Gains without Losses, and Reasonable Rates of Return

August 24, 2016

As our monthly seminar attendees are settling into their seats, I often pose this question: “How many of you would be willing to give up some of your gains, in exchange for never losing money in the stock market again?”  Every hand in the room goes up.  As our 50-something clients approach retirement, their ongoing needs can easily be broken down into 3 areas: Accumulation, Income, and Legacy.  In this article, we will deal with the need for accumulation, i.e.

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Income that Continues Long After the Money Runs Out

August 8, 2016

As our 50-something clients approach retirement, their ongoing needs can easily be broken down into 3 areas: Accumulation, Income, and Legacy. In this article, we will deal with guaranteed income for life, i.e. checks that keep coming at 92 even if the money ran out at your age 85. Guaranteed Lifetime Income: A Case Study John is 68 and Mary is 62. Mary spent 5 years caring for her aging mother, who died at 97, after her funds ran out

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Why Do These Economists Still Have Jobs?

June 10, 2016

For any mainstream economists still reluctant to admit that a recession is underway, last Friday’s horrendous jobs report should have removed all doubts. As I was driving to the radio studio to do my show last Friday morning, I heard Bloomberg Radio’s hosts interviewing Dr. James Glassman, the infamous and roundly mocked author of Dow 36,000*, who was pontificating that a May jobs number of 160,000 (private sector jobs created), the widely anticipated consensus figure, “would be great, but even 125,000 jobs would

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Getting a Second Opinion on Your Pending Retirement

May 17, 2016

Do you have a sinking feeling about the world economy, markets, or the upcoming election? Are you uncomfortable with risk exposure as retirement looms over the next hill?  Have you stopped to ask yourself if you are getting the right advice for this new stage of life?  How do you know when it is time to get a second opinion on your finances?As you approach retirement, you have a different set of concerns and challenges.  The money it has taken

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Guaranteeing You’ll Never Be Poor

March 17, 2016

“Given a choice between the possibility of becoming rich, and a guarantee that you’ll never, ever become poor, which would you choose?”  It’s a question that I often ask attendees at our seminars or in our early interviews.  Given the widespread popularity of Powerball these days, one might assume the former, but 80-90% of those in attendance say they’d prefer a guarantee that they’ll never run out of income, even in old age. Here’s a second question: “Would you be willing to

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Has The Long-Awaited Market Crash Finally Begun?

January 22, 2016

2016: The Year of the Index Annuity Have you seen the stock market forecasts for the new year? One brokerage firm after another is citing volatility, a lack of earnings, dramatically slower growth and a probable “year to nowhere” in 2016. As this goes to press, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has been down as much as 1900 points since the first of the year. In only 13 trading days, this is a loss of 9.5%, the worst start to

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Slouching Toward a Global Recession: Growth is Either Anemic or Non-Existent

October 9, 2015

Two weeks ago, Janet Yellen and her cohorts at the Fed, in an 8-1 vote, elected to leave interest rates at record low levels for the 55th straight Fed meeting, a whopping 81 months since the last hike.  Citing “global growth concerns” as well as still-tame inflation, the Fed chose to first do no harm, lest they be blamed for the slowdown that is clearly taking place around the world. China In August, Reuters published a much-overlooked report stating that the cost of shipping

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Seven Reasons to be Skeptical of a Bull Market in 2015

January 7, 2015

It’s that time of year again, and many of you have asked us what 2015 is likely to bring in the way of economic performance and the market’s likely response to it.  The following is based on my usual exhaustive reading, and I encourage you to follow through the many hyperlinks within the piece for the sources of the summaries shared below. Market History The S&P 500 is up over 205% since the market bottom on March 9th 2009, largely

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Those “Horrible” Wonderful Fixed Index Annuities

September 12, 2014

Imagine that you and your spouse are currently in the market for a new car.  You have two large dogs and your three grandchildren several days each month, so you’re logically thinking that a minivan or SUV would be appropriate and safe.  Yet when you walk into your local car dealership to explain your needs, the salesman replies, “Oh no, those minivans and SUVs are reeeeally over-rated; what you want is simply a good pick-up truck—step right this way…”  

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The Cognitive Dissonance Market

July 22, 2014

Investors’ Staggering Indifference Amid Rising Dangers As a 25-year financial industry veteran with a broad background in managed money, market history, and risk mitigation, I have become amused—shocked really—at the cognitive dissonance being displayed by some in the investing public in this 6th year of the Federal Reserve’s “Recovery Market.”  Not since early 2000 during the heady days of a peaking tech/dot-com market, have I seen such displays of indifference, sans the enthusiasm of that euphoric run-up, for the market’s

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