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Time is our most precious resource and I thank you for allowing me to get a few minutes of your time each week. I hope you find the blog helpful and informative. Send me an email if there is ever a topic you would be interested in learning more about. I will research it and write a future blog about it.

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Who Or What Causes Inflation?

Inflation is affecting all of us right now. And for many of us, we personally feel the hit in our wallet and our bank accounts. I've calculated that it's costing me and my family right at $8,000 per year just on the basics of fuel, food, and utilities. I shouldn't have to write this disclaimer but in today's political climate, I feel I should. This is not a political or a partisan opinion. Although I do have plenty of both of those, I intentionally keep them out of my blog. So who or what causes inflation? The answer is very simple thus this blog will be short. Here's a hint: It's not the Federal Reserve.

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Investing Can Be Scary Especially During Scary Times

The past two years have been the most terrifying years for investors since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008-2009. First the pandemic, next a bitterly partisan presidential election and most recently a 40 year high inflation spike. You wouldn't be human if you haven't experienced market volatility fatigue and exhaustion at some point. I know I have. You might also not be human if after two years of this chaos you didn't want to ditch your financial plan and move all your investments to cash for "safety" and to get some rest from the constant volatility.

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Owning The Best Companies In The United States

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we’ve seen first hand how world events can affect the markets here in the United States. We’ve seen lots of market volatility since the beginning of the year. But guess what? The market is always volatile. And the reason for that is many investors make all their decisions based on emotion. And by doing this they blur the lines between volatility and risk. Risk and volatility are not the same thing. In fact, they aren’t even remotely related.

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A Day That Changed My Life

It was almost 6 years ago today. I had visited a good friend of mine and was traveling home from St. Louis, MO. I took a bit of a detour to go look at a motorcycle I had been checking out online. The dealer happened to be in St. Louis so I decide to do some window shopping. It was a Sunday morning. Probably around 8 am so I knew they would be closed, but I was hoping to get a glimpse of the bike in the window.

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Could You Retire Now?

Without a doubt this is the number one question and concern I hear from people in regards to retirement. So let's talk about this and see if you can retire and have enough money to retire without running out. I think these are questions I can answer with a certain amount of confidence and hopefully I can give you some clarification in the process.

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Why "Beating The Market" Should Never Be Your Goal In Retirement Thumbnail

Why "Beating The Market" Should Never Be Your Goal In Retirement

Yearly portfolio returns are literally meaningless in retirement and conversations about them put me into a deep REM type sleep. The only thing that matters in retirement is that you don't run out of money. That's it! It turns out that "beating the market" or an imaginary benchmark in retirement doesn't really matter if you don't have two nickels to rub together and you're looking for a job when you could be hanging out with your grandkids.

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Is Gold A Good Investment Right Now? Thumbnail

Is Gold A Good Investment Right Now?

It seems that whatever I read, watch or listen to these days gets interrupted by a commercial with a current or former celebrity telling me I need to buy gold because of inflation, because Russia invaded Ukraine or because of (insert whatever manufactured crisis you want here). If I'm seeing this constantly then some of you are as well. So...let's talk about gold as an investment.

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Why All Of Us Should Embrace Temporary Market Declines

What a wild year so far in the in regards to the market. We've seen volatility like we haven't seen since March 2020 which was the beginning stages of the pandemic. Today I want to discuss why you should actually embrace temporary market declines rather than fear them. Notice I said, temporary market declines. I said temporary because they all are temporary and always have been temporary and will always be temporary. But the good news is:

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Are Your Investments Performing Well? Thumbnail

Are Your Investments Performing Well?

Performance calculations for a portfolio on a monthly statement can be very complex and over a 30-year retirement even totally meaningless. Remember as long-term goal-focused investors, we don’t chase performance, we chase outcomes. If your portfolio is up 25% this month or year congratulations! But will that matter in 15 years if you run out of money??? Retirement is a marathon, not a sprint.

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What Is My Tax Bracket For 2022?

Being "in" a certain tax bracket doesn't mean you pay that federal income tax rate on everything you make. The progressive tax system means that people with higher taxable incomes are subject to higher federal income tax rates, and people with lower taxable incomes are subject to lower federal income tax rates.

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Risk And Volatility

I was talking to someone the other day and they asked what I did for a living. I said I'm a financial advisor and I specialize in retirement income and investment planning. Simply put, I help my clients make a plan to not run out of money in retirement. Then they asked me about the "market" and talked about how "risky" they think investing is which got me thinking. It seems there are many people who can't distinguish between risk and volatility. They are two totally different things.

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Retirement Decisions

Many of you are blessed to be employed at a cooperative that offers a defined benefit pension plan that provides you with a lump sum payment or a monthly pension payment for life when you retire. Congratulations! Such plans are uncommon today. Most employers have opted for higher matching contributions to 401K plans and pension plans are going the way of the dinosaur. This means most workers have to rely on their own savings and investments to supplement Social Security and other sources of retirement income.

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