Category Archives: Planning & Investing

The Correction

A reminder:

“Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections, or trying to anticipate corrections, than has been lost in corrections themselves.”
~ Peter Lynch

Three Great Truths About Corrections:

  1. We cannot, without great luck, call the start of a correction.
  2. We cannot, without great luck, call the end of a correction.
  3. We know that the correction will be temporary.

If you are invested, stay the course. Let all Corrections do their job and live their lives in Peace.

Beautifully Said

“We have, in this philosophy, long since established the truth that all significant investment success is temperamental rather than intellectual. That temperament is beyond countercultural in the population at large; it is downright counterintuitive.”

–   Nick Murray, Around The Year, 2016

Private College Scholarships

Of the 3 buckets of college money – Need based, Merit based and Private Scholarships – the one most overlooked is Private Scholarships. For good reason – not many people know where to begin, it is tedious and it can be difficult to motivate your student to do the work.

As part of becoming a client of our firm, you are entitled to receive our Private Scholarship Program, written by Ben Kaplan.

Ben Kaplan is the best-selling author of ‘How to Go to College Almost for Free’ It is based on his experiences in winning two dozen scholarships worth $90,000 enough to cover virtually the entire cost of his Harvard degree. Since launching the book in 1999, he has saved tens of thousands of families half a billion dollars in college costs. Kaplan was named the “Top Student Leader in America” by the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Private Scholarships are a viable source of money for college. It is not easy, but can be worthwhile.

Making Your Final College Choice

Important points as you make your final College Choice.

Key Points:

  • Paying for College is a RETIREMENT FUNDING Problem. You CANNOT subordinate your Retirement to the College Funding process.
  • Keep in mind Colleges are Businesses.
  • Nickels & Dimes add up to Dollars.
  • Work Hard to find schools that are a value (that you can afford)!

The Key to paying for college is PLANNING. Setting a budget UP FRONT, to pick a school where your child will thrive…that ENDS UP FAIR and REASONABLE in PRICE…that you, as a family, can afford!

Discuss the BUDGET with your child, setting the FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS up front.

Is My Advisor Worth the Fee?

Vanguard, the most fee-sensitive, anti-Advisor, pro-do it yourself financial company that I know, did a study, the results of which are published in their paper titled, Advisor’s Alpha.

Vanguard concludes, beautifully, that the value added by working with a competent financial advisor is roughly 3% per year, net after fees.

Studies done by Morningstar, Aon Hewitt and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada all back up Vanguard’s findings.

The Canadian study went further, finding 61% of those paying for advice answered affirmatively to, “I have peace of mind” compared to only 36% of the “no plan” peers.

While I’m a firm, yet biased believer, the math doesn’t lie. The multiplication of those gains over a lifetime of investing is staggering.

Jack Bogel On Saving For Retirement

“The one thing you absolutely, without question, unavoidably, simply must not do while saving for retirement”.

“Don’t you dare open that monthly statement you get about your retirement account”, says Jack Bogle, founder of the mutual fund giant Vanguard, which now has about $3 trillion of assets under management. “You’re gonna get a statement every month”, says Bogle. “Don’t open it. Never open it. Don’t peek. Wait until you actually get to your retirement, then you can open your statement (although, Bogle jokes, you may want to have a cardiologist on hand). Not knowing how much you have growing in a retirement account makes you less likely to want to raid it when your kids go to college or when you want to buy that shiny new car. It also makes you less likely to trade in and out of the market, which can be a fool’s errand”.

Article in Money Magazine – August 4, 2015

Retirement Plan Beneficiaries

To avoid unintentional consequences, please review the beneficiaries of your 401(k), 403(b), annuities, pensions, IRAs and life insurance policies to account for life changes such as marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse or the death of a beneficiary.

As well, favorable rules apply when you name contingent beneficiaries on IRAs. Be sure you named contingent beneficiaries on your IRAs.

Market Turmoil

In light of the recent market declines, I offer the following:

Please don’t panic; rather, embrace the fact that your 401k, monthly savings and reinvested dividends are buying solid, high quality funds of the world’s best companies at a discount.

Long Term Investing

Another Reason for Patient, Disciplined Long Term Investing

At my birth in 1960, my life expectancy was 67.4 years. Fifty-five years later, it is 87 years.

My 84 year old father-in-law had a life expectancy at his birth of 59.7 years.

We are living much longer. Our money has to last, on average, through a 30 year retirement.

Save your money, save a lot of your money. You’re going to need it.