The Impact of Volatile Markets on Your Retirement Drawdown

May 28, 2021

Fact: We are now several months into the 13th year of an ongoing* bull market, which began—courtesy of the Federal Reserve’s ZIRP (zero/low interest rate policy) on March 9th of 2009. Apart from this merely being a curious factoid, why is this significant?  Well, for starters, it behooves us to note that the average bull market lasts 3.8 years, and when the market does go into bear territory (a loss of more than -20% from the recent high) its average

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A Tale of Two Economies

April 30, 2021

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…“, the opening line in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, came to mind on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday evening of this week. In a tale of two speeches, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell first admitted that the Federal Reserve expects to see “transitory inflation” well in excess of their preferences, later this year. Late Thursday night, in his first speech before a joint session of Congress, President Biden attempted

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Why Markets Are Erratic and Why You Should Be Concerned

March 8, 2021

On March 5, the U.S. Labor Department released the jobs numbers for February, and they were phenomenal. While the expectation for jobs created was about 182,000 for the month, February saw job growth of 379,000 new hires, more than double the estimate, while unemployment dropped a tick to 6.2%, and the numbers for January were revised higher by an additional 117,000 hires. The day before, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled that although they see signs of “transitory inflation” in the

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The Science Now Shows our 38.64 Million Unemployed Could Return to Work

May 21, 2020

As a financial advisor, I deal in absolutes, data, numerical analysis, and logic.  Clients are constantly asking me for my take on a wide variety of related subjects, and no subject has been more confusing to them than our nation’s convoluted and ever-changing response to the Chinese COVID-19 virus and its consequences to their finances.  When our leaders and virology experts first recommended shutting down society, we didn’t know what we didn’t yet know—so we played it safe.  That was

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Coronavirus and Our National Debt

May 8, 2020

As this author celebrates 30 years in private practice this month, I can think of no issue about which I have seen more confusion, misunderstandings, and lack of context over that span than the issue of our National Debt. Every four years, as Americans go to the polls, the party out of power in the White House finds a way to misrepresent and assign responsibility for the national debt to the party currently in power in the White House. The

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Illogic and Half-Truths in the Time of Coronavirus

April 19, 2020

If the first casualty of war is truth, surely it is also a victim of the partisan divide now infecting the national debate surrounding Coronavirus. “Facts are stubborn things”, said John Adams, and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan expounded with, “You’re entitled to your opinion, you’re just not entitled to your own facts.”  Allow me to suggest that truthful assessment does not focus only on those facts that support a preconceived conclusion—while covering up or ignoring those that don’t. Sound

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Self-Quarantining into Economic Depression

April 5, 2020

After multiple conversations with many respected clients in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, I wanted to broach a subject that has caused some in our nation a shame-storm of criticism. I want to suggest that our public remedy, specifically our one-size-fits-all approach to Coronavirus, will soon have an irreversible impact on our country for 2020 and beyond, and that it risks untold damage to companies and entire industries if we continue on this path much longer—and to the lives of

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The Coronavirus, the American Economy, and Your Accounts

March 2, 2020

At this writing, no one knows with any certainty what the impact, both economically and demographically, will be on any nation currently dealing with a coronavirus outbreak.  However, there are some important things to keep in mind as we look at what we do know. What we know is that the coronavirus is related to the common cold.  We know that the mortality rate is approximately 0.9% of those affected, lower than that of influenza on an annual basis. We

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How the Average Retired Couple Could Deplete a $750,000 IRA in Only 17 Years

July 25, 2018

Bob and Julie, both age 65, just retired.  They’re both healthy, unafraid of market risk, and have a $750,000 IRA averaging 6% annual growth that their broker has told them “should last them the rest of their lives.”  The following are the average realities facing any such couple in August of 2018: When a couple reaches the age of 65 together, one of them has a 50% chance of living to 92, and a 25% chance of living to 97

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The Coming Crisis in Corporate Debt

May 28, 2018

By: Thomas K. Brueckner One of the most accurate portrayals of the liquidity crisis surrounding the Subprime Housing Market Collapse of 2007 & 2008, was an HBO “docu-drama” entitled Too Big to Fail, the screenplay for which was derived from extensive interviews with each of the participants. These included Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Hank Paulson, Sheila Bair (the FDIC Chairwoman), and Fed chief Ben Bernanke, stoically played by Paul Giamatti.  In the climactic scene, those four regulators are sitting on

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