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Can You Unpack the Suitcase?

I am pleased to be among the 100 advisors named to the INVESTOPEDIA 100 Most Influential Advisors List. Investopedia is the world’s leading source of online financial content. The Top 100 list was compiled by their content science team based on the ability to engage audiences across multiple media channels. I have been selected for a […]

Are You Trading One Risk for Another?

In a recent survey of over 18,000 individual investors conducted by Dimensional, (Dimensional 2017 Investor Feedback Survey), 31% of the respondents said their greatest fear was “experiencing a significant investment loss in a market downturn.” The largest group, 37%, said their greatest fear was “not having enough to live comfortably in retirement.” The juxtaposition of […]

12 Financial Truths (Including Some You Won’t Like)

We live in a noisy world where wisdom is hard to discern. Here are a dozen financial truths honed from more than three decades of observation. The primary reason many investors end up with overly complex, inappropriate insurance/investment products boils down to two words…sales commissions. The “Pyramid of Temptation” that engulfs most financial services firms […]

Why Is It So Hard to Talk About Money?

We live in a very stressful world, yet even with all our worries, money is still the number one stressor, (according to surveys by the American Psychological Association). Money outranks all other concerns such as the economy, work, family and health. The fact that money is so stressful translates directly into many people avoiding the […]

Can You Handle Normal?

All of the excess daily noise notwithstanding, your ability to achieve financial goals boils down to two things: The first, can you accept normal market swings?; The second, can you stay invested in order to participate in long-term returns? Almost everyone says yes to these two questions without examining what “normal” really means. In the […]

How to Avoid Financial Neglect

Remember the last time you went for a dip in the ocean? Unless you were very careful, you likely drifted 50 or 100 feet away from where you started in just a matter of a few minutes. The tide and undertow are powerful forces. You probably didn’t intend to move down the beach but it […]

7 Questions You Must Answer Before Retirement

Almost 10,000 Americans turn 65 years of age each day. Most are poorly prepared for what lies ahead. We have isolated seven questions that everyone must answer BEFORE they retire. These questions are: When Will You Retire? Where Will You Retire? When Will You Take Social Security? What Will Your Health Insurance Coverage Be? How […]

Days or Decades?

Each and every one of us has something in common…we don’t know if we are going to be alive for days or decades. Understanding the basic framework of life expectancy and how that impacts your financial decisions is a crucial part of financial planning. Your individual life expectancy is unknown and this uncertainty is the […]

Are You Focused on the Journey or the Destination?

Every client that we see has some idea of where they want to go… the desired destination. The inevitable bumps in the road, however, push many individuals to veer off course. Ultimately, accomplishing what you want financially means being able to “stay in your seat”. The media pundits treat daily price movements in the financial […]

Be Careful What You Believe; The Prison of Two Ideas

I recently came across a provocative article written by Greg Gutfeld titled “The Prison of Two Ideas”. While the article is mostly about political beliefs, the main theme carries over to the world of investing and personal finance as well. As Gutfeld explains, in modern parlance, you are either for or against “X”. Many have […]

In Charge or In Control?

Do you seek to be in charge of your financial future, or are you trying to be in control? Being “in charge” implies that you are taking responsibility. Trying to be “in control” means you are attempting to command or regulate what occurs. We often advise clients that “inputs determine outcomes”. This means that a […]

Houston, We Have a Problem

Remember the movie Apollo 13 starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, and the late Bill Paxton? The crew famously called Houston Mission Control after discovering serious mechanical problems on the spacecraft and uttered the phrase “Houston, we have a problem”. The main problem that all of us share, as humans, is a striking inability to objectively […]

Risk and Return are inseparable; Diversification is essential

One of the most damaging myths that Wall Street brokers spread is that somehow, someway, you can obtain high returns with low risk. This is objectively untrue. Different investments have different expected returns, largely based on the type of investment, (stocks versus bonds), and other recognized dimensions of risk. While risk is a necessary part […]

The Two Questions Everyone Needs To Answer

Will you make it financially? Do you know your financial blindspots? These two questions form the backbone of our holistic approach to personal financial planning. These questions also are the common bond that all of our clients share. If your financial life is arranged so that you can maintain your current lifestyle for the balance […]

Four Steps Towards Financial Independence

Most investors obtain their understanding, (or misunderstanding), about personal financial issues from heavily biased sources (like investment providers). There is a better way, where your financial health is concerned. Here are four specific steps that will improve the probabilities of success. Commit to learning about financial market history and the academic findings, (evidence), which constitute […]

Want the Antidote to Market Worry?

I read an interesting comment Coach Frank Martin made to his U.S.C. basketball team after losing a couple games towards the end of the regular season. He told them, “adversity is part of the deal”. Indeed, that is so in every aspect of life. If the stock market goes down a few days in a […]

How To Deal With Life’s Unexpected Moments?

Life is made up of many unexpected moments, both those that are good, as well as those, not so good. This is exactly what financial planning is about; helping you navigate a path towards your goals, especially when things “go bump in the night”. A few years ago, a documentary film about former Secretary of […]

What if Your Financial Life Wasn’t a Hodgepodge?

Ever wonder why your financial life is such a hodgepodge? While this term has several meanings, in this context, “ a confused mixture” might fit best. If you are like many of folks that we see, your financial life may indeed be “ a confused mixture”. But that isn’t the real issue. The question is […]

Why Rebalance?

Over the past few weeks, we have reviewed several components of our financial planning process and how these can create value for you. Today, we want to discuss rebalancing your portfolio as a critical technique for keeping your investments in sync. The basic purpose of rebalancing is to maintain the overall target asset allocation level […]

What Really Improves Your Investing Odds?

For the past few weeks, we have been reviewing the components that go into the way we bring value to our client relationships. This week, the role of Portfolio Management takes center stage. Your specific goals create the frame for how we approach managing individual portfolios. While goals are the driving force, decades of academic […]




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