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Category: General

A Letter to Do-It-Yourselfers

A Letter to Do-It-Yourselfers

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you felt overwhelming fear? Overwhelming in the sense that you were practically paralyzed from taking any action whatsoever? I’ll come back to this… If you’re a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIYer), before you get upset with me, let me be clear – this is not a call to hire an advisor in the traditional sense. I’m not an advisor who believes there is anything wrong with being a DIYer. I do believe managing…

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Why Are We Still Listening?

Why Are We Still Listening?

A great graphic made it’s way around the internet via the Wall Street Journal. The graphic shows the predictions from 50 economists on the direction of interest rates. How did they do? NOT A SINGLE ECONOMIST WAS EVEN IN THE BALLPARK! Every single day, pundits go on TV saying what they believe will happen with complete confidence that their prediction is going to be correct. Apparently, accuracy is hard to come by, guesses are not. I honestly understand why these…

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The Personal Part of Personal Finance

The Personal Part of Personal Finance

This week on Twitter, there has been a lot of talk about whether it’s smart to pay off your home or to invest those funds. It evolved into a discussion about whether to use a total return or income-based strategy for retirement planning. The answer is neither and both are right and wrong. You read that correctly. When it comes to retirement planning and financial planning in general, we all have a rational brain and an emotional brain. The rational…

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Free is Never Free & Thoughts on Discounts

Free is Never Free & Thoughts on Discounts

I’m writing this as I sit in a car dealership awaiting my wife’s vehicle. When we purchased the car, one of the advertised benefits of purchasing the car here was the free “car services” that were thrown in with the purchase of the vehicle. Essentially, free inspections and free oil changes. But, they’re definitely not free services. Because what seems to happen each time you bring the car in is they want to notify you of things that are either…

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A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned

As investing has moved more from a narrative-based out-performance story to a commodity needed for effective financial planning, we’ve gotten to observe fund fees coming down across the industry. This is a great thing! The following table, from Morningstar’s annual fee study, I find to be particularly exciting. Every penny that you save on fees is another cent compounding toward your future. And as I state regularly, fund fees are one of the few things in your control. I encourage…

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Softening the Edges of the Market

Softening the Edges of the Market

As I was sitting in traffic on my way to the office this morning, I thought of the opening scene of the movie Office Space. If you haven’t seen it, take one minute and watch the video, it’s so relatable!  As I was watching the drivers around me weave from lane to lane, there appeared to be a very clear connection to “chasing performance” from an investment perspective.  Chasing performance is the process of making investment decisions based on what…

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The Surprising Reality of Financial Decision Making As We Age

The Surprising Reality of Financial Decision Making As We Age

One of the biggest, and yet, least discussed risks associated with retirement is the issue of cognitive decline as we age – particularly how it impacts your financial decision making. Nobody likes to think about getting older. Even less so, nobody likes to think about the decline of their mental health. But the harsh truth is that as we get older, our cognitive abilities decline at some point. This is especially true with regard to personal finances. In fact, research…

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What to do in retirement?

What to do in retirement?

You’ve been working hard for the last 40 years and saving diligently for the big day — the day you walk out of your office for the final time never to return again. For many people this is an experience that’s met with jubilation. For others, fear. After the initial honeymoon stage of unlimited free-time ends, many newly minted retirees begin to suffer an identity crisis. For so many of us, at least a portion of our identity is tied…

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Ashby Talks Retirement

Ashby Talks Retirement

Over the past few weeks, I chatted with a couple of my advisor friends that I thought I would share with everyone. Not surprisingly, we spent the majority of time talking about retirement planning. On Monday, I spent the afternoon with Justin Castelli, CEO of RLS Wealth Management. Prior to shooting the video, we talked about all types of things about our industry and profession. We are both passionate about how we can make a bigger difference in the lives…

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Reflections on 2018 and What’s To Come in 2019

Reflections on 2018 and What’s To Come in 2019

I wavered on whether to write a post like this or not. But after realizing so much wisdom from reading similar posts from other people that I respect, I feel that if it benefits just one person then it would be worth it.  If you’re here strictly for financial content, I won’t be offended if you skip this one. As we closed out 2018, I took the week of Christmas totally off.  It ended up being nine days with the…

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