Sogyal Rinpoche, Buddhist teacher, author of “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying,” observed, “Normally we do not like to think about death. We would rather think about life. Why reflect on death? When you start preparing for death you soon realize that you must look into your life now... a…

A front-page story in The Wall Street Journal (10/16/19) underscored the importance of ownership in the building of financial wealth. Titled “When a Six-Figure Salary Still Can’t Buy a Home,” the report detailed a growing number of high-income families who out of necessity rent versus buy. H…

Early October business headlines noted that America’s jobless rate hit a 50-year low, easing fears of an economic slowdown. But Mr. Market, along with Main Street investors, will continue to worry about crosscurrents such as political infighting, impeachment wrangling and tariff wars. 

When asked about “bucket list travel dreams,” clients never mention Greenland. Greenland is the world’s largest island that’s not a continent, as is Australia. Located east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, surrounded by the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, most of the country lies north of the…

A recent Wall Street Journal article, “The New Rules of Money,” focused on recent graduates dealing with a triple whammy — substantial college loan obligations driven ever higher by rising tuitions and fees at 4-year colleges; the soaring costs of homes; plus, stagnant incomes. 

An often-cited fear among those planning for retirement is “running out of money before they die and being a burden on family and others.” A response that attempts to inject a bit of humor into a nettlesome situation might be, “You tell me when you will die, and we’ll work up a super plan!”

A recent column, “What are the odds?” noted that about 41 percent of first marriages, 60 percent of second marriages, and 73 percent of third marriages end in divorce or separation. A Dunwoody Crier reader asked, “How about a column on marriages that last?” He and his wife are celebrating 61…

Health care reform is a political hot potato. Gallup notes top issues for voters are healthcare, economy, immigration. Politically crafted ideas are all over the map. Most likely you will enter the 2020 voting booth still confused as to how a particular proposal will impact your bottom line …

Labor Day, September 2, gave rise to thoughts about the meaning of work. Most associate work with “breadwinning,” a job, profession or pursuit for which one is paid. There is work for which one is not paid, homemaker, parent, caregiver, volunteer, etc. These have spiritual, meaning and purpo…

On July 24, 2019, yours truly departed for a month long sojourn Down Under, in Australia. On the day I departed, the S&P 500 index closed at 3019.55. On the first trading day after my return, August 26, the index closed at 2878.38, down -4.6 percent for the period, given a turbulent Augu…

Financial life planning starts with an idea, a potential strategy that will improve your personal and financial wellbeing. What are the odds that your idea will be successful?

Those who grew up in the WWII and Cold War eras believed “capitalism, good; fascism, socialism and communism, bad!” With recent polls showing more young Americans embracing socialism, it seems the terms are becoming confused.

Qualified tuition programs, 529 College Savings Plans, were created in 1996 as part of the Small Business Jobs Protection Act. The goal is encouraging tax-incentivized savings for future college expenses of a designated beneficiary. The plans are popular with parents and grandparents, partic…

American existentialist philosopher William Earle (1919-1988) famously declared, “If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.” This basic tenant of personal financial responsibility seems forgotten by many, given the reality of how many people cannot scrape tog…

Remember Farrah Fawcett, the glamorous star of the ’70s television hit, “Charlie’s Angels?” Married for a time to Lee Majors, star of the action series “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Fawcett became one of America’s favorite pin-up models. The July 4, 1977, People magazine cover featured the b…

The warmer and longer days of summer are conducive to a relaxed mindset, and perhaps a summer reset.

It was a perfect question for contemplation on July 4, 2019, Independence Day, America’s 243rd birthday. Every American citizen and those who aspire to citizenship should read “Last Call for Liberty: How America’s Genius for Freedom Has Become Its Greatest Threat” by Os Guinness (InterVarsit…

This year summer officially extends from June 21 to September 23, when the fall solstice arrives. There’s an old adage about warm weather doldrums on Wall Street that counsels, “Sell in May and go away!”

On July 4, 1776, Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence which boldly declared, “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 pur…

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…

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…