Author - John Spoto, CFP®

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Can We Count On Social Security?
2
The Market Is On The Rise. Proceed With Caution!
3
How Is Medicare Financed?
4
Investing With Humility
5
How Investors Beat Themselves

Can We Count On Social Security?

A number of surveys conducted over the last few years show that a growing number of Americans are losing faith that they will receive their full Social Security benefits as promised. Predictably younger adults expect to receive no benefits at all when they retire. Although they may differ regarding the urgency of the situation, most financial and policy experts agree there is good reason to be concerned about Social Security’s financial health.

The Social Security Act was signed into law in 1935 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It established two national social insurance programs; old-age retirement benefits for workers in …

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The Market Is On The Rise. Proceed With Caution!

The stock market has been soaring. Both the Dow Jones Industrial and S&P 500 indexes have more than doubled since their lows during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and are now approaching their all-time record highs. Understandably many investors are beginning to feel more optimistic about their financial futures. For some, the financial and emotional damage unleashed by the crisis has receded into distant memory. However, for those of you considering increasing exposure to stocks, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons, not simply because you “feel” more confident about the future of the markets.

Behavioral finance is …

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How Is Medicare Financed?

Medicare is America’s largest public health program and one of the largest programs overall in the federal budget. For over 40 years Medicare has played an important role in improving the economic security and well-being of our country’s seniors. In 2011 Medicare provided benefits to over 40 million seniors and more than 8 million others with disabilities. Currently there seems to be widespread misunderstanding of how this important program is paid for and fear on the part of those still working that Medicare will not be there for them. In our previous article we discussed the various components of Medicare. …

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Investing With Humility

Our society places a high value on confidence and most people identify it as a key element for success in life. But does it necessarily hold true for successful investing?

In daily life when we talk about confidence we are referring to the degree of certainty that we hold in the validity of our knowledge, predictions about the future, or decisions. In other words, self-confidence reflects our opinion about our own abilities. However, not everyone is realistic about their limitations and their abilities.

People that lack confidence are at one end of the spectrum. They underestimate their understanding of the …

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How Investors Beat Themselves

“Surprise! The returns reported by mutual funds aren’t actually earned by mutual fund investors.” This is how John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Mutual Funds begins the chapter titled The Grand Illusion in his 2007 book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. The “grand illusion” Mr. Bogle is referring to is the fact that mutual fund investors consistently fail to earn the returns of the financial markets. According to Bogle, during the 25 year period from 1980 to 2005, while the return on the stock market (as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index) averaged 12.5% per year, the …

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