Be Debt Free

My wife often says, “I love a little hardship; I’d recommend it to anyone!”  She doesn’t say this with blind optimism - she has experienced living meagerly (after living well for most of her life), and believes (as I do) that we are better people and that we have a stronger marriage because of all [...]

July 12th, 2011|

Post June 2011

While many American families celebrated the official beginning of summer, those of us charged with maintaining their portfolios were hanging on the news each day as it was released. It was a rocky go, and while the month may have ended (finally), we still have much to watch as the events of June 2011 play [...]

July 12th, 2011|

The Cost of Poor Investment Timing

Do you know how much buying and selling your investments at the wrong time can cost you?  According to Morningstar, stock funds returned 1.6% annually from 1999-2009.  However, the typical fund investor only earned 0.22% annually.  If you had an account balance of $100,000, that would equate to costing you $15,000.  So what should investors [...]

June 13th, 2011|

Financial Tips for Parents of College Grads

A new wave of college graduates were introduced to the “real world” last month.  The good news is that according to the National Association of College and Employers, employers are expecting to hire 19% more recent college graduates this year than last.  The bad news is that college graduates come out of college with an [...]

June 13th, 2011|

Coupon Bug: A Financial Planner Analyzes His Wife’s Habit

As food and gas prices rise, store packaging contains lesser product than before, and television shows like “Extreme Couponing” on TLC pop up, many families have jumped on the coupon-clipping bandwagon.  My own wife became interested in clipping coupons and following associated blogs/deal websites several months ago.  We were thrilled with the savings (and still [...]

June 13th, 2011|

Financial Spring Cleaning: Steps To Take Now

For those of you who filed on time, tax season is over and it’s time to get your financial house in order.  I have included a checklist below for 10 steps to take now to ensure that all of your policies are up to date, and records organized so that you’ll be protected in the [...]

May 11th, 2011|

Disability Insurance – “What’s that?”

Every toddler-aged child loves to point and say, “What’s that?”  Unfortunately, I hear that a lot from clients also when the discussion of disability insurance comes up.  Everyone typically understands the importance of life insurance because they don’t want to leave their family in a bind should their death occur.  However, just as important is [...]

May 11th, 2011|

The Emotional Investor

I like to keep in-mind the beginning of Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem ‘If’ as I lead investors through weeks like last week:  “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their [...]

May 11th, 2011|

Think A Cash Value Life Insurance Policy Is A Good Idea? Think Again.

Many times after I complete an insurance analysis for a client and it’s time for them to purchase a policy, they will ask me, “Can we just buy the policy from you?”  The answer is always, “Sorry, no.”  I could go out and get my insurance license to sell insurance products, but then I wouldn’t [...]

April 5th, 2011|

1st Quarter Investment Review – The Dangers of Bond Investing in 2011

The 1st Quarter in 2011 saw many of the markets continue their upward momentum from 2010.  Below are the returns for some of the popular indices as of 3/31/11: Total Returns % 1Q Dow Jones Industrial Average +6.41% NASDAQ Composite +4.83% S&P 500 Index +5.42% Russell 2000 +7.64% U.S. Aggregate Bond Index -0.59% MSCI All [...]

April 4th, 2011|