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 [...]

Seeking Safety

By |2017-07-17T16:45:21+00:00July 12th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Are there any safe places? Photo: Ben Tubby. Source: Wikipedia During the Cold War the superpowers relied on a doctrine called “Mutually Assured Destruction,” or MAD. The idea was that neither party would initiate a nuclear first strike, because enough of the other side’s nuclear arsenal would survive to retaliate. The global devastation would be so complete that both sides would lose. To average folks, the doctrine seemed “mad,” indeed. There was a low-grade fear surrounding everyday life. If someone irrational got hold of [...]

Putting Fun Into Finance

By |2017-07-17T12:21:22+00:00April 19th, 2017|Global Market Update|

Can personal finance be fun? Photo: Melodi2. Source: Morguefile For most of us, money matters are unpleasant. They involve budget issues and trade-offs and hard choices that frustrate everyone. So we need to encourage ourselves, to set up some kind of incentive program. For example, estate planners say you should update your will every three years or so. So: think about what would be a special treat—like eating at a favorite restaurant, or going to a special show—and reward yourself when you update your [...]

Health Care, Wealth Care

By |2017-07-17T12:21:43+00:00September 15th, 2016|Global Market Update|

What are you doing to stay healthy? Photo: Seeman. Source: Morguefile This may seem like a strange question from a financial professional, but our bodies and our finances are connected. Health is an integral part of our lives, just as money is. And finance is a lot like medicine: there are lots of technical issues that require specialized training, but applying them is often pretty basic. Health-wise, we should stay active, eat well, and get enough rest. Financially, we need to spend less than [...]

On Tips and Tipping (Part 2)

By |2017-07-17T12:21:53+00:00July 21st, 2016|Global Market Update|

On Tips and Tipping (Part 2) Everyone wants a tip. What’s the best way to make money? Photo: Nick Stanley. Source: Life of Pix Profitable investing starts with a plan. It starts with investors reviewing their goals, their fears, how much time they have, how much access to their money they need, and other circumstances. No one plans to fail, but many people fail to plan. And if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do. But once you have a plan, [...]

Getting Going

By |2017-07-17T12:21:57+00:00May 19th, 2016|Global Market Update|

How do you get started investing? Photo: Tyler Main. Source: USMC I got involved with investing via a different route. I had studied computer modeling in college in the early ‘80s. While looking for a job, I met with a bank manager who had a computer model for the bank’s earnings and balance sheet, but didn’t have anyone that could run the model. Tentatively, he hired me to implement the computer simulation. I got the analytic software to work much faster than expected, so [...]