Show me the Money!

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”  – Malcolm X Our divided nation is filled with many people who justifiably believe tomorrow will be worse than today.  They vented their anger in the voting booth.  They went all in for massive change. We will have…

Where the Hindenburg Meets the Titanic

“Consumers are not equipped to make these choices. Information asymmetry has been used as a weapon against them for decades.” Josh Brown Some large insurers have created the nitroglycerin of investment products – The Buffer Annuity. This monstrosity of complexity is a variable annuity that does not use mutual funds in its sub-account. Instead it places…

The Meryl Streep Of Financial Salespeople

Imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery. This is not the case when your supposed “financial advisor” decides to imitate you! It is an established fact that financial salespeople selling high-fee variable annuities do not act in their clients best interests. They often walk on the wrong side of morality in order…

In Debt, We Trust

  “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world…He who understands it earns it…He who doesn’t, pays it.” – Albert Einstein Reverse compound interest is the most financially devastating force in the universe. We are speaking of credit card debt. This over $1 trillion time-bomb has Americans paying interest rates that can range from 20%-30%. This…

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

“Sh#t happens.” -Unknown Financial markets have no resemblance to a closed scientific lab. Physics and chemistry are based on successfully predicting future behavior; relying on these concepts when designing a portfolio is a recipe for disaster. To be a good investor, you need to be an historical scientist rather than a chemist or physicist. This means…

Every Time History Repeats Itself, The Price Goes Up

  “I have written too much history to believe in it.” Henry Adams The most important lesson history can teach us is: The unpredictable is the only thing that is predictable. Looking back to the past should not be used as a forecasting guide to the future. Expecting events to repeat themselves in order to profit from…

Investors First!

Major brokerage firms and insurance companies are deliberately misleading consumers and collecting billions in unnecessary fees. People living in different geographic locations can have a spirited debate regarding President Trump’s Orwellian vision of America. Something that is beyond debate is the financial landscape many consumers find themselves in is a dystopian hell hole of conflicts of interests and…

Student Loan Servicing: A Predatory And Conflicted Mess

Unnecessarily ruining disabled veterans’ credit scores is a small part of the mess that has become our student loan servicing system. Student loan collectors are often motivated by perverse incentives that we have seen before in the financial services industry. Profit maximization often takes precedence over the borrower’s best interests. Navient, the nation’s largest student loan service company…

Should Walmart Sell Mutual Funds?

Far too often, financial middlemen, more commonly known as advisors, do not connect consumers with the products they really need. The information that many “professionals” provide can be very conflicted and non-transparent. According to the author John Kay, the way financial advisors provide advice is more similar to, “the tourist guide who directs us to his…

The Sooner You Fall Behind, The More Time You’ll Have to Catch Up

  Annuities with rolling surrender charges suck. There is no other way to describe these deceptive, shameful products. For the uninitiated, surrender charges are a way some insurance companies reimburse themselves or, more bluntly stated, collect ransom payments from clients. Companies will pay a salesperson an upfront commission and they need a hedge in case…