Rethinking Risk

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Risk in the investment world doesn’t actually translate to the common meaning of the word “risk.” When I tell you that an investment is “high risk,” your first thought is probably that it means there’s a high chance of losing money or losing the entire investment. That could be the case, but in investment professional parlance, “risk” more typically refers …

You always pay for what you get

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The old adage goes “you get what you pay for,” but I’m personally taken with a more realistic version from Hearn’s laws that goes: “You always pay for what you get. If you are lucky, you will get what you pay for.” Truly, this is the stuff of common sense, yet people often expect a French Bistro experience on a …

Lemon Avoidance

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In the financial services industry, there are lemons. A lot of lemons. In fact, I’d go so far as to argue that the majority of financial products are lemons, and in turn, that most of the people producing and selling those lemons, know that they are lemons. In fact, the presence of lemons in a marketplace can be so significant …

What’s Your Fair Share?

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Over the weekend, the President of the United States made national news (as one often does) by stating that the $3.5 Trillion proposed spending bill in the house would cost “Zero” because it is “Paid For”. Much as I’d like to tell servers at restaurants that my bill is zero because I can pay for it, there aren’t any stores …

Tax Policy by Outrage

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It’s no secret that laws are not written by perfect people, nor are they error free texts bestowed upon us by a higher power. In fact, it’s fairly well known that many laws are written in part or entirely by policy makers and lobbyists with an interest in the outcome of the laws. Yesterday, Congress released the text of the …

“Guaranteed” Passive Income

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It’s not uncommon to see an advertisement for “guaranteed passive income”; whether it’s the harmonica playing insurance agent, a real estate mogul, an accredited investor Regulation D offering on Facebook, or just your bank touting some FDIC secured CDs, there is no end to the promises of others to give you guaranteed passive income. Yet, as the old adage goes, …

Tax Traps and How to Avoid Them

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The old adage goes that there’s “no free lunch” when it comes to life. Put more clearly in context, only two things are sure in life: “Death and Taxes.” One of the key roles a financial planner plays in their client’s lives is that of “tax eliminator.” This differs from tax evaders (criminally not paying taxes that are due), but …

Bootstrapping a Business

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Surprisingly, starting up a business is a common occurrence during economic recessions. As many people are laid off or their companies fail during an economic downturn, it’s not uncommon that some people say “now is the time to start a business.” This is a phenomenon that was somewhat absent during the recession in the late 2000s, largely driven by the …

Banks are not your Friend

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I have a love-hate relationship with banks in general. While Banks have a long and questionable history, it is unquestionable that they’re a cornerstone institution in our society. That role isn’t only held by “bank banks”, but also by credit unions and assorted depositories of various types. Ultimately when I say bank going forward, you can assume we’re talking about …

The Home Equity Credit Desert

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Inflation and home prices have made the news in spades this year. In Longmont, CO, over a dozen homes have sold for well over $100,000 in asking price, and that was after the list price for properties had increased by double-digit percentages since January. In other news, inflation continues to rear its head, with the CPI this month reflecting a …