The book is called “A Good Financial Advisor Will Tell You..” We strongly encourage everyone to read this book. It will give you a solid background in the psychology of investing, how to invest like the pros, how to manage risk in your investment portfolio, and important insights on generating inflation adjusted lifetime income, planning your legacy and working with a financial advisor. If you do not yet have a copy of the book, you can see a preview of it at www.agoodfinancialadvisor.com
The book is now available on Amazon.com, BN.com and can be ordered from over 25,000 bookstores.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 27-12-2011
The big story of the past week is whether or not congress is going to extend the 2 percent payroll tax cut. They probably will ultimately approve it since neither party wants to be blamed for a tax increase in an election year. The two parties are bickering over whether to pass a temporary 2 month extension or extend it right now for another year. This tax cut saves the average family of four $1,000 a year. If it is not extended, the tax increase will certainly be a drag on the economy, which could result it little to no economic growth in 2012.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 20-12-2011
As many clients know, we sometimes recommend and offer annuities in our practice. Annuities are the only product which guarantees lifetime income backed by the claims paying ability of large insurance companies. They are among the most misunderstood of all investment vehicles. Many of the misconceptions are based on outdated viewpoints which do not take into consideration the tremendous advances in product design. Some of the features that clients did not like have been eliminated. For example, most of the annuity products today do not require annuity owners to “annuitize” their policy in order to get guaranteed lifetime income. Annuitization means that you convert your account value into a stream of payments. Many people did not want to annuitize because it usually meant that there was no death benefit left to their heirs. Annuity owners could receive less money than they originally invested if they annuitized and then died prematurely.
Friday seemed like a big day in the euro zone debt drama which has captivated global financial markets. 17 euro zone countries plus 9 other European countries for a total of 26, agreed to greater centralization of their budgets and automatic punishment for countries that do not comply. They also agreed to increase the size of the bailout fund by $270 billion. Naturally the details still need to be worked out and then ratified by each country’s parliament. It will take several months before the accord could go into effect.
Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 12-12-2011
Last week we had the biggest weekly stock market increase in years, up 7 percent for the week! Good holiday sales helped but the big driver was a coordinated effort by six of the world’s largest central banks. The action by these central banks, which was led by the U.S. Federal Reserve, does not directly address Europe’s debt or budget problems. Instead it seeks to minimize the impact of any defaults. In other words, if Greece (or another European country) defaults on their debt there would be direct losses to the bondholders, however the much bigger issue is that the European banking system could seize up due to losses of collateral and capital surpluses. This fear was starting to create a run on some major European banks. The move by the six (non-European) central banks makes it easier and cheaper for those European banks to access short term loans more cheaply and easily. Since the announcement, outflows have been significantly reduced and borrowing costs for European countries have stabilized.
On a related topic, Italy passed a meaningful combination of tax increases and budget cuts this weekend. The European Central bank also signaled that it is willing to take on a larger role than its original mandate in order to stabilize the Euro. The European financial crisis is a long way from over, but now the worst case scenario seems unlikely.
Posted in Weekly Insight | Posted on 06-12-2011