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”
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.
For 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:
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.
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. *
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.
Healthcare 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%.
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.
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.
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?”.
“No way.” That is the #1 response I hear around the topic of reverse mortgages.
But we are coming to the end of tax time — when the idea of having access to a little extra cash would come in real handy! At some point in our lives sooner or more likely later — due to needing to pay for healthcare, caring for an aging parent, investing in a business or simply wanting a more secure “cushion” or “rainy day fund” — we will seek out ways to get our hands on more cash.
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.
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”
Grandma moving in?? Traveling to help mom and dad from time to time? Sharing tasks with your siblings to help out your 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!