History is a great teacher if you bother to “read the minutes of the last meeting,” which many lost in the “Twitterverse” generally fail to do. In March, 1991, following the invasion of Iraq, President George H. W. Bush enjoyed a 90 percent job performance rating. Bill Clinton, a little-know…

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The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Secure Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement), 417 to 3. The bill, containing changes for

In his 2018 book, “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones,” James Clear defines a habit as “a routine or practice performed regularly; an automatic response to a specific situation.” The May 15, 2019, release of Charles Schwab’s annual Modern Wealth…

Reading the financial press, or other source of news or commentary, disparate stories may seem to have no interrelatedness whatsoever. The Wall Street Journal weekend edition (5/11-12/19) headlined, “Uber’s High-Profile IPO Slips In Weak First Session.”  A “page 2” filler piece noted, “‘Fina…

Pray you never face questions such as these. You have a power of attorney for health care for a spouse, mom, dad, grandparent, adult child or other loved one. For the sake of example, we postulate that in framing the following questions, you are the oldest daughter of three siblings. A busy …

When I received the startling announcement that the Dunwoody Crier was ceasing publication, it was sad news! The founder and publisher, Dick Williams, is a longtime friend, and I know how much he loved his paper! 

Steve Martin said, “I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

The college admissions cheating scandal that broke on March 12, 2019, was a classic case of arrogant entitlement that resulted in indictments of wealthy parents and cheating coaches who may face jail time, not to mention embarrassment and loss of employment. Parents spending insane amounts o…

In a Dec. 15 story posted on billboard.com, singer and songwriter Toby Keith explained how Clint Eastwood inspired the hit song, “Don’t Let the Old Man In.”

“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was a hit ABC television game show, a quiz competition with a top prize of $1 million. Originally prize awards were lump sum. In 2002 the prize switched to a fixed annuity. A $1 million winner received $250,000 up front and $37,500 a year for 20 years. Allowin…

Charitable giving, love of neighbor, crosses religious, cultural, and humanistic lines. The word “charity” comes from charis, Greek for “grace, kindness, and life.” Scripture instructs, “Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means. For he is a God who al…

The 2020 “election wars” are in full swing and we hear much about the struggles of the middle class. The odds are that virtually everyone reading this column regards themselves as middle class. Fortune magazine, January, 2019, ran a piece by Clifton Leaf entitled “The Shrinking Middle Class,…

A growing number of professional publications aimed at financial advisors plus consumer and news mediums are spotlighting the growing problem of student loan debt. Match those up with increased concern over the potential for robotics and artificial intelligence to disrupt careers and job pro…

If one reads a lot, often seemingly disparate stories come together to suggest a future-focused theme. Take stories about the impact of artificial intelligence, robots, technology, a progressive push for universal basic income, and Lewy body dementia (LBD).

Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel is author of Stocks for the Long Run, considered one of the best contemporary books on investing. In an Nov. 26 interview he said, “The market is cheap on a long-term basis.” We cite his observation to underscore the fact that equity strategies are for long ru…

Living life according to the Golden Rule is basic to meaningful new year’s resolutions. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12), is bedrock reciprocity ethics. As you formulate important “to do” items for 2019, taking a leaf from an airline’s motivational rewards p…

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Consider your life as a gift of potentially up to ten periods of ten years each. From birth to age 10, you’re a kid, growing and learning. In the next ten year’s you morph from child to teenager to young adult. In your third decade you are “adulting,” perhaps establishing your career, joinin…

The annual exercise begins...New Year’s resolutions. The American inventor Charles Kettering noted, “Every time you tear a leaf off a calendar, you present a new place for ideas and progress.” Kettering (1876-1958), president of Delco, invented the electric self-starter for vehicles. In an o…

A recent Gallup poll indicated that less than 45 percent of young Americans view capitalism positively. Conversely, 51 percent are positive about socialism. How these views translate into votes going forward will impact your nest egg, your overall investment strategies.

It starts late Thanksgiving day. Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday. The quest for bargains, perfect gifts. The shopping frenzy rolls on through Advent and Hanukkah, right up to Christmas eve. After Christmas, post-holiday sales further dent your bank account.

Dr. Sheldon Cooper is a character on television’s long-running hit comedy, “The Big Bang Theory,” in its 12th and final season. Cooper, played by Jim Parsons, is a physicist at Caltech, a whiz at mathematics, science, and theoretical physics, but woefully socially inept.

The mid-term elections are over, control of the House of Representatives has shifted to the Democrats, abating political uncertainty for at least two years. Newly elected freshman legislators are undergoing orientation as to the workings of Congress and “life inside the beltway.” Some arrive…

Healthcare is wealthcare. Even the ancients had ideas about healthy living. Plato advised, “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”

Beyond the holiday, Dictionary.com defines “thanksgiving” as “the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors; an expression of thanks, especially to God.”

Ponant is a French cruise company, a pioneer in luxury expedition cruises to remote locations like Antarctica and Arctic regions. Intimate yacht-like ships such as Le Boreal and Le Soleal generally carry about 250 passengers and crew. Expedition cruises feature expert naturalists and guides …

Halloween came early to Wall Street, a specter materializing as an unsettled market that for investors was no treat. On Friday, Oct. 26, the S&P 500 index closed a hair short of being down 10 percent from the record high of Sept. 20. A “correction” is a drop of at least 10 percent from a…

CBS News Sunday Morning, on July 29, featured a “Money Show” theme. One segment asked, “Can money buy happiness?” They related a story of a young man turned investment banker out of college, traveling the world with a healthy six figure income. Trouble was, he was totally empty and unhappy. …

The high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain stimulated examination of a growing tragedy. Suicide now is the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the U.S., surpassing car wrecks. While suicide rates are growing among middle-schoolers and teenagers, death by one’s own han…

Joe Queenan is an American journalist, satirist, and critic. In The Wall Street Journal, July 2018, he opined, “It’s Time to Kick the Bucket List.” Queenan offered a hilarious polemic against bucket lists as a form of obsessive mania and hard work.

Attention business owners, professionals, key executives, breadwinners, spouses. Google the word “control,” and thought-provoking synonyms pop up: power, authority, command, dominance, jurisdiction, mastery, leadership, rule, supremacy, ascendancy, management, direction, supervision, etc.

As an investor, you own debt. Someone else’s debt, their liability, is your asset. Your liabilities are carried by someone as an asset. Understanding that reality is key to balancing risk and reward, underscoring your economic wellbeing and security.

Country artist and songwriter Brad Paisley said, “If you make the mistake of looking back too much, you aren't focused enough on the road in front of you.”

You know you are getting older when around age 50 you are bombarded with solicitations to join AARP. You are reminded again of the march of time when around 64, offers for Medicare Supplement Insurance flood your mailbox. Comes another milestone in your late 60s or age 70 as Social Security …

Simon Sinek, former advertising executive and author, proffered his famous Golden Circle, proclaiming, “Start with your ‘why.’” In trying to sell a product or idea, most people start with “what.” What the product or idea is. Then they explain “how it works.” Sinek says that’s backwards.

Adam Shell, USA Today, noted, “Number of 401(K) millionaires hits record high.” As of June 2018, 168,000 people had $1 million in their Fidelity 401(K) accounts, versus 118,000 people a year earlier.

When you read or listen to political and economic news about some action and the result, did you ever wonder, “How did that happen?”

“Survival of the richest: The wealthy are potting to leave us behind.” That’s the provocative title of a piece posted on CNBC.com by Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human and the web site and podcasts of the same name.

The gentleman was a longtime client and dear friend. In our periodic visits we talked of many things. One time he seemed a bit put out. When asked what was going on, he muttered, “My damn doctor died. Now I have to start over with some guy who doesn’t know me.” Then he laughed and asked abou…

America’s GDP grew by 4.1 percent in the second quarter. Naysayers on one side of the political divide proclaim strong growth can’t last. Cheerleaders on the opposite side crow, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Hard to fathom...2018 is more than half over! Back-to-school preoccupations are in full swing. Halloween is less than three months away, heralding that time of year when we exclaim, “What, holiday decorations at the mall...already?”

After the resurrection, Jesus appeared before his disciples in Galilee. Addressing Peter, three times he instructed him to “feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep.” He then said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but wh…

As we ushered in what appears to be an overall steamy July weather-wise, money-focused media outlets prognosticated what markets, interest rates, inflation, etc., may do in the six month sprint to 2019. Before we get too enamored with any forecast, a look in the rearview mirror is useful.

Benjamin Graham, the “father of value investing,” proclaimed, “In the short run, the (stock) market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” Lately, it has been more of a vacillating worry machine, a wobble one day, euphoria the next, a speculative playground.

In Congress, July 4, 1776, the unanimous Declaration of the 13 United States of America, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Hap…

A number of years ago my wife and I were vacationing in Canada. On July 1 that year, we were at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. July 1 is Canada Day, commemorating the establishment of Canada as a country, July 1, 1867. Along with Canadian guests, we were invited to a Canada Day reception …

On June 21, we celebrate the Summer Solstice and maximum light in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a time for relaxed celebrations with family and friends. It’s a time to use our hard-earned money for fun and meaningful diversions, even as we recognize that time marches on.

Perhaps you have noted controversies surrounding proposed regulatory rules that will govern stock brokers, financial and investment advisors or “advisers.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is the primary regulator of brokers and investment advisers per the Dodd-Frank Act. However…