8 planning steps to take before the year ends

8 year-end planning steps for 2016

Another year is coming to a close. So much has happened of late — England voted to “Brexit” the European Union, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series draught and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. With all that’s going on it might be easy to forget about your year-end financial […]

How to be a rock ’n’ roll junkie

Jane Comitz is a rock 'n' roll junkie

If there was a Hall of Fame for rock ’n’ roll fans, Jane Comitz and her husband, Chet, would be charter members. Jane and Chet enjoy traveling, as a lot of folks do. But they don’t stop there. They travel the world not just to see the sights, but to catch musical acts. ‘We wanted […]

The S&P 500 is more concentrated than you think

Because the S&P 500 Index is concentrated of late, too much of its return is coming from too few of its stocks.

If you make orange juice from frozen concentrate you can mix it too strongly. Add only a little water, and it tastes too sugary, too tangy. Something similar is happening with the S&P 500 Index.* Lately, the index tastes funny. It’s too concentrated. “The S&P 500 has a big performance issue that should be a […]

Muni bonds still make sense

Muni bonds have significantly lower default rates than corporate bonds.

I’ve written about municipal bonds in the past. Now is a good time to update my thoughts on this asset class. Municipal bonds and muni bond funds have historically been an effective way of generating tax-free income. In high school, you may have learned about the 1819 U.S. Supreme Court case, McCulloch v. Maryland. That […]

What do we stand for?

“Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind.” - Thomas Jefferson

My wife Roxane, my son Craig and I visited Washington, DC over Memorial Day weekend. We enjoyed seeing the sites and experiencing the ambiance of the city, though we missed the cherry blossoms by a month. What a pleasure to take in the National Memorial Day Parade — an awesome display of patriotism held annually […]

The Panama Papers and you

The Panama Papers leak revealed names of people who had previously been anonymous owners of shell companies.

It was the topic this spring that everyone talked about — except for some lawyers and bankers who generated the talk. The Panama Papers, an April 2016 leak of 11.5 million documents from a Panama-based law firm, revealed the murky world of tax havens and offshore companies and identified by name some very wealthy people […]

Simple answers to big investment questions

The simple answer to most big investment questions is stay invested in stocks.

What was the proper investment move to make during the past year, when the stock market fell, rose, fell again and rose a second time? With that question in mind, the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal article caught my eye: “How to Stop Killing Your Returns.” The same article was titled “The Big […]

The ‘IRS’ is on the phone asking for money? Hang up

the Angry IRS Caller

If you’re like me, you’ve probably received abusive phone calls from people purporting to be from the IRS, or a bank or credit card company. Abusive phone scammers call my home frequently. A very common scam, one that is going on a lot right now, is the Angry IRS Caller. They speak with a stern […]

Keep calm and carry on

S&P 500 Index Returns During and After Big Down Days

I wrote an article in 2013 entitled, “History’s investment lesson.” The article showed that in most years the stock market experiences at least one 10% drop during the year, but ends the year with an overall positive return. What’s unusual about the bull market since March 2009 is that we have not experienced these big, […]