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Resources to help you set your goals and meet your financial objectives.

Single Parents - What Does Your Financial Set-Up Point To?

Monday, 14 March 2022

Single Parents - What Does Your Financial Set-Up Point To?

As a single parent, you have been doing the right things: budgeting your spending, paying down debt, saving for retirement, all the while paying for the kids’ braces, and saving for their college.  You juggle home and work, learn from mistakes and know what works best for you.  Perhaps you are now wondering: As my financial goals get clearer, how realistic are they? How do I reach them?

Having the right setup is critical to increasing the chance of hitting any target, from everyday tasks like baking a cake to big goals like your finances.  Your Financial setup is made up of many components, including income, savings, investments, insurance, new job, etc. It plays a key role in determining if you get to where you want to be financially.

Navigating Geopolitical Events

Thursday, 24 February 2022

Navigating Geopolitical Events

Recent conflict between Russia and Ukraine is an important reminder that geopolitical risk is a part of investing in global markets. Navigating geopolitical events requires expertise and flexibility. Dimensional's systematic active approach is designed to adjust to new information in real-time, including information about geopolitical events and their potential repercussions for markets. 

Significant Financial Risks for Women

Tuesday, 08 February 2022

The higher risk of not having sufficient money in her retirement is real

Significant Financial Risks for Women

There is no question that women are amazing. In fact, studies continue to confirm their immense contribution to every society that they are a part of.  

Unfortunately, women are also more vulnerable to financial insecurity. Typically, women earn less than their male counterparts,[1] live longer, and have more breaks in their employment. With all this going on, approaching financial decisions strategically is critical for women

Technically speaking, social security is gender-neutral. However, a combination of several factors creates different levels of retirement security for women and men.  I have listed below some of the reasons why women typically have far less money in their retirement than men

[1] The wage gap between men and women is 19.9% in total and is as high as 24.6% for women with advanced degrees https://www.dol.gov/agencies/wb/data/earnings/Earnings-ratios-wagegaps-educational-attainment

Understanding the Investor Fear Index: the VIX

Monday, 25 October 2021

The VIX has seen a downward trend so far in 2021 and for October

Understanding the Investor Fear Index: the VIX

Market pundits are always tripping over themselves trying to determine the exact direction and extent of the market’s future movements, and as we approach  Halloween, the fittingly named “investor fear index” is being scrutinized like never before.

Can declines in the VIX spell future market advances? And will October 2021 bring more “treats” this year? After all, the VIX peaked for the year back in January at 37 and as of late October, it sits in the mid-teens (about 15 to 16).

What is the Fear Gauge?

Referred to as the “investor fear index” or just the “fear gauge,” the VIX is the ticker symbol for the Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, which shows the market's expected volatility.  First introduced about 25 years ago, the VIX has evolved over the years and today it is a widely referenced measure of market risk – on a forward basis. That “forward basis” qualifier is important as it calculates future volatility and does not look backward.

With a New Job Comes New Investing Opportunities

Monday, 09 August 2021 Retirement Tips to Remember When Starting a New Job

With a New Job Comes New Investing Opportunities

Land a great new job? Awesome. Now is the perfect time to think about your 401(k) and retirement plan, whether you had one before or not. Saving for retirement is important at all ages, so don’t let this opportunity fall to the bottom of your list.

Here are four tips to consider when starting a new job and a new 401(k).

President Biden's Proposals and Your Healthcare

Monday, 14 June 2021 Remember that healthcare is like retirement planning - it's very personal

President Biden's Proposals and Your Healthcare

Will the proposed policies of the Biden Administration have a negative or positive impact on your healthcare? A prevailing view – by about half of the country – is that a Biden Administration will have a positive impact. Another prevailing view – also by about half of the country – is that it will be negative.

Well, no matter your political affiliation, the impact that the Biden Administration will have on your healthcare won’t be settled for quite some time. But more importantly, you should remember that no matter the big-picture changes, healthcare – like retirement planning – is personal.

Nevertheless, let’s examine a few of President Biden’s policies that will likely impact healthcare in general – as it might help you determine whether the impact will be negative or positive to you and your family.

The Biggest Financial Pressures Facing Retirees (and How to Plan for Them)

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

The Biggest Financial Pressures Facing Retirees (and How to Plan for Them)

Retirement is a time for pursuing your passions, reaping the fruits of your life’s work, and making the most out of life. But there are many financial pressures facing those planning to retire in the coming months and years.

There Are Fewer Retirement Benefits Than Ever Before

Retirement benefits looked different in decades past than they do today. Before the 1980s, employers helped fund their employees’ retirements through pension plans. Today, few companies outside of the public sector offer pensions, and most that do are closing their plans to new employees. Some have even seen their promised pensions reduced or frozen. Retirement benefits aren’t what they used to be, but there are actions you can take to get the most out of your existing benefits.

Divorce - The Retirement Killer

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Worse for baby boomers and more worse for women

Divorce - The Retirement Killer

It’s an unfortunate statistic that everyone knows – more than 50% of marriages will end in divorce. But it’s also a statistic that has lost its impact. So, let’s try another tact.

In the United States, we see:

  • 1 divorce approximately every 36 seconds
  • Almost 2,400 divorces per day
  • 16,800 divorces per week, and
  • 876,000 divorces a year.

Further, data from the Bowling Green's National Center for Family & Marriage Research shows that the divorce rate for 55- to 64-year-olds more than doubled from 1990 to 2012 while divorces for the over-65 group tripled.

Small Businesses and the Impact of Covid-19

Wednesday, 03 March 2021

Over 30 million jobs are vulnerable - and the number might be higher

Small Businesses and the Impact of Covid-19

The Small Business Administration defines a small business as a company with less than 500 employees, which means there are a lot of small businesses in the U.S. In fact, it’s likely that given COVID-19, there are more companies that were just recently considered mid-size or maybe even large companies that now fall into the small business category. But unfortunately, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the small business community – and we might not know the full impact for years to come.

15 Key Things to Consider When Having or Adopting a Child

Monday, 14 December 2020

15 Key Things to Consider When Having or Adopting a Child

The COVID-19 pandemic will likely lead to a large, lasting baby bust. The reduction in births could be 300,000 to 500,000 for 2021.  Similarly, adoption rates, normally 9,000 a month, are also expected to reduce especially with the social distancing and travel restrictions.

This trend is temporary, and none of this detracts from the fact that having a child is one of life’s wonders and probably one of the most profound changes to a household. It’s not a simple thing to raise children, as they say - “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Investing, the Pandemic, and the 2020 Presidential Election

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Investing, the Pandemic, and the 2020 Presidential Election

The coronavirus is still very much with us. Granted, we are evidently rapidly closing in on a vaccine/vaccine, and let’s hope that translates into vaccinations.  Moreover, we are going through a hyper-partisan presidential election, comingled with a pandemic, and an economic downturn, creating an election environment the likes of which none of us have ever experienced.

It may be difficult to do, as investors it is important to take a moment to review what we have learned, or better still, what prudent behaviors have been reinforced since the market panic, that began in February / March 2020, and that came to an end when the S&P 500 Index regained its pre-panic highs in mid-August, 2020.  Let us take what we learned from this experience and apply it to what lies ahead.


Wednesday, 12 August 2020


Below I have provided details of the key findings of a June 2020 survey completed by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies Retirement Security for Women Amid COVID-19[1].  The survey examines the retirement outlook of women compared with men. Many workers, especially women, are at risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement — an issue of major concern before the pandemic. Now, the negative economic effects of the pandemic are further threatening retirement savings and security. The financial vulnerabilities among all workers are increasingly evident. 

“I don’t know what the future holds for me and I don’t have enough saving to last very long” - 56-year-old Female

“I am self-employed and can’t work” - 48-year-old Female

“I am more determined” - 33-year-old Female 

“I have been borrowing against my retirement” - 46-year-old Female

“I am self-employed and will be working until they put the nail in my coffin” - 56-year-old Female

“Because I am so young, I will be able to bounce back from this” - 25-year-old Female

The survey findings illustrate the vulnerabilities among women:

[1]   Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies - Retirement Security for Women Amid COVID-19. 20th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, June 2020 https://transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/retirement-survey-of-workers/tcrs2020_sr_women-retirement-security-amid-covid.pdf

Racial Injustice - It Kills Some, but Wounds us All

Monday, 08 June 2020

Racial Injustice - It Kills Some, but Wounds us All

We are barely halfway through 2020, and already we have felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shutdown, record-breaking unemployment and a market crash.  And now we are facing a real social crisis, one that neither science nor a vaccine can fix.  The recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many before them--These horrific events are clear evidence of the systemic racism that is profoundly at work in American institutions, culture, and our justice system.  In no uncertain terms, the threat of physical endangerment that people of color feel when they encounter law enforcement is real, very real.  Is it finally time for us to make right the systemic racial injustice of this society--something that is long, long overdue? 

The phenomenon of the white man’s dividend, white privilege--and when it comes to encounters with law enforcement, the benefit of the doubt--is alive and well in this country.  As a white man, I have the privilege of educating myself about racial injustice, visiting the topic, and then retreating “safely” to my privilege.  Unlike people of color, I don’t experience living with racial injustice 24/7, I have no idea what that must be like, but I can clearly see the impact it has on the lives of people of color. 

Single and Loving it: Part III

Monday, 18 May 2020

Have You Ever Felt More Single?

Single and Loving it: Part III

The onset of COVID-19 bought with it - stay in place, social distancing, face masks, and the closure of parks, restaurants, gyms, yoga studios, coffee shops, theaters, places of worship, concert venues, and no HUGs allowed! Where can singles go to meet, hang out and catch up with friends and family?  Socializing has now been reduced to group chats, zoom, and facetime, this is how we celebrate birthdays, weddings, and even date!  It’s a whole new world out there.  Fortunately, everything will gradually change to the new normal, and then we’ll be asking ourselves whenever we venture out - “Will I have a chance of catching the virus, and if I do will I be able to get the best medical treatment?” 

Last year I wrote two articles for singles and their finances - Single and Loving It: Parts I and II.  I covered many financial topics from a single person’s point of view.  What should the financial focus be for singles now in the Covid-19 world?

Investment Topics #3: Investing and Emotions

Monday, 04 May 2020

Investment Topics #3: Investing and Emotions

forward BH

Many people try to predict the future and claim to have a proven system of picking winning stocks, or they claim to know which market sector will advance through the next year, or they know when the market will retreat.  This can, and often result in investors acting on impulse - “The market is tanking, I’m getting out”, or conversely “Everyone’s making money, I want a piece of the action”, the latter is often referred to as - Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).  This impulsive behavior can result in people betting their savings on tips and hunches - “I heard it on the news. I better sell”, “I got a hot tip from a neighbor. It’s a slam dunk”, or “My friend works in the industry, he’s got the inside scoop.”  Similarly, we cannot forget the impact of the media in their desire to have an attention-grabbing headline to sell magazines -

“Will Coronavirus Cause a Recession?....” New York Times, 3/3/2020

“The Death of Equities” - Business Week, 8/13/1979

“The Crash of ’98 Can the US Economy Hold Up?” - FORTUNE, 9/28/1998

“Retire Rich - A Simple Plan to Have it All” - FORTUNE, 8/16/1999

“How to Reach $1 Million” - Money, 8/2012


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