If you are an adult and have any kind of account with a bank or credit card company, it is likely that some or all four elements of your personal identity have been compromised by hackers in this latest, most serious of all, cyber attack on Equifax, Inc. Worse, it happened during the months of May through July and we are just now learning about it. Equifax is one of three large credit reporting bureaus that track consumer information and provide it to lenders, landlords, employers and others to help them determine financial responsibility. These bureaus retain all kinds of information
With summertime upon us, complete with tropical storm Cindy soaking the South, and nearly half of 2017 in the books, this might be a good time to review the progress and condition of the capital markets. While forecasting the direction of the markets is not one of our value-adds, better understanding what could be ahead encourages us to keep our ‘financial umbrellas’ at the ready. Stock investors remain confident that President Trump and the Republican-majority Congress will improve US economic growth by fixing health care, lowering taxes on corporations and small businesses, and increasing military and infrastructure-spending, despite their plodding
One of the most important things to know about your financial relationship is whether you are a customer or a client. The differences may be subtle or obvious, but understanding them and feeling confident in the role you have accepted is vital in determining the quality of your financial future. As a customer, you are pitched to, or persuaded to buy. As a client you are advised. ‘K’nowledge and ‘R’esponsibility align differently in the two dynamics as illustrated below:
Imagination is “the greatest creative force in the universe,” claimed Albert Einstein. The keys at my fingertips, the computer transforming the clicks into hundreds of 0’s and 1’s, the copper lines and fibers of light delivering them to the device in front of you with its thousands of tiny light emitting diodes that project the letters you are reading, all started in the imagination. In fact, as you look around, you might be hard pressed to find anything within your reach that doesn’t have its origins in the imaginings of creative people.
Kids are expensive. They are amazing, and expensive. Expensive enough that all the [somewhat flawed] posts about how, if you start saving 15% of your income when you’re 25 you’ll have somewhere in the neighborhood of several millions of dollars when you retire–well, all that can kind of fly out the window if you’re 30- or 40-something and finding it hard to save because of summer camps, and clothes, and food for a middle-school boy, and sports teams, and college tuition. So then you read all those other posts about how there’s such a large retirement savings gap in the US, and
First let’s celebrate the fact that Janet Yellen actually did what she said she was going to do – she raised rates before the year was out. Investors love certainty and the Fed Chair just improved her certainty rating substantially – how refreshing.
“But language is a treacherous thing, a most unsure vehicle.” Mark Twain said that, and I can’t disagree with him. Mastering the technical, dictionary definitions of words is good, but will only get you part way to communicating fully. That’s because words don’t always stick to their technical, dictionary definitions. They reshape themselves, sometimes drastically, based on the countless different contexts in which they find themselves written or read, spoken or heard.
I took a good look at my to do list yesterday. You know the list we add things to and instantly feel we’ve accomplished a big part of the task merely by writing it down? My list contains things like cleaning the gutters, fixing a crack in the shower tiles, a thank-you note to so-an-so for dinner last week (or was it two weeks ago already?), a wedding gift for John and Mary (we have a year), changing my oil, scheduling a physical, reviewing my life insurance and meeting regularly with Geoff and Jared to review Sharon’s and my Wealthcare plan. You probably noticed
We all have our to-do lists, whether on scraps of paper or some digital device. They contain the usual stuff like groceries, leaking faucets needing repair, and dinner parties to plan. But they also contain what I’ll call ‘big heavies.‘ Those to-do’s that invariably find their way to the bottom of our lists that take root there for months or years. Big heavies are things like life insurance planning, writing or updating wills, and moving to a better financial advisory relationship. We absolutely understand how tremendously important these things are when we think about them, but those thoughts are so quickly eclipsed
I have a good friend who, as a college professor, frequently asks young people this question when meeting for the first time: “what do you think about?” At the moment she considers most opportune, she gently tosses the question into the conversation like a freshly baited hook onto a still pond, and she patiently waits for the cork to bob.