Here are two articles that came across my desk on Wednesday of this week: one in the morning entitled “Nearly a Third of Millennials Say They’d Rather Own Bitcoin Than Stocks,” and then one that evening entitled “‘$300m in cryptocurrency’ accidentally lost forever due to bug.” [As an aside, you’ve probably heard the terms “bitcoin” and “blockchain” thrown around with increasing frequency recently. An impossibly quick primer on the subject is as follows: “Blockchain” is the term used to describe a database technology that acts as a distributed, decentralized ledger, tracking transactions over the internet. The distributed ledger is “open,”
Some 241 years ago the United States of America became a sovereign nation simply by declaring it, knowing all too well that the prospect of actually winning it against the will of the most powerful nation in the world was smaller than scant. The men who signed that declaration knew quite well that they would be hanged for treason if the Continental Army and Navy failed to defend their new country’s declaration of independent sovereignty. Unmitigated audacity against all odds – that’s what July 4th represents in this country. What if we were to honor our bold forefathers and
The financial services industry, like the medical industry, the marketing industry, and the automotive industry, all have their their unique shorthand terms and abbreviations that are clear to insiders, but confuse and obscure understanding for outsiders. It’s called ‘the curse of knowledge.’ Jane Kennedy defines the curse of knowledge as “a cognitive bias that occurs when an individual, communicating with other individuals, unknowingly assumes that the others have the background to understand.”
Two of the most important aspects of a good investment philosophy can be summed up by the following questions. 1) Is this strategy likely to work? 2) Will I be able to stick with this strategy for long periods of time throughout the inevitable ups and down of the stock market? At Beacon, we have a thoughtful, well-defined investment philosophy that we think answers both of the above questions in the affirmative.
Ever notice after a hurricane how some trees remain standing while others have fallen? More often than not it’s the rigid, unyielding trees that have fallen, while the more flexible survive. This fact of nature provides an important lesson for anyone who wants to plan for a better future. Many people dismiss planning as a futile exercise given such an unknowable and unpredictable future. Others would tell you they have a plan, but if pressed, couldn’t tell you when they last reviewed it. General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans
If you’ve been reading our Brief for any length of time you may have seen the term “lifestyle creep” come up once or twice. It’s a fascinating concept with an equally emotive name, and it has all sorts of implications in the practice of long-term financial planning. Lifestyle creep is, more or less, the natural but potentially dangerous rising standard of living that occurs over the course of a lifetime as salaries increase with age (to a point). It’s potentially dangerous, because if it creeps too much, then retirement becomes prohibitively expensive to fund at the level of your creeped up lifestyle,
Did you know that you can buy a stroller (for a baby) made by Aston Martin? Did you know that it would cost you $4,000? I present this, for now, without comment. We’ll come back to it momentarily. Sometimes, when I tell people about the sort of work we do at Beacon, I get the sense that some view our primary mission and value as simply the building of wealth. And of course, that’s part of what we do, and an important one at that. No one exactly hires us to make a nice La-Z-Boy shape out of their pile of money and just
Almost universally, people describe their financial program in terms of affinity and trust for their advisor. It’s only natural that relational ties would play such a central role in one of our most intimate relationships. But are trust and affinity enough? Are these feelings sufficient foundation for the confidence we place in these individuals and their companies for one of the most important roles of our lives?
It’s an interesting question isn’t it? Which is currently worth more money, your home or your 401(k)? It’s sort of a trick question. Sort of. The point is, if you had to tell someone what your two largest financial assets were, there’s a good chance you would list your home and your 401(k) in some order.