How Belief Drives investing Behaviour

 Do you believe that a well-schooled financial advisor, armed with algorithms and research, should be able to tell you:  Do you think paying an advisor a fee to do these things improves the odds of a favorable return and certainly more so than one could achieve on one’s own?  Do you cotton to the notion that there are advisor fees,…

Selling or Serving

 The financial services industry is teeming with salespeople whose job is to peddle financial products to consumers. Most representatives are trained to prospect, pitch and close, dismantle objections and secure the sale. However, the late John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Fund and author of The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism (Yale University Press, 2005), decried the intersection of…

The Perils Of A Cashless Society

 The internet is rift with talk about a cashless society, fueled by a shortage of coins in the marketplace. While some see it as an example of a conspiracy or government over-reach, with either stoking fear of prophetic overtones. Both concerns may be legitimate, but I fear there is a more immediate concern, illustrated by the following case study.  When…

Rental Properties And Passive Income

Both words “passive” and “income” strike a warm and inviting chord as many real estate investors would attest. The idea of letting a tenant pay the mortgage and simultaneously produce income for the landlord feels like a good equation. One newly minted property owner enjoying an after-expense cash flow of $500 per month on one property reasoned that owning ten…

What Could Possible Blow Up Your Retirement Plan

 You’ve done everything you’ve been advised to do so that one day you will step into retirement and travel the world. Estate planning portfolio? Check. Life insurance policies? Check. Income protection? Check. 401(k)s? Check. Real estate paid for? Check. Social Security? Future possible check! If you save what you are saving, and invest what you are investing, and you get…

So You Are All Good, All Set, Dialed In, Seriously

 As an investment advisor representative, I serve highly compensated medical professionals: doctors of dentistry and medicine. Many welcome an opportunity to stress-test and audit their in-place financial plans and products to identify unnecessary risks, fees, or ill-advised tax strategies. One exception comes to mind.  This 50-something emergency room doctor was willing to meet me, but he was quick to say…

The Pernicious Risk Of Untested Self-Assessment

 I principally serve highly compensated medical professionals: doctors of dentistry and medicine. I have lectured to and consulted with newly minted doctors and those transitioning to retirement. Many welcomed an opportunity to stress- test and audit their in-place financial plans and products to identify unnecessary risks, fees or ill-advised tax strategies. One exception comes to mind.  He is a fifty…

Know The Rules Before You Play The Game

 Picture this: It is December 1891 and the physical education instructor at the Y.M.C.A. announces a new game—basketball. James Naismith holds a half-bushel peach basket in one hand and a ball in the other. His instructions are simple: “Boys, I’m dividing you into two groups of five. I am going to suspend a basket at each end of the playing…

Is This Opportunity To Good To Be True

 When market returns are modest and interest rates are low, it is not unusual for investors to be interested in—and tempted by “golden opportunities.” The thought of making outrageous rates of return, cutting out the middle person, or getting in on the ground floor of a new opportunity can be very appealing. Consider the following menu:  Interested? Before you abandon…

Is it Time To Stash Cash And Buy Gold

 Reflecting on recent market volatility, the pervasiveness of the pandemic, and the uncertainty of the future, it is no wonder worried investors are questioning long-term, traditional strategies. One investor recently asked, “Is it time to stash cash and buy gold?” Good question. What is the answer?  It depends. (I absolutely hate that reply, but it is the right starting point)….