economy, interest rates, retirement

Psychology and the Market

On Thursday February 8th 2018 the Dow dropped over 1000 points in a single day.

 

Human behavior is driven two forces, fight or flight. When facing a dramatic event we as individuals are forced to REACT to what happens. 

When looking at the market, if a person is underinvested and it goes up day after day making new highs, that person may experience FOMO… fear of missing out. They might make the decision to invest based on emotion instead of fundamentals.
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economy, income, retirement

First Steps to Retirement Planning

Many people are paralyzed into inaction when they start thinking about the challenge of planning for retirement. The truth is there are a few first steps anyone can take on their own to improve their chances for success.

A first step is to determine how much income you can expect to receive from social security. In years past SSA would mail annual statements for people to see their expected benefits. Things have changed… go to google and search for “my social security”. You will create an account and through this account be able to determine your numbers.

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Climate change, economy, retirement

Rising Seas and the Risk to Retirees

 

Florida has always been considered a favorite retirement destination. The warmer climate attracting older American’s who have health issues ranging from Asthma to Arthritis, from Heart Disease to Parkinson’s. 20% of Florida’s population is over age 65 (compared to only 15% in New Jersey).

 

An additional challenge facing retirees in both Florida and New Jersey is climate change risk due to rising seas, storm surge and the potential loss of property in coastal communities.

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economy, retirement

Trick or Treat? The Potential Downside of Tax Reform for Investors

 

There is an old story that goes “beware what you wish for…” Things don’t always turn out as expected.

 

Along those lines I watched a fascinating interview of Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, on Bloomberg this morning.

 

His feeling is that a Tax cut, as it is currently being discussed, could be negative for investors. “There’s two reasons; First, when cutting tax rate you raise the after tax cost of debt. Leverage becomes a problem for a lot of businesses. Second, because you are cutting tax rates you are effectively giving cash to all businesses, even businesses where you want to reduce allocation.“

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life insurance, protection

How will your family survive?

 

My son was born when I was 30 years old. Honestly, I didn’t get life insurance until I was 36. I had never been taught the importance of using Life Insurance to manage risk and protect your family. Recent studies show that I’m not alone. There is a huge gap in the level of financial literacy in the United States.

 

According to a recent study by LIMRA;

  • Among households with children under 18, 4 in 10 say they would suffer immediate financial trouble if a primary wage earner died today.
  • Another 3 in 10 would have trouble keeping up with basic living expenses after several months.
  • Overall, 7 in 10 of all households said they would have trouble covering everyday living expenses after several months if the primary wage earner died.

 

To be clear 37 million households have no life insurance… none…

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disability, economy, life insurance, protection

Deaths of Despair

 

In March of 2017 a landmark study was released connecting financial security and death rates in the United States. The information is sobering and should be the focus of policy changes at all levels of government.

 

A recent study by Princeton Professors Anne Case and Angus Deaton titled, “Mortality and morbidity in the 21st century,” shows the connection between the rising mortality rates of the middle class in the US and “a measurable deterioration in economic and social wellbeing”.

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This deterioration has not suddenly developed. Rather, “Case and Deaton document an accumulation of pain, distress, and social dysfunction in the lives of working class whites that took hold as the blue-collar economic heyday of the early 1970s ended, and continued through the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent slow recovery.”

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charitable giving, life insurance, protection

Creating Social Impact Through Giving

 

Every day millions are helped to improve their lives due to the generosity of others. As a community we each have a stake in the success of every individual, every family. Many organizations that make massive positive contributions are struggling due to cutbacks in government supports.

We as stakeholders in American society have a responsibility to give back and help those less fortunate. A recent example of this ethos:

“The $219 million gift from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, announced Wednesday, shatters the previous record for a single donation to U-Md. — $31 million — set three years ago. It is also among the most significant gifts to any public university in the country, coming at a time when many schools have ramped up fundraising to offset declines in state support.”

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disability, economy, life insurance, protection

A few life lessons…

In the past few months I have seen several friends pass away…

I have seen several people in my circle struggle with illness, addiction and disability…

All are under the age of 50. None of them planned on what happened to them.

 

None of them planned on the impact it would have on those around them.
Life is not a straight line.
We all are forced to deal with situations that are beyond our control.

 

Sometimes we are forced to deal with abusive and alcoholic parents when we are young.
Sometimes we are traumatized by sexual or physical violence.
Sometimes we are injured by an accident, or illness.

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economy, new economy, retirement

“Morning in America…”

I was driving into work today and a Chevy Volt sped by me. Yesterday a Fisker Karma was parked in front of my office. Last month Tesla started mass production of the Model3.

Technology is bringing a renaissance to American manufacturing. New industries and new job descriptions are being created, even as “old economy” jobs become antiquated and outsourced to robots.

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economy, new economy, retirement

Management Flaws in Corporate America

The most recent rounds of corporate earnings reports for retail companies has by and large been very disappointing. Many companies are struggling to survive in an environment dominated by a few large ecommerce companies.

 

Disappointing earnings have resulted in lowered outlooks and fallen stock prices of many retail companies.

 

I recently had the opportunity to talk to several people who work in corporate America, particularly retail. What I learned is scary.

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