“When there is blood in the water…the sharks will come!”
This isn’t a quote from ‘Shark Week’ on the Discovery Channel, it is an accurate summary of what is currently happening as financial firms are targeting a huge demographic that will continue to grow in our country. The baby boomer generation (born 1946 – 1964) has made a dramatic impact on our country throughout their lives and now they’re all entering or nearing retirement. Every single day there are 10,000 additional baby boomers turning 65! As they enter retirement and roll over their retirement accounts, they find themselves being targeted by various firms attempting to ‘feed’ on their hard-earned savings. This year FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) has filed several ‘cease-and-desist’ orders against financial firms for these practices and also launched the FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors at 844-57-HELPS or 844-574-3577 in an effort to address this growing issue.
FINRA reported that the hotline received several hundred calls as soon as it was opened from individuals ranging in age from 45 – 99. The regulatory agencies realize they need to get ahead of this crisis as it will only continue to grow with each passing year. This spring the SEC and FINRA released a report titled “National Senior Investor Initiative”, the study focused on 44 national firms, looking at the products and services that were sold by their representatives to senior investors. Below are the results based on the revenue generated and the frequency that they were purchased at the firms: Continue reading →
How time flies! Our first letter to you was on March 20, 2013. This marks our 100th article. Over the last two years we have covered a variety of topics and events that our clients and readers have been confronted with. Over 15,000 individuals have visited the website and our top rated articles have been viewed over 12,500 times!
As we look through the library of topics we have assembled, there are several articles that stand out for various reasons. It’s challenging to pick favorites so we’ve decided to share the most popular “letters” we’ve written: Click here to read more…
Well look at you! You’ve done it again…. haven’t you, Mr. Market? On countless past occasions you’ve managed to fool not only the average emotionally driven investor but also the seasoned professional. Now you’re doing it again with an area of the market that has fooled everyone; not just this year but for decades!
Investing in real estate may not seem like something you need to do within your standard “stock and bond” portfolio. Some may argue that your house is enough exposure to real estate and for most individuals it’s their largest investment so it should suffice. Your home is actually considered a “consumption good” instead of a pure investment. Although it’s likely to appreciate over time you will not receive income from it, it most likely has a mortgage attached to it, and if you need to sell 10% of it tomorrow you’re out of luck. Additionally there are many areas within real estate aside from what’s happening on your residential street. Commercial real estate, for example, makes up about 13% of the U.S. economy.
In 2013 almost every expert pounded the table and made intelligent sounding comments calling for investors to reduce exposure to REITs. These words of caution came after it was first announced the Fed would slow down its bond-buying program (Quantitative Easing). Conventional wisdom tells us that when interest rates rise REITs (and other asset classes like Bonds) won’t perform well. Unfortunately most of these comments came after the fact and REIT investors were hit hard in May of 2013. Those who listened to the stale news proceeded to sell their REITs as that “wasn’t the place to be”. Continue reading →