Category - Investing

1
The Madoff Scam: What Can We Learn?
2
Ready to invest in real estate? Take a close look at your margins
3
Prepare your marriage for retirement
4
Does Your Financial Plan Pass the Sleep Test?
5
Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

The Madoff Scam: What Can We Learn?

Note: This is a re-publish of an article from early 2009 – but the lessons are still very useful in today’s world.

You’d have to be living under a rock to not know about the scandal of Bernie Madoff’s firm – wherein the supposedly legitimate Madoff bilked some of the most sophisticated investors in the world out of something like $50 billion. The Ponzi scheme has been around forever, for the very fact that it works – much to the chagrin of those caught in its web.

The bright spot for all of us (as long as you weren’t caught …

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Ready to invest in real estate? Take a close look at your margins

We’ve all heard the mantra: “Location, location, location!” When buying investment property, a great location is often considered the #1 rule for success. But as we’ve all seen in that late night, drag-out game of Monopoly, location certainly isn’t the only factor at play.

A decade ago, we all learned more than we wanted to know about subprime mortgages. People were investing money they didn’t have using loans they should never have been given. The stage was set for the perfect storm. Home prices started falling, refinancing became difficult (especially with historically high debt-income ratios), and those previously attractive adjustable-rate …

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Prepare your marriage for retirement

Retirement can spark both stress and disagreement in an otherwise contended marriage. After years of happy, healthy wedded bliss, sometimes one or both spouses are surprised to find themselves unhappy once retirement comes or when discord enters the marriage.

Negotiation and compromise are key elements in a successful marriage—long-time spouses already know this and practice both well. Entering retirement doesn’t change this. It’s hard for two spouses to enjoy their later years if each wants to sail in their own direction.

Marital stress in retirement can be linked to two primary sources: one, difference in timing on when each spouse …

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Does Your Financial Plan Pass the Sleep Test?

SleepWith the exception of my wife, my grandmother is the most inspiring person I’ve ever known. I don’t know where I would be today without her. Although we didn’t always see eye to eye, especially on financial matters, I learned an extremely valuable investing lesson from her.

Members of the Greatest Generation, my grandparents came of age during the Depression, a period marked by severe distrust of financial institutions and an extreme aversion to risk. After my grandfather died, my grandmother had to manage her finances for the rest of her life, 28 more years. The way she handled her …

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Marotta’s 2016 Gone-Fishing Portfolio

In 2011, we made the Marotta Gone Fishing Portfolio and have updated and reviewed it every year since. A gone-fishing portfolio has a limited number of investments with a balanced asset allocation that should do well with dampened volatility. Its primary appeal is simplicity. But a secondary virtue is that it avoids the worst mistakes of the financial services industry. The Marotta gone-fishing portfolio is used by many subscribers as a free and simple way of low-cost investing.

The gone-fishing portfolio provides suggested asset allocations for investors up to age 70 and up to $1 million. Comprehensive financial planning can …

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