Inflation Revisited

This edition of TGIF 2 Minutes originally ran on February 16, 2018 just after the (now) temporary 12% decline in the Dow Jones, which ended as a 6% decline for the month.

Typically, I do not get too far “into the weeds” of technical terms in my TGIF 2 Minutes messages. However – this has not been a typical last two weeks in the markets – at least not “typical” as defined by the past several years of gradually UP markets (and portfolios) month after month. Thus, a short walk into the weeds to talk a little about inflation is warranted – and may shed light on the volatility we have experienced lately with more likely to come over the next months and year or so.

Falcon Heavy 2-5
Photo by Jared Haworth, http://www.wehadtoday.com/jared

See this visual of a rocket launch* – and not just any rocket launch, the Falcon Heavy launch as photographed by a friend of mine with years of clearance for NASA rocket launches – as an appropriate comparison to what inflation can look like. Continue reading “Inflation Revisited”

Straw Hats in Winter

“TGIF 2 Minutes” was never meant to simply report current events. Rather, my intent is to highlight topics in personal finance – or a current topic – that affects your financial life and decision-making. BUT (there is always a “but”) certain pieces of news affect our mindset – both positively and negatively – and if I can comment on how to avoid letting the news sway you too far either way financially-speaking, then I believe it worth commenting!

federal-reserve

ECONOMIC TIMES ARE GOOD! This week the revised U.S. GDP report (the key measure of economic growth) revealed a strong, strong US economy. There is a reason I am mentioning this news as it relates to our mindset for making all sorts of major spending and savings decisions – decisions for us, our families and businesses in the short-term and longer-term.

Continue reading “Straw Hats in Winter”

What’s Your Financial Life Emoji?

What Emoji are you feeling these days when it comes to your financial life? Recall that an “emoji” is that little character that expresses an emotion using the keys on your computer or phone keyboard. Happiness, joy, confusion or sadness… there’s an emoji for it all. But just because the markets have been mostly joy … :o) … does not mean that your financial life is all joy and satisfaction. :/ (That is the “uncertainty/confused” emoji.)

box cheerful color cute
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Continue reading “What’s Your Financial Life Emoji?”

Remember College Graduation?

College graduation may have been a long, long time ago for some of us or more recently for others – or for your kids or grandkids.

Inspired by this weekend’s upcoming graduation at the University of Notre Dame and “graduation season” in general I offer several basic pieces of personal financial advice that hold meaning for nearly everyone at every age.

Notre Dame Continue reading “Remember College Graduation?”

14 Numbers That May Surprise You

These are from a recent article in the Journal of Financial Planning (May 2018) – and they are not snoozers! In fact, several truly surprised me. Check ’em out. And I did not make them up – these are all from formal surveys.

pexels-photo-259200.jpeg Continue reading “14 Numbers That May Surprise You”

You Thought Going to the Gym is Hard, Try Budgeting

And you thought going to the gym was hard?! Try Budgeting.

Please don’t quit reading yet – this may be one of the most frequent topics I discuss with my clients especially at tax time. Add in the ever-increasing future costs of healthcare and nearly everyone (wealthy or building wealth) will care about a budget at some point.

Pennies

Continue reading “You Thought Going to the Gym is Hard, Try Budgeting”

10 Things NOT Talked About at Thanksgiving

We all know the “Basic 3” topics NOT recommended for talk around the Thanksgiving table: Sex, Politics and Religion. Two others on the list are Money and various Family Matters.  The gloves can tend to come off, feelings hurt and more.

Touchdown-Jesus

But there are times when several of these topics must be addressed – keeping in mind that “there is a time and place for everything”.  So, in that vein, here is a list of at least 10 topics that were most likely NOT discussed at Thanksgiving but that may be important and remain on lots of peoples’ minds: Continue reading “10 Things NOT Talked About at Thanksgiving”

Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate

AS IF we need to hear any further “noise” about the debate in Washington, DC regarding tax policy.  There is a basic silver lining (or two) to the discussion worth pointing out.  First, a quick review of the big-picture elements in the limelight:

  • The number and rate of Individual tax payer brackets (15%, 25%, 35%, etc.)
  • The corporate tax rate (20%? 35%? pass-through? etc.)
  • Individual retirement savings vehicles and allowances (IRAs, 401k, “Roth-i-fication”, etc.)

Might I offer TWO “silver linings” to this prolonged, politically entrenched back-and-forth on tax policy:  

GOP Tax Plan

Continue reading “Silver Lining to Tax Policy Debate”

Quadrant #4 of Saving: Protecting Your Savings

This recent series has been all about Saving Money.  Just as with any task, saving money can be broken down into stages.  In this case I outlined “4 Quadrants of Saving” to illustrate how each quadrant (or stage) builds on the previous one, and how the task can be made more achievable.  

protecting money

Continue reading “Quadrant #4 of Saving: Protecting Your Savings”

Quadrant #3 of Saving: Personalize Your Savings Plan

More on Saving.  Saving is a critical subject at all ages — for the simple reason that savings and investments give people choices at various points in life.  In my latest series, I have broken down the concept of Saving into “4 Quadrants”:

Continue reading “Quadrant #3 of Saving: Personalize Your Savings Plan”