Financial Planning Insights

Is Your Advisor a Part-Time Fiduciary?

When you visit a doctor, you probably assume that he/she must do what is in your best interests and not what maximizes that doctor’s income. And you would be correct. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said with financial advisors. Being a fiduciary means that an advisor must legally put the client’s interests first.

“Sixty Percent Of The Time, It Works Every Time”

You may recognize the quote in the title from the movie Anchorman. This can be a lot like stock pickers, pundits, and TV personalities. You should run from anyone who is using prediction for the basis of advice.

Is Relying On Stock Markets For Economic Signals A Mistake?

If we had signals that told us with certainty what direction the economy was headed, we might have an edge in our investment strategy; we would know when it was a good time to invest when to proceed with caution or put the brakes on.

How Many Clients Does Your Advisor Work With?

How Barron's Top 1,200 financial advisors effectively serve 521 clients? We have clients from these firms coming to our firm every month looking for a better solution.

More Conflicts At Big Brokerage Firms

Did you ever wonder how a financial advisor makes their investment recommendations?  There are thousands of mutual funds on the market today.  How does he/she pick one over the other?  If your advisor works for a big brokerage firm like Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch, some of the decision-making is taken out of his/her hands.

Invest Like Norway, Not Yale

David Swenson, the chief investment officer of the Yale endowment fund, has gained notoriety over the past several decades to manage the Yale endowment fund.  In the early 1990s, he decided to place a gigantic chunk of the endowment into alternative assets like real estate, hedge funds, and private equity.  The results were spectacular.

“Fight The Fights That Are Worth Fighting”

Do you work with a financial advisor? If so, is that advisor required to put your interest ahead of his/her own? If you are like 99% of other investors out there, you probably don’t know for sure. The vast majority of advisors are brokers or have the option to operate as a broker, and therefore don’t have to act in their client’s best interest.

There Is No Such Thing As “Long-Term” In Tax Planning

I often read articles that talk about the virtues of long-term tax planning.  This could be in the form of Roth IRA conversions, charitable planning, or gifting strategies.  In general, most of these articles are correct in their reasoning, but they tend to under-emphasize one important item.

The Stock Market Does Not Equal The Economy

The economic data coming out these last few weeks have been spectacular.  Whether it be employment, manufacturing, or consumer spending, the economy really seems to be on a roll.  Before you buy some stocks as an early Christmas present, it is important to remember that the economy is not the stock market.