If you’re a parent, especially a parent of a daughter, you know that weddings cost money. And the walk down the aisle continues to get more expensive. Couples spent an average of $31,213 on their big day last year, according to latest study from The Knot.com, up more than 4% from $29,858 in 2013. This one day expense is more than many Americans make in a year. Steve and Sinclair discuss the realities and the pricing, since Steve's son is getting married this summer. In the Q & A, CFA Jim Gentrup joins the A Team to discuss strategies with small cap stocks.
Exchange-traded funds that use leverage to boost returns have an appeal that can be hard to resist. If your timing is right, you can collect gains two or even three times that of the daily return of a given stock or bond index. But Jonathan Burton of Marketwatch and experts from Morningstar say "watch out: Leverage cuts both ways, and if you're on the wrong side of a bet, your losses will be magnified."
...And leveraged ETFs -- which use derivatives and other financial instruments to amplify the market's daily moves -- have wrinkles that can lead to unwelcome surprises for some investors. Steve and Sinclair review. In the Q & A, hear answers about the legalities involved with certain types of agents and advisors, and how it can result in your getting short-changed on thorough information.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the speech made by Iran's Ayatollah Khameni over the weekend (after the Vienna signing), that "Our policy regarding the arrogant U.S. Government will not change." Iran will continue to support the Syrian regime, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Shiite militias in Iraq, the leader said. The hard line clerics' views are being watched because he has the final say in most matters of state and could still rescind the agreement at any time. How does this affect retired investors? It adds to the types of risks known as "event risk" and "geo-political risk". If events are truly shocking enough, it trigger market declines and interest rate spikes. Nick Grovich talks about the advantages of owning some gold in your portfolio. Steve discusses some allocation ideas. The objective: to help you ensure your income, insure your outcomes, and invest the rest with purpose. A proper portfolio in 2015 and beyond must be ready for anything. Things are changing. Power is shifting. Your money should be protected.
Bill Gates is warning that robots and computers really ARE taking our jobs. This is part of the worldwide deflationary trend that leads to sagging economies and lower intererest rates. New research by Duke, Oxford, and the University of British Columbia confirms that 45% of today's jobs will be taken by automation in the next 20 years. Its been going on for some time--in the past, one factory job supported a family of four or five, with a house a mortgage and two cars. Today, two members of the household are forced to find other work and still may be at the poverty level. Even Bill Gates is warning that people are not ready for what's coming next. Steve and Sinclair review and discuss. In the Q & A, MarketWatch real estate columnist Daniel Goldstein joins the A-team. Ken Morgan pinch hits for Sinclair in segment 1.
How much do Uber drivers really make? The Silicon Valley/San Francisco ride sharing start-up boasts that its drivers make "life changing" money--up to $90,000 a year in New York. However, Business Insider and CNN Money are finding that drivers do not come close to that amount, and Uber has been banned in several countries and cities like Portland for violating regulations. Will the company be viable long term? We explore. In the Q & A segment, one of the top CFPs and an editor for the Journal of Financial Planning, Michael Kitces MSFS, CFP joins the A-team to discuss the problems with Monte Carlo projections.
How’ve you been sleeping lately? According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, You May Be Getting More Sleep Than You Think…Have you ever had nights when you feel like you barely slept, only to hear from your partner in the morning that you were actually out like a light? Writing for the Journal, Andrea Petersen reports that many people are terrible judges of how much shut-eye they get. That is especially true for those who have insomnia. Steve and Sinclair review how men and women differ in the their sleep patterns and how it can affect your every day decision making. In the Q & A Segment, the A Team reviews the antidote to low bond rates and how to decipher confusing internet information.
You can’t take it with you, but it’s getting easier to leave it to your heirs. So says Laura Saunders, writing for the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports that the Internal Revenue Service recently released final rules detailing a generous estate- and gift-tax break for married couples.
The break, known as “portability,” allows spouses to pass nearly $11 million of assets to heirs free of estate tax. Without it, many couples would qualify only for one estate-tax exemption instead of two. Steve and Sinclair review. In the Q & A segment, The A Team welcomes Christopher McNichol of Gust Rosenfeld, a prominent Phoenix area law firm. Chris is one of the Southwest Super Lawyers® for Real Estate Law. He is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, representing the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards, and was named by Arizona Business Magazine in Ranking Arizona Best of the Best Award Winner. Today, we quiz Chris on mechanics liens and how they could affect your real property.
When it comes to asset allocation, where does gold fit in? Is it an investment? Is it a speculation? Is it insurance? Or is it simply a back up currency? On Mondays this summer, Steve has invited Nick Grovich of American Federated Coin and Bullion to share his views on gold, coins, and metals. Listen in to "inside baseball" on the gold markets. Steve comments on a recent article in Barrons': "Bye-Bye Bond Funds" which focuses on the multiple risks that bond mutual fund and ETF owners are faced with now.
Many investors use dividends to create wealth over the long run. As a wealth accumulation tool, the reinvesting of dividends ranks near the top. In fact, when investors hear that "stocks average 8% to 11% over the long run", it is only true if dividends are reinvested. Without dividends reinvested, the S & P would not average much more than 6% according to Morningstar, Dalbar Inc, and simple calcutlons you can do at home. The mistake that retired investors make is that they start trying to live off dividends. When you spend your dividends, you will stop building wealth in the same way and are subjecting your portfolio to sequence of returns risk. Steve and Sinclair break down and analyze the outcomes of two investors who bought Coca Cola in 1962 to 1965 when Coke was trading at $80 a share with $10,000. One of the investors spent all dividends. The other reinvested dividends. Find out why it is so important to separate your income capital from your wealth creating (growth) capital.
Ironically, Twitter may become a victim of the times it helped invent. So says Steven Sears, writing in Barrons. Steve and Sinclair review the stats on Twitter whose IPO has not worked out well. In the real world, Institutional money managers are using social media for financial intelligence more and more, but Twitter ranks last, after LinkedIn and Facebook for financial intel. According to the study, 20% of analysts first use LinkedIn to research industries, followed by 13% for Facebook, and 9% for Twitter. For market and event commentary, 18% turned to LinkedIn, 13% to Facebook, and 12% to Twitter. For investment products and services, it’s 13% for LinkedIn, 9% for Facebook, and 5% for Twitter. Sears reviews put, call, and collar strategies. In the Q & A, Pension and Qualified plan specialist Mary Read joins the A Team to discuss defined benefit plans, cash balance plans, and 401ks for small business owners. Mary has been instrumental in over 10,000 qualified plans in her career.