Time for my annual book review, and in 2015 I ended up reading 95 books, less than the 118 in 2014 but I also had a pretty busy year (lost 40+ lbs, started martial arts, expert in over 40 different publications, etc.). 54% were fiction 46% non-fiction. 70 of the books I rated 4 or 5 stars, so I chose well. I read 11 personal development books, 15 business, and 18 general non-fiction. My favorite fiction was probably Genesis Extinction Point #4, which doesn’t help you if you haven’t read books 1-3. It’s a dystopian view of a plague brought ... Read More
There are few things as sweet as your first mention in the Wall Street Journal. March 10th was the day Mike Brady arrived in print! Since I was written up in the TheSuit Magazine, I’ve had a number of requests for interviews, expert quotes, and general articles about how I interact with clients. I provide distinction from others in my field in the relationships I build and how I focus on the “why”, vision, and goals. Activating your creative “right brain” is just as important as the logical “left brain”. I’ve been interviewed on this recently for a technical journal, ... Read More
I was recently asked by a news journalist my opinion on how to avoid penalties on your required minimum distributions. Of course, my first answer was to make sure you actually take them and problem solved! I think she was looking for more…..so I did in fact answer more seriously. Personally, I always watch over all my clients that are at least 70 years old (or have a beneficiary IRA) to calculate the requirement and ensure it’s taken care of. If you don’t adhere to the rules, the tax penalty is 50% of what you should have taken out, in ... Read More
I’m a big believer that knowing your time horizon for investments is very important. Unfortunately, many investors, and definitely the media, live in the short term when in fact your needs are middle to long term. I read this interesting blog (link below) that really sums things up. The only important thing is the probability of reaching your goals over the time frame specific to you. A time frame super long (over 100 years) like some stock market charts is really irrelevant, as is a super short time frame, except to the degree it forces us off our personalized investment ... Read More
I’m 46 years old, which means I grew up in the 1980s. One thing popular at that time was to make a “mix tape” with a dual cassette player/recorder. You could then give that tape to a friend. We thought we were so COOL! Today, we have iTunes, Spotify, satellite radio, etc. and no one makes mixed tapes anymore. Boo hoo! Well, I’ve got you covered. Now you can buy a USB drive that looks like a cassette so you can make that mix tape for your friend or loved one (or for yourself). Party on, and long live the ... Read More
TheSuit Magazine did a nice article about me, my company, and some of my beliefs in their most recent edition. I don’t often get interviewed, so it was a fun experience. He got a few things wrong (I was not actually in Africa for 2 years straight but rather kept going back periodically over that 2 year time frame), but overall got it right. I love my clients, company, and am having a lot of fun while trying to make a difference. Hopefully it shows. FULL ARTICLE – PDF Link to TheSuit Magazine Read More
The US Dollar is looking pretty mighty these days Goldman Sachs believes the U.S. dollar will catch up to the Euro and may even be equal by the end of the year. This is just one outcome of a resurgent America in comparison to the European Monetary countries that are having all kinds of difficulty. While we ended our bond buying program, they’re just about to start. This is good news for US travelers to Europe but bad news for big multi-national companies that do lots of business overseas as they convert back into US dollars. Greenback Sours Against the ... Read More
A couple of years ago I started rating my books I read on www.goodreads.com. Then I realized it kept track of all of them, and without knowing it I read 73 books in 2013. So, for 2014 I thought “I’ll bet I could read 100 books if I changed a few habits around (like no TV)”. So, that’s what I did, and I’ve never felt smarter and more enriched. I ended up reading 118 books in 2014, 66 fiction and 52 non-fiction. Of the 52 non-fiction, 13 were business, 14 were personal development, and 25 miscellaneous general non-fiction. * The ... Read More
The title of this should actually be “you know you have too much money when……..” Yes, that’s right, someone paid $467 for their constipated goldfish to have surgery so it wouldn’t die. Weird. Anyway, I’d write more about this but I have to go meet a friend for some all-you-can-eat sushi…….. Surgery Cures Constipated Goldfish Read More
I remember the 1998 Russian crisis well. It was near the end of the summer, and threatened to put a real damper on an otherwise excellent stock market year. The “Moscow meltdown” bled over the S&P 500, which plunged 20%. There are reasons 1998 and today are different Tough sanction in place have somewhat isolated Western investors Russia has a war chest of $416 billion in currency reserves today, versus very little in 1998 Russia’s currency is free floating, and not pegged to the US Dollar like in 1998. External shocks can be absorbed by the currency markets. There are ... Read More
I’m entering my 24th year working with clients. I did financial plans for people decades ago, and usually, those that did reach their goals did so not because they bought mutual fund A instead of mutual fund B, or this investment over another, it had to do with having the right behavior and keeping the big questions in mind. Ben Carlson wrote an absolutely wonderful blog that I’ve linked to below. He says very succinctly what I say all the time, and truly believe. Here’s his list of 7 Simple Things Most Investors Don’t Do Look at ... Read More
Falling oil prices and collapsing exchange rates do not mean that it’s 1998 again. There’s an old adage that “economists have predicted 17 of the last 3 recessions”. History is an outline, a guide, but there’s a reason we disclaim “past performance is no guarantee of future results”. It should be modified to say “past history does not mean it will repeat itself here again”. History is an Outline, not a Blueprint Read More
One technique for moving money from one IRA to another, and possibly use that money in the meantime, is to do a “60 day rollover”. This is very common, and can be done once per year per individual IRA account. Starting in 2015, you can only perform this 60 day rollover once per year for all your IRAs, regardless of how many you have. What does this mean? IRA transfers, which I usually recommend for clients, is the way to move money from trustee to trustee. Understanding the New IRA Rollover Rules for 2015 Read More
The magnitude of loss greater than 20% or 30% is actually quite unusual, but 10% happens often, even if it hasn’t happened since 2011. When it happens it doesn’t feel very good, but it’s not necessarily a prelude to bigger declines, so we shouldn’t jump to that conclusion. Here’s a full article with more discussion about the odds. What Are the Odds We’re Heading for Another Crash Read More
The deficit is the difference between tax receipts (inputs) and tax expenditures (outputs). The deficit has been declining over the past few years, but it’s not due to decreased expenditures, it’s due to increased revenues. The private sector has been healing itself over the past 5 years, and it shows with the tax revenue. Full Article Read More
Tensions with Russia, slowing global growth and falling consumer confidence mean the region’s biggest economy struggled to grow in the past 3 months, and may turn out to have shrunk for a 2nd quarter running. Across the Eurozone as a whole, recently released data showed that economic sentiment dipped in September for a 4th month in a row. Questions abound about whether this could lead into a vicious circle of falling prices and stagnation. I’ll continue to watch this closely and make some macro recommendations for my clients as this continues to unfold. Risk of Third German Recession Pressures Europe ... Read More
I love the below article, and recommend you read it. Essentially it talks about the limits of complexity, and how exotic devices can create exotic problems. The reason this is relevant is the applicability of this principal to finance. Any financial model is only as good as the person or team using it Complex strategies can create unforeseen complications Some problems have no solution, so you have to choose which form of risk you want to deal with, risk now or risk in the future. etc. Really good article and I agree with all his points. When Exotic Devices Create ... Read More
Pimco is a mutual and ETF firm with a huge bond fund that has been the player in that space for the past 40 years. Bill Gross founded the firm in 1971, and it is now around $2 trillion dollars under management. Last week Bill Gross decided to leave the fund and move to Janus. This is important because of the disruption to the bond market as huge sums could (and I say could) move from one firm to another. The bond market doesn’t get as much coverage as the stock markets, but this is a pretty big change, equal ... Read More
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an unmanaged, price-weighted index of 30 large capitalization stocks with dividends reinvested.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (“S&P 500”) is an unmanaged, market capitalization weighted index of 500 widely held stocks, with dividends reinvested, and is often used as a proxy for the stock market.
The Nasdaq Composite is an unmanaged, market capitalization weighted index of stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, and are reported as price return without reinvestment of dividends.
Indexes are often used as a proxy for the stock market and cannot be invested in directly.