Anthony Isola

How you can Avoid the Tricks of Financial Salespeople

Often people will buy financial products not on their merits but on the basis of the salespersons personality. Physical Attractiveness, flattery, and perceived common interests often close the deal. You are often left with a false friend and an unsuitable investment. Rejecting this tempting bait can be very difficult. Robert Cialdini ,in his book The…

It’s the End of the World As We Know it, and I Feel Fine

This line from a classic R.E.M. song from the 1990s sums up my feelings on this whole Greek Fiasco.  While there is a strong possibility for “short-term volatility” a.k.a. a sudden scary market plunge, on the whole the news from this beleaguered isle means little to my clients’ long-term financial plans. Creating a portfolio without…

Five Ways to Raise a Financial Adult

Many children are dominated by “Helicopter Parents.” They lurk in the shadows, concealed in their mini-vans looking to monitor and butt into virtually any life situation their child encounters. Besides being humiliating and demeaning to the child, there are worse side effects to this behavior. Children will never learn how properly manage their finances if…

Five Fun Ways to Train JPM Employees About Conflicts of Interest

J.P. Morgan is in talks with the S.E.C. to settle a probe about charges they sold clients their own proprietary funds rather than cheaper ones from competitors. The story is being reported in today’s WSJ As part of the companies response to this latest disaster, they are focusing on how to train their employees how…

Sudden Wealth Often Disappears

Many people who find themselves with an unexpected large sum of money often lose it all. While money can solve many problems, it provides little value if its owners are not prepared to receive it. While this unexpected windfall may seem like a blessing it all too often becomes more of a curse. Often those…

An Investor’s Version of Rat Park

  Many investors are addicted to overpriced financial products sold by conflicted advisors. The products are not the problem. The toxic environment that allows them to incubate and spread is the main source of this dysfunction. Johann Hari wrote an amazing article in the Huffington Post entitled “The Likely cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered…

College Merit Aid is for Mediocre, Rich Kids

College merit aid is not being used  as it should be, (i.e., for impoverished students with great potential but little ability to afford tuition). Its main purpose has become to attract affluent and often mediocre students in order to gain the most bang for the buck. With the exception of a select few elite universities, this practice…

Crash Dieting Doesn’t Work for Savers, Either

Deprivation diets don’t work in the long term. The same can be said for deprivation-based financial management. Eliminating all the fun things you can do with money is a surefire way to guarantee failure. In his excellent book “Mindless Eating, Why We Eat More Than We Think,” author Brian Wansink explains why most diets don’t work….

What Risk Is All About: Uncertainty

Howard Mark’s recent  quarterly update to his Oaktree Clients is an investment smoothie for the brain. Reading this memo is an adrenaline shot for your mind. This comes without the unpleasant side effect of your Vitamix blasting through your kitchen like an industrial grade leaf blower. Mark’s analysis of risk is nutrition for your cerebral cortex in…