Advisors: Aim For Simplicity, Not Pretentious Jargon

  “You must learn to talk clearly. The jargon of scientific terminology which rolls off your tongues is mental garbage.”-Martin Fischer When things appear difficult to process, they are seen as both less appealing and less true. This is no more apparent in the field of finance where the use of incomprehensible jargon is the…

The 401(k) Road To Serfdom

“We have met a man of God today”- Czar Nicholas II  The 401(k) plan is the poster child for the law of unintended consequences. The unanticipated and unintended effects of its ascension as the heir to the traditional company pension plan has changed the way Americans save for retirement; many would say, not for the better….

We Can’t Direct the Wind, But We Can Adjust Our Sails

“The things in our control are by nature free, unhindered, and unobstructed, while those not in our control are weak, slavish, can be hindered, and are not our own.” Epictetus We often become our own worst enemies by focusing on financial events we have no control over. We become bitter and irrational over imaginary market enemies…

Five Ways Teachers Can Inspire their Students to Build Wealth

  Our public school system is an epic fail regarding teaching students to thrive in the real world. Hope is not lost. There are some basic things ALL teachers can utilize in their classrooms regardless of what subject they teach. Having about 20 years of experience in the classroom allows me to speak confidently about these…

The End of the Beginning

Without struggle, there can be no progress. 2016 was a year of both. We are devoted to the cause of providing retirement plans for teachers and other public servants that they deserve. We are also not naive to the challenges of accomplishing our worthwhile goals. Hundreds of billions of dollars languish in expensive annuities that teachers…

C’mon Man!

Some people will say just about anything to justify an obscene compensation structure. The Case for the Traditional K-12 403(b) Model  takes the absurdity cake! This reminds me of the popular ESPN show C’mon Man! During this weekly broadcast before Monday Night Football, the hosts lampoon weekly NFL bloopers.  The point of the show can be summarized…

Radio Free 403(b)

  The information flow directed to teachers about their retirement plans is either non-existent or worse, highly conflicted. The war of ideas is being won by messengers preaching the virtues of high-fee and commission-based products that reward the salesperson much more than the retirement investor. This situation brings back memories of the worst days of…

Contestants in the 2017 Financial Conflict of Interest Olympics

Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch are looking like the financial equivalent of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Both their employees and, more importantly, their clients will experience a post-holiday hangover from their new 2017 policies. “Sell to us, rather than help us” seems to be the motivating force driving these new edicts from upper management….

How to Teach Evidence Based Investing

The most important job for an investment advisor is to act as a psychologist; the second most, is a teacher. The experience of teaching public school for over 20 years has greatly enhanced my ability to explain complex investment theories to my clients. I learned the value of routine, procedure and consistency when teaching middle school…

High-Cost Annuities Poison the Well of Teachers’ Retirement Plans

High-cost annuities have ABSOLUTELY no place in the 403(b) plans of public school teachers. Every day we are looking at the vendor choices for school districts and have come to this conclusion: They are appalling and are an affront to basic human decency. Roger Wohlner wrote something today called “Annuities: The Wonder Drug for Your Retirement?” If…