Author - jim@blankenshipfinancial.com (Jim Blankenship)

1
Fiduciary Standard for All Advisors?
2
Focus On The Future
3
Problems and (proposed) Solutions for 401k Plan
4
Life Insurance: Protect Your Most Important Asset
5
The Equity-Indexed Annuity

Fiduciary Standard for All Advisors?

There has been a debate going on in the financial advisory world for many years.  You see, there are two primary governing bodies for folks in the financial services business:  the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which promotes a fiduciary standard, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), promoting a suitability standard.  These are the two primary governing bodies (but there are others).

The Players

The SEC, an arm of the US federal government, has regulatory authority over Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) and Investment Advisor Representatives (IAR) who provide investment advice pursuant to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (the ’40 …

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Focus On The Future

This post was inspired by a recent conversation I had with a former student. As is customary in my classes, I encourage students to contact me if they have questions while in the “real world” after graduation. The student was contemplating contributing the maximum to a Roth IRA for 2018 – which is $5,500, and then potentially doing the same for 2019 – which would be $6,000. His concern was market volatility. He was afraid of contributing to the IRA, then seeing is lump sums of $5,500 and $6,000 respectively plummeting if the market were to drop substantially. I told… Read More

Problems and (proposed) Solutions for 401k Plan

The 401k plan has been under a great deal of scrutiny lately, with quite a few proposals being offered to “fix” the system.  Granted there are a few problems with the system that is in place, but the overall concept is still good.  What follows is strictly my opinion of some of the real “problems” followed by a look at the presently proposed solutions that are being dallied about.

The Problems With 401k Plan

Note: for the purpose of this discussion (and most discussions here) the term 401k is used to refer to all CODA (Cash Or Deferred Arrangements) such

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Life Insurance: Protect Your Most Important Asset

You may think that your most important asset is your home, your nest egg, your priceless collection of Etruscan snoods. Your most important asset is you – your human capital. Your human capital is your current and future economic contributions to your family. Perhaps you’ve gone to college and majored in a profession to pursue a career. You may have earned advanced degrees and designations to increase your knowledge, professionalism, and income. All of this increases your human capital – your ability to earn, substantially, over your lifetime. Now that you have a family, a spouse and kids to support,… Read More

The Equity-Indexed Annuity

If you’re anywhere near retirement age, or if you’re in retirement, chances are you’ve had an Equity-Indexed Annuity (EIA) pitched to you.

Now, if for some reason you’ve missed out on these pitches (Maybe you’ve been out the country? Don’t have a phone? Don’t read your mail?) here’s the gist:  Insurance salesman tells you about this wonderful product that allows you to participate in the stock market’s upside, while not experiencing any of the market downside.  In today’s stock market climate, sounds pretty good, huh?

A couple of things come into play that the salesguy doesn’t highlight for you:

First,

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