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Flipping Coins

A recent S&P/Dow Jones Indices study came to the conclusion that those well-dressed, highly-compensated mutual fund managers (whom you and I are paying) – with all their research, glossy brochures, and inside access – aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The...

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Pulp Fiction

“Pack the car mama – we’re gonna live on Easy Street.” That’s the refrain I hear as the stock market continues to defy gravity and set weekly records. Everyday folks are running to the mailbox to see how much richer they are this month than last. I hate to burst your...

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Back to School

Sending kids (back) to college can be a bit frightening for a whole bunch of Mom and Dad reasons. But one – often overlooked concern is financial literacy. Here are some conversation topics that could make for a real education. Credit Cards: Your kids will be...

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It’s All Relative

Those who follow me know that I’m not the biggest fan of Wall Street for the simple reason that the rules of their game are biased in their favor – and against the average investor. So when I ran across a recent article – authored by a Wall Street muckity-muck – I...

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A New Twist on Life Insurance

One of the most daunting risks faced by those over 60 is the cost of long-term-care. And hey - if you’re far from 60 – don’t skip this article – it includes you! Experts say 70% of us will need some form of long-term care – and not necessarily the “end-of-life” kind...

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401k Guarantees?

As my colleagues and I inform people about a pathway to personal wealth and retirement income that blows the socks off of “Wall Street” plans – we find more people coming to the defense of their 401k (or it’s close cousins – the IRA, 403b, 457, SIMPLE, and SEP). It’s...

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House of Cards

There’s not a whole lot of disagreement that another bubble is going to burst soon. The only debate is what “soon” means. The catalyst that brings on the next round of financial calamity may turn out to be a close relative of the catalyst that brought on the last...

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The High Cost of Bank CDs

I recently built this chart for a series of speaking engagements I was asked to deliver. I used it to make a variety of different points – many of which I’ll share with you in the coming weeks. But for starters, I wanted to highlight some thoughts about investing fees...

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Illusions of the 401k Kind

Chances are – you’ve looked at your 401k (or similar) statement lately and noticed that it has gone up in value.  Congratulations!  But on further inspection, is that growth a result of your wise investing decisions - or is something else going on? Before you conclude...

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Another Reason Fees Matter

Okay – so I tend to rail on the cost of Wall Street fees and commissions.  But I do so for two important reasons.  First, it matters – a great deal.  Second, most of us just don’t pay enough attention to fees.  If we discovered termites eating away at our home, we...

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The Power of Zero

David McKnight’s book – The Power of Zero, asks a very interesting question: “What tax bracket do you want to be in when you retire?” Most of would us never ask ourselves such a question because we don’t think we have much influence over it.  But that thinking can...

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Why are Home Prices So Slow to Recover?

I committed the cardinal sin of arguing with a client recently over what happened in the housing bubble of 2008.  He owns a number of rental properties, and insists that greedy banks caused the mortgage collapse by writing bad loans.  My take is a bit different – okay...

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The Thing about Losing Money….

Let’s face it – we’re not sooth-sayers and neither are our financial advisors.  So from time to time – a market or an investment is going to stick us with a loss.  No big deal.  Get back on the up elevator and it will soon be a distant memory. But the truth is, losses...

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Tuition Free College, Anyone?

Here’s a novel idea for college bound students and their families that looks like it’s about to be tested for real in – of all places – Michigan. The idea is that students would be able to go to college tuition-free for the duration of their studies.  In exchange, the...

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60 Minutes: “The Stock Market is Rigged”

60 Minutes recent declaration that the stock market is rigged (based on Michael Lewis' new book Flash Boys) isn’t much of a revelation.  My book - Rigged, Unlearning Mainstream Financial Propaganda and Building Your Personal Fortune - has been out for over a year and...

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