Important Early-Year Reminder

The following is an important reminder for every other year or so – more often if there are new people in your life:

Whoever, whatever you want to call them: Beneficiaries, “Bennys,” Heirs… make sure to check who is listed as Beneficiary or Beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, insurance policies, IRAs, trusts or in your Will (if you have a Will).*

Inevitably, time flies. Sadly, loved ones pass away; important loved ones may, well, change. (Think: divorce, relationship changes). Happily, new beneficiaries, or heirs, are born or enter the picture! In the busy nature of life, often the beneficiaries currently on record are not accurate or have not been updated in years.

Make sure to check who is listed as Beneficiary or Beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, insurance policies, IRAs, trusts or in your Will.

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Getting a New Car

There are few things as exciting as getting a new car: the “new car smell,” the test drive, the sound system, sunroof, heated seats… the feeling of “everything is new.” And these days, cars are advanced computers on wheels (and that means even the non-self-driving kind).

With that said, yours truly recently bought a new car – the first new car in 15 years! The old 2005 (Certified Pre-Owned) B-mer went 180k miles and could have gone another 100k but with a bit of maintenance here and there. Time for a new vehicle. But what new car to buy? New or used? Sedan or SUV? Buy or lease? And the cost: go expensive or reasonable in cost?

Any major purchase – housing, appliances, transportation, kids’ education, and the like – needs to be evaluated both from a financial and emotional perspective.

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Gut Check in Rocky Markets… 2021 Version

From the 2014 & 2016 Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes comes a timely message – updated for 2021, as markets could get fairly rocky (read: volatile) with inflation fears, unprecedented US government debt issuance and money printing. Caution is warranted. However, timeframe and a PLAN are key.

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?”
I stress to my clients and friends: Do NOT allow short-term market moves to instill fear and lead to poor decisions.

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The GameStop Incident

OK, I’ll admit it. Until last week I had not heard of Gamestop – the company or the stock.

Of course, I have now heard of Gamestop and more including Reddit, wallstreetbets, Webull and Keith Gill (Keith Gill was called the “Original O.G.” by one trader*). And as a financial professional I am knowledgeable about what short-selling is and how “the shorts”, as they call traders who sell short stocks and other securities, can get “squeezed”. Gamestop brought shorts, short-selling and short squeezes to an entirely new level.

As Brett Danko, the founder of my firm, recently described it, “the Gamestop incident of last week transcended the world of stock trading… both for major institutional traders and individual traders”. Keith Gill and the individuals trading off chat board messages transcended stock trading similar to how Michael Jordan transcended the sport of basketball and even Muhamad Ali transcended the sport of boxing. These people and events became larger than real life – for a time.

Emotion is nearly impossible to control in trading – especially when video and social media are added to the equation.

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Check Your Beneficiaries

Another quick note this week – but important!

Whatever, whoever you want to call them: Beneficiaries, “Bennys”, Heirs… make sure to check who is listed as Beneficiary or Beneficiaries on your retirement accounts, insurance policies, IRAs or in your Will (if you have a Will).*

Inevitably, time flies. Loved ones pass away or important loved ones, well, change. (Think: divorce, relationship changes). On the positive side, new beneficiaries, or heirs, are born or enter the picture! In the busy-ness of life, often the accuracy of beneficiaries goes unchecked.

angelic statue and sunset scenery
NO ONE enjoys talking about their death, but bottom line, after your death, it is too late to change beneficiaries.

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Luck, Timing & Investing

From the Archives of TGIF 2 Minutes….

There is an element of luck involved in investing. A specific term for this luck is, “Sequence of Returns.” What on earth is that? Answer: it is a risk. And it may just be the most important concept in the world if you ever wish to spend your savings – and have them last as long as you need.

green plants on black soil
There is an element of luck involved in investing. A specific term for this luck is, “Sequence of Returns.” 

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Investment Ideas & the Weekend BBQ

Over what will undoubtedly be a most unusual Memorial Day weekend the possible topics of conversation will be endless. Everything is fair game this year – especially politics (and maybe sex and religion too). Also high on the list will likely be:

  • what is proper social distancing
  • kids’ drive-by graduation celebrations
  • how many Zoom cocktail hours were held in the past 8-10 weeks.

close photography of grilled meat on griddle

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Special Edition: Now Russian Oil Is In the Mix

A couple of points of perspective to this very hectic open to the US stock markets:

  • There are comparisons today and the past two weeks to the 2008-2009 financial crisis. The US stock markets were most volatile n Fridays and Mondays throughout late 2008 with financial institution failures that took place over or near weekends – Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers…and then Merrill Lynch.

brown and white factory building during night time
Oil is a large, large component of US and global stock indexes and is partly leading to market weakness globally.

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Hard Seltzer or Budweiser?

With this week’s fast and furious weakness in US and global stock markets – primarily based on spread of the Coronavirus – the next “shoe to fall” likely will be slower short-term economic growth in parts of the US and definitely longer, more pronounced slow-downs in China. These types of slowdowns do happen as a part of market cycles. This situation also got me to thinking about how economic slowdowns, often over decades, have benefited beer and alcohol sales.

assorted bottles and cans in commercial coolers

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