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PFA Ponderings

PFA Ponderings
July 27, 2018

Investing with Conscience.

“When someone says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money.” - H.L. Mencken That old chestnut may be true, but there are times when investment decisions are made for reasons that go well beyond simple rate-of-return considerations.  The increasing number of individual investors in the market has led…
PFA Ponderings
July 20, 2018

IRS Tools: the CARROT and the STICK

Tax policy is clearly just as much a social engineering tool as it is a revenue source.  When you think of it, this makes perfect sense and is something we should probably applaud.  By driving us to be healthier (by assessing outsized taxes on cigarettes, junk food, and fossil fuels),…
PFA Ponderings
July 13, 2018

A Tale of Tax Efficient Investing

This is the story of two friends. Let’s call them “Hannah” and “Julie.” Hannah and Julie are like peas in a pod. They listen to the same kind of music, they dress alike, they even invest alike. As a matter of fact, they have the same exact investment portfolio. Both…
PFA Ponderings
July 6, 2018

Beware – Shallow curve ahead.

I’m willing to lend you 10 bucks, but I’ll expect some interest from the loan. Now, just how much interest I’m going to charge is going to be based upon a few things.  Obviously, if I know you well, and feel you aren’t going to stiff me, I’m going to…
PFA Ponderings
June 29, 2018

Are Trade Deficits Evil?

Judging by the way the market rumbles every time the prospect of a trade war hits the headlines, it’s safe to say that stock markets don’t like trade wars.  But as is the case in most modern wars, justification for actually going to war is to battle some kind of…
PFA Ponderings
June 22, 2018

GE just left the Dow. So what?

The market was down yesterday, almost 300 points! Headlines and water cooler conversations are replete with references to what ‘the market’ did or where ‘the market’ is.  The White House touts the substantial implications of (and takes credit for) ‘the market’ passing 25,000.  The (non-financial) media reports on market movements…
PFA Ponderings
June 15, 2018

Wicked Simple Estate Planning

Out of the main financial planning areas recognized by the CFP board, which include Cash Planning, Risk Management, Investment Planning, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Estate Planning, it’s Estate Planning that seems to be the most daunting.  I’ve sat with estate planning attorneys who don’t have their own will, and…
PFA Ponderings
June 8, 2018

VOLATILITY IS GOOD. VOLATILITY IS BAD.

RISK is a fundamental component in investing – but what actually IS risk?  Most people identify it as the chance that they will lose money when they invest.  But really, in order to actually lose money, the investment must be either sold, or it must actually lose 100% of its…