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”

On Other than Politics

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 and took notice:

  • The  Dow Jones Industrials had their biggest down day since September on Wednesday (down a mere 1.8% but still up 12.4% since the November 2016 Presidential election).
  • The 10-year US Treasury rose on “safe-haven buying” with its yield moving down (meaning its price rose) 10 basis points from 2.34% early Tuesday to 2.23% during the day Wednesday. That’s a darn big one-day move for the 10-year US Treasury note yield.

Continue reading “On Other than Politics”

Things are Looking Up for the Latest Class of College Graduates

Call me sentimental as I will be partaking in a college graduation celebration this weekend (UNC Chapel Hill) but it led me to think about what it might be like to be entering the “real world” today.  One statistic is surprisingly bright: starting salaries are said to have “soared” for the Class of 2017. * 

Continue reading “Things are Looking Up for the Latest Class of College Graduates”

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.
www.usnews
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”

Caring for Aging Parents

Grandma moving in??  Traveling to help mom and dad from time to time? Sharing tasks with your siblings to help out your parents?

Elderly Parents

“Caring for Aging Parents” is an emotional and involved topic that takes FAR longer than 2 minutes to cover.  However, it is a critical topic and one that comes up daily in my conversations with friends and clients. Think about it: how many times have you been part of this conversation in the past several months alone… among friends/family?? I bet more than once!

Continue reading “Caring for Aging Parents”

Money and Therapy

Money and Therapy.  Two things that people may love or hate talking and thinking about.  However, among other things in life, money and therapy help.  

The NumberHere is where I am going with this.  Recently I read a must-read book for young and old, wealthy or building wealth, married or single.  Anyone who wants to have a “life” someday…or even have a life NOW.  The book is called The Number* and was written by Lee Eisenberg nearly 10 years ago, but it reads like he wrote it yesterday.

Here are some of the titles of the chapters:

  • “Welcome to Numberland”
  • “Debt Warp”
  • “Alone at Sea”
  • “Covering Your Assets” (nice play on words)
  • “Night Sweats”
  • “Deep Breathing”
  • “Bottom Lines”

Continue reading “Money and Therapy”

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”