Women Investors : Who Controls the Purse Strings?

Women Investing

Dear Mr. Market:

Did you remember Mother’s Day and get her something special?  As we celebrated Mother’s Day earlier this month we would not be surprised if Mr. Market didn’t do much for his mother or for women in general.  The financial services industry has been notorious for overlooking women investors however the ‘tides of change’ are quickly approaching and everyone needs to be aware of it.

Women have become a major power player and are making a huge impact in today’s financial world.  The statistics speak for themselves; here are some eye opening facts: Continue reading

Why you need to ignore “the Market”…

stock quoteDear Mr. Market:

Here we go…Right off the bat we’re insulting you by suggesting that we ignore you! Well…it’s not really you, per se, that we’re telling folks to ignore but rather a stubborn “name calling” habit that 99% of people have.


Ask any financial advisor this question:  “How did the market do today?”

How he or she replies will tell you how they are trained to think. The same applies to any friend, neighbor, or colleague of yours. Anyone… Go ahead and try it. Whenever you ask someone how the market did or what they think of “the market”…they will inevitably tell you about the Dow Jones. The same goes for the media and just about anyone who reports financial news.

Guess what? They’re all wrong! Continue reading

“The Retirement Gamble” : How to Tip the Odds in your Favor….

retirement gambleDear Mr. Market:

How many times have we heard the comment that investing in the stock market is like gambling in Las Vegas?  The market allows people to build up their account balances and confidence only to watch it all be taken back and possibly more.  Many people experience this in ‘Sin City’ as their stacks of chips build up only to watch the casino take them all back in what seems like the blink of an eye.  While we could certainly debate the similarities and differences between Vegas casinos and the stock market there is no doubt that both have left investors feeling as though the system is rigged against them.

How nice would it be if you could tip the odds in your favor in Vegas?  What if you could see what the next card or roll of the dice would be or simply improve your chances of winning?  If investing is truly like gambling what if you could increase the odds that your retirement savings would grow more and be there for you when you need them in the future?

Recently we have heard from several investors about a very powerful and informative television report featured on Frontline titled “The Retirement Gamble”.  This presentation pulls back the curtains and exposes many of the dark and hidden secrets of the financial industry that the average investor is not aware of.  There are several factors that investors can control and limit the negative impact on their portfolio resulting in a profound difference on long-term portfolio returns.  We encourage everyone to watch the online presentation of “The Retirement Gamble” that first aired on April 23, 2013.  The presentation is approximately 50 minutes long however it could possibly be the most critical education you’ll ever receive on investing.

“The Retirement Gamble”, Frontline on PBS, April 23, 2013

This show does a tremendous job of getting down to the basics and avoiding all the financial jargon that clutters the industry.  It empowers the average investor to understand many of the key aspects of investing that they need to be aware of and more importantly what they can control.  Below are some of the key points that can be taken away from this program along with some charts and our thoughts: Continue reading

Has Natural Gas Finally Hit Bottom?

Natural Gas picDear Mr. Market:

Your market shenanigans have tempted investors millions of times with the promise of new technologies, advancements, and innovation. One topic that got us thinking recently has been what you’ve done to investors in the natural gas space. Let us explain more…

If you think the stock market clobbered investors in 2008, you can take some solace in knowing that it could have been worse elsewhere. If you had invested in natural gas back in 2008 when it traded at about $13 per thousand cubic feet (Mcf), you either sold it in frustration or are an extremely patient investor. Five years later natural gas is trading at just over $4 per Mcf . Could we be near a bottom though? Continue reading

ABC’s of Investing in a 529 College Savings Plan

Unknown-6Dear Mr. Market:

Most of the time that we write to you it’s about your temper or volatile behavior and how that affects the average investor. Sometimes, however, it might be good for us to refresh our memory on “why” we invest and put up with all your ups and downs! Most investors certainly don’t watch you just for chuckles ; ideally we all have a purpose and reason to put up with all of your unpredictability and potential promise. With that being said, we would like to review some basic information as well as the pros and cons of saving for college via 529 College Savings Plans.

First and foremost let’s not waste too much time on stating the obvious: College and all the costs that come with it are more expensive than they ever have been. That trend is not reversing anytime soon so if you’re a parent or a grandparent trying to prepare and plan for the future, you need to consider the enormous price tag most universities are charging. Are you sitting down? The average private college tuition in 18 years from now will cost north of $130,000…per year! OK…how about the more reasonable route of going to a public state school? That price tag is estimated to be about Continue reading