It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time to make—and hopefully begin to implement—New Year’s resolutions.
December is generally the peak time for charitable giving. When I work with clients on spending forecasts, I’m often asked, “How much should I be giving to charity?”
Some general estimates are given as an average percentage of adjusted gross income (gross income minus certain adjustments) of 3 percent to 5 percent.
I wasn’t going to do it. I wasn’t going to write about overspending during the holidays, but I can’t help myself. I got sucked into the Black Friday/Cyber Monday hype.
I found myself poring over the sales ads and wondering what I should buy. Were there any great deals I just couldn’t pass up? Was there anyone who could use any of these deals?
Thanksgiving is now one of my favorite holidays. Besides the food, friends and family gatherings, it gives me time to reflect on how blessed I am.
We so often look at the world and our personal situation and see what’s wrong or what’s missing. Gratitude is an ongoing action, a state of being or a way of life. It is an ongoing habit.
As we age, we slow down physically and cognitively. The physical aspects of aging are more noticeable than the cognitive.
As I’ve aged, my fondness for amusement parks has waned. I grew up in Illinois, and our park of choice was Six Flags outside of St. Louis. As my kids were growing up, we ventured to Holiday World and later Kings Island.
I was at a retreat recently with fellow planners, and one of the topics was, “Lessons Learned from the ’08 Meltdown: How Are You Preparing Your Portfolios and Clients?”
We know a bear is coming; we just don’t know when or how hungry it will be. I don’t worry about individuals like my son, who are young, well-educated and financially sound.
Unfortunately, I got a song stuck in my head this week—Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” As I had financial planning on my mind, I wondered if there was any sage advice for investors from the old gambler. I found the three main parts of the chorus held valuable lessons for approaching financial goals and objectives.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em.
It’s been a while since I was in London and rode the Underground. Passengers are warned to “mind the gap” when boarding a train.
If you have never taken a subway, that first time can be intimidating to navigate the route, figure out how to get a fare card, then determine on which side of the platform to wait.
As investors continue to look for increased yield, I have noticed a lot more interest in closed-end funds. The concept of closed-end funds has been around since 1893, 30 years before the advent of open-end mutual funds and long before the introduction of exchange-traded funds. A “closed” mutual fund may be closed to all new investment or just to new investors.