September 17, 2015 - Business Insider - An investment adviser pinpoints the 2 questions every investor must answer
Are you ready for today's pop quiz? Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and write down these two questions:
1. Why am I investing?
2. What will I invest in?
The only person in the world who can answer the first question is you, and the second one is a trick question. Don't worry. This isn't really a test, and there's more than one right answer to both.
On the other hand, there is one very wrong reason for investing: to get rich quick. That only happens in Hollywood movies, so try keeping your why answers grounded in financial reality and your personal values. Read more
August 14, 2015 - Huffington Post - Happy Birthday Social Security! Blow Out Your Candles
Social Security turns 80 years old today. Will it live to see 100? I sure hope so, but according to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Old Age and Survivors Trust Fund (OASI) reserves are currently on track to be depleted by 2037 unless Congress gets its divided act together:
There have been plenty of changes to Social Security benefits since Franklin Roosevelt first signed the Social Security Act on Aug 14, 1935:
- Benefits for spouses and dependent children were added in 1939,
- Disability benefits were added in 1956,
- Benefits for widows and divorcees were added in 1965, and
- The cost of living increase was introduced in 1972. Read more
July 20, 2015 - Huffington Post - 3 Mindful Money Habits for Young Investors
Habits grow into skills over time. With physical fitness or learning to play an instrument, the habit of short & simple practices early on can take root and may eventually become lifelong health and musical mastery (if you stick with them). Malcolm Gladwell introduced us to the 10,000 hour rule - it takes 10,000 hours from beginning to mastery... that is a lot of practice.
The first time you return to the gym as an adult or the first time you pick up the guitar, it can be almost overwhelmingly difficult. With a little practice, that work gets easier and you can push yourself to the next level. Over time, you improve through multiple levels of learning, each more rewarding than the last. Read more
June 25, 2015 - Huffington Post - An Investing Anti-Prediction
The Year 2015 will be one of three things for markets.
The S&P 500 will see a run-up over 2500 (perhaps as high as 2700 if we get the doozy blow-off top) followed by a fall back to 1700 (maybe even 1500 intra-day). This "capitulation" part could straddle the 2015-2016 year, or,
It might be an average year and end up around 2200 or 2300 (pushing the final blow-off top further into the future), or,
It may be a less than average year where we bounce around (consolidate) between 2050 and 2150-ish.
Where we end up this year (or any year -- or any short term period) is unknown to me because it is unknowable. It's the stuff of crystal balls. I know, I know... you've had enough with my "limitations of knowledge" spiel. AND, there really are limits to what we can know. The future is simply beyond the limit. Read more
April 27, 2015 - Huffington Post - 5 Reasons to Hire a Financial Advisor -- One Dominant
Maybe you had a job when you were very young -- babysitting, yard work, paper route. And maybe your mom or dad told you, "Save your money, dear. Put a little aside in case you need it. Don't borrow money because you are just going to have to pay interest."
As your money situation got a bit more sophisticated, someone mentioned getting some insurance. If you were lucky, you were advised to take advantage of dollar cost averaging (investing a set amount every month). It was all fairly simple. Read more
February 3, 2015 - Huffington Post - 5 Steps For Making Equities Your Best Friend in Retirement
If you're like many investors, at the beginning of every year, you review your retirement accounts, weighing and measuring the different options before coming up with an asset allocation that feels more like a stab in the dark than an informed decision. Even in a small company 401(k) plan, there are more variables than anyone can track and unpredictability in every choice you make. Yikes!
Yet you must determine the correct investment mix to fulfill your hopefully well-laid out retirement plans. So how do you make an asset allocation decision today with imperfect information about what tomorrow holds? By making friends with equities. Read more