Not Your Father’s Muni Bonds

My Father loved municipal bonds.  The coupons were high (certainly higher than the average coupon rates of today) and supply was ample. And he loved the story behind the bond.

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As a quick primer, “muni bonds,” otherwise known as municipal bonds, are debt obligations issued to fund capital expenditures by municipalities, states, counties and other government and public service-related entities like hospitals and schools. The tax treatment of the interest paid is typically Federally tax-free to the investor and often state tax free in the state where the bond was issued. Investors who buy the bonds are promised to receive tax free interest periodically and then repayment of principal upon maturity. Continue reading “Not Your Father’s Muni Bonds”

Timeless Investing Advice

Welcome to 2019 and Happy New Year.

Remember the original, first run of the movie, Rocky? Even if you were not around (or born) in 1976 to see the movie in person, you probably know the theme song and the story by heart. The film is timeless.

rocky

Investing advice can be timeless as well. Here are several pieces of professional advice and perspective that I have come to firmly believe in my over 30 years in financial services and would like to pass on to you: Continue reading “Timeless Investing Advice”

14 Numbers that May Surprise You

This is a re-run of a TGIF 2 Minutes article that appeared in May 2018, with a few updates.

The following are from a recent article in the Journal of Financial Planning* – and they are not snoozers! In fact, several truly surprised me. Check ’em out. All from formal surveys.

black calculator near ballpoint pen on white printed paper
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Continue reading “14 Numbers that May Surprise You”

5 End of Year Questions

It is nearing year-end and I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to double-check certain items NOW. The best financial advisers can and should be drawing your attention to these items in order to make your year-end easier and less stressful. 

Here is a list of questions I review annually with clients:

black calendar close up composition
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Continue reading “5 End of Year Questions”

Investing Boston Red Sox Style

Yikes!  Now I am resorting to positive comments about the Bosox. Don’t worry fellow NY Yankee fans! It’s only to make a point about the markets and investing. 

The season is Fall and that means it is World Series time. This year’s match-up features the LA Dodgers versus the Boston Red Sox, who now lead the series 2-0. The purely baseball fan in me read with excitement the news about Game 2 Wednesday night. The statistics for Boston read like a smart, steady investor’s style: “sufficient but not overwhelming.”* Boston’s 4-2 win contained zero home runs. Rather, they beat their opponent “on a collection of timely singles and one spectacular catch.”

Fenway

Continue reading “Investing Boston Red Sox Style”

Gut Check in Rocky Markets

After the recent mid-week big down moves in the US and global stock markets AND if you are a long-time reader of TGIF 2 Minutes you are most likely expecting a “stay the course” message today.

The bottom line is: Stay the course. Technically you can stop reading here and go onto your Friday and weekend. How about that for a record 15 second edition??!

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Here is the remaining 1 minute and 45 second version:

Continue reading “Gut Check in Rocky Markets”

Inflation Revisited

This edition of TGIF 2 Minutes originally ran on February 16, 2018 just after the (now) temporary 12% decline in the Dow Jones, which ended as a 6% decline for the month.

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.

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

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. Continue reading “Inflation Revisited”