Author - Sam Fawaz, CPA, CFP®

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The Present Doesn’t Portend the Future
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What’s Going on in the Markets March 25, 2018
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It’s My Turn to Retire-How do I Pay Myself?
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How Firm is your Investment Character?
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What’s Going on in the Markets February 5, 2018

The Present Doesn’t Portend the Future

You probably know the well worn disclaimer in the investing world, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” It’s essentially how many investment firms wow you with statistics about their past performance, only to remind you that your future results may never match theirs. OK, fair enough, so how about present circumstances? Do they portend the future?

It’s human nature to focus more on the present than the future, which is in line with our basic instinct of survival. After all, if we don’t take care of the here and now, there may not be a future, right?

Marketing …

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What’s Going on in the Markets March 25, 2018

With the threat of a trade war, the appointment of a new National Security Advisor, and potential war drums being pounded, the markets took a pounding of their own last week. After a robust recovery, the stock markets now seem intent on re-testing the February 8th lows.

As stocks went on sale again, there didn’t seem to be a lot of bargain hunters stepping in to take advantage of the lower prices. The S&P 500 lost 5.9% over five days, its worst week since January 2016.

S&P 500 weekly change

This action follows a by-now-familiar pattern: the Trump Administration announces tariffs—this time on Chinese …

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It’s My Turn to Retire-How do I Pay Myself?

It’s no surprise that more and more of my clients (and prospects) are coming to me as they approach retirement and are increasingly anxious about how to make the transition from accumulation of their retirement funds to distribution of those funds. Questions like “when should I claim social security, how much is safe to withdraw each year, what account should I take it from first, how will taxes affect my retirement, how should I safely invest during retirement, what should I budget for healthcare costs, what medicare plans are best for me?” are among the many questions on pre-retirees’ minds.…

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How Firm is your Investment Character?

One time Fidelity Magellan Fund manager and investing legend Peter Lynch once said “The real key to making money in stocks is not to get scared out of them.”

Benjamin Graham said “What investors need, but few have, is a “firmness of character.”” What he was referring to is the ability for investors to keep their emotions in check.

Investing success is more influenced by DQ than IQ. Our Discipline Quotient, or the ability to remain disciplined during emotional times, is what sets investors apart. Exercising investment discipline is a difficult, but not impossible endeavor.

Buy Low, Sell High

Every …

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What’s Going on in the Markets February 5, 2018

It’s been a long time, more than a year, since I’ve posted an article about what’s going on in the markets. Market volatility, until last week, has been mostly subdued. For what seems like years now, markets seemed immune from any meaningful drop. But this still young month of February has seen volatility return with a vengeance.

This means that the U.S. stock market will finally get something that happens, on average, about once a year: a 10+% percent drop—the definition of a market correction.  The last time this happened, known as a bear market, was a whopper: the Great …

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