March 2017

Tsu-money Crushes Investor Protections

“Washington is like a strip club. You’ve got people tossing dollars, and people doing the dance.” – Mike Huckabee    A tidal wave of money is crashing down on individual investors, crushing their protections against financial salespeople. The results are seen in the rollback of key regulations designed to protect the interests of common folk. We…

Conflicted Salespeople Are Ruining a Great Tax Shelter

Here is my latest story for my friends Scott and Dan over at 403bwise. Teachers have some amazing ways to save on their taxes. Unfortunately, their biggest tax shelter, their 403(b) plan, is often riddled with high-cost products sold by conflicted financial salespeople. Imagine a world where teachers could lower their taxes and also have an awesome…

403(b) Plans: The Best Option is often Avoidance

“It’s a sad state of affairs when workplace retirement plans are so compromised that the best move is to avoid them.” – Ron Lieber The state of public school teachers’ 403(b) retirement plans is getting worse. This is despite the critically acclaimed five-part N.Y. Times Public Sacrifice series that exposed the sordid world of teachers’ retirement plans….

The Case for Tragic Optimism

“The greatest task for any person is to find meaning in his or her own life.” – Viktor E. Frankl What gives life real meaning? According to Viktor Frankl there are three possible answers: Creating a work or doing a deed. Experiencing or encountering something. This can be found not only in work, but in…

From Russia, With Love

“You know, Mr. Kennedy, we voted for you.”- Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev The 2016 election may not have been the only U.S. election the Russians may have influenced. It turns out the 1960 nail-biter between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy may have been the scene of some Russian hacking. You could not find two more polar…

A Fiduciary, in Name Only

“I was selling JPMorgan funds that often had weak performance records, and I was doing it for no other reason than to enrich the firm … I couldn’t call myself objective.” JPM Adviser Disclosure is a very poor substitute for “best interest.” According to Barbara Roper of the Consumer Federation of America, investment firms are…