Robo-Advisors: The Amazon of Investing

What is Robo-Advising?  And why would I call this article “The Amazon of Investing?”

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Last week saw the news of Amazon bidding for Whole Foods Market in an attempt to combine the earth-shattering capabilities of online with something as everyday as food shopping. In last week’s edition, I mentioned that there are far-reaching implications for a tech company bidding for a grocer.  One of these implications involves technology having moved full-force into the world of investing…and beyond. Continue reading “Robo-Advisors: The Amazon of Investing”

On Other Than Politics, II

Here we go again…. Just three short weeks ago I wrote an article under a similar heading which led to positive feedback including relief and appreciation for the simpler things in life.

The article started,

“Trump, Comey, Mueller, Twitter, Fox News, CNN….it is all getting more than a bit chaotic.  Even the stock and bond markets jumped into the fray…”

This week is more of the same, but amidst the weighty, media-driven current events several key economic news items were released with decent implications for ours and our family’s financial lives:  namely HOUSING DATA and JOB NUMBERS. Continue reading “On Other Than Politics, II”

Marketing Insurance as an Investment to Young Adults

Every once in a while, there are topics in the realm of “investments” that pique my interest, or even cause me concern.  Over the past year or so one of these is the topic of marketing insurance as an investment to young people.

Young ProfessionalsFor those of you who watch college sports on TV — or at live games — you may have picked up on what I am talking about. Obviously, college sports, especially football and basketball, are BILLION dollar industries.  The industries surrounding the picking of teams and players are also beyond lucrative.  And the advertising opportunities on television and at live games are immense.  In walks my concern:  all or most of the major insurance companies have become primary, big dollar sponsors of either or all:

  • today’s college sports games,
  • the schools competing
  • the stations carrying coverage.

Continue reading “Marketing Insurance as an Investment to Young Adults”

Cars: Buy, Lease, Rent or Zip?

One topic that believe it or not comes up with nearly every client and prospective new client, no matter their age or level of wealth, is cars.
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For younger, city-dwellers, Uber may be an excellent (and cheaper) alternative to owning.
The conversation touches upon the following:
  • Buy or lease?
  • If buying, buy for cash or take out a car loan?
  • New or used?  (I nearly always suggest used, a.k.a. “certified pre-owned”.  Remember the book, The Millionaire Next Door?)
  • If buying, how often to replace?
  • If leasing* or taking out a car loan, what is a sensible payment amount?  With a lease, buy at the end of the lease?
  • For younger people perhaps living in or near a city, is it possible to not even own a car?  And take advantage of excellent (cheaper) alternatives as needed such as renting a car, Uber, or Zipcar?
Leasing is not often my recommendation for first cars, mostly because I prefer not to add another sizable monthly outflow of cash early on in life. Early on, own a car you can afford for cash or a small loan. The future will look brighter.

Continue reading “Cars: Buy, Lease, Rent or Zip?”

Warren Buffett Letter 2017

What a week for people named Warren and Trump.  Did you catch the Oscars Best Picture mix-up with Warren Beatty??  The bottom line for me was: when you are unsure whether you understand something important, ask.

Exclusive Portraits Of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Chief Executive Officer Warren Buffett

As for people named Warren Buffett this week yielded yet another annual letter of wisdom and perspective from the “Oracle of Omaha”.  Striking was that Mr. Buffett’s letter reflected several similar sentiments (some not) to those expressed by Mr. Trump in his Presidential address to Congress on Tuesday evening. Another week in America. Not always perfect but still good–even great.   Continue reading “Warren Buffett Letter 2017”

Gut Check in Rocky Markets – 2016

In times of stock market weakness – like we are seeing over the past month – we can tend to get scared.  We are human.  However, I stress to my clients and friends NOT to allow short-term market moves (monthly, quarterly…even yearly) to lead to poor decisions.  Why?  Please read on…

The following chart reads like a cartoon so not to worry that I am sending you a complicated graph.  The RED DOTS = how much the market went down sometime during each year.  The BLUE LINES = where the market finished at the end of the year.

Greatest Chart Ever

Continue reading “Gut Check in Rocky Markets – 2016”

Gut Check in Rocky Markets

Have you asked yourself lately…

  • “Is this the ‘Big Dip’ in the markets they have warned about?”
  • “Should I be selling my stocks?”
  • “Should I be selling my bonds?”

Although I stress to clients and friends NOT to listen to the Talking Heads on TV, radio & internet—and then make rash investment decisions – when these media personalities comment on dramatic market moves (they LOVE down markets for hype), we are human!  It is nearly impossible to ignore completely what is going on daily in the markets.  And the stock markets have crept down a bit over the past few weeks. Continue reading “Gut Check in Rocky Markets”