Periscope Newsletter & Blog

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1954 was the best year ever!

Why was 1954 such a pivotal year in the history of the USA?

Well, if you've attended our Social Security Lunch & Learn events, you may know that is a year that determines whether or not you can take advantage of certain Social Security Retirement Income strategies. Born in 1954 or before, you've more options than those of us born later. But that's not the reason.

Check out several interesting stats about 1954.

Some of them, like the 1954 Mercedes 300SL with "gull wing doors" I find cool. Others, like the fact this is the year of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, are actually important. Maybe because this is the first year Elvis Presley...

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What happened to stocks for the long haul?

As it turns out, almost all of us are not very good at investing.

Ian Wilson, former GE executive said it well: "No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all of your knowledge is about the past and all your decisions are about the future."

When we invest our money in the stocks of the great companies of the United States and the world, we likely tilt the odds in our favor. And the longer we leave our money here, the more likely we will be rewarded.

"Whatever happened to stocks for the long haul?" asks an analyst named Ms. Subramanian, "it became quants for the short term." (Subramanian, Strategy Snippet) The most contrarian investment strategy, she says, is to invest for the long haul. As it has been in the past so it is today. Contact us for her article.

We are sympathetic to Ms. Subramanian's point. We've made things so complicated that we forget about the fundamentals. Over time, stocks historically make more money. If we're investing for a long period of time, we typically want more money invested in the great companies in the US and the world. But she goes one step further and presents some fascinating charts and statistics. Contact us for her article.

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Farewell, Dick Wagner

"Ladies and gentlemen, you are embarking upon a journey of epic proportions. It will require all that you have to give and all that you are. You have come here with a brain full of mush. And if you will a CFP."

In 1990, a (then) middle-aged brilliant scholar changed my future, and the future of the profession of financial planning. He wrote "To Think Like a CFP," as relevant today as it was nearly 30 years ago. Dick Wagner would go on to become my friend and mentor. He passed away, suddenly, this past weekend. I'd like to take this opportunity to reflect upon some of the lessons he gave us.

First, financial planning is noble and good. It is important. And it is difficult. We carry a great burden as we sit around a small table, heart to heart, eyeball to eyeball with you. For an amateur, financial planning doesn't seem complicated. Mostly it's a math question. How much money do you need and when? What do you have and what does it take to get there?

But the real world is scary and the emotions, namely elation and fear, that drive most of what we enjoy about life, kill us financially. And there is no calculating for the psyche.

Dick became my friend after he saw me on TV. I had the nerve tell a complete stranger to "Get real! Get a job!" This father of two and husband was about to risk his family's only money on a get-rich-quick scheme, because the economy was bad and he couldn't easily-enough find meaningful work.

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The News is Fascinating

The news is fascinating: The defeat before a vote of Trumpcare and the continuance of Obamacare. Fears over tax reform. Implications for the Republicans and the Democrats.

None of us understands the full implications of last week's political show. Not one of us understands the costs and the money that is bantered about between the polls and the partisans in the media.

How does this news affect our investments?

Well, the prediction is that Trump's loss is bad for the market. If it's that simple, then we've missed something big.

Last week, the market declined on Tuesday and the Republicans didn't give up the vote until Friday. No, the next hiccup in the market will likely be due to something more complicated and less predictable. In other words, "it could be time for a correction."

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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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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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