In the Long Run

By |2019-04-16T10:23:26+00:00April 16th, 2019|Global Market Update|

The 123rd Boston Marathon was held this week. Can we learn something from this historic event? 2019 Boston Marathon. Photo: Doug Tengdin Investing is a lot like running. We set goals, work towards those goals, adjust when we have setbacks, allocate precious resources -- time, money, attention, knees – and eventually, see some kind of payoff. And there are some very special lessons that come from looking closely at an historic event like the Boston Marathon. First, your goals are specific to you. I [...]

Choose Wisely

By |2018-12-27T06:00:02+00:00December 27th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Remember Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? Public Domain. Source: Book of Romance, Flikr When Indiana gets to the final scene in a cave, he’s confronted by an array of choices. The one instruction he’s given is “Choose wisely.” That’s my theme for next year: choose wisely. Confronted by volatile markets? Choose wisely. Finding unexpected risks? Choose wisely. Facing personal pressures? Choose wisely. Our sources of wisdom should be diverse: from number-crunching to reflection on our own needs and limitations to insights from finance [...]

Season’s Greetings?

By |2018-12-13T06:28:58+00:00December 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Are you ready? Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov. Source: Fancycrave In our family we never get ready very early for Christmas. Maybe it’s because I was a winter-sports athlete. Growing up, I had exams, intense training, and then competitions right into late December. My shopping happened after I returned home on the 23rd or so. Then there was an intense trip to the mall with wish-lists and backup-items and “evergreen” gifts – stuff that would always be welcome on a cold Christmas Day, like gloves and [...]

The Primacy of Planning

By |2018-12-10T23:10:53+00:00December 10th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What’s your plan? Photo: 7854. Source: Pixabay Recently, one of my teenage boys was driving home on a frosty evening and – as has happened to most of us – he slipped off the road. He called and asked if I could bring our truck to pull him out. No problem. I threw a tow chain into the back and trundled off. Only the road was too slick. After we hooked his car to our pickup, the tires couldn’t get enough of a grip [...]

Financial Fog

By |2018-12-04T17:39:53+00:00December 4th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever felt like you’re stumbling in the dark? Photo: Freephotos.cc. Source: Picography A few years ago, my wife and I made a long drive on a deeply foggy night. It was hard. The fog reflected the headlights back at us, dazzling our vision. Otherwise, the thick fog made the night especially dark. It felt like we were driving inside a ping-pong ball. I was so relieved when we arrived safely, but it took a while to unwind. Sometimes it can feel that [...]

On the Water

By |2018-11-13T07:41:29+00:00November 13th, 2018|Global Market Update|

Have you ever been on a canoe trip? Photo: Olivier Labbe. Source: Pixabay The experience is singular. Each day is unique, but along the way they merge into one another. You lose our modern sense of time and develop a daily rhythm: dawn, morning fog, daylight, evening. Sometimes the scenery opens up, and you get views of the hills and landmarks around, but more often your vision is confined by the banks and the shore. You get to know your paddling partner’s habits and [...]

Planning for Uncertainty

By |2018-10-04T06:43:53+00:00October 4th, 2018|Global Market Update|

What will the future bring? Photo: PublicDomainPictures. Source: Pixabay I remember how it felt to hold my first baby. All thoughts about myself and my personal plans evaporated; all I could think about was what the world would be like for my new child. It’s natural to plan, to wonder what the future holds. We make plans for work, leisure, and how to deal with our everyday lives, and it’s rare to look more than a few years ahead. But when we have children, [...]

Rushing Backward

By |2018-10-02T07:52:07+00:00October 2nd, 2018|Global Market Update|

Is there ever enough time? Illustration: Prawny. Source: Pixabay I often find myself running from one task to the next, glancing at the time, hoping that there won’t be construction or a school bus along the route to make me late. But why? Why do we find ourselves in such a hurry, despite all the reminders we set for ourselves – on our smartphones, on our planners, even with our friends. “Please remind me to leave on time!” The Stoic philosopher Seneca has a [...]

Of Chaos and Control

By |2018-04-05T07:10:45+00:00April 5th, 2018|Global Market Update|

How do you deal with chaos in the market? Photo: Raj Vitthalpura. Source: Free Range Stock Photos It’s easy to freak out when you see how volatile the market has been, lately. One day the market is down 3%, the next it’s up. Yesterday the Dow was down over 500 points in the morning. Traders were freaking out over the prospects of a trade war. By the afternoon, folks had calmed down and the average was up a couple hundred points. How do you [...]

Marginal Thinking

By |2017-08-24T06:53:08+00:00August 24th, 2017|Global Market Update|

What’s your marginal tax rate? Source: Healthcare.gov It’s an important question. The answer will determine whether it makes sense to buy municipal bonds, whether to put money into a Roth or Traditional IRA, and even whether to convert a Traditional IRA into a Roth. Let’s face it: almost everything we do has tax consequences. The government puts its finger into almost every financial pie – they’re our partner in almost every financial decision we make. But they’re a passive partner. It’s perfectly reasonable to [...]