Clarity Coaching Tips

Here you will find many tidbits of coaching and financial information that often needs to be clarified for most American investors. Some of the information is very basic and in the form of a current market update. Some of the information is timely topics, based on current social political and economic climate. Some of these are strategies, ideas, and concepts that we have picked up through the years and implemented in our practice. Basically a soup to nuts area of information on all things financial.

 

Check out our Clarity Coaching Video Clips and the “It’s Your Money” podcasts for more tidbits that might pique your interest.

Why Not GIPS?

I was just reviewing our 20 year returns recently for all of our portfolios and was pleasantly surprised how well the market has performed in the last 20 years. Despite the government involvement, the credit bubble, the tech bubble, and the energy bubble, the market has still performed extremely well. You may be wondering, how […]

Looking Out for Mr. Ponzi

This summer Bernie Madoff will be celebrating his 4th anniversary in federal prison, 146 years to go. Madoff masterminded the largest Ponzi Scheme (slang for financial scam) in world history.  Thousands of unsuspecting investors were swindled.  In many cases, ordinary people lost their life savings. Having had such a long prison sentence imposed, you would […]

Don’t You Bet Your Life On It!

This is a famous line, used many times, by the western actor John Wayne. When you think about it, every day we bet our life on decisions we make, from running the yellow light in our automobile, to not reading directions on the medication we might be taking. We of course make many of these […]

Active Management or Active Hype?

Well, the market must be up, we’re seeing it again.  It’s all over the TV, radio, and popular financial press, that you can easily identify the Active Mutual Funds that far and away outperform the Passive Mutual Funds. The temptation being?  All you have to do is study the active fund manager’s past performance and […]

Boomers: Children & Chaos

The WealthCounsel® and Trusts & Estates® Magazine recently published an Annual Industry Trends Survey. The survey compiled data from roughly 1500 industry professionals primarily made up of Attorneys, CPAs, Financial Advisors and Wealth management professionals. As the President of a Registered Investment Advisory firm, I find these trends interesting as well as insightful.  The report […]

Your Worst Financial Mistake

Have you ever given thought to what might have been your worst financial mistake? For many, the answer does not become apparent until hindsight arrives. Regrettably, many baby boomers and their parents admit that their worst financial mistake was doing it alone, and not working with a trained and experienced financial advisor. When I first […]

Hey Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Does it make sense to rely on CD’s for your retirement? Looking at inflation and monetary policy of the past, it’s not a good idea! But yet I see this 1980’s era retirement plan all the time. Back in 1981, a one-year Certificate of Deposit might have paid 15%. Not any longer, that’s for sure. […]

Fiscal Cliff: Blah Blah Blah

How many of you are tired of all the talk on the fiscal cliff, including the non ending stream of opinion and regurgitated sound bites?? May I suggest we spend the month of December focusing on family, love ones, and our community? Let the spinning heads, politicians, and so called expert economists beat this horse […]

Scaling the Cliff

“BUSINESS WEEK” – Approximately 88% of American households will see a tax increase if this so called “fiscal cliff” is not averted by Congress by December 31, 2012. The payroll tax change would reduce paychecks immediately in January. The average tax increase would be $3,446 and the top 1% of households would see the largest […]

Medicare Enrollment

I hope this finds you well! I have had a number of inquiries about Medicare recently. At the bottom you will find a link to a short video where we outlined the Medicare plan and the enrollment time frames, as well as penalties that can be avoided.

Prudence not Prognostication

According to the Wall Street Journal, 21 of Fidelity’s Mutual Funds dumped nearly two million Facebook shares in June, less than two months after this “IPO (Initial Public Offering) of the Century” went public. Over that brief period of time, this wildly anticipated and super-hyped stock plummeted to almost half of its original price.

Do we own, or did we own Facebook shares in any of our investment portfolios? The answer is a resounding NO! As with any new public offering, Facebook does not meet the screening criteria of Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), the primary investment company we use in the development of our portfolios. To put it simply, at this stage of its corporate life, Facebook is just too risky for too many of our clients.

What Would Grandpa Say?

Many of you may already know we are not fans of municipal bonds. In fact, we do not hold any municipal bonds in any of our investment portfolios because we think they are too risky. I bet that surprises a lot of people, especially retirees. My astute, well read, late grandfather would be shocked to hear this, having retired from Ma Bell after 42 years, an old school, buy American, blue chip investor. That’s because many advisors routinely recommend that retirees buy and live off of the income generated by supposedly safe individual municipal bonds.

401(K) Fee Disclosures Now Required by DOL

More often than not, when I ask a client about their 401(k) fee structure or plan cost, the answer I get is, “There is no cost. My company uses no-load mutual funds. It’s free.”

A survey sponsored by AARP, found that 71% of retirement plan participants believed they did not pay any fees at all. This is understandable, but shocking! That’s because this information is rarely disclosed.

The impact of fees and commissions on your retirement can be significant. This is especially true if your plan selections include variable annuities.

Should I stay or should I go???

General Motors retirees, they will have until July 20, 2012, to make the big decision!

That’s the deadline, just a little over five weeks away, when more than 40,000 General Motors supervisory and white-collar retirees will be forced to make what could be the most important financial decision of their lives. Should they accept GM’s offer of a lump-sum “buy-out” of their monthly pension checks and thus possibly receive the biggest check they’ll ever get? Or should they continue to receive a monthly pension check when GM transfers their retirement plan to a private group annuity from Prudential?

Facebook on Wall Street

Facebook! The IPO (Initial Public Offering) of the century! Facebook will “go public,” which means that you can buy its shares just like you can buy the stock of any other public company.

Lots of people who never invested before are calling financial advisors and stock brokers to buy shares, but is this a good idea? Does it make sense to buy individual shares of Facebook for your investment portfolio? A lot of people think so, because they are comfortable and they use the product every day.

The answer to the question as to whether or not you should buy Facebook depends on your objective. If you want to speculate with your money, you may want to take a chance. However, you have to be prepared to take a loss – perhaps a sizeable loss – if you are unlucky and the share price falls.