What is Techlash?

A short TGIF as we enter the Easter weekend (or “Easter Triduum” in Church language).

I learned a new term this week*, “techlash” plus I found a couple of startling stats about tech – inspired by the mini- (soon to be major?) crisis going on with Facebook and the privacy of its users’ information. The situation is kind of unfortunate for those who may have given up Facebook for Lent….just in time for the #DeleteFacebook campaign to be kicking into high gear. (Full disclosure: I do not have a Facebook account.)

pexels-photo-267350.jpegTechlash” is the backlash that has affected the entire tech sector in response to Mark Zuckerberg’s – and Facebook’s – lack of response to their crisis which may spill over into other major tech companies’ operating models.
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Volatility & the Ides of March: What’s Next?

We have already had more volatility in the first three months of 2018 than we saw in ALL of 2017 and most of 2016 combined. Snow? On the first day of Spring!  Driverless cars on the road… What’s next?

The snow wasn’t the worst part of it. Facebook stumbled this week amidst legitimate concerns of how honest it is with protecting its user data. This is not the first time Facebook has faced the issue of deceiving its users: back in 2012 under a decree with the FTC Facebook had to agree to get user consent in order to share users’ personal data with others.

Ides of March
It’s been an interesting March.  What’s next?

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Big Bang Theory

Are you familiar with the TV show “The Big Bang Theory”? The show is in its 11th season and lots of people by now have heard of Sheldon, Leonard, Raj, Howard and Penny… but for those who have not heard of the show it is really funny and has been a HUGE success.

Big Bang Theory

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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

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A Word on Inflation

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.

Also, 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.

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

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Gut Check in Rocky Markets – 2018

Do we blame it on the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl??  (just kidding- I am glad the underdogs won!)

From the archives of TGIF 2 minutes I found a very handy message – one that still holds true two years later for surviving the weakness we are currently experiencing in the stock and bond markets.  Here is the original article: click here. The title of the message was “‘Gut Check’ in Rocky Markets” (Jan. 2016).  As even as the most experienced savers and investors can tell you, down markets are not fun and they can be scary and stressful.  However, I try to remind my clients and friends NOT to allow short-term market moves (weekly, monthly, quarterly…even lasting the course of a year) to lead you to make poor decisions. Rather, make your investing decisions alongside a trusted adviser – and ideally far in advance of a market decline. (Hint: most of my clients can stop reading here and say “TGIF”.)

Market Correction
Source: Bloomberg Markets, February 8, 2018

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Let the Good Times Roll

“Let the good times roll.”  I am partial to this expression because my Dad used to say this a lot either as a toast or a statement when things were going well.

As I look at the last few years’ markets, the current economy and the lives and businesses of my clients the expression definitely applies.

Let the good times roll!

Concert

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Caring For Aging Parents 2.0

In a previous edition of TGIF 2 minutes I reviewed the topic of “Caring for Aging Parents.”  The subject remains a big, big topic of conversation with friends and clients. PLUS, as people experience caring for a parent they suddenly say: How much do I need to be concerned about planning for MY OWN Long-Term Care down the line?! 

Aging Parent 2.0Definitely a smart question and hence the “2.0”. The costs of Long-Term Care are staggering, and the emotions can be too. Let’s take a brief look at recent news on costs. Continue reading “Caring For Aging Parents 2.0”

It’s Never too Early to Plan

A couple of planning “gems” to pass along from the plethora of great financial news reporting* on the new Tax Plan.

Tax Planning

  • Use the Roth 401k whenever it is available at your employer or your company (there are NO income limits for a worker to contribute to a Roth 401k, unlike a Roth IRA).
  • For those of you doing Charitable Gifting AND because of the new, higher Standard Deduction that you may consider using instead of itemizing your taxes, consider doing your Charitable Gifting every OTHER year. This, in effect, “bunches” (to use Greg Iacurci’s word) your charitable gifting into LARGER amounts and then you may only need to itemize in years when your charitable gifting plus deductions is MORE THAN $24,000 for married couples ($12,000 for Single filers).

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No Rest for the Weary

Welcome to 2018.  In checking out Dictionary.com I found:

“No rest for the weary definition. You must keep persevering no matter how tired or overworked you are.”

morning jog

This could be the mantra of my readers, no matter if you are in your first job, running a company, or retired. If you want to be successful and informed, it takes hard work to wake up – and keep up – in America today. Continue reading “No Rest for the Weary”