Archive - August 2012

1
Widowed…And Directionless?
2
Trading Frequency: Can Less Be More?
3
Think You Have Just One Estate? You Could Be Wrong.
4
Now’s The Time To Refinance
5
Budgeting Lessons From An 18-Year-Old?

Widowed…And Directionless?

Losing your spouse prematurely may be your worst nightmare. That’s when you discover who your real friends are, which relatives you can count on — and the unbelievable time and stress involved in sorting through complicated legal and financial issues that immediately land in your lap.

Some well-intentioned friends or family will tell you to avoid making any financial decisions for some time, such as working with new financial professionals or buying investment products. On the other hand, some financial and legal matters need to be attended to immediately. How do you know what needs to be addressed now – …

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Trading Frequency: Can Less Be More?

When I explain Net Worth Advisory Group’s “Best Stock, Best Funds” investment strategy, people sometimes question why we only update our portfolio holdings once a year.   Some people wonder if I am earning my management fee if I don’t make changes more frequently. In reality, study after study concludes that when it comes to portfolio turnover, less is likely more.

Who is the most successful long-term investor in the United States?  This would be a person who has made billions of dollars by purchasing stocks; not by building businesses directly such as Bill Gates did with Microsoft.  The answer is …

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Think You Have Just One Estate? You Could Be Wrong.

Your Estate is essentially what you leave behind when you pass on. And, all of us have many Estates. There is your Gross Estate, Taxable Estate and Probate Estate to name a few. But, what I’m talking about today is your Probate Estate. You may actually have more than one Probate Estate. If you are or were in the military the chances that you have two Probate Estates increases. Let’s start though with what your Probate Estate is.

Your Probate Estate includes those items that pass from you to your heirs via your will (or if you don’t have a …

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Now’s The Time To Refinance

If you are a home-owner, now may be an opportune time to refinance.  Over the last month, interest rates have continued to drop and remain at historic lows. Banks are also offering some extremely favorable loan terms, including credits that can be used toward your escrow and adjustable loans with favorable caps that lower the risk should rates rise sharply over the next few years. 

To give you an idea, below are some examples of rates and terms that we have seen in the past month:

  • A 30-year fixed mortgage:  3.250% – 3.5%
  • A 15-year fixed mortgage: 2.75% with zero
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Budgeting Lessons From An 18-Year-Old?

Recently we had the good fortune to travel overseas with our 18-year-old niece. Aside from being totally cool hanging out with her middle-aged aunt and uncle, I was impressed by her budgeting skills.  The budget, however, was not her spending money, but her text messages.

Her mother gave her an allowance of 200 texts for a two-week trip. One morning over breakfast, she volunteered how she was doing on her budget – 100 texts remaining. We were halfway through the trip.  By the last day, at the departing airport, I asked how she was doing, and she reported she had …

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