Mistakes to Avoid

What Airplanes Can Teach Us About Money

In my financial planning practice, I meet with a lot of “Type A” entrepreneurs. Their number one question? “Couldn’t I be doing better with my money?” I always have to smile. These driven individuals are used to optimizing everything they touch—or at least trying to. If they have three rental properties today, they want to …

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Four Components of a Good Succession Plan

Though he was past traditional retirement age, he was living every businessperson’s dream. A healthy company. A strong management team. The freedom to come and go.  “Maybe it’s time,” he told me. “Time to pass on my business to my adult children—even though they’re not actually in the business. I’m thinking that if they’d just …

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About that Financially Irresponsible Person in Your Life

We’ve all got them. People in our lives who live in a chronic state of financial mess. When it comes to money, they habitually make poor choices. There’s the friend who overspends. Despite his big salary, he’s got even bigger debt. There’s the parent who under-saves. The sibling who comes to you annually for “just …

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Is Your Debt Destructive or Constructive?

Comedian Bob Hope once quipped, “A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove you don’t need it.” We chuckle, but it’s true. Lending institutions couldn’t stay in business long if they loaned money to folks who couldn’t repay them (with interest).  So banks are careful. They consider the risks …

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3 Ways to Avoid Wrong Business Priorities

In the Disney film Glory Road, a star basketball player at Texas Western University is on the verge of flunking out.  In desperation, the coach summons the young man’s mother. She marches onto campus and proceeds to turns her son’s world upside down. She even attends class with him and “volunteers” him to recite all …

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Stop Assuming and Start (Estate) Planning

Here’s a shocker: Forbes estimates that nearly two out of three Americans do not have a will. No clear instructions for survivors. No written record of “Here’s how I want my property distributed.” Even the “rich and famous” are part of this will-less majority. The artist known as Prince died without a will. So did …

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The Problem with Those “Average Returns”

An old joke says that if you keep one foot on a hot stove and your other foot in an ice bucket, on average you should be comfortable. That line always makes me smile. It underscores a reality in the world of markets and investing—averages can be both mathematically accurate and experientially awful.  Case in …

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Is Your Financial Advisor Trustworthy?

Bernie Madoff died this week. Madoff was the architect behind the biggest Wall Street fraud in history. The former chairman of the Nasdaq stock market index, Madoff positioned himself as a self-made financial genius. He claimed to know how to avoid market fluctuations and deliver steady, handsome returns.  Famous clients like movie director Steven Spielberg, …

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