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Pay Yourself First - The Holy Grail of Personal Finance

Remember way back to your first paycheck. The moment you open the envelope anticipating the windfall when all your hard work pays off. Then, like a swift kick to your gut, realty hits. Your takeaway earnings are almost always way lower than what you expected.

Why Rebalance?

You probably know that your investment portfolio is being rebalanced on a regular basis, but you might not know why.  Is it for higher returns?  For maintaining the agreed-upon balance of investments that is in your risk tolerance comfort zone?  Does rebalancing help manage portfolio risk?

Common estate planning mistakes

The most common way to transfer assets to your heirs is also the messiest: to have a will that is so out of date that it doesn’t relate to your property or estate, to have your records scattered all over the place, to have social media, banking and email accounts whose passwords only you can find—and basically to leave a big mess for others to clean up.

The economic myth-destroyer gets his due

Imagine a person who always, in every circumstance, makes rational decisions with his money.  He saves when he ought to and spends exactly as he should spend, in order to maximize the “utility” of whatever wealth he happens to possess.  He defers gratification with ease.  When he invests, he has instant and total access to all possible information related to every ite

What Costs More

Inflation has been pretty benign over the last 20 years, right?  The U.S. Consumer Price Index has ranged from negative 0.4% in 2009 to a high of 3.8% in the awful 2008 economic year.  In 13 of those 20 years, the CPI was below 2.5%, which is hardly comparable to the double-digit inflation rates that people experienced in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Challenges of Capturing Bull Market Returns

You probably didn't notice, but Monday, September 11 marked a milestone: the S&P 500 index's bull market became the second-longest and the second-best performing in the modern economic era.  Stock prices are up 270% from their low point after the Great Recession in March 2009—up 340% if you include dividends.

How to Respond to the Equifax Hack

You may have read that hackers broke into the Equifax database and stole personal information tied to 143 million people.  The hackers accessed people’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers.

Don’t Sell on Headlines

So far, the world markets seem to be shrugging off the sabre-rattling coming from North Korea (normal behavior) and the U.S. White House (complete departure from policy). The smart money is betting that the distant but suddenly headline-grabbing possibility of the first conflict between two countries armed with nuclear weapons will amount to a tempest in a teapot.

Ignore the Dow

Chances are, the market barometer you most often hear about is the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  Every evening, the Dow’s ups or downs are soberly reported as if they reflect something important.

They don’t.

Who’s On Your Side?

Friday, June 9 quietly marked/will mark an historic day in the financial services world.  On that date, all financial advisors will be required to forego any sales agenda and give advice that would benefit their clients or customers—or, if they decide otherwise, to explain how and why they intend to give advice that instead primarily benefits themselves and their brokerage company.&n

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