Anthony Isola

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…

Oil and Water

Certain words should NEVER be used in the same sentence. Holocaust and joke, child and labor, and drinking and driving are some of the more obvious combinations that come to mind. On the the lighter side, a N.Y. Knicks’ fan might suggest “Dolan and Oakley” or “Knicks and defense.” You get the point. Investing has…

Good God, Sir, What About My Portfolio?

Investors must avoid devastating and permanent loss to their portfolios. The lessons of history warn of the consequences of “betting it all.” During the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the Commander of the Confederate forces decided on such a strategy. During the first two days of the battle, General Robert E. Lee’s army of Northern…

A Deal Too Good to Turn Down

It’s possible for your children to have an excellent credit score without them charging one single cent. Adding your child as an “authorized user” to your credit card is a gift that keeps on giving. According to Sean McQuay’s article, “How to Give Your Child Excellent Credit,” you can add a child of ANY age as…

No Victims in the Classroom

“Hey, listen. Nobody’s forcing you to be here. You have a choice. You can stay or you can leave… It may not be a choice you like, but it is a choice. There are no VICTIMS in this classroom!”  —  LouAnne (as played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Dangerous Minds) Dina here… Often when Tony and I speak with teachers regarding their…

The Destroyer of Worlds

1949 was a very bad year. “At a remote test site at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan, the USSR successfully detonates its first atomic bomb, code name “First Lightning.” In order to measure the effects of the blast, the Soviet scientists constructed buildings, bridges, and other civilian structures in the vicinity of the bomb. They also placed…