Author - Bert Whitehead

1
Money Mindfulness
2
Why Invest In The Stock Market Anymore?
3
What’s A Safe Portfolio Withdrawal Rate?
4
Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments
5
Finding Real Returns In The Bond Market

Money Mindfulness

Money matters are complex. Investment options, taxes, interest rates, and financial transactions in general can be overwhelming for people who are not in the financial industry. Fewer than half the people in this country understand the math necessary to handle their own finances, even at a minimal level (including reconciliation of a checkbook). Compound the bewildering technical aspects of money with fear: nearly everyone reading this has been 'ripped off' monetarily at some point in their lives. Eventually, most of us understand that we should be very careful about trusting anyone else, even family members, with our money.

Even with …

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Why Invest In The Stock Market Anymore?

You’ve heard the investment commentators berate investments in the U.S. stock market lately. They note that the Dow Jones Industrial average, which measures values in the stock market, has been trading over 14,000 for the past month -- but isn’t that where it peaked in September of 2007?

Their conclusion is that it’s folly to invest your money in the stock market since it’s had a zero return over the past five years. Other indexes measuring the U.S. stock markets, such as the S&P 500, have confirmed this 'lagging' performance.

This conclusion demonstrates the hazard of relying on 'static' analyses, …

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What’s A Safe Portfolio Withdrawal Rate?

How much can you withdraw annually from your investment portfolio to be sure you don't outlive your money? If you regularly read investment articles, you know that this issue is often debated. Scenarios are analyzed, and various inflation rates, historical investment rates of return, and life expectancy projections are compared.

While these are key and critical exogenous issues if you are managing billions of dollars in pension investments, if you are a real person it is the endogenous factors that are important when you decide how much money to take from your retirement portfolio. Endogenous factors include living within your …

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Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments

Most homeowners have been solicited by their mortgage company or another financial institution with an offer to convert to biweekly mortgage payments instead of monthly payments. The advantage touted for this strategy is saving a heap of interest over the years and reducing the time required to pay off your mortgage by several years. Clients often ask us whether this is a good idea or not. No, it is not smart; it is a scam.

If that is all you need to know, you're done: go on and read something else. If you want to understand why it's not smart, …

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Finding Real Returns In The Bond Market

Widespread consternation is erupting in the investment arena, particularly in Fixed Income Departments which handles bonds. Everyone wants to find the perfect investment with 'decent' yields like 5% to 8% which are our birthright. To accomplish this, many investment advisors devise complex allocation strategies, e.g. derivatives, collateralized mortgage obligations, annuities and whole life insurance, to justify the amount they charge investors.

I still have trouble believing that these ‘Professional Fixed Income Strategists’ can add any value for their retail clients. Surely if they had the foresight and analytic ability they claim, they would have been able to detect Collateralized Mortgage …

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