Social Media & Investing – Protect Your Information

Investors increasingly turn to social media for information when making investment decisions.  Our social media lunch and learns have been some of our most well attended sessions.  This is a positive advancement as information becomes instantly available to the masses, but it also means we must be more vigilant than ever when it comes to protecting privacy and identity.
The SEC recently released two separate Investor Alerts involving investors and use of social media, focusing on what investors can do to avoid potential fraud.  We thought it would be worthwhile to provide a brief synopsis [read more]
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Is My Money Safe? Part II

In my last blog I discussed the safety of investment custodians such as Fidelity and Schwab, after I received a concerned email from a client.  After watching Jon Corzine, the former CEO of MF Global, trying to explain how $1.2 billion was missing from their clients’ brokerage accounts, he was worried about his own.
The next important question to ask is whether you can trust your advisor.  Research indicates most investors believe their advisor is very trustworthy, even if the evidence shows otherwise.  It’s great to have an advisor you feel you can trust, [read more]
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A Plan for 2012 That You’ll Actually Follow

(from Carl Richard’s New York Times’ Bucks blog, 12/26/2011 – click here for the original post. Carl is a Certified Financial Planner in Park City, Utah. His sketches are archived on the Bucks blog and on his personal Web site, www.BehaviorGap.com.His new book The Behavior Gap, will be out in January.
For 2012, I have a challenge for you: make financial decisions on purpose. Too much of what we do is based on habits and assumptions instead of a thoughtful plan. During the next year, see what happens when you do [read more]
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Embracing Simplicity

Around the holidays, I find myself overcomplicating things.  From trying to find the perfect gifts and decorating the house just right, to making a spectacular meal consisting of recipes I’ve never tried.  Many times, this just ends up causing anxiety, and the end does not feel like it justifies the means.  Not because I have ungrateful friends or family, but because what is more important to them is the time spent together, not the hours spent preparing a “Martha Stewart” moment. The irony is that I am not practicing what I preach.  I often tell [read more]
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Is My Money Safe?

That’s the question a client asked me last week, after he watched Jon Corzine, former CEO of MF Global, testify to a Congressional committee about the $1.2 billion missing from MF Global client brokerage accounts. He wanted to know if his investment account at Fidelity was at risk. The MF Global collapse is similar to that of Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns that occurred during 2008, when brokerage companies traded to make profits for themselves and made poor decisions that led to their undoing. During the same time we watched Bernie Madoff’s long- term Ponzi… [read more]
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My Headline: Headline Risk Is a Lame Excuse for Active Managers

(from Dan Solin’s Huffington Post blog, 12/6/2011 – click here for the original post) A recent blog on CNBC almost made you feel sorry for active managers It referenced a study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch which found that active managers were having “a rough year.” Only 23 percent of large-cap managers beat the S&P 500 index and only 27 percent topped the performance of the Russell 1000. There is a certain irony in the fact that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the source of this information. The merger of these two mega… [read more]
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Fiscal “Stuff”

As most of you know, we here at TAAG do not find much value in the exercise of trying to forecast the short or intermediate outlook of markets or the economy.  All of our brains are wired to constantly crave information that will give us some insight to help us make better decisions with our money.  Unfortunately, the name of the game when it comes to short term forecasting is uncertainty, despite the endless line of “experts” willing to line up and take their run at claiming to know what’s next.  Go with their suggestions [read more]
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Happy Thanksgiving!

As we head full steam into Black Friday and all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we wanted to pause a moment this Thanksgiving Eve and encourage everyone to really take time tomorrow to enjoy all the family traditions, the time together and to truly give thanks for all that we have and enjoy in this world. Wherever you are this Thursday, we hope you have a wonderful holiday and know that we are thankful for the work we get to do with and for our clients and their families each and every… [read more]
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Resetting Expectations

I am an avid Cincinnati Bearcats fan. It was heartbreaking on Saturday to lose our first string quarterback, Zach Collaros, to a broken ankle. Although the players did a great job in the second half of the game adjusting to a new quarterback, we still lost to West Virginia. Zach’s out for the season and now four other teams are only one game behind our first place standing in the Big East. The Bearcats are still eligible for a bowl bid, but getting to a game like the Orange Bowl may be more challenging. I… [read more]
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What Can We Learn from MF Global?

Over the past two weeks, while the Greek Prime Minister tested the patience of Germany, France and other countries in the European Union, there was another drama playing out. MF Global Holdings is described on its web site as a brokerage firm that provides ‘indispensable, well-timed insights and hedging solutions’ for its clients. They go on to say their ‘relentless pursuit of market opportunity separates us from the pack. We help clients find an edge in today’s fast-paced, ever evolving markets.’ In so many words – we don’t just sit around and watch the market,… [read more]
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