Trading ranges and breakouts
Published 10/10/2011 at midnight
The terms “trading range” and “breakout” are often used when referring to the investment markets. In fact, the major indexes are currently in a trading range. For the S&P 500, the range is approximately 1,100 to 1,225 and for the ...
Federal budget woes and their impact on investments
Published 10/03/2011 at midnight
In the coming months as the “super committee” meets and works toward a recommendation, we may once again see increased volatility in the investment markets. It seems like this is the same song, only the second, no make that the ...
Managing the amount of taxable income annually
Published 09/26/2011 at 10:35 a.m.
Every year most of us have to file our annual tax return and pay unto Caesar what is Caesar’s as the saying goes. While we each look for every valid deduction to make sure the amount of the net taxable ...
Sidestepping estate planning mistakes
Published 09/19/2011 at midnight
In previous articles I have touched on making estate distributions easy. However, easy does not always mean fair. In conversations with most of my clients, their intent is often to split their estate equally among their children. Thus, the documents ...
Reverse mortgage as a retirement income option
Published 09/12/2011 at midnight
You cannot go a day without seeing Robert Wagner, Fred Thompson, or some other spokesperson giving their pitch on reverse mortgages. By the way this product is presented, homeowners could draw the conclusion it is the greatest thing since sliced ...
Making final distributions easier to manage
Published 09/05/2011 at midnight
For most of us our last act is one of generosity. We have gone through our life planning, saving, and consuming and in our final days, we make a gift to our loved ones. Through the use of a will ...
Avoiding running out of retirement income
Published 08/29/2011 at midnight
With the investment markets behaving as they are, the likelihood of running out of retirement income may appear to be a real possibility. Throw in the murky future of the Social Security Administration and the huge future demands on its ...
Reminder: There is risk in reacting to headlines
Published 08/22/2011 at midnight
Knee-jerk reactions to troubling headlines may cause investors to fall into the common pit of selling low after buying high. Lately, we have had a multitude of these headlines from civil wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, nuclear disasters, recession fears, debt ...
The roller coaster ride continues
Published 08/15/2011 at 10:30 a.m.
I have always enjoyed roller coaster rides, but in part I think my enjoyment came from knowing when and where the ride will end. The past three weeks or so the financial markets have provided that same feeling in the ...
Panic is not an investment strategy
Published 08/08/2011 at 11:11 a.m.
At the time I am writing this article the market recently closed down 512.76 points, or 4.3 percent with the upcoming jobs report, being the next indicator of how the market may move. Clearly, the decline was not reassuring and ...
The benefit of insurance
Published 08/01/2011 at 10:21 a.m.
The cost to own a home is not just the mortgage payment. And for the business person, there are more costs to running a business than just the cost of its inventory. When budgets are stained due to less income ...
Coming down to a photo finish
Published 07/25/2011 at 11:11 a.m.
If you are unfamiliar with the current tug-of-war going on in Congress, you must be “living under a rock” to borrow a line from the GEICO commercials. At the center of all the discussion is a very simple process, Congress ...
Investing and staying on course through the noise
Published 07/18/2011 at 10:19 a.m.
Have you consider the impact of "headline risk?" Managing investments is not an easy task. Whether it is the professional or someone managing their own accounts, to do this job well requires patience, research, time, money, discipline and the occasional ...
Making the correct decision based upon the numbers
Published 07/11/2011 at midnight
Managing investments and making financial decisions is hard enough without someone intentionally trying to confuse the issues. Here is one decision that should be made. For those of you who have a home mortgage with an interest rate 5 ½ ...
Managing the cost of healthcare
Published 07/04/2011 at midnight
Of all the costs we incur in our lifetime, the cost of healthcare is one that is difficult to control. Often there is little time to shop for required healthcare. My wife recently needed to have her gallbladder removed, and ...
Maintaining liquidity within investment portfolios
Published 06/27/2011 at 10:48 a.m.
The phrase, “Cash is king” is often used regarding investments. Generally, this is used when the markets are volatile and thus the value held in cash is not falling like other segments of a portfolio. Having cash in the portfolio ...
Will your family recognize your treasure from your trash?
Published 06/20/2011 at midnight
During our lifetimes, most of us tend to accumulate a great deal of “stuff.” Many times, this is a result of hobbies, such as collecting Hummels, coins, stamps, guns or any number of other items. Sometimes the collections do not ...
Is your financial professional an advisor or a salesperson?
Published 06/13/2011 at 9:52 a.m.
Financial professionals like any other profession are in the business to earn a living. It is unfortunate the compensation structure in this industry often leaves clients questioning the recommendations they receive. Whenever there are commissions involved, a question could arise ...
Getting back on financial track and the value of time
Published 06/06/2011 at 11:36 a.m.
This conversation could focus on the fragile economic recovery of our economy or the personal recovery of individual budgets and debt. For those starting to benefit from this recovery or have received a lump sum of cash, my focus today ...
Taxing the future and tackling the federal debt
Published 05/30/2011 at midnight
As you should be aware, our legislature is grappling with the Federal budget, Federal services, and its revenue. In other words, they are grappling with our future and potentially how we live. Many of the changes coming out of this ...
Do gold and silver still hold their luster?
Published 05/23/2011 at 11:04 a.m.
Precious metals such as gold and silver have increased in value in recent years. Based upon their current values, the questions becomes “Is there room for their price per ounce to continue to increase and if so, to what future ...
Who is managing the 401-k plan?
Published 05/16/2011 at 10:10 a.m.
For many individuals, their employer offers a pension plan. In years past, the primary plan was a defined benefit plan. This type of plan spelled out the benefit the employee was to receive and when. It was up to the ...
Mutual fund ABCs
Published 05/09/2011 at 10:41 a.m.
With mutual funds so prevalent in investor’s portfolio today, it is amazing how many are not aware of the differences in share classes. While there are share classes other than, A, B, and C these are the most common, although ...
Group Long Term Care: What is the real cost?
Published 05/02/2011 at 11:36 a.m.
Last week I discuss the importance of planning for the cost of long term care when it is provided rather than today’s costs. Another area that may create a false sense of security in my opinion, are group long term ...
Long term care or long term concern
Published 04/25/2011 at 10:53 a.m.
Everything has been done right, the home will be paid off at retirement or shortly thereafter, retirement accounts will generate the income required, funds are available for children’s college or they are already finished, and insurance is in place to ...
Are stormy headlines clouding your financial picture?
Published 04/18/2011 at 10:38 a.m.
Knee-jerk reactions to troubling headlines may cause investors to fall into the common pit of selling low after buying high. Lately, we have had a multitude of these headlines from civil wars, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados, to nuclear disasters. Whether or ...
Small changes, big results
Published 04/11/2011 at midnight
Crunch time is nearing as the 15th -- no 18th -- nears. Due to a holiday in Washington D.C., the nation gets an extra three days to worry, fret, and strain over the completion of their 2010 personal tax return. ...
Natural disasters and our economic future
Published 03/28/2011 at midnight
Since the occurrence of the Japanese earthquake on March 11, questions have been raise about our ability to continue to grow economically and the continued recovery of the financial markets. As the world watched in horror and sadness for the ...
Using life insurance as a conservative investment
Published 03/21/2011 at 11:03 a.m.
The mention of life insurance can often raise an eyebrow or a streak of fear in many individuals. However, life insurance is actually a straight forward concept. It has numerous purposes, the first of which is to replace lost income ...
Will the recovery slip on rising oil prices?
Published 03/14/2011 at 9:54 a.m.
With the unrest in oil producing countries in the Middle East such as Libya, the price of oil recently was back to the triple digit range. Adding to economic uncertainty, the devastating earthquake in Japan may take the focus away ...
Managing the budget items that make a difference
Published 03/07/2011 at 10:34 a.m.
There is an old saying, “Being penny wise but pound foolish” which can often describe an individual’s actions when it comes to trying to save on their budget. The saying refers to making what may be thought to be a ...
New investment available offering 6 percent annual yield
Published 02/28/2011 at 10:28 a.m.
The financial services industry has been a leader in developing new products in order to meet the consumer’s demand. There is now a new investment paying a six percent annual yield with income payments being made quarterly. The yield is ...
Building retirement assets and managing income taxes
Published 02/21/2011 at midnight
The 2010 tax filing season is just under way and millions of Americans are gathering their documentation and preparing for the task of completing their annual income tax return. There are two ways of treating the tax return. First, it ...
Creating retirement income for today’s investor
Published 02/14/2011 at 11:26 a.m.
How retirement income is created can make a significant difference in the retirement lifestyle. While this is not a new topic, I felt revisiting this may make a difference for those soon-to-be. The adage implies the investments should be repositioned ...
But that is what the Will says
Published 02/07/2011 at 11:02 a.m.
It is not uncommon for individuals to believe if it is in the Will, that is exactly what will happen upon their death. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are many situations where the disposition of someone’s belongings ...
Inflation’s silent impact on way of life
Published 01/31/2011 at 12:33 p.m.
Recently I received an “On This Day” report which provided information pertaining to events, people, and costs for &^$#@ years ago, my birthday. (Intentionally deleted due to the obscene size of this number.) Clearly this was not intended to remind ...
When risk is not obvious
Published 01/24/2011 at 10:03 a.m.
For many investors, risk is something you know when you see it. It shows up once the investment has already dropped ten percent or more. For others, it may be certain types of investments. But, risk can also be found ...
Early Christmas present from Uncle Sam
Published 12/27/2010 at midnight
By now I am sure you have heard the compromise President Obama made with the Republicans in order to correct some looming year-end tax issues. Part of this legislation has been expected for years, ever since the Bush JGTRRA and ...
December outlook for mutual fund distributions
Published 12/20/2010 at midnight
For investors in mutual funds, the receipt of distributions from mutual funds in December should be a normal activity. However, in recent years many of these distributions were eliminated due to market performance. I have reviewed the estimated distribution amounts ...
Creating and preserving retirement income
Published 12/06/2010 at midnight
Many individuals often spend countless hours and financial resources in order to determine what their retirement income will be and from what sources it will come. Others start their social security and pensions if available, and whatever shortfall which might ...
Basics of financial planning
Published 11/29/2010 at midnight
Financial planning does not have to be something that is available only to who make over $100,000 per year or have a net worth in the millions. There are thousands of Certified Financial Planners, each offering unique services. While some ...
Managing employee costs during economic recoveries
Published 11/22/2010 at midnight
Many small employers find themselves in need of additional help as business gradually recovers. For some industries the thought may be raised as to whether hire a new employee or hire an independent contractor. When employees are hired, the cost ...
Nervous about the cost of long term care?
Published 11/15/2010 at 11:34 a.m.
It seems many of us can create the feeling of worthlessness in a number of ways. For some, it is the purchase of a home that is too large and the owner finds themselves feeling ‘house poor’ once all of ...
Promises may lead to trouble
Published 11/08/2010 at 11:11 a.m.
The skill level of those seeking to steal from you is continuing to improve and thus it is more difficult to know when to trust and when to run. During the last year or so, I would periodically come home ...
Bottom line vs. top line
Published 10/25/2010 at 10:45 a.m.
The management of investments offers many statistics, ratios, indicators, hunches, and whispers that can be observed and followed if appropriate. Two of the most basic statistics refer to the change in the bottom line or the top line of the ...
Summer heat and 2009 tax season both in past
Published 10/18/2010 at 4:01 p.m.
Many of you may have recently breathed a sigh of relief, myself included, as you sent off your completed 2009 tax returns by last Friday. For those who file early and may not know, each October 15th is the last ...
Creating great financial mentors through grandparents
Published 10/11/2010 at midnight
Children today are not always prepared to handle financial matters, regardless of their age. Several years ago the mother of one of my clients passed away, leaving a substantial estate to her three sons. My client was the youngest and ...
What to do with old 401-k assets
Published 10/04/2010 at midnight
Our society no longer works for one company for life and as a result, many employees end up with various retirement accounts still with former employers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is only one report covering 18 ...
The recession ended June 2009
Published 09/27/2010 at 10:26 a.m.
It was recently reported by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) that the recession ended more than one year ago. This organization was founded in 1920 and is a private, non-profit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to the understanding of ...
Understanding the importance of financial flexibility and liquidity
Published 09/20/2010 at midnight
In recent weeks while assisting new clients it has been surprising to me the lack of liquidity some retirement portfolios provide. Since a large portion of my practice is working with those who have retired, it is my preference to ...