Conversations

My thoughts on personal finance and related topics

Should You Do a Reverse Mortgage?

In most circumstances, a reverse mortgage doesn’t make good financial sense, in spite of the soothing words from Tom Selleck, Henry Winkler, and Fred Thompson.

We Currently Have An Inverted Yield Curve For The US Economy

You may have heard that we currently have an inverted yield curve for US Treasury debt or, you may have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ll explain. What […]

A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding Stock Market Risk and Expected Returns

As the stock market gyrates and your 401K balance swing to and fro, we’re all re-learning that our investments can go down as well as up and […]

Nine Reasons Why You Should Choose a Roth Retirement Account

For most people in most situations, Roth contributions are better than a pre-tax 401K or IRA, but keep in mind that either is better than not contributing […]

There Is Only One Effective Strategy To Consistently Save Money

What is the best strategy to save more and spend less? When it comes to saving money, passive is the new active.

A Beginner’s Guide To Understanding How To Invest In Bonds

You may have some sense of what a bond is, but if you’re curious about the specifics, this note is for you. Investing in bonds generally offer […]

How much should you be saving for retirement and what’s the most effective way to do it?

Knowing how much you should save for retirement and whether you are on-track, are questions for everyone.

Everything to Know About College Financial Aid and Student Loans

There is a lot to absorb about college financial aid and student loans but it is better to understand this before you make potentially lifelong commitments to […]

An Eight Point Checklist To Determine If You Are Financially Retirement Ready

Are you ready to retire? Before you rent the RV, take bridge lessons, and become helicopter grandparents, complete this checklist:

For Your Retirement Investing, You Should Use A Target-Date Fund

When investing your retirement savings, you should aim to: optimize risk/return trade-off minimize effort minimize cost

Should you be a socially-responsible investor?

Socially responsible investing is a great idea in theory but difficult in practice. I’ll explain why. But first, what is socially responsible investing? It generally takes one of […]

How To Teach Your Children About Personal Finance

Saving money is an unnatural act for most kids. How should you encourage them to develop good personal finance habits? Your kids may not appreciate your guidance […]

Should you borrow from your 401K?

Generally, it’s not a good idea to borrow from your 401K but there are certain circumstances in which it can make sense. Before I explain, here are […]

So, you want to be a landlord?

I live near Boston where we have lots of three-family homes (“triple deckers” in the local patois). Often, homeowners choose to live in one unit and rent […]

What is the most effective approach to set up a budget for yourself?

A budget measures your actual spending over a period of time (typically, monthly) and compares that to your intended level of spending. It allows you to understand how much money […]

Key Considerations About Including Annuities as Part of Your Retirement Plan

Many of us have heard of annuities but few understand how they work and if they should be part of your retirement plan. I’ll explain.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Financial Advisor

You may face a choice when considering a financial advisor — do you want a relationship manager or a financial wiz?

The Trade-offs Between Debit and Credit Cards

Should you use debit or credit cards for your everyday spending? The answer, like many personal finance questions, depends on your personality and your financial situation.

Robo-Advisors Are A New Fin-Tech Innovation; Are They Worth It?

Robo-advisors are a recent innovation in the fintech industry. The two best known companies are Wealthfront and Betterment, although Schwab is aggressively moving into this business.

Are you struggling to make ends meet?

Getting your finances back on track can be a lonely and frightening journey. I’ll share my approach when working with clients in this situation.

The Most Important Tips To Successfully Mix Love and Money

When romance merges with finance, there can be a lot to discuss. When you and your sweetie decide to share your lives together, I suggest you align […]

Should you rent or buy your home?

Deciding whether to rent or buy your home is one of the eternal personal finance questions. My two cents on this topic may be counter-intuitive to conventional […]

The Differences and Similarities Between Private Equity and Venture Capital

Venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investments have much in common but also important differences.

Understanding Employee Stock Option Grants

Employee stock options have been indirectly in the news, given the recent IPOs (initial public offerings) of such companies as Uber, Lyft, Pinterest, and Beyond Meat. In […]

Mutual Fund Fees Will Continue to Decline

Mutual fund fees are slowly but surely heading to zero. At least that’s the conclusion of an industry analyst’s report:

Critical Spending and Saving Tips to Achieve Financial Independence

Achieving financial independence is a process for young adults. For those of you in the midst of building this foundation, focus on three goals:

Should dollar cost averaging be part of your investment strategy?

What is dollar cost averaging? It just means investing your money over a period of time, rather than in a lump sum all at once. It does […]

Financial Advisor Fees Will Continue To Go Down

The traditional financial advisor compensation model may be slowly but surely meeting its demise. The pressure started years ago with low-cost index funds, then ETFs, target date […]

Do you want to think like an economist?

Are you planning to go to a cocktail party full of economists? Here’s a primer on how they see the world.

How To Evaluate Whether Long-Term Care Insurance Makes Sense For You

I grow old… I grow old…I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. If you’re of a certain age, besides reading The Lovesong of J Alfred […]

A Remembrance of John Bogle

You may have heard that John Bogle died this year. Or, you may have no idea who he was. The financial industry has produced few heroes; instead, […]

How To Evaluate Your 401K Plan And What To Do With It When You Leave

When I evaluate a client’s 401K plan, I assess four dimensions of it: How to evaluate your 401K Plan 1. What are the investment options? For most […]

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