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President Trump. Now What?

| December 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

Donald J. Trump will be the next President of the United States, and Republicans maintained control over the House of Representatives and the Senate. Since the election results became clear, equity markets have rallied sharply. As I write this, the U.S. stock market is up about 2.5 percent since the election, while the bond market […]

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The Presidential Election and your Investments

| October 30, 2016 | 0 Comments
The Presidential Election and your Investments

Last night, I listened to a commentator call the election an existential moment: deciding the fate of our country and proclaiming that the wrong choice would be ruinous and a disaster. Let me be clear also that I’ve heard way too much of this kind of talk from both sides of the political spectrum. Politically, […]

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Dog Bites and Homeowners’ Liability Insurance

| October 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

On a recent weekend, some friends and I were walking our dogs in Mission Hills. A loose pit bull approached our group, charged and bit my dog. We chased it away and called animal control. Thankfully, my dog wasn’t seriously hurt, but it got me thinking about the responsibilities of owning a pet. Owning a […]

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Variable Annuities

| September 17, 2016 | 0 Comments

Lately, as we’ve been interviewing new clients, I’ve been seeing a lot more variable annuities in their portfolios. As should become pretty clear, I find this a disappointing reality. Let’s begin by understanding just what these things are. A variable annuity is an insurance product that essentially wraps traditional mutual funds inside a contract. The […]

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Your Will: The Most Basic Estate Planning Tool

| August 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

According to an April 2016 article in USA Today, a recent survey found that 64 percent of adult Americans do not have a will. In 2007, a similar study found that young parents with minor children were the least likely to have taken this important step. While few young adults expect to die early, it […]

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Investing 101: Six Things That Really Matter

| July 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

John Oliver recently did a spot on his HBO show “Last Week Tonight” which highlighted the high fees paid by investors in 401(k) plans. As entertaining as his show was, it got me thinking about the things that are really important for investors to understand. Never invest money you can’t afford to lose. If you […]

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Six Things to Consider When Your Child Turns 18

| May 30, 2016 | 0 Comments

It happens much faster than any of us expect. One minute you’re cradling this cute bundle of joy in your arms and the next thing you know she’s graduating from high school and planning to move out to college. Like many parents, I have no idea where the 18 years went, or how they went […]

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Investing and Expectations

| May 2, 2016 | 0 Comments

During the first quarter of 2016, large company stocks were up about 1.3 percent while the bond market gained about three percent. Over the past five years, the S&P 500 has gained about 12 percent per year while bonds have gained about four percent per year. International stocks have earned only about 2.3 percent over […]

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Tax Considerations of Supporting Family Members

| April 3, 2016 | 0 Comments

Last month I wrote about some basic rules to frame a decision of whether and how to lend money to a family member. Here are some additional considerations, with this very important caveat: giving a gift or lending money to a family member can have very important tax and estate planning implications. You should discuss […]

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Six Rules of Lending to Family Members

| March 9, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Bank of Mom and Dad is a popular institution these days, generally offering favorable terms and frequently more sympathetic treatment in the event of a late payment. That said, there need to be ground rules when you are considering supporting a family member with a loan or gift, and some of these rules can […]

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