Periscope Newsletter & Blog

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Amber Alert: March Madness

"That's my car!"

If you've driven the highways for any length of time, you've likely seen an "Amber Alert" announcing a child abduction. They are scary enough even if you've no idea who it is. The other day, I was driving home on I-25 when my cell phone, dashboard and the electronic street sign above me all set off an Amber Alert for the very same model car that I was driving. It's a different year with a different license plate, but it's my car!

Instantly, I look around to see if anyone noticed me and if they're dialing 911 to report me to the police. I made it home safely, and I think I saw the child got to her home also. Whew!

Amber Alerts are not the only thing that show up everywhere. Trump shows up everywhere. New research shows that we are spending 13% more time watching and talking politics than we ever have before. That's a stressful decision.

March Madness is everywhere. For basketball fans, March is exciting. Several underdogs have toppled some titans of the basketball courts. It's no wonder we love March Madness; we need a respite from all this "everywhere, all the time."'

Alerts. Sports. Presidential tweets. When you have all these inputs, it's important to have someone to talk to. It's important to have a team you can trust.

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How much should I set aside in a savings account?

Here is a question I hear often: In addition to saving for retirement, how much should I be setting aside in a savings account?

Think about having at least three months of money in an account where you are going to get next to nothing (or nothing) in returns, just for safety. For more safety, increase the amount.

If you've got the rest of your money in dividend-paying stocks, think about two years of money in that savings -- or the equivalent -- account.

I wrote an editorial some time ago for Marketwatch, To Hell with Bonds! In this paper, as simple as it sounds, my friend, Al, decided to invest all of his retirement account, less two years savings, in the great companies of America and the world. His plan: to live off of the dividends.

Richard Thaler, made famous for many reasons, wrote a nice research paper years ago wherein he discusses the likelihood that the dividends are not only going to be consistent--they're likely going to increase.  Not only that, they're likely to increase at a rate that is faster than inflation. Here's a link to the paper: Richard Thaler: Do Changes in Dividends Signal the Future or Past. 

I encourage you to reach out to your wealth manager to discuss how much you should set aside given your unique situation, time horizon, and risk tolerance.  

That said, here's one caveat: please don't put this safe money in gold.

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Kid's Long Term Care Plan: Google

How many of us have cared for a loved one near the end of his or her life? 

Everyone needs a long-term-care plan.  Consider this:  If you haven't created a formal plan and communicated it to your potential caregivers, your plan may amount to a Google search by your loved-ones for "stay at home nurse" or something similar.

Last week, Stacey Frank led a discussion with many of our clients and friends about the plans that we have in place--whether we've thought them through or not.

We don't talk enough about the consequences of our health as we age. We may consider the financial consequences of needing care, more than others. Perhaps we can offset our financial risk by purchasing a long-term care product.  But we have no product to solve for the relational consequences. Nor the emotional. 

How we answer these five questions will, to a great extent, determine how we are remembered.

  1. Who might be my caregiver?
  2. Where do I want to receive care?
  3. How can I finance and coordinate my care?
  4. What type and amount of care could I need?
  5. When is it likely to happen? 
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3 Things to Do This Weekend

It's Monday, and it's not too early to look ahead to this weekend: it will be excellent. You can read two interesting articles, below, and join us if you like in the incredibly beautiful, snow-covered Rocky Mountains.

First, an invitation. Saturday and Sunday is the Rocky Mountain Freestyle Divisional Championship at Winter Park Resort. If you're interested in seeing some of the best young mogul skiers in the country duke it out to go to the National Championships in two weeks (in Sun Valley, ID), come and join us! You can root for our daughter, and all her friends. We'll have a BBQ at our place afterwards. You don't need to ski, and you can see the competition from the base. Send me an email if you'd like to join us!

When other people write brilliantly, I am inclined to share it instead of rewrite it. Here are two of them:

Alan Greenspan famously said that we're feeling an irrational exuberance. In the 2000's, as the market roared ever higher, that seemed appropriate. Today it's the opposite--we feel "crappy," an irrational ex-poop-erance. In Don't Get Bitten by Biases, Linda Martinson, the President of Baron Investments, writes very clearly about the irrational behaviors we have all seen recently and gives us confidence that rational investing will win in the end. Consider reading it this weekend.

Finally, the third enjoyable piece of writing comes from Convergex. They warn that simplifying the complex is dangerous. The market is infinitely more complex than predictions based off Presidential politics, or media reporting, make it appear. Yet we need to do this in order to make sense of the chaos.

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Common Sense Advice

I chuckled when I read this in an article about making the most of your vacation dollars: "There’s nothing quite like pulling up to a $10 million mansion in Aspen or Newport Beach in a beat up Jeep after a 3000-mile road trip."

Many of you, just like many of us, enjoy a good deal. We are a little bit less inclined to spend a fortune foolishly. Instead, we'd rather save a few dollars if we can, and still enjoy a good--if not great!--lifestyle. And guess what? Here's a great little article with advice that makes me want to book a mansion in Zermat. Are you in? Vacation like a multi-millionaire on the cheap.

Speaking of mansions...The White House has been busy. Now the President is going to delay a piece of legislation called the Fiduciary Rule. While we don't exactly view this as good news, it is for you, clients of our registered investment advisory practice, because we are already fiduciaries! 

No change for you!

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Go Tax Free

A&I Financial Services - Karl Frank Book - Go Tax Free






An assortment of tools and strategies that give readers of all backgrounds a clear, specific action plan for obtaining the maximum allowable control over when and how they pay taxes.
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