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Wealth Management Services In Traverse City

New Financial Adviser? Check Out Fees and Conflicts

January 30th, 2015

Informative article written by Peter Finch of The Wall Street Journal.

Short excerpt:

The financial adviser’s pitch, delivered over lunch, included a discussion of asset allocation and “lots of different investment vehicles.” Hart Merriam came away thinking this talkative fellow could help him take his portfolio to the next level. 

“It made sense to me,” says Mr. Merriam, a 57-year-old General Electric sales manager who lives in Raleigh, N.C. 

But a few months into their relationship, the adviser started pitching him things he wanted nothing to do with, including commission-heavy whole-life insurance policies and annuities. Once Mr. Merriam made it clear he wasn’t interested, he says, his adviser all but ignored him. 

“It was frustrating, because I wanted good advice,” he says. “What I got seemed more in his interest than in mine.” 

Mr. Merriam recently enlisted a new adviser who charges a flat annual fee.

Read Full Article Here…


The Intelligent Investor: How Dumb Are Fund Investors?

January 26th, 2015

Wall Street Journal online article written by Jason Zweig regarding and is a follow-up article that takes issue to our previous post The Average Investor vs. Asset Classes chart.

Please see full article here…



Chart of the Day – Average Investor vs. Asset Classes

January 21st, 2015

Average Investor vs. Asset Classes













Chart is from “The Big Picture Blog”: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2015/01/asset-class-returns-vs-the-average-investor/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheBigPicture+%28The+Big+Picture%29


How to Tell if Your Retirement Nest Egg Is Big Enough

January 21st, 2015

Here we go again.

During past bull markets, many Americans nearing retirement fleetingly acquired a nest egg adequate for later life. Then, as quickly as that nest egg came, it went—leaving behind regret, sleepless nights, and in the worst case, panic selling near the bottom that eliminated any possibility of recovery.

This happened in the late 1990s, as the tech-stock bubble produced a blizzard of paper millionaires that melted away faster than a cherry snow cone in August. It happened in the mid-2000s, as Americans grew ever more comfortable with stock-heavy portfolios and with treating their home equity as an ATM, only to be savaged by the worst financial crisis since the Depression.

And it will happen again. In March, the current bull market will be six years old. It might run an additional six years—or end in April. Regardless, the lesson from financial history is clear:

When you’ve won the game, stop playing.

Read Full Article Here…

Written By: William Bernstein


The IRA Advantage of a Low Tax Bracket

December 15th, 2014

What’s worse than paying taxes? Not paying any taxes at all and wasting a great opportunity.

Suppose 2014 is a year when you’ll have little or no taxable income. Perhaps you’re out of work. Maybe you just retired, and you haven’t yet claimed Social Security or tapped your retirement accounts. Instead, you’ve been dipping into your savings account to buy groceries.

My advice: Before year’s end, take advantage of your low tax bracket by converting part of your traditional individual retirement account to a Roth IRA. It could make your retirement less taxing and your heirs a whole lot happier.

Read Full Article Here…

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