Gratitude and Empathy

Empathy is an important characteristic for a financial advisor, and as I talk to people about their financial concerns, I find myself worrying for them about those things too. Like when a business owner I work with told me if things don’t pick up in a few months they’ll have to close their doors, or […]

The Tax Reform Pipe Dream

Congress is preparing to debate the budget deal that includes the tax reform proposed by the current administration, so I thought I’d chime in with my opinion of where this might go. In a nutshell, nowhere. First, the main thrust of this reform is aimed at reducing the corporate tax rate. The proponents say this […]

Autumn of Life

Autumn is a time for us to reflect back on the days of summer, and for the kids to go back to school. This is a post about both. I was a terrible student in high school. Getting into a good college was not a priority for me. Let’s just say I was distracted. At […]

Work Smarter, Not Harder

I met with a personal trainer this morning who told me I need to work smarter, not harder. I’d been doing hour-long weight lifting and aerobic workouts five days a week, which poses greater injury risk and, potentially, long-term heart damage. He told me I could achieve a higher fitness level, reduce injuries, and just […]

What Goes Down

There are two major economic trends that have been unfolding for almost forty years now, and both are nearing a turning point. Interest rates and tax rates have been declining since the early 1980s and both must go up at some point. I’ve been telling our clients that tax and interest rates are going to […]

Is Your Money Diversified Enough to Avoid Crisis?

I met with a prospective client recently who had an account full of actively managed mutual funds.  When I pointed out what they were paying in fees, some of which were buried in the statements and difficult to spot, I asked what they thought they got for those fees. “They’re diversifying our money well to […]

Three Reasons You Should Leave That Money in The Bank Doing Nothing

When I tell clients they need to increase their reserves, I often hear things like “Well, how much do I need to keep there doing nothing?” or “I’d rather pay off my mortgage/student loan/car loan than leave all that money there doing nothing.” Here are three reasons you should not only leave that money there, […]

Independence Day

I love the Fourth of July. I have great memories of being at my grandparents’ house in the Bronx on the fourth in 1976, where almost everything was painted red, white, and blue, and of being in Montauk in other years where this weekend was the true beginning of summer. As we approach our nation’s […]

A Medicare Planning Tip

I attended a presentation recently given by Mark Annese of Jester Financial Technologies called “What Your Clients Don’t Know About Retirement Will Hurt Them.” On the surface, the presentation was about planning for healthcare and Medicare costs in retirement. Upon closer examination, however, the presentation is really about expanding means testing for Medicare, and how […]

Flat Fee for Advice: Fad or the Future?

When we stopped basing our compensation on a percentage of the brokerage accounts we oversee in 2014 and switched to a flat fee, I couldn’t find an example of anyone else with this structure. That’s not to say there weren’t any, but I did look in earnest and couldn’t find any. But I’m starting to […]