Blog

What’s on our mind? You can read about it in our blog. Whether it’s ideas from the industry or emerging trends, you can read about it here. And once in a while, we may throw in a book review or some other surprise. So keep checking in. We’re glad to have you reading along.

 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Where are the economists today that understand the lives of ordinary Americans? Those that I read tend to dismiss the distress among regular folks as due to misperceptions or a lack of sophistication. My own observation of inflation is...

 

Friday, April 12, 2024

Now that tax season is almost over, I have a prediction. The federal government will collect a lot more in taxes. This will not be because of any politician’s policies, but because interest rates are higher. Clients are paying more in...

 

Friday, March 29, 2024

While having drinks at a hole-in-the-wall café, a friend said to me that “those greedy oil companies should stop charging so much for gas.” Knowing that she had just sold her house, I asked her if she had lowered the price. After all,...

 

Friday, March 15, 2024

No, inflation is not caused by greedy corporations. Inflation is caused by too much money chasing too few goods. Of course, the possibility exists that corporations are schizophrenic, sometimes deciding to raise prices and sometimes...

 

Monday, March 4, 2024

I do not know if it is I who does not understand politicians or if it is politicians who do not share my concerns. I am a financial planner. I want people to be able to save money for retirement. I believe that it is an injustice that...

 

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Friday, February 23, 2024

I have been thinking differently lately about the Dutch tulip mania of the seventeenth century. Yes, I know, that makes me a bit of a weirdo. Most people know of the tulip bubble from Charles Mackay’s Memoirs of Extraordinary...

 

Friday, February 16, 2024

This Presidents’ Day I am chucking precedent and recognizing the achievements of Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1945, President Harry Truman appointed the former first lady to the United States delegation to the newly created United...

 

Friday, February 2, 2024

Fed chairman Jerome Powell surprised investors, but I don’t know why. Powell is engaged in a tug-of-war with the federal government. Remember, the Fed has more than one means to stimulate or slow the economy. One is by raising...

 

Friday, January 26, 2024

The economy grew by an unexpected 3.3% in the fourth quarter. I say unexpected because the numbers came in above economist’s predictions. Readers of our blog and newsletter know that we were not on board with those expectations....

 

Friday, January 19, 2024

If we do not know what is important, we will focus on the wrong things. Nothing reinforced this fact for me more than the realization that it is possible to attend the funerals of both fathers and children for the same reason. As...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

The example of Greece gives me new hope for America in 2024. Throughout my life Greece has been plagued by tragedy, poor governance, poverty, military coups, bailouts, and dictatorship. The World Factbook points out that “from...

 

Friday, December 22, 2023

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol could easily be the source of a financial planner’s creed.  “No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused” is great advice. Those who don’t...

 

Friday, December 15, 2023

Is there now a Powell Put? Many clients will remember the famous Greenspan Put of the 1990s. Investors became so enamored of then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan’s talents at managing the economy that they felt comfortable buying...

 

Friday, December 1, 2023

Call it Manichaeism or 180ism, binary thinking is the source of many an intractable problem. I noted this in a really great book on Social Security, Medicare, and Government Pensions (also the title) that I read for my continuing...

 

Thursday, November 23, 2023

I never associated Thanksgiving with the Pilgrim story. I still don’t. For me Thanksgiving Day will always be tied to the desire for national unity shared by Abraham Lincoln and Sara Josepha Hale. It is Hale who lobbied Lincoln...

 

Friday, November 17, 2023

The new interest-rate environment means that many investors will have to reevaluate what performance means. The adoption by the Fed of artificially low rates combined with a similarly artificial shortage of fixed-income investments...

 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Does anybody remember Andrew Left? I do, and his story should serve as a reminder to everyone who does business with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that they are risking everything, especially if they believe in the importance of...

 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Sometimes a little history helps us anticipate what might happen in the future. We are living in a time that is in some ways similar to that which led up to the Great Recession. One big difference is that we are not in a credit-driven...

 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Global events paused the rise in longer-term interest rates. Whenever there is uncertainty, we experience a flight to safety. This pulled the 10-year Treasury Note yield back to under 4.8%. We saw the same flight to safety when Silicon...

 

Thursday, October 12, 2023

It has been said that western civilization stands on two legs. One is in Athens and the other in Jerusalem. The values that we cherish today are the result of these two pillars. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that...

 

Friday, October 6, 2023

I have great respect for The Economist. During the midterm elections they called the results with amazing accuracy. Of course, I love opinions that are backed up with statistics and lots of graphs. No, I never had a pocket protector,...

 

Friday, September 29, 2023

I think of it as the crypto indicator. While there are many ways to measure how overvalued or undervalued markets are, crypto seems to me to be the purist. Many measures of valuation use some sort of comparison between the interest...

 

Friday, September 22, 2023

Do you have any favorite Clint Eastwood movies? Mine are Pale Rider and Unforgiven, which I feel permanently placed Eastwood among America’s greatest actors/directors. However, it is Dirty Harry that provides his most memorable...

 

Friday, September 15, 2023

By a ratio of about 6:1, clients requested that I post my third and last blog about how my family came to America. This is the result for those who are interested. Jeanne Renée Charlotte de MONDION alone charted the course of my...

 

Friday, September 1, 2023

Next week I shall return to writing about finance, taxes, and financial planning. For those who are interested, below is blog number two of my Biarritz adventure. Let us know if you would like me to send my third and final post on the...

 

Friday, August 25, 2023

I shall be writing from the southern French city of Biarritz for several weeks because of Jeanne Renée Charlotte de MONDION. More accurately, I am here because of a letter she wrote on the first of March 1815. Jeanne (which I...

 

Friday, August 18, 2023

Not failing is a good thing. Now that earnings season is at an end, most companies beat analyst’s earnings expectations. Hannah Miao of The Wall Street Journal explains that the 79% beat rate is due to reduced expectations. Ms....

 

Friday, August 11, 2023

It seems inescapable to me that much of our continuing inflation difficulties result from Vladimir Putin’s evil assault on Ukraine. At the same time, I believe that much of the improvement in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the...

 

Friday, July 21, 2023

Maybe inflation is tamed and maybe interest rates will fall soon. That better happen for the traders who are excited about the latest inflation report. I am not so sure. For those who may have missed it, the Consumer Price Index (CPI)...

 

Friday, July 14, 2023

Bastille Day is a good time to reflect on the importance of free speech to a prosperous and dynamic society. Almost a fifth of the infamous Bastille prison’s occupants, including free-speech advocate Voltaire, found themselves...

 

Friday, June 30, 2023

Is it different this time around? Renowned investor Sir John Templeton famously said that “this time is different’ are among the most costly four words in market history.” That is because there are always good reasons...

 

Friday, June 23, 2023

Most investors understand what a price-to-earnings ratio (P/E) is. A measure of value, P/E is nothing more than a stock or index price divided by earnings. When we buy a business, we do so in the hopes of sharing in that...

 

Friday, June 16, 2023

Declining energy prices gave the Federal Reserve a reason to pause rate hikes this month. May consumer prices for all items, not seasonally adjusted, came in at a moderating 4%. Almost all this moderation can be attributed to declining...

 

Friday, June 9, 2023

Do you remember when widows enjoyed respectable retirements from the income provided by “gilt” securities? I do. Yet, many people today do not. At a business conference that I attended recently, a young representative told...

 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Louis Manesca’s tombstone stands out amidst my other ancestor’s decaying and illegible monuments. Its mirror finish and clear writing are accompanied by an American flag that marks it as the resting place of one of...

 

Monday, May 22, 2023

If TINA is really dead, I shall not mourn her. Yes, she was the life of the party, and many people will miss her. Although I never expected the blowout to last for 14 years, we all need to sober up eventually. After all, not everyone...

 

Friday, May 12, 2023

I still have the scar on my left shin. Without saying a word, my brother and I had the same idea to play chicken while riding our bikes. Predictably, the two skinny front wheels of our English Racers collided with a precision that we...

 

Friday, April 28, 2023

Some market events happen slowly while others come from out of nowhere. The failure to distinguish between the two can destroy our plans.The Covid pandemic is an example of a sudden event that cannot be anticipated. The same is true of...

 

Friday, April 21, 2023

Many equity bulls have convinced themselves that the Federal Reserve (Fed) will cut rates by 1% before the end of the year. I don’t think so, even though I understand how anyone born after 1960 has been conditioned to expect a...

 

Friday, April 14, 2023

Finance reporters love to declare the death of reliable rules of thumb. I understand this, coming up with things to write about is not always the easiest thing to do. Yet, I have had to debunk the death of these useful guides...

 

Friday, March 31, 2023

A friend of mine had a saying that I always detested for its cruelty. Whenever we had a market reversal, he would tell me that “money always returns to its rightful owners.” Unfortunately, there is an element of truth to...

 

Friday, March 24, 2023

We took our annual family trip to Park City recently, so I wrote my blogs ahead of time. Then Silicon Valley Bank failed. Now I am writing my fourth blog post on banks. So much for “be prepared.” I need to address the...

 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A clearing firm, such as Pershing, is different from a bank in very important ways. Banks refer to their depositors as customers. In most ways, they are not. Customers are people who pay a person or a firm. Bank depositors are...

 

Friday, March 17, 2023

We are not trendy at all. Treasure Coast Financial Planning has no debt. During the Great Recession, we did not lay anybody off as our big competitors axed staff while using government money to give themselves multi-million-dollar...

 

Monday, March 13, 2023

What we are seeing in California is a traditional bank run with a Silicon Valley twist. I do not believe that Silicon Valley Bank is representative of the banking industry today or that we are witnessing a...

 

Friday, March 3, 2023

The law of supply and demand is an incredible thing, too bad that we have so many politicians who ignore it. I bring this up for personal reasons. Due to a lack of housing in Canada, the Trudeau administration has banned foreigners...

 

Friday, February 24, 2023

Are you investing as if you were just starting out in life? Many people are. For most of us, our first stock-market experience comes when we become eligible to participate in our employer’s 401(k) or 403(b) plans. These deferred...

 

Friday, February 17, 2023

I first heard about the run on Northern Rock bank in September 2007, while playing ping-pong on a terrasse high on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A British physician said to me “you’re the financial guy, should I...

 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Donor-advised funds (DAF) are public charities into which we can make a charitable gift today and disperse the funds to the causes we support in the future. Many people value the flexibility of a DAF when incorporating charitable...

 

Friday, January 27, 2023

Donating to charity is not a tax dodge. Yes, giving to charity can reduce our taxes, which may provide leverage for our gifting plans, but the money we lose in making a gift is usually more than the taxes we might save by giving our...

 

Friday, January 20, 2023

January is a great time for all of us to review our written goals. If you do not have them, now is the time to begin. Writing down what we want forces us to distinguish between momentary desires and those things that are truly...

 

Friday, January 13, 2023

Do you ever feel guilty about not giving to a friend’s charitable cause? I do. This is especially true in December when we tend to think about those in need and feel grateful for what we have. After all, Scrooges and Grinches are...

 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Once again, Congress has rewritten the retirement-plan rules between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I am sure that this is only done with the well-being of the American people in mind, that no favors were exchanged, and that...

 

Friday, December 23, 2022

May all the joys of the holiday season gladden your heart. Enjoy every single moment of it with the family and friends you hold close to in life. Happy holiday, and a wonderful New Year!

 

Friday, December 16, 2022

I think way too much about dead economists. I probably think too much about live ones as well, but that is another subject. Lately, I have been pondering Frédéric Bastiat, the French economist who in 1850 wrote his famous...

 

Friday, December 9, 2022

It happens every year at about this time. Clients receive calls from a stockbroker or insurance agent telling them about time-critical actions that need to be taken. Often, there is a mutual fund or annuity that they just have to have...

 

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Contentious midterm elections are over and Thanksgiving is upon us.  Now seems an appropriate moment to reproduce Abraham Lincoln’s original 1863 proclamation creating a national day of gratitude. By the President of...

 

Friday, November 18, 2022

How do you explain the impossibility of a thing? This question brings to mind an inconsequential conversation I had with a childhood friend many years ago. Upon his return from a trip to Iran shortly before the abdication of Mohammad...

 

Friday, November 11, 2022

I nearly brought my grandfather’s Victory Medal with me when I went to France last summer. I thought about using it to ward off the war-monger accusations that invariably come from Europeans when I take classes in France. I have...

 

Friday, November 4, 2022

How good are personal finance books? Yale economist James Choi * thought he would find out and read several best-sellers only to discover “how at odds some of the advice was with what we as economists thought was the right thing...

 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Education and intellect do not protect us from our psychological blind spots. There is no Mr. Spock who is a flesh-and-blood-computer devoid of emotions. Even if we were, it wouldn’t help us. Those who regularly read our...

 

Friday, October 21, 2022

I have never actually written down and numbered what has come to be known in the office as Guyisms. One of these is that “nearly everything that you think you know for certain is probably wrong.” I thought about this when I...

 

Friday, October 14, 2022

The subject of why I believed a few months ago that it was too early to ramp up risk and go bottom fishing came up in a conversation with my brother recently. The answer is simple enough. I have been through this before, which reminds...

 

Friday, October 7, 2022

This week provided the perfect example of why we should not allow ourselves to come under the sway of either the “house money effect” or the “snakebit effect.” Monday and Tuesday’s rallies were among the...

 

Friday, September 30, 2022

We know from studies of investors in the United States, Europe, and Asia that we are all prone to psychological traits that cause us to make the same investing mistakes. The first is the “house-money effect.” When markets...

 

Friday, September 23, 2022

I am paying close attention to the recent market volatility. We shall be rebalancing accounts accordingly and have already begun locking in some of the rates that this turmoil has provided us. We are not completely there yet, since the...

 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Wisdom doesn’t feel as good as I thought it would. In my youth, I unquestioningly believed that the fall of the Iron Curtain meant a new age of peace, understanding, and cooperation. Free trade would make old-fashioned military...

 

Friday, September 9, 2022

I shall follow up with my posts on the labor market soon, but right now I want to comment on recurring volatility by quoting Warren Buffet. In 1973, he told the Sunday Journal and Star o*f Lincoln, Nebraska that “in the short run...

 

Friday, September 2, 2022

It is appropriate that America honors workers in September and not in May. The discovery of the New World turned the relationship between owners and workers on its head, a condition that continues to the present day. Europe always had...

 

Friday, August 26, 2022

Bumper-sticker slogans prevent us from achieving our goals. You know the ones that I mean, the ones that come in 140 characters or less. Behaviorists refer to these as availability heuristics and they are often non-sequiturs. They...

 

Friday, August 19, 2022

I learned of the attack on Salman Rushdie while reading On Liberty by J. S. Mill. There is nothing surprising about the coincidence. I have a strong interest in the subject of liberty of expression and few have ever made a better...

 

Friday, August 12, 2022

They are always so happy when they make the terrible mistake. I am talking about people who win the lottery or suddenly come into money. The quotes are something like “we gave all of it to the kids” or “we bought...

 

Friday, July 29, 2022

They always let me down. Every time I see a headline about a big breakthrough in renewable-energy production or energy storage, it turns out to be nothing more than a press release or evangelism. This is not to say that we are not...

 

Friday, July 22, 2022

We spend an awful lot of time talking about the need for new sources of energy. The words we use are imprecise and often contradictory. We say renewable and clean energy as if they are the same thing. Wood and ethanol are renewable,...

 

Friday, July 1, 2022

We are today in the midst of human events that challenge the assumption that anything is self-evident. I write these words on a continent where, only 1,200 miles away, a brutal land war is raging. The small village where I am staying,...

 

Friday, June 24, 2022

Imagine that the Republican and Democratic parties suddenly disappeared. That has nearly happened here in France. Unlike our system, French elections take place on Sundays and occur in two rounds. In the recent presidential elections,...

 

Friday, June 17, 2022

I thought that it was a pretty good time to start a business the last time that the Federal Reserve raised rates 0.75%. Bill Clinton was president and Newt Gingrich led the first Republican congress in four decades. Fed chairman Alan...

 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Here we go again. When people realized that we were in a real pandemic two years ago, I decided to send a letter every Monday advising people not to panic. I cautioned people about changing their objectives or going to cash. Markets...

 

Friday, June 10, 2022

The most obvious sign of inflation in France is the price of gasoline. My Ukrainian cabdriver explained to me how difficult life has become as the result of unrestrained inflation. Electric chargers dot the streets, but so far, I have...

 

Friday, June 3, 2022

The great statesman Georges Clemenceau famously fled France to avoid being sent to the Devil’s Island penal system in French Guiana. His crime was defying his governments censorship policies. From the secure city of New York, he...

 

Friday, May 27, 2022

Abraham Lincoln was not wrong about a lot of things, but he was wrong about one thing. In his dedication of the cemetery at Gettysburg, Lincoln assured his listeners that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say...

 

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Friday, December 3, 2021

The easiest problem to solve is the one that never happens. Yet, we spend a lot of time and money fixing things that could have been avoided. Sometimes, unnecessary difficulties are the result of procrastination. Other times, they are...

 

Friday, November 26, 2021

Every year at this time we receive last-minute requests that are time-sensitive. Year-end finances are always a challenge, but the ongoing disruptions caused by the pandemic magnify them. Many back-office personnel are still working...

 

Friday, November 19, 2021

For many months we have recommended that investors lower their long-term return assumptions. Very simply, when asset prices are high, we can expect future returns to be lower than average. Conversely, when asset prices are low, we can...

 

Thursday, November 11, 2021

There are many aspects of what we do that are very satisfying. We are in one of the helping professions, which provides us with the sense of purpose necessary for ongoing enthusiasm and commitment. We are grateful for that, but it does...

 

Friday, November 5, 2021

I saw the film Network in 1976 with my future wife at the Arnold Theater in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. Beyond being blown away by Faye Dunaway’s portrayal of someone akin to Mary Tyler Moore’s evil twin, I realized...

 

Friday, October 29, 2021

I do not want to benefit from the misfortune of others. Unfortunately, some of our best clients are the widows of driven men, although lately we are seeing the misfortune of the driven woman. This is not progress. Typically, a person...

 

Friday, October 22, 2021

People spend an amazing amount of time worrying about things that they cannot control. For example, we worry about what the stock market is going to do today, or this week, or this year. Yet, we have no control over what the markets...

 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Did you know that 2021 began with 50% of US senators and 32% of US representatives being 65 years old or more? Chuck Grassley and Diane Feinstein had reached 87, while 21 senators were between 70 and 80 years old. Recently, William...

 

Friday, October 8, 2021

More and more of our clients are living into their hundreds. Many of our clients today are still active in their nineties. This can be a wonderful thing, as long and healthy lives can also be joyful and meaningful. We have the...

 

Friday, October 1, 2021

Few disciplines require advanced goal-setting skills more than competitive sports. Natural ability is fine, but athletes are competing exclusively against others who possess natural ability. Success requires the identification of the...

 

Friday, September 24, 2021

The ancient Greeks understood that the purpose of life is to achieve happiness. From the Greek perspective, all things have a perfect end. The perfect end of an acorn is an oak tree. Anything that interferes with the perfect end is bad...

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

A couple of weeks ago we discussed the ways we spend money and the opportunity costs we accept when making those choices. You can read the post here. We now know the basic principles for spending money with the goal of sustainable...

 

Friday, September 10, 2021

I loved going to all of the musical events when my children were young and always felt that we made a good decision in choosing a school that did not neglect the arts. The board should have made a plea for funds immediately after any...

 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Have you ever been to the Park City Museum in Utah? I make it a point to go there every time we take our annual family ski vacation. The museum is housed in the old City Hall, which also housed the Police Department, the Fire...

 

Friday, August 27, 2021

We frequently encounter people who decide to buy a house that is far from where they work. Typically, a larger and more beautiful home, probably with a pool, can be purchased where land costs are a small part of the price. Often, a...

 

Friday, August 20, 2021

The simple fact is that we cannot do everything. When we choose to do one thing, we are also choosing not to do something else. In economics, this is called opportunity cost. Because neither time nor resources are limitless, we need to...

 

Friday, August 13, 2021

The best way to gauge the happiness bang for the buck is to reflect on our own lives. What memories do you have that make you feel happier just by recalling them? When you think about it, you will certainly find that the memories that...

 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Many, or possibly most, people do not know how to spend money for maximum and sustainable happiness. Worse, too many people spend money in a way that is destructive to their ability to achieve their goals. Lack of familiarity with the...

 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Answers: Answers Citation: Gates, Bill. Essay. In How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, 58. Alfred A. Knopf, 2021.

 

Friday, July 16, 2021

We all know the story of Cinderella, whose mother died and whose father got remarried. When Cinderella’s dad passed away, Cinderella became a servant in her own home. Do you think this is a fairytale? Unfortunately, stories very...

 

Friday, July 9, 2021

After careful consideration, you may decide that you wish to establish a plan that provides for the management of your affairs while you are living, avoids probate, and ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes...

 

Friday, July 2, 2021

In an earlier post, I explained that assets that are solely in our names, or held as tenants in common and community property, will pass to our beneficiaries through the probate process. Some trusts will also pass via probate, but that...

 

Friday, June 25, 2021

The sad fact is that too often our estates do not go to our intended beneficiaries. This is not to say that we have not done all of the right things. We went to the attorney, often several times. We participated in a formal signing...

 

Friday, June 18, 2021

Among the first questions we ask people during our first meeting is “have you done any estate planning?” The response is usually “I/we have a will.” Sometimes we hear “we don’t need that” or...

 

Friday, June 11, 2021

Among the most important services that we provide is the ongoing coaching that clients need in order for their plans to succeed. We never want to see the time, effort, and money invested in planning go to waste. We believe that...

 

Friday, May 28, 2021

My first recollection of “Decoration Day” is watching a parade from the window of our apartment in Queens, New York. Soldiers carrying rifles and uniformed veterans of the First and Second World Wars marched to a small...

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

How to tax capital gains is a topic of much discussion today. Yet, we find that many people do not understand how we tax gains on assets. Generally, we tax long-term gains (assets held more than a year) at preferred rates. Assets sold...

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

We all have an obligation to make life as healthy, fulfilling, and safe as possible for those who may have physical or mental conditions that make life especially challenging. Fortunately, we have tools available to us to improve...

 

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The primary reason that we involve ourselves in tax preparation is that an in-depth understanding of taxes is crucial to providing quality financial-planning advice. This is why we are so proud that Anthony has successfully completed...

 

Friday, February 5, 2021

The fact that we share a common language and have constitutionally-protected rights to interstate trade and travel can sometimes make us forget that each state has its own laws, courts, and legislatures. In our very mobile society,...

 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Congress and the Federal Reserve acted with necessary haste last year to implement rules and policies designed to prevent economic collapse. Among those changes is the suspension of Required Minimum Distributions from retirement plans....

 

Friday, January 1, 2021

The whirlwind that the pandemic unleashed on the world can dampen our appreciation of the amazing technological strides that we made last year. I need to remind myself how miraculous it is that via my iPhone I can listen to live radio...

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Years ago, when we went camping at Anastasia State Park, one of our children had the brilliant idea of making a bear trap to protect us as we slept. This ingenious contraption consisted of strings tied to sticks hammered into the...

 

Friday, December 18, 2020

If we have learned anything from the events of 2020, it is to remind ourselves of what is truly important in our lives. This year has reinforced for us how much a sense of purpose is essential to living a fulfilled life. The simple...

 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

It hardly seems like 49 years since the song Won’t Get Fooled Again by The Who became a big hit. Every election the song comes to mind as I ponder how we do allow ourselves to be repeatedly fooled. We read newspaper articles and...

 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

We can drive a nail with a wrench and we can unscrew a nut with a pair of pliers. When we lack the proper tools that is better than nothing. Still, we should always use the right tool for the right job. This is also true with our...

 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Anybody who grew up in a northern tourist town can relate to the movie Jaws. For the fictional community of Amity Island, the season bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day represents life or death for the tiny village. The killer...

 

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

A small group of strangers gathered on Memorial Island at 4:00 AM on February 8, 2010 to watch the last space shuttle pierce the night sky over Florida. Following the launch, we quietly shared our mutual sense of having lost something....

 

Friday, May 15, 2020

By far, the most rewarding aspect of this job is helping clients deal with the challenges in their lives. Helping people work through emotional decisions or a family crisis is especially important in making our jobs meaningful. Asset...

 

Monday, May 4, 2020

As a teenager, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the New Tamiami Air Race, which took place here in Florida. My luck came about because, during high school, I hung around a local airfield owned by the renowned polar explorer,...

 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

So much of what we read purports to tell us what the future will bring. Among the most common admonitions is that we should not expect things to ever be the same. Things are never the same, nor should they be. Extreme challenges drive...

 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Now for the hard part. The disruptions in the financial markets have been largely soothed by the extraordinary efforts of the Federal Reserve. Forward-looking market participants are following the adage “don’t fight the Fed...

 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

This shall be the last of my discussions of developing human capital and charitable planning, for a while at least. Once families have developed their charitable mission plans, they will need to determine the best way to make their...

 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

What happens when the interests of insurance-company lobbyists and politicians converge? The answer is called the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE). For many years, insurance companies have fretted over...

 

Monday, December 30, 2019

For the first time in many years, Congress has made consequential revisions to the rules governing Qualified Retirement Plans. The Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE) effects many of our clients...

 

Friday, November 15, 2019

We spend a lot of time focused on certain metrics or benchmarks because they are easily measured. Whether we are counting the number of steps we take in a day or our investment performance relative to an arbitrary benchmark, we use...

 

Monday, October 7, 2019

Did you know that how much student debt a person is likely to have varies greatly depending upon which state you live in? According to the Institute for College Access and Success, the highest level is in Connecticut, where the...

 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Perhaps it is wisdom that has allowed me to recognize the fallacy of so many of my youthful beliefs. I truly thought that the economic liberation of the People’s Republic of China, under Deng Xiaoping, foretold a future of...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

I want to thank all of our clients who responded so well to our water-bottle initiative. Discovering how many of our clients are concerned about the natural beauty of their communities is gratifying. One client alerted us to the...

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My wife and I love to go sailing in the ocean off of Fort Pierce Inlet during the months of May, June, and July. The water turns that magnificent turquoise color that we see on the Chamber-of-Commerce calendar. The seas tend to be low,...

 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

If you have ever considered ditching your cable bill, you are not alone. In the first quarter of this year, Comcast lost 121,000 pay-TV subscribers while AT&T lost 544,000 pay-TV customers. That means nearly 700,000 “cut the...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Anyone who attends our public presentations knows how much we value all of the quality information that is free to us as Americans. We are much better off than the citizens of Canada, who struggle with terrible gaps in necessary...

 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Some people view tax day as a cause for regret. We think that tax day is the perfect day to rethink our goals and to prepare for the future. This is the first year under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) and some of the...

 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Most retirement planning focuses on the search for the most efficient means to save enough money for something called “retirement.” In other words, retirement planning is planning to quit our jobs. We plan to retire from...

 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

During the tax preparation process, clients often ask us what they can do to lower their tax bill. Unfortunately, as many of you have heard, “April is too late for tax planning.” While we work diligently with clients to...

 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Having The Talk Recently, we presented to a group of clients our new template for crafting letters of instruction to their heirs. We are gratified by the kind and positive feedback from everybody who attended. While still a work in...

 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

When is it appropriate to adjust your investment objective? One thing is for sure; it is never when we are emotionally swept up by market exuberance, or conversely, when we are in the grips of widespread panic. Instead, our objectives...