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Random musings about money, markets, and more.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September 11th, 2001 - We All Remember Where We Were Many of us went to work that day and came home to see our families once again. For thousands of others in the towers, in the planes, on the ground, and the brave souls who were...

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Back to School about 529 Plans Paying for college may be many years away if a child is young, or just around the corner. A 529 account may provide some strategic investment opportunities as an education savings plan. Please be sure to...

 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Complaining about going back to school? Count your blessings. As much as some students might complain that they must return to school this week - what about those who won’t be able to go back due to Hurricane Dorian? Or whose...

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Is There Too Much Labor in Your Day? Delegation is a key toward getting things accomplished. A financial advisor may be an asset to those seeking to delegate - and accomplish - getting their financial houses in order. Portfolio...

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

A Sleep is as Good as a Meal A co-worker’s Scottish grandmother was a highly quotable person. One quote her granddaughter shared was “A sleep is as good as a meal”. How true is that! How many of us simply do not get...

 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

September is back to school and back from vacation. It’s also Life Insurance Awareness Month. It’s a busy month. But are you too busy to make sure your loved ones are cared for in the event something happens to you? Too...

 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Stay Vigilant as Scammers Enhance Their Skills “Hell Grandma, I’ve been arrested, don’t tell my parents, but I need you to get gift cards for my bail money.” “This is the IRS and you owe money immediately...

 

Monday, August 19, 2019

SMILE BUS FUELING UP FOR 11TH YEAR TO PROVIDE DAY OF JOY. MEMORY MAKING Every year we invite 50 people who have had a difficult year due to illness, bereavement, economic hardship, family dynamics, and other issues to park their...

 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Should I Refinance My Mortgage? With interest rates lower than they have been in about 1.5 years, we are receiving calls from clients wondering whether or not they should refinance their mortgages. Refinancing what is often a...

 

Monday, August 12, 2019

WAIT A SECOND, HOW MUCH DOES THAT PRESCRIPTION COST? As a father of 3, I have had many trips to the pharmacy. Sometimes I am presently surprised that a prescription is only a couple of dollars. However, more often than not, I am...

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

But Have You Spoken with a Professional Financial Advisor? There are so many things going on in global and domestic politics and that might potentially be unnerving to investors. Now may be the time to seek advice from a professional...

 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Staying “Grounded in Good” When the World Seems to Be Spinning Off-Axis I have always liked the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that.” I jotted down a...

 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Why Should I Care That The Fed Cut Rates ¼ Point? The Fed cut rates ¼ point this week. That doesn’t sound like much, so why should we care? This means that the overnight loan rate that banks charge is lower. This...

 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

When Life Turns on a Dime, Do You Have a Plan for Your Elderly Parents? A co-worker got a call from emergency services yesterday that her mom was being transported to the hospital as she had fallen. This morning, that same...

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Retirement is Not the End of Financial Planning Financial advisors and their clients often talk about retirement as a goal. Yes, being able to retire is certainly an important objective in financial planning, but it is not the end....

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Bracelet that Turned Her Wrist Green Reminds Her that Anything Worth Having Requires Work The other day we were talking about ways we used to make money as kids - shoveling snow, mowing lawns, babysitting, washing cars, etc. One...

 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

How Correlated Are Your Investments? Trade? China? Iran? Election? Interest Rates? What Megan Markle wore? There is always something “brewing” in the world which might impact the financial markets (the last item in that...

 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Have you ever gone shopping for something, say a new car or a dining room set, and the sales person only focuses on one person in the couple? I remember shopping for furniture when we were moving to a new home years ago and, despite my...

 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Ask Your Financial Advisor: Ways to Help Control the Things You Can’t Control When investors plan toward retirement, competing goals such as paying for their children’s college education may occur. Following retirement,...

 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Time goes by fast. Things change. New directions emerge. So, how old is the information you have shared with your financial professional? Are you working from a “foundation” that no longer exists? For example, have you...

 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

If you find yourself with some extra time this summer, don’t forget to practice some financial self-care. This might begin with a visit to your financial advisor for a mid-year checkup meeting. This can even be done by phone from...

 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

“Wet”tuce With such a wet spring, vegetable farmers in many regions, including here in upstate NY, are having difficulty getting crops in the ground and, once there, protecting them from root rot, mold, and other issues....

 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Waiting to Get Your Ducks in a Row in Order to Get Your Ducks in a Row? Have you ever stared at a cluttered closet and became so overwhelmed by the very idea of the chore? Then, when you actually tackled the task, it took far less time...

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Times Change. Markets Change. The Need for Advice Remains. It seems many people I know are getting hip and knee replacement surgeries lately. New methods and technologies have made this operation “almost” an outpatient...

 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Times Change. Markets Change. The Need for Advice Remains. It seems many people I know are getting hip and knee replacement surgeries lately. New methods and technologies have made this operation “almost” an outpatient...

 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Graduating in May? A watch, a string of pearls, money, gift cards, balloons. Graduating from college, grad school, the military, or a trade program can be an exciting time of celebration. What a relief to be “done”! The...

 

Friday, April 26, 2019

“Drowning In student loan debt”. “Not saving enough toward retirement”. “Making less money”. “Unable to purchase a home.” “Living with their parents”. “Can’t...

 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Do You Have a Trusted Contact on Your Investment Account? Financial exploitation of senior citizens and vulnerable adults is concerning. In the event that your financial advisor is unable to reach you, they can contact a trusted...

 

Friday, April 19, 2019

We’ll Be Back on Monday to Help Sort Out This Weekend’s Money ConversationsThe financial markets are closed today, but that doesn’t mean that money will be taking a rest. Many have the day off today which means they...

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Dirt and Dust are Not Chametz and Other Things We Can Learn this Week I like to learn about other faiths and traditions, and have been enhancing my knowledge about Passover from Jewish colleagues and friends who are busily cleaning...

 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Everyone Loves a Good Comeback Story Seeing Tiger Woods win the Masters again this weekend was an amazing comeback story. A few years ago it was uncertain whether he would ever play golf at this former level ever again. At Augusta, he...

 

Friday, April 12, 2019

It’s Master’s Week and this weekend golfers will be tuned in to see the latest at Augusta and who will ultimately wear the green jacket. I was having a conversation with someone today and they were saying it must be fun to...

 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Jupiter Retrograde: Time to Step Away from Old Habits I read a post online today that stated from April 10 - August 11 we are in “Jupiter Retrograde”. This is some sort of sky movement. I am not an astrologist nor do I play...

 

Monday, April 8, 2019

“Lunch Dates Wanted”: AKA Staying Connected Offline While news feeds are full of pictures of dogs and smiling faces, how many people are really connecting?. Some things I have found helpful in my career and in my life to...

 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Easy Ways to Enhance Financial Literacy What can the average person who doesn’t want to study to be a financial advisor do to help enhance their overall financial knowledge? Here are a few suggestions: *Read – Read...

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

I learned something today - that is, that the spring is a time of great need at food pantries. This stems partially from the many donations received at the holidays and the slower demand placed on the pantries in the summer due to the...

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Many people don’t like filling out paperwork. Whether we are at the doctor’s office, preparing our income tax return, or opening a financial account, it is rare when someone actually loves to complete forms. Unfortunately,...

 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

It’s OK to Say No to Adult Children: Set Financial Boundaries Competing financial priorities might have an impact on the future. Often, we see this clash between the desire to provide a college education for our children and the...

 

Monday, March 25, 2019

Are You Part of the “Gig” Economy? A Financial Advisor May Help with Your Challenges Today, many more people are blazing their own entrepreneurial paths. Working as consultants, freelancers, and even pursuing several...

 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Non-working Spouse with Little to No Earned Income? You May Still be Able to Save toward Retirement Spouses who file joint income taxes returns and who have little to no earned income, such as a stay at home parent taking care of the...

 

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Instant Versus Delayed Gratification - The Foundation of Investing? So much of money management can be boiled down to this: do we want it now or later? Is the instant gratification going to fulfill us down the road? Will we still feel...

 

Friday, March 15, 2019

March is Women’s History Month. Women are making history daily. Women are also largely responsible for family budgets and paying bills, influencing major purchases such as cars and homes, being entrepreneurs and making major...

 

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Working with a financial advisor is a relationship that should be built on trust and communication. If you have suddenly found your circumstances have changed, it is important to let your financial advisor know. Your risk tolerance,...

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Protecting Your Personal Identifying Information Identity theft is a growing issue in the world. With the rise of technologies such as email, texting, and wifi, the increased use of credit and debit cards, and people who seek to hack...

 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Nobody Wants that Stuff What do we do with these beloved antiques? These sentimental souvenirs? These cherished collections? Make plans now to help avoid stress later. It may not be completely true that “nobody” wants your...

 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Some of our local school districts now make a personal finance class a mandatory requirement for graduation. This may prove extremely helpful as many money decisions occur around that time. How many people do we know were young and...

 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

There is so much news lately surrounding the impact of student debt. It’s affecting the ability to purchase homes, get married, start (or add to) a family, save for retirement, and more. It’s a hot topic at the Federal...

 

Monday, March 4, 2019

For many people, their job might play a major role in “defining” who they are. (At cocktail parties ever notice how people ask your name and “What do you do?”). Redefining themselves after many years in the...

 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I have met investors who insist that their investments were well-diversified because their assets were distributed among large cap, mid cap, small cap, foreign, Blue Chip, speculative, and other stocks. When the stock market dropped,...

 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Your Financial Advisor: An Anchor in Life’s Windstorms With the high winds swirling about today, it reminds me of “Winne the Pooh and the Blustery Day” which was a popular story when I was a kid. It also reminds me of...

 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Dipping Your Toes In, Wading, or Body Surfing: Themes of Protection After the rollercoaster ride of December 2018 when the markets seemed to be on one of those really big descents that gives the rider that belly flip sensation, we...

 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Charity Begins in the Home - and Workplace Charity begins in the home. This does not mean to only look after your own; it means to teach your children to be stewards of service to others. Often, as adults, we learn from the examples...

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

You May Not Want to Wait Too Long to File Your Taxes to Avoid Potential “Surprises” There are some changes to the tax codes that went into effect with the 2018 tax returns that are due by April 15, 2019. You may want to...

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Losing a job can be a difficult time fraught with uncertainty and many questions. There can be a lot of emotion surrounding the situation. Making an appointment with a financial advisor may help to provide some clarity about some...

 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Over the next 25 years, there will be the largest wealth transfer in history as baby boomers pass away and transfer their wealth to GenX, the next generation. The baby boomers are a large demographic of people born between 1946 and...

 

Friday, February 8, 2019

February 07, 2019 Dear Valued Investor: Most of the country might still be in the throes of the winter, but after extreme cold throughout many parts of the United States, thankfully the weather has warmed up. Stocks followed a similar...

 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Couples, even those who love each other very much, fight from time to time when expectations are not met. One of the things that couples fight about is money - different saving and spending habits and different goals can lead to...

 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

3 Investor Behaviors That Concern Financial Advisors Three things that concern financial advisors that might have an adverse impact an investor’s overall results: Being a “reverse” bargain hunter. During periods of...

 

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What is escheatment and why should I care about it? It sounds like something bad, but it could actually be something quite good. If you have money you forgot about - perhaps an old bank account, an uncashed check, or possibly even an...

 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Networking “Lessons” So much of my business is from referrals. Introductions made by existing clients who want their friends, family members, colleagues, teammates, neighbors, networks to benefit in some way from my...

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

BENEFICIARY CHECK It is important to make sure that beneficiaries on your life insurance policies, bank accounts, retirement accounts and other accounts/policies in which there is a legacy are up to date and reflective of your wishes....

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

YOU DON’T NEED MONEY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE I recently attended the funeral of someone I had known for a long time. When it came time for sharing memories, over and over again there was a resonant theme: this gentleman had touched...

 

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

$0.00 - How Long Would You Last? Personal Finance Gut Check: How many $0.00 paychecks (or no check at all) could you receive before it would begin to hurt? This is a reality for many workers right now with the longest government...

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Goal Setting for 2019 - How’s It Going? Wow, the gym’s been packed the past two weeks. I know in a few weeks only a fraction of these people striving to get in shape in the New Year will be left. Why? Well, it’s often...

 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Building Your Personal Wealth Management Team As much as I would love to be all things for all people, there are times when I seek the counsel of other professionals to assist with more complex situations that might arise in my...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

I remember being a kid and reading the book “Stone Soup”. The book was about a traveler who came to a village and put a stone in a pot of water because he was hungry. He told people he was making stone soup, and they could...

 

Monday, January 7, 2019

With garbage cans in national parks overflowing and national museum, monument, and historic home doors shuttered, the government shutdown is beginning to impact American lives. There are approximately 800,000 federal workers furloughed...

 

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

401(k) Retirement Savings Level to Increase in 2019 Retirement may last for decades and having enough money to last that long is a concern of many investors. Good news: in 2019 you can put away more than ever before in your 401(k) or...

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

At this time of year, there is a large amount of extra “stuff” thrown out. In an effort to help the environment, here are some tips as to what might be recycled this holiday season: Paper and flattened cardboard Metal cans...

 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Don’t Let Grinches Steal Your Holiday Joy - Be Alert to Scams and Thieves It may be the season of goodwill and giving, but this is also the season where fraudsters and thieves may up their games. Be vigilant. *When out shopping,...

 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Giving the Gift of Experiences The holidays can be a really hectic time of rushing to buy gifts for ever-growing lists as families expand due to weddings and births. It can be next to impossible to get the right size, color, or item...

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Bus BFFs: We Can Learn a Lot from Kids As many of you know, my favorite day of the year was last Thursday, December 6. It was the day for our 10th annual “Smile Bus” trip to NYC and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Show...

 

Monday, December 10, 2018

TWEET AND RETREAT…LET’S HOPE THERE’S NO REPEAT When Trump tweets, the market retreats…or so it seemed last week. The S&P 500 entered negative territory for the year, tamped down by fears of a US/China trade...

 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Don’t “After the Holidays” Your Portfolio if It Needs Help Now This time of year is busy. I get it. With social activities, shopping, planning, eating and eating some more, holiday guests, presents to wrap, and...

 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Holiday Debt or a Happy New Year? Opting for the “instant gratification” of purchasing items on credit can be a costly decision if the balance is not paid off when the statement comes each month. For example: You purchase...

 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving: A Lifestyle Choice? Every year it seems that Thanksgiving becomes a bit more “squished”. The Halloween candy gets put away in favor of large displays of red and green merchandise. Stores which once were closed...

 

Friday, November 16, 2018

How Can I Learn More About A Financial Advisor? Visiting a financial advisor’s website can assist you toward learning about a financial advisor’s bio including their experience, education, and business focus. Meeting with...

 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

62 or 70? Does it Matter? It can be tempting to claim Social Security benefits as early as possible at age 62. But working even a few years longer can help to enhance Social Security income when the worker decides not to file for...

 

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Help Protect Your Financial Accounts Technology is a great thing in many respects. You can conveniently check and send email, transfer money, deposit checks to your bank, make purchases, pay bills, and do so many other things online....

 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Thank You, Veterans! I was out of the office and away from social media on Veteran’s Day. I didn’t want the occasion to pass by without a comment, because I am so very grateful to our military men and women for all they...

 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Halloween and Midterm Elections are Over - What’s Next? Halloween and the midterm elections are now over. Now we’re focused on pumpkin pies and evergreen wreaths. But, what’s coming after that? Mud season? Why, yes,...

 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Over the weekend, a colleague of mine’s son who is an infantry mortarman in the New York National Guard unfurled the flag with other military members at the Buffalo Bills game. It was very moving to see pictures and a video of...

 

Monday, November 5, 2018

TIME FLIES - ARE YOU USING IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE? I cannot believe it is already November! Where did 2018 go? The months have sped by! Alas, so do the years. On Saturday, I read a reading to a packed congregation at my oldest...

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Is It Time to Dust Off Your Risk Tolerance Questionnaire? During first meetings and conversations with financial advisors, investors generally discuss 3 key things: their goals, their time horizon to work toward those goals, and their...

 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Building Bridges: Bringing Back A Sense of Community in the World I grew up in a small town where everyone pretty much knew everyone else. You didn’t dare do “stupid things” because your parents would know even before...

 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Write Me a Prescription, Doc Sometimes clients like to joke around when they call and recently, in the midst of a particularly choppy market session, a client called and said, “My portfolio might be coming down with a little...

 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

5 Ways for Market “Rough Riders” to Prevent Saddle Sores Before he became president, Teddy Roosevelt was part of a volunteer cavalry known as the “Rough Riders”. I often think of that name when the stock market...

 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

What is the Sizzle in Your Steak, Todd? A colleague of mine recently attended a networking luncheon where people were introducing themselves and describing their businesses. No matter what the business, it seemed everyone said they...

 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Year End Is Approaching: Financial Management Activities to Consider Now This year flew by. Many of us were just getting around to starting our 2018 New Year’s resolutions and now it is almost time to make them again! There are a...

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Record-Setting Lotteries Encourage Big Dreams (A Financial Advisor Can Help Prevent Nightmares) A co-worker of mine joked today that the lottery drawing tonight was over $650 million and this might be her last day in the office. When I...

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Don’t Be “Chicken Little” - The Sky May Not be Falling When the financial markets become volatile, it might seem, as a knee-jerk reaction, that getting out of the market might be the right thing to do. It is not...

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Things Are Going Well, Why Should I Call a Financial Advisor? I previously wrote about the personal financial “red flags” of “I’m all set” and “He’s a nice guy” (referring to an advisor...

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

20 Random Acts of Kindness Over the weekend, there was a horrific accident in our region involving a limousine and 20 people lost their lives both in the limo and in a parking lot where they were hit. It has sent shockwaves through...

 

Friday, October 5, 2018

“Bother” Me! I love to hear from my clients. I don’t love when anyone starts the conversation with, “Sorry to bother you.” “Bother” me! It’s not a “bother” to answer questions...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Have You Been Lulled? With new highs on the S&P500 and the DJIA, it can be easy to become complacent. After all, we have had a bull market now for quite some time. Of course, we have to remember that it was not all an upswing - there...

 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Introduce Your Advisor to Your Adult Children It may be sometimes difficult to recognize our children who are done with college, out working, and living on their own as adults. It might be a first instinct to seek to help young adults...

 

Monday, September 24, 2018

The 3 Word Personal Financial “Red Flag” I’ve been in the financial industry since I graduated from college in 1987. If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase “I’m all set”, I myself would...

 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

We All have a Santa Inside: Let Him Out! Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus - and it is each one of us. Not just in December, but all year through, we should look to keep the spirit of “Santa Claus” alive in our...

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Were You Aware: It’s Life Insurance Awareness Month September is more than half over and perhaps a “round to it” is needed. One of the reasons people don’t have insurance is because they don’t get “a...

 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Let’s Talk About Cents, Baby When entering a serious relationship, there are so many things to know besides favorite color and favorite food. There are important things like taste in music and whether you root for the same sports...

 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Employee Retention Strategy Deadline Approaching Nov 1 Small Business Owners: Employee Retention Strategy Deadline Approaching Nov 1 Did you know that November 1, 2018 is the last day that business owners can convert SIMPLE IRAs to...

 

Monday, September 10, 2018

5 Ways to Screw Up Your Finances By Not Scheduling an Appointment - Someday never seems to become “today”. If you have been meaning to call a financial advisor, get around to it. Make it happen by marking it on your...

 

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Life is challenging enough - why complicate matters when you don’t have to? Here are 5 quick ways you can make financial management easier: Email - Give your financial advisor your email address. Having an email address can...

 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

When I Die, The Dog Gets Everything My dog, Jeter (as in Derek), is nearly 14 years old. He’s one of those small poodle mixes that don’t shed. My youngest daughter just turned 16, so you can imagine that it would be hard...

 

Monday, August 27, 2018

5 Ways to Be Less Stressed as the Kids Go Back to School My kids are still in school: college and high school. I dread the supplies list as it grows more extensively every year. From college textbooks to clickers to graphic calculators...

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The summer is county and state fair season. As we rush past the various barns and buildings with our cotton candy and fried dough, we glimpse the numerous contests going on in the show rings. To the uninitiated, it can be hard to tell...

 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I begin “most” days by working out. I try and do planks – on my forearms for a minute, to the right for a minute, to the left for a minute. Anyone who says that time flies has never planked! It’s not easy. My...