Clear Language & Respect

In our industry, it can feel like there’s no end to the paperwork involved in establishing and maintaining client relationships.  And while we far more enjoy getting down to the business of financial planning with our clients than having that relationship stripped of its personal nature by tedious documentation, most of us have come to accept it as part of our daily lives. That said, it doesn’t mean we can make incremental changes to improve this necessary evil.  Recently, TAAG made a decision to modify the front page of it’s client service agreements.  While much… [read more]
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The Recent Days of the Dow

RE: Market!! What on Earth is going on these last few days?? The email I received from a client two weeks ago above did a great job of summing up the feelings of many people who have watched the movement of the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past several weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has been imprinted on investors’ minds as the key measurement for the US stock market since it was created in 1896 by Charles Dow.  Even though it consists of just 30 large companies, it’s hard for investors… [read more]
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Costco Gas & Your Bond Portfolio

As this blog has documented over the years, I could be accused of being somewhat enamored with Costco Wholesale Stores.  Generally not a fan of chains, big box stores or even shopping in general, nearly everything about how Costco runs their business, treats their staff, provides good service and generally high quality products to their members really strikes a chord with me as a consumer.  I try and limit my Costco cravings to no more than two trips per month, but when I do, I time my visits with a nearly empty gas tank… [read more]
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How Much Should I Save for Retirement?

We often preach that while rules of thumb are a necessary evil in personal finance and not a terrible place to start ignoring all other options, they don’t do nearly a complete enough job of helping people understand their personal financial picture. This week, we share a video from Dimensional Fund Advisors offering a few different ways to approach the retirement savings question.  The video is a good reminder that optimal savings solutions vary on an person by person basis.  It also serves a yet another reminder that those just starting out in their careers… [read more]
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December Stress

Years ago, I began to dread the month of December. The holiday season had become a stressful period when my to-do list far exceeded the time I had to complete it.   I constantly felt I was letting someone down, missing out on an experience, or forgetting something. Eventually, I came to realize the stress was self-inflicted. There are a variety of reasons to feel stress this time of year, and while we can’t make it all go away, I thought I’d share some of the solutions that helped me look forward to December again. Family [read more]
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