PFA Ponderings

PFA Ponderings
December 21, 2018

How to Survive a Volatile Market

Financial terminology 101: Volatility (n): The tendency of prices to go up and down sharply over time. Given that definition, it’s pretty clear that we, as investors actually like SOME volatility (the “up”-part).  Today’s blog post is directed to the majority who really don’t like the “down” part of the…
PFA Ponderings
December 7, 2018

Reverse Mortgages – Scam or Solution?

Sometimes we in the planning world tend to paint with a broad brush.  Rules of thumb become ingrained and biases develop.  In doing some self-introspection, I recently identified such behavior in myself around the topic of Reverse Mortgages. I was quick to dismiss reverse mortgages as sub-optimal financing schemes for…
PFA Ponderings
November 12, 2018

It’s also tax-GAIN harvesting season!

Okay, last week’s blog focused on harvesting capital losses, and it being a great way to reduce taxation by offsetting capital gains and, to a limited degree, regular income if done correctly. Despite recent market volatility, though, the truth is that if you have invested over the past 10 years,…
PFA Ponderings
November 2, 2018

It’s The (tax loss) Harvest Season!

This week’s blog post is being written on the first of November.  October has gone by, and here in Maine, the leaves have been falling almost as quickly as stock prices. While declining stock prices are not a popular thing in and of themselves, the fact is that it is…
PFA Ponderings
October 26, 2018


The 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act, like most tax code overhauls, was born out of bits and pieces of manipulation. The most memorable of these was an initiative brought forth by Senator William Roth of Delaware.  The Individual Retirement Account, legislated into existence in 1974, had become a staple of individual…