Archive | Research

Trust Departments: Can You Trust Them?

If you’re the beneficiary of a trust, you may not be a happy camper. And it’s easy to appreciate why. Over the years, bank mergers have swallowed up many hometown banks, which have left plenty of beneficiaries talking with trust officers thousands of miles away. In fact, the concept of a personal trust officer has […]

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The Dangers of Equity Index Annuities

I decided to write the post below after Scott Dauenhauer, a financial planner I admire, sent me a link from an annuity firm that rails against all the bad press that Equity Index Annuities have deservedly been receiving. After you read the spiel, I hope you’ll be as appalled as I was. (Though I wasn’t […]

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Kids & Money

I wrote the following column three years ago, but it’s still as relevant as it was back then. And my son still has the Roth ……. At the top of my son’s Christmas wish list this year is a present that Ben doesn’t expect to touch until he retires. When he hunts for it under […]

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Investors Behaving Badly

Do you know how well your mutual funds have been doing lately? This past week, you were probably too depressed to look at your returns thanks to the market’s particularly nasty tantrum that just wouldn’t quit. And that’s okay since frequent checking of your portfolio’s net worth is often counterproductive. Turn on your computer and […]

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Get Started Early

Over the years, studies have thoroughly researched and exhaustively footnoted what most of us already know. Americans typically don’t start seriously thinking about saving for retirement until they near their own mid-century mark. After snoozing for decades, our middle-aged Rip Van Winkles suddenly awake with a jolt to see the financial equivalent of a fully […]

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Middle-Class Millionaires

I read an interesting story on Yahoo today that delved into the habits of so-called middle-class millionaires. The conclusions of the private wealth experts reminded me of the take-home messages from a book entitled, The Millionaire Next Door. Middle-class millionaires are nearly three times as likely as the average middle-class American to select a career […]

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Should You Pay Off the Mortgage?

I got an email this week from one of my favorite financial whizzes. When I still had my newspaper column, I occasionally wrote about Henry (Bud) Hebeler, who was formerly a top executive at Boeing and the holder of three MIT degrees. (As a complete failure in math, those degrees will always impress me.) After […]

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