CLEAR AND CONCISE
 FINANCIAL ADVICE®

The first step to a brighter future is vision.

Learn the ins-and-outs from our retirement blog.

Automobile Expenses – Better to Buy or Lease?

This past week, one of my clients asked if I thought she should buy or lease her next vehicle. Here are my thoughts on the topic: Automobile purchases are an important area of financial decision making because the average American family spends 13-17% of their household income on transportation (mostly on automobile expenses). This is ...View Article

Are Stocks Too Expensive?

This rally can’t last forever. We are due for a recession. This is already the longest bull market in history. The politicians are going to tank the market. The deficit is out of control. Ahhhh…. These are the same reasons we've heard for the past few years as the market continues to march higher. The ...View Article

Vacation Home – Read Before You Buy

I thought vacation home sales would be breaking records since Baby Boomers are better positioned to buy them than any previous generation. A number of other factors should also be propping up the vacation home market: a strong economy, a 10-year bull market in stocks, and relatively low mortgage rates. However, vacation-home sales have been …View Article

Annuity: When Is It A Good Solution

There has never been a financial product that was more misunderstood, misrepresented, or over-sold than an annuity. I am the first to admit that annuities have drawbacks (e.g. fees, surrender charges, and limited growth potential). That being said, I firmly believe that annuities can be a great fit for many retirees. Let me share an …View Article

Prenuptial Agreement – 5 Required Elements

Two of my good friends have gotten divorced in the past year. One breakup went relatively smoothly and the other was more of a “scorched earth” situation. Neither of these friends had prenuptial agreements, which would have made the process simpler and less painful for all parties involved. I was heartened to share with these …View Article

What I Learned at Amazon’s Fulfillment Center

This past week, I had the opportunity to tour one of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. This article is different from those I typically write each week because it doesn’t contain any financial planning or investment tips. However, I wanted to share how the nation’s largest online retailer is able to quickly and efficiently fulfill orders for …View Article

Sequence of Return Risk

Most analytical people love spreadsheets…myself included. Personally, I would put Microsoft Excel on my list of top 10 inventions of all time. However, spreadsheets are dangerously inadequate when it comes to creating a financial plan. The problem with this type of “traditional” planning is it assumes that annual investment returns are a constant number, such …View Article

Living Trusts: Who is Your Trustee?

Most people spend a lot of time thinking about the details of their wills or living trusts (except for Prince). Most of the deliberation is, “Who should get how much, and when?” A second consideration is, “Who should I leave in charge of carrying out my wishes?” The person who carries out your wishes is …View Article

529 Plans for Your Grandkids

I have written quite a bit about 529 plans, including this post: 529 Plan FAQs. However, I was intrigued this week by an article I read that made the point that more Americans are giving the gift of college, setting 529 plan records. Many 529 plans saw double digit increases in gift contributions during this …View Article

How Americans Spend and Borrow

Most people are familiar with the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I feel that way about charts and graphs. Today, I wanted to share a couple I thought you might find interesting. These charts may not make you a better investor, but you will look well informed at your next cocktail party. …View Article