“Well, that’s fitting as everything is always 50% off at Sears” dead-panned my husband when I told him that I sold my Sears bond for half of its face value.
I had been holding an unsecured note for three years, long before Sears filed for bankruptcy. Unbeknownst to me, my bond had moved into default status and so I decided to sell it straight away rather than wait to see how much I would eventually get for it. Estimates ranged from 30-60 cents for each dollar of face-value, so I feel lucky to have received 50% without waiting.
“Ann, it's great to see you!” exclaimed Sally as she burst into my office for her annual review. Like many of my clients Sally enthusiastically gives me credit for the past year's financial markets performance. I first did Sally’s plan 9 years ago and she has been this effusive whenever we have our check-in meetings. Although I’d like to take personal credit for the financial markets performance since 2009, I usually spend the first 30 minutes of our time together explaining to her why I’m no genius.
The World Cup is off to a great start. No sooner had I filled out my statistically based bracket, and the underdog Mexican team defeated the favored Germans. The revelry in Mexico allegedly set off a small earthquake! As you watch this exciting international contest this summer, keep in mind that the FIFA teams can teach us about more than just soccer.
The growing demand for more predictability and security planning for retirement income has led an increasing number of retirees and pre-retirees to look to annuities as way to provide more stability in their investment portfolios.
“Does 1% really make any difference?” John asked. We were discussing John’s cash and emergency savings.
The financial experts know a lot more about the markets and how the markets will perform in the future than the ordinary rest of us. Right?
“You’re doing what?” inquired Tim incredulously. Tim and I were discussing college savings for his 10th grade daughter, and he knew that I too was saving for college for my high school daughter and college son. “You heard me right the first time,” I said, “my 25-year-old is funding his siblings’ 529s.”
Unfortunately, Tim doesn’t have the same secret weapon that I have and so can’t take advantage of my strategy.
If you’re a fan of political dramas on televisions, you’ll know that the turbulent world of politics has an affect on the global financial markets. But what about in real life? How much does art - if you can call shows like Scandal, Veep, and House of Cards art - imitate life, and vice versa?
The truth of the matter is that 2017 is turning out to be a bit of an unpredictable political year, and a lot of that can be boiled down to the win in November 2016, when Trump was elected President of the United States. And whether you are a pro or anti of his presidency, I think we all can agree that the political climate is ever changing. The truth of the matter is that surprisingly politics don’t have as much of an influence over markets as much as TV would like us to believe - in the long term.
You receive portfolio performance reports every three months—a form of transparency that financial planning professionals introduced at a time when the typical brokerage statement was impossible to decipher. But it might surprise you to know that most professionals think there is actually little value to any quarterly performance information, other than to reassure you that you actually do own a diversified portfolio of investments. It’s very difficult to know if you’re staying abreast of the market, and for most of us, that’s not really relevant anyway.