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Lean into Life After Work

“Look before you leap” was a bit of good advice I received from my dad as I ventured into college, a career, marriage, life. Your own father probably once said something similar to you. It’s pretty simple guidance, but valuable in its wide applicability. Surprisingly, many people don’t “look” before they leave decades of more structured life to enter a world where, to borrow a phrase, ...

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Chess, Poker, Investing and Life

Allan Rufus, in his book, “The Master’s Sacred Knowledge,” says, “Life is like a game of chess. To win you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with insight and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way.” The phrase “life is like a game of chess” has become a well-worn adage, and, like many other old adages, this one has some significa...

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Educate Your Heirs

One of the best gifts you can leave your heirs is education about money in general and your financial affairs specifically. This can include passing along your ethics and values. You may have become knowledgeable about finance, investments, income taxes and estate planning because you have been successful and have had years of experience. For someone who doesn’t handle these things, all of th...

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The SECURE Act and Student Loan Repayments: The Gift of Options

Much of the discussion surrounding the recently passed SECURE Act focuses on employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs and inherited IRAs. Yet, tucked away in the new law – which aims to expand access to retirement savings vehicles, preserve retirement savings, and encourage better savings habits – is the expansion of what counts as a qualified education expense under the rules governing 529 ...

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Does Your Financial Plan Need Attention? Try This

Another spin on New Year’s resolutions? Now? Well, it turns out the topic is more appropriate than it initially might seem, given that most people have already abandoned the commitments they made to themselves when the calendar turned. One frequently cited figure is that some 80% of such promises to eat better, hit the gym, or write a screenplay fail by the middle of February. This may sound dis...

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The Promise of a New Career: Understanding the Finances of Your New Job

Congratulations! You landed a new job. Whether you’ll be stepping into a similar role just at another company or embarking on a completely new career, understanding some beyond-the-salary financial implications of your new gig can make the switch a lot easier. From keeping track of the savings in your old work retirement plan to understanding your new health insurance options, there are a lot of...

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Viewing Management Fees on Reinsurance Interval Funds Through the Correct Lens

The reinsurance industry’s existence presents an opportunity for investors to add an asset, through participation in its business, with “equitylike” expected returns that are uncorrelated with the risks and returns of other assets in their portfolios (stocks, bonds and other alternative investments)—there is no logical reason to believe that losses from earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and ...

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Make life easier in 2020

As you start 2020, take a deep, meditative breath and envision how much easier your life could be if certain obstacles were removed and nagging problems were solved. What if you could eliminate this unnecessary baggage and get to that peaceful life you visualize? A friend recently mentioned that each year she adopts a word or saying to guide her actions and decisions. Her refrain for 2019 was ...

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SPIVA December 2019 Persistence Scorecard

Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published its biannual Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) reports, which compare the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. It also puts out a pair of scorecards each year that focus on persistence of performance. This is an important issue because if persistence is not significantly greater than should be expected a...

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Active Management’s Persistent Failure to Persistently Outperform

Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published its biannual Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) reports, which compare the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. It also puts out a pair of scorecards each year that focus on persistence of performance. This is an important issue because if persistence is not significantly greater than should be expected a...

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Crafting Your Spending and Savings Plan: Unlocking the Door to Financial Freedom

Budget. It’s a term that strikes fear in almost everyone at one time or another. But, while many people view investing as the key to financial success, it’s really budgeting that unlocks the door. After all, you need assets in order to invest them. Because budgeting is so often negatively associated with tedium, denial, frustration and failure, let’s instead discuss how to craft a spending a...

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Recency Bias Erodes Discipline and Destroys Investor Returns: Reconsidering Reinsurance

Among the errors discussed in my book “Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make and How to Avoid Them” is one called “recency.” Recency bias is the tendency to overweight recent events/trends and ignore long-term evidence. This leads investors to buy after periods of strong performance—when valuations are higher and expected returns are now lower—and sell after periods of poor per...

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Turning a Saver Into a Spender

Old habits are hard to break. You may have been raised in a household where your family needed every penny to make ends meet. Perhaps you started working at a young age to help pay the bills. The value of hard work becomes ingrained, and you learn not to spend money frivolously. If this describes you, the lessons you learned about saving money most likely served you well as you grew older and m...

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The Buckingham Family of Financial Services Unveils New Brand Structure

The Buckingham Family of Financial Services announced today that it will unify all its businesses under the Buckingham brand. This initiative represents a milestone following the November 2018 merger of BAM Advisor Services and Loring Ward, and will enable the firm to better align the brands within its wealth management and turnkey asset management platform (TAMP) business lines. The new brand arc...

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Figuring Out if You Should Retire

Anyone considering retirement, or who has retired in the recent past, understands that there is a lot to this decision. Sure, having enough money is an important part of this equation, but there is much more to consider. Once your company throws you a retirement party, your life will be forever changed. Figuring out if you can and should retire takes some work. I recently attended an insightful...

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Living a Life Worthy of a Legacy at Any Age

Estate planning is one of the most technical—and terrifying—topics in the broad practice of wealth management. It exists at the intersection of quantitative logic and qualitative feelings, and it evokes the types of emotions that we instinctively avoid. Anxiety, fear, loss, sadness, hopelessness. “I don’t have the words. Praying. Anything at all, we’re here for you.” What else do you t...

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A Successful Small Business Start-Up

Small businesses are the backbone of this country. People with great talent and ideas form businesses they believe in to provide others with products and services and to make a living for themselves and their families. As any small business owner knows, there is a lot to running a company, and you end up wearing many hats. While you may be wonderful at flower arranging, you may know much less a...

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Finding and Supporting Your Passion

Donating to a nonprofit organization is a wonderful way to make a positive impact on an issue that connects to your values. Currently, 2.7 million nonprofits in the U.S. are looking for donors and volunteers1. The opportunities to support a nonprofit can seem endless and overwhelming. Unfortunately, not every nonprofit is properly managed, and your investment may not make the impact you intended. ...

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Dot Your I’s and Cross Your T’s: Navigating the Complexities of Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness

The past few years have seen the U.S. Department of Education’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program garner a whirlwind of criticism, from borrowers, watchdogs and lawmakers alike. Its complex and poorly communicated requirements have resulted in hundreds of headlines, several lawsuits, and thousands of heart-breaking personal accounts. The program’s administration has been troubled,...

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The Foundational Aspects of Planning Your Legacy

Families who have determined that they’ve accumulated more wealth than they expect to spend in their lifetimes often approach legacy planning looking primarily for tactical help and technical expertise. They may come to the conversation simply seeking the specific tool or set of tools most appropriate for passing their wealth to heirs and charities with as little as possible lost to taxes or unw...