both manage and implement.  Here is a summary of the strategy… When we start out investing, we might start with a mutual fund in a 401(k) or IRA.   In either case, it is not uncommon for it to [...]