Hawaii 5-0

Turning the “Big 5-0” is something that can be celebrated or dreaded.  For me, I chose celebration — in Hawaii just recently!  I truly believe that life keeps getting better with the turning of every year.  Perhaps someday the experience will change, but so far so good.

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Various milestones whether it be reaching a certain age, job position (change/ promotion/ retirement), family stature (marriage/ parent/ grandparent), or even sporting achievements…deserve to be recognized. Then, along with recognition comes reflection. Of course, for me, having chosen to manage peoples’ financial lives as a profession, reflecting a great deal on the future comes naturally.  My husband may even say that I drive him nuts “reflecting” on the things we need to be doing today and over the next 10-15 years to make retirement a reality. Continue reading “Hawaii 5-0”

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”

Balance Between Online and B&M Shopping

Very short note today due to various Father’s Day festivities, oh, and golf’s US Open with an exciting weekend ahead!

The news yesterday of Amazon looking to buy Whole Foods Market (home of “Whole Paycheck”) has a multitude of far-reaching aspects, all worth expanding upon in future “TGIF 2 minutes” editions. Continue reading “Balance Between Online and B&M Shopping”

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”

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”

Tax Break…Anyone?

One of the more anticipated pieces of legislation out of Washington DC has been the Trump tax proposal — or really ANY tax proposal — that has been said to carry some kind of relief for all taxpayers.

tax-formsHealthcare is another hot button but taxes slightly edge out healthcare as the #1 item of interest (and if my readership is any indication, the subject of taxes is my #1 most read topic year-over-year).

This is at least a two-part edition, so here goes the tip of the iceberg of ideas being floated by reporters on the front lines in Washington:*

  • Lowering the corporate tax rate to 15%
    • theoretically encourages US corporations to bring back, or “repatriate”, cash being held overseas.
  • Simplification of individual tax brackets to three: 10%, 25% and top rate of 35%.

Continue reading “Tax Break…Anyone?”

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?”

Dick Wagner & Life

In tribute to a guy definitely worth knowing about — not a rock star or Hollywood actor — but a celebrity in his own right. Richard “Dick” Wagner died this week at age 66.

Dick Wagner (no relation to me) was a luminary in the world of financial planning, dedicating his life to getting people to focus and think about their lives and the human side of their wealth. Another way to say this is, “How are you going to spend your money today and someday…for the richest life possible?”.

Continue reading “Dick Wagner & Life”