21 Feb
February 21, 2018

Home ownership has changed from the way it used to work for prior generations. Fifty years ago, many people bought a home and stayed in it for 30 years or longer. Far fewer take that approach today. As a result, many past “rules of thumb” need to be reevaluated. The answer to “How should I finance my home purchase?” is, as with so many financial planning questions, “It depends.”

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22 Dec
December 22, 2017

In the 1630s in Holland, tulips were a relatively new flower. (The first tulips came to Europe from Turkey in 1554.) The flowers were perceived as a luxury, so they were in high demand across Europe and there was a limited supply. In the mid-1630s, speculation entered the market. The price for tulips began to rise beyond the “rational” price of a flower. By early 1637, the highest valued tulip bulbs were selling –singly – for more than ten times

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17 May
May 17, 2017

One of the top concerns for Americans in their 60s is how to pay for retirement. Consider focusing on a plan for these five areas of financial planning to help gain confidence as you approach or enter retirement. Interestingly, many individuals’ first anxiety is loss of principal – particularly with 2008 still in our collective rearview mirrors. However, given that retirement may last 30 years or longer, workers approaching retirement need to be just as focused on loss of purchasing

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19 Jul
July 19, 2016

Many in the financial media tout the benefits of the early paydown of the home mortgage as one of the best financial strategies a family can implement. Unfortunately, this is one of those cases in which the rule of thumb can be completely wrong, particularly when it is not adapted for individual circumstances. Similar to consulting with a doctor before starting an exercise regimen, families should consult with a qualified financial professional before launching an accelerated mortgage paydown

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20 May
May 20, 2016

In early 2000 I knew I wanted to be a financial planner. It merged two of my favorite loves: working with people and math. (I loved math so much that I took classes over the summer of my teenage years so I could finish Calculus in my sophomore year of high school. I know, I know…youth is wasted on the young.) The problem was that my university did not offer a degree in financial planning, so I was on my

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01 Apr
April 01, 2016

I earned my undergraduate degree in the late 1990s, a time that was truly fascinating to be taking classes in Investments. Alan Greenspan’s ominous warning of “irrational exuberance” was already fading to distant memory, and I remember one of my professors teaching us about the “New Economy” and openly questioning – in all seriousness – whether the United States would ever have another recession. The thesis was that the Federal Reserve may have become so good at feathering the monetary

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13 Jan
January 13, 2016

Whenever a lottery reaches a crazy amount, many people who are not typical gamblers start to dream and buy a ticket. I would personally argue that the wistful dreaming of a better life than the one we currently have is an unhealthy exercise. If I can afford a Toyota for my new car purchase, I don’t walk into a BMW dealership: I will like the Toyota I ultimately end up buying far less than I otherwise would have.

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04 Jan
January 04, 2016

Ben Franklin once said, “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.” The beginning of a new year often leads us to examine our lives and find ways to battle vices.

While many of our goals for the New Year may be physical in nature, there are many parallels between our physical and financial well being. When I think of financial goals, I divide

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24 Nov
November 24, 2015

Yesterday I was in the mood for some good milk on my cereal. You know the kind: the milk that costs more but has that rich flavor. I bought some with a new box of my favorite cereal and returned home to enjoy my breakfast. The second I began to pour, I knew something was wrong. The consistency was off. I looked more closely at the label:
“buttermilk.” How could I have done that? The packaging had looked right;

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17 Nov
November 17, 2015

This is the season of college applications. The season of campus visits, standardized testing, and early admissions. With my oldest being a high school sophomore, I should not be aware of any of this process yet. But my daughter’s email inbox has been inundated over the last several months with communications from over 100 different colleges and universities.

As her parent, I am floored by the intensity and breadth of the marketing process involved in the College Decision. I admire my

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04 Nov
November 04, 2015

My three-year-old daughter was in the checkout line at a craft store with my wife, happily dressed up for the day as a witch. She had a black dress and black hat, plus she was excitedly holding a bouquet of artificial flowers. (After all, it was a craft store!) Another mother and slightly older daughter waited in front of them in the line. The child pointed at my daughter and said in a loud voice, “Look, Mom – that girl’s

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