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Updates From The Experts

Investment Returns and Presidential Elections

One month away from the general election, everyone is talking about how the next President will affect the stock market. Opinions vary based upon political leanings, but most believe there is a connection. I recently reviewed some research from...

3 Reasons to Get Serious about Your Finances

updated May 1, 2018 For many people, there is a point where things change financially. It’s at different stages of life for different people, but at that point, it’s time to get serious about personal finances. If you’re not sure you’re there...

5 Questions to Consider Before Current Market Conditions

As an investment adviser, people ask me all the time “how’s the market doing”, and I always try to answer politely. Believe it or not, I never watch CNBC and unless I’m trading that day, I don’t monitor intraday volume and pricing. I’m too busy...

Long Term Care Dilemma: 7 Mitigation Steps

One of the first things I realized when I started in this business was the need for long-term care insurance. It was clear then, and is still true today, that living longer increases the chances of needing assistance with normal activities of...

Life Insurance Agents: Where Did They Go?

Life insurance agents created the financial planning community, and sadly their own was damaged in the process. Can recent regulation spur a rebirth? Needs-based selling, where an agent gathered pertinent client data, created a proposal, and...

Advisors: It’s Time to Drop your Series 7

You’ve still got time. Think of the DOL’s new fiduciary rules as a shot across the bow. Heed the warning, change course, and discover how rewarding this business can be without the glaring conflicts of commission. Loaded mutual funds, variable...

New DOL Regs: Business as Usual?

It’s inevitable, from working over twenty years in an industry like mine, you tend to get a little cynical. The ink is hardly dry on the new “fiduciary” standard promulgated by the Department of Labor so it’s hard to know exactly what’s in it,...

5 Reasons to Fire your Financial Advisor

updated April 25, 2018   If your advisor is not on the same page with you, it makes it harder to weather downturns. There are five very basic service points your advisor should be hitting, and if she is not, you should consider making a change. ...

Reality Check: What is Stock and Why Own it?

With billions of dollars exchanging hands each day, continual fluctuations in prices, and constant media chatter about the “market”, it’s easy to lose sight of what we are actually purchasing when we buy publicly-traded stocks.  Let’s try to...

Bear Market Planning: The Steps You Should Take

We headed into our first semi-annual client reviews of the year last week with a certain level of apprehension. A big drop in the market right out of the gate wore heavily on my mind. Are we headed into a bear market? Maybe. We’ve been through...

Tornado Drill lends a Fresh Perspective

Last Tuesday, we pretended like a tornado hit the office. All day we worked from home, testing our communications and computer systems to make sure we would be able to do our jobs if the real thing occurred. The drill was similar to the ones we...

Good Steps for Planning your Christmas List

Without a plan it’s easy for things to get out of hand. Here are some steps you can take to make sure all of your gifts get handled reasonably and efficiently. Make a list: Write out everyone you need to purchase a gift for this season. Create a...

Security Measures - Your Investment Adviser and You

Like all Registered Investment Adviser Firms, we maintain cyber security policies and procedures to protect sensitive client data from theft and fraud. Many of the measures we take can be extended to you and your computers for the greatest level...

No-load Life Insurance is a Game Changer

With four kids to raise, I have always maintained a good amount of life insurance coverage. Over the years, I have made changes from time to time to take advantage of lower costs and newer plan designs. I like having permanent coverage with high...

Finding Your Own Definition of Financial Success

  We have all formulated strong ideas of what success looks like since childhood. In many ways, personal financial success gets defined FOR us by the outward appearances of those we believe to be successful. The financial planning process helps...

Moments of Truth and Texas High School Football

The hot August sun was starting to make itself known as morning advanced. There were just a few plays to go until the first Freshman inter-squad scrimmage of the season would be over. Small groups of parents along the sideline idly watched and...

Practical Investing with a Blood in the Streets Mentality

   “Buy when there’s blood in the streets” – Baron Rothschild During the Panic of 1871 in Paris, when everyone was selling, Baron Rothschild (according to the story) was buying. This makes a lot sense, but it’s hard to translate into action due...

Sea Stories on Leadership: Part II

On the Fo’c’sle of the USS John Rodgers in the warm sun of Valparaiso, Chile we watched as command passed from one captain to another. We knew little and had learned less about our new CO in the two weeks he had been aboard. Quiet and unassuming,...

Sea Stories on Leadership: Part I

This is a two part series about two Captains I served under consecutively aboard the USS John Rodgers, a Spruance Class destroyer, shortly after the Persian Gulf War. The first came to us from a shore tour he had just completed at the Pentagon in...

Mid Year Financial Checkup

It’s hard to believe the year is halfway over. Now is a good time to review and determine what steps need to be taken to finish out the second half. Here are five topics to help you put together a nice mid year review. Income and taxes. If your...

Greek Economic Crisis is a Democracy Crisis Too

World markets shuddered today as the Prime Minister of Greece acted in a very unpredictable manner. Prime Minister Tsipras called for a vote by the Greek people on whether or not to accept bailout extension terms from their creditors. The crazy...

Variable Annuities can be Costly

Back in the 90’s I sold a lot of variable annuities. I worked for a large financial services company that strongly encouraged the use of variable annuities and there were some advantages. For one, it was a great way to gain access to multiple...

Financial Meetings with your Kids

The last several weeks we have been busy meeting with our client’s children. We recommend what we call “kid meetings” at a few critical stages: Just prior to getting their driver’s license. Just prior to going off to college. After graduation...