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Tag Archives: Financial Planning

RIA Chart Book: Q3-2017 Most Important Charts

Michael Lebowitz and I have produced a number of charts that have generated a lot of questions, comments, and shares over the last year. We decided that each quarter we will begin producing a “chart book” of the “most important charts” from the last quarter for you to review. We have provided the links in most cases back to the original articles as well for further clarification and context if needed. We hope you find them useful and insightful. Time To Breakeven While individuals are...

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Should You Pay Off Your House? 7-Things To Consider

“If I have the cash should I pay my mortgage off early?” That is a regular question we are asked. While it might seem to be the simple answer of “yes,” such is not always the case. Like anything, when it comes to making decisions for an individual, or family, a plan and some sound advice is always beneficial when facing these tough decisions. Since we can’t do a plan, here’s some advice. Everyone’s scenario is different and I do mean everyone. You may be able to pay your mortgage off and...

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Why This Market Ride Is Almost Over

“Taxi drivers told you what to buy. The shoeshine boy could give you a summary of the day’s financial news as he worked with rag and polish. An old beggar who regularly patrolled the street in front of my office now gave me tips and, I suppose, spent the money I and others gave him in the market. My cook had a brokerage account and followed the ticker closely. Her paper profits were quickly blown away in the gale of 1929.” – Bernard Baruch. I’m a hypocrite. I admit it. We advise repeatedly...

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Investors Are Ignoring The Evidence At Their Peril

I was recently watching a movie about the FBI trying to bring down a terrorist cell in the U.S. During their investigation, their evidence board became more and more cluttered with people, evidence, and locations as they attempted to track down the “cell.” At first, the clues were disparate, and they didn’t provide a clear path to the end goal. But as more clues were obtained, the bigger picture emerged eventually leading to the successful ending of the terrorist threat. It got me to...

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Bogle, Buffett, Shiller & Tobin – Valuations Are Expensive

During my morning reading, I ran across a couple of very interesting articles that tied a common theme relating to the current risks in the financial markets. Via Zerohedge: 88-year-old investing icon John “Jack” Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, said: “The valuations of stocks are, by my standards, rather high, but my standards, however, are high. When considering stock valuations, Bogle’s method differs from Wall Street’s. For his price-to-earnings multiple, Bogle uses the past 12...

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6-Steps To Optimize Your Money & Life

 “I think we’re doing the right things with money, but we feel sub-optimized.” Twenty-eight years guiding others through financial challenges, thousands of words, and oddly I experienced personal angst over this one – “sub-optimized.” It’s rare the word arises, if at all. There was something about it that captured my ear and mind. I wondered about the obstacles that create what I call “dollar drag,” whereby the highest and best use of our money is overlooked or ignored. Sub-optimization is...

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One Chart Shows Investors Are Dealt A Losing Hand

The rise in the market has seemed unstoppable. Despite the Federal Reserve continuing to hike interest rates and tightening monetary policy, geopolitical risks from North Korea to Iran, mass shootings, failure of legislative agenda and weak economic growth – the market’s rise has continued unabated. Much of the recent rise, as discussed last week, has been based upon faulty assumptions about the effect of tax cuts and reforms. However, in the short-term, it is always the exuberance of market...

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Bull Trap: The False Promise Of Tax Cuts

Last week, I did a fairly extensive analysis on the release of the 9-page “Trump Tax Cut” plan.  The most important aspect of that discussion was the difference between 1982, the last time there was permanent tax reform, as compared to today. “Comparing Trump’s economic policy proposals to those of Ronald Reagan. For those that deem that bullish, we remind you that the economic environment and potential growth of 1982 was vastly different than it is today.  Consider the following table:‘”...

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8-Steps For “Fiscal Fitness”

Autumn is the period of transition from summer to winter; a time of harvest. Use the season to breathe fresh perspective into your finances and prepare for a prosperous 2018. 8-Steps To Get “Fiscally Fit” #1: A thorough portfolio review with an objective financial partner is timely. Most likely your long-term asset allocation or the mix of stocks, bonds and cash you maintain or add to on a regular basis, has been ignored. With most of the major stock indices higher by double-digits...

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Fed Study: The Bottom 90% & The Failure Of Prosperity

As the stock market hits all-time highs in its 2nd longest bull market run in history, the lift of asset prices has surely lifted the economic prosperity of all. Right? Not really. New reports from the Hamilton Project and The Federal Reserve show the real problems facing Americans today. First, the Hamilton Project as noted by Pedro Nicolaci Da Costa last week: “An expansion that began, believe it or not, more than seven years ago has extended a longer-run trend of wage stagnation for the...

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