Teachers Need to Catch Up with Their 403(b) Plans

Teachers have some huge advantages embedded in their 403(b) plans despite the overwhelming abundance of crappy annuities. If managed correctly, some teachers are able to save 50k a year in pretax contributions. We need to get them good choices so they can take advantage of this terrific benefit. We are working on that right now….

An Open Letter to Senator Elizabeth Warren

Dear Senator Warren, We desperately need your help in righting a great wrong. Many of our nation’s public school teachers are being fleeced in their retirement accounts by excessively greedy insurance companies and brokerage firms. This is not hyperbole. Here are the facts: According to The Wall Street Journal, the average 401(k) participant paid 0.67%…

Welcome to the Annuity Jungle

“The great corporation which employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country — from top to bottom it was nothing but one gigantic lie.”  – Upton Sinclair, The Jungle Many investors roam dangerous grounds as financially illiterate prey in a jungle teeming with salespeople disguised as real financial advisors. Upton Sinclair, one…

Evidence Based Investing for Dummies

“To hell with facts, we need stories!”- Ken Kesey The most important ingredient in creating an investment portfolio is evidence. Unfortunately, according to Michael Shermer, “Humans are pattern-seeking, story-telling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” The average investment plan of many retail investors consists of…

The Most Valuable Degree is from Good Luck University

“Ten men in our country could buy the whole world and ten million can’t buy enough to eat.”  – Will Rogers Luck plays a vital role in wealth creation, whether you want to believe it or not. No one is disputing the role of hard work and personal grit; the point being these qualities can…

Don’t Rely on the Government to Save Your Retirement Plan

“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton One of the biggest problems in our educational system is the method in which United States history is taught. Far too often, the government is given too much credit for many of the progressive changes our…

Have You No Decency?

Variable Annuities are one of  the most misused and oversold financial products. A “new” VA has hit the market call the L-share. This annuity charges much higher fees in exchange for a lower ransom, I mean surrender charge. FINRA has reported that they have fined 8 separate firms a total of $6.2 million for failing…

Bad Advice Strikes Out

“Motivated blindness is when you don’t recognize facts that are sitting in front of you because they would be inconvenient for you to recognize,” – Scott Killingsworth This term perfectly defines the attempt by AXA Advisors to justify selling inappropriate retirement products to public school teachers. According to Tara Siegel Bernard, in the second part…

A Momentary Nuisance

  Unfriending people on Facebook, moving to Canada, or changing a long-term portfolio because of an election are all awful ideas. We are in the midst of our tenth consecutive “most important election in our lifetime!”  This nonsense is really starting to get old. We need to take a fresh approach.  Hopefully this will dispel…

What You Allow Is What Will Continue

How do these guys sleep at night? In addition to pillaging the retirement accounts of public school teachers, Some large insurers prey on churches and charities. This is from Ron Lieber of The New York Times: He also reviewed the 403(b) plans of the nonprofits that had them. People who worked there were not sure…