Becoming a Millionaire Next Door

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According to a fair bit of research and just plain anecdotal evidence, there are three controllable paths to becoming a millionaire in the United States: work in a high-paying profession, save and invest consistently over time, and own a successful business. While some smart aleck is likely to come along at this point and say “be born with rich parents”, …

The Making of a Ponzi Scheme

Daniel Yerger Financial Planning 2 Comments

On February 4th, the SEC charged three individuals and their investment firm, GPB Capital, with running a Ponzi scheme in the amount of $1.7 billion dollars. For scale, the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme was $64.8 billion, so while this scheme did not reach such a significant size, it is still the largest Ponzi scheme accusation made since Madoff’s conviction in …

The Games Won’t Stop

Daniel Yerger Financial Planning 3 Comments

If your experience with the markets lately has been an entertaining, if confusing one, you’re not alone. Last week, the market had another “never before seen” event, after members of the website Reddit banded together to buy as much Gamestop stock as they could afford. Reporting has been mixed regarding this, but there have been several constants. Most importantly, if …

On the Morality of Stock Buybacks

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In 2020 stock buybacks came under attack, and it was no surprise. The public was outraged to learn that airlines had collectively engaged in over $25 billion dollars in stock buybacks over the past decade. “How can companies making that much money suddenly not have the cash to operate?!” Was the question of the day, and a fair one at …

A Financial Planning Safari

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Greetings! Today we’re going on a safari of the assorted beasts and brokers that often can be confused by a layperson for financial planning. Financial planning is a rare and special beast that is still offered by the minority of those calling themselves financial advisors, planners, counselors, coaches, and so on. Within this particular landscape, there are many things that …

The Financial Literacy Crisis

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In the United States we have several measures of financial literacy, and to be frank, none of the numbers look good. Less than one in four Americans is literate in risk management (insurance) terms and only three in five can accurately describe how a loan works. Over half the population would struggle to pay for a five hundred dollar emergency …

Tax Shelters and Tactics for 2021

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With a new year comes many new things: resolutions, car models, and of course, tax rules. In late December, Congress passed a stimulus package that also included a number of tax provisions that apply to many people in 2021. As financial planners, “Tax Alpha” is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal, and when providing financial planning, it …

A Few Good Policies

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As promised, I come with post-Christmas-pre-new-years good tidings of the few decent use cases for permanent life insurance. Let me just get the facts out of the way: These conditions are rare and are unlikely to apply to you. If they do happen to apply to you, terrific, you should approach the purchase of life insurance with great skepticism and …

The False Promise of Life Insurance

Daniel Yerger Financial Planning 1 Comment

I have a permanent variable universal life insurance policy. I had it written and issued on my life in December of 2018 for two specific purposes: To protect my partner against the financial loss of my death. To fund my potential need for assisted living in my later years. Respectively, the life insurance policy provides a significant death benefit that …

The Cryptocurrency Mirage

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Not a week has gone by in my professional career as a financial planner that someone hasn’t asked me about bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. “Dan, what do you think about doesn’t-actually-exist-coin*? I hear people are making millions.” And it’s true. Some big names have come out to celebrate their investment in cryptocurrencies, some well known, some far off the radar. …