Breaking the Cycle of Long-term Renting

A decade after the 2007 housing market crash, some metros are still struggling to recover to pre-crisis housing activity.  2016 marks the highest rental rate since 1965.  Home price appreciation is causing many renters to delay home ownership.  In most metros, only about 45% of renters could afford a median-priced Read More

Reduce Investment Costs with Institutional Shares

One of the low points of my career was the day I lost a client because another advisor “had found a way to put their clients into the lowest cost shares available only to large institutions.” This experience was especially painful because, through my office, the client already was invested Read More

Equifax Data Breach: What You Need to Know

Equifax, one of the three largest credit reporting bureaus in the country, reported that due to a data breach, approximately 143 million Americans may have their personal information compromised.  Data such as names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers are all at risk.  Additionally, Equifax estimates Read More

Bonds: Common but Confusing Asset Class, Part 2

As I pointed out last week, bonds are the hardest investment class for most people to understand. Just to make things more complicated, not all bonds are the same. There are great differences between government, corporate, long-term, short-term, TIPS and high-yield bonds. Both governments and corporations issue bonds when they Read More

Bonds: Common but Confusing Asset Class

What would you guess is the hardest investment class for most people to understand? You might think it’s stocks, or a subclass of stocks like those of companies in emerging markets. Or how about real estate investment trusts (REITS) that hold various types of investment real estate. Maybe it’s commodities Read More

Financial Adviser Designations Do Matter

If you’re in search of financial advisers, pay attention to the designations behind their names. For a financial planner, look for a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant), or MSFP (masters in financial planning). For an investment adviser, add a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation. This is advice Read More

For Seniors: Giving Up the Checkbook, Part Two

For seniors, arranging to entrust financial affairs to someone else is an important part of preparing for old age. Once you have chosen a surrogate and dealt with some of the details laid out in last week’s column, one question remains. How will the transition occur? Here are some suggestions, Read More

Joining the 800+ Credit Club

Lenders use credit scores to determine a borrower’s ability to repay debts like mortgages and vehicle loans. Credit scores impact lending terms, mortgage rates, and financing eligibility. Typically, scores above 700 are considered good. TransUnion reports only about 20% of Americans have a score above 780 and even fewer rank Read More