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Updates From The Experts

A Life Lived

You have never heard of any of my heroes, so naming them by name is unimportant. Besides, my heroes are not interested in publicity. My heroes lead quiet lives, in attractive, inviting homes, where their values and interests are on display....

The Power of Long Term Investment Returns

Shelly and I went sailing for the first time in many years this weekend. I was a little rusty. As we dodged and weaved our way through the 200 or so moored boats out into Narragansett Bay, I was reminded of the importance and power of lift. Sails...

Point the Ship in the Right Direction

During the Haiti crisis in the mid-90’s, I was a young sailor on watch. It was a calm, quiet, typical Caribbean sunny day and we were just off the coast of Hispaniola in the Windward Passage. Punching holes in the ocean, is what we called it,...

20 Moves: Investing in a Complex Market

Today’s post was inspired by the excellent book: Team of Teams, by Gen. McChrystal Modern destroyers use gas turbine engines for propulsion and electrical power. As a young junior officer, I was required to learn all about these marvelous...

Bitcoin Mania

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few months, you’ve probably heard about the Bitcoin craze and other cryptocurrencies using distributed ledger technology. I’m a borderline technology geek, so I have been reading about, and...

Record Market Levels = Time for a Gut Check

The market is hot right now – to say the least. We all know it’s cyclical in nature so in a way it feels like we’re just waiting on the inevitable downturn: we just don’t know when, and we don’t know by how much. At current valuation levels,...

Morningstar Tarnished by WSJ: My Thoughts

A recent Wall Street Journal front page story, “The Morningstar Mirage,” stated what most advisers should already know: Morningstar ratings don’t mean much. In my experience, those who rely upon star ratings do so for one of three reasons: ...

Could a Roth IRA become your safety net?

Created by Congress twenty years ago, the Roth IRA is starting to show up in seasoned retirement plans in a big way. I remember when the Roth IRA first came out, I thought of it as a tool best suited for younger people in lower tax brackets. Now...

Maximizing the Benefits of Health Savings Accounts

At this point, just about everyone seems to be enrolled in a high deductible Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible health plan. The escalating costs of healthcare are astounding. I was depressed for days after realizing a few years ago that my...

Equifax Breach Important Information

Unfortunately, the recent Equifax data breach affected almost any American who has ever used credit; so that probably includes you and me. After a little bit of research and thought this weekend, here are some of my suggestions: 1. Don’t Panic....

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief

I am sure many of you have experienced a similar moment in the last few days. For me, it was a picture posted on Facebook by one of my old college buddies. A picture of the house he grew up in, where I had stayed many times as a guest, completely...

Align Spending with Values

I have the opportunity to review client spending patterns regularly, and it’s one of the most important exercises in our client process. Very few of us voluntarily want to discuss spending on a line item by line item basis, but our clients have...

Making Good Housing Choices

For many of us, our house represents a significant portion of our net worth and mortgage payments dominate our monthly cash flow obligations. Therefore, the way we purchase and finance our homes can impact our finances for decades. Ideally, it...

CFP Board’s Proposed Changes - What You Need to Know

In June, the CFP Board released proposed revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct, for public comment. The public forums on these proposed changes just wrapped up last week. I attended the forum held in Dallas and wanted to share a...

Protecting your Downside in an Up-Market

Wow, the market is pretty hot right now with valuations at all time highs. Data suggests small investors are jumping in with both feet. A recent WSJ article quoted Martin Small, head of U.S. iShares, as saying 85% of their exchange traded funds’...

A Simple Estate Plan Review is Worthwhile

We tend to believe once our estate documents are signed, we can lock them away only to be seen again when we are gone from this world. The sense of peace in knowing our wishes have been formally documented is gratifying beyond measure, but it’s...

The More We Make, the Tougher It Becomes to Retire

In this final quarter of the year, I had the opportunity to run retirement plans on quite a few 401(k) plan participants. Whenever possible, I enjoy sitting one-on-one with employees to help them understand and formulate a retirement scenario. ...