Tag Archives: economy

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?

18 Feb

Was budgeting one of the resolutions? Did you swear that in 2015, you’d begin to get a handle on spending?  Folks, rich people and poor all struggle with this aspect.  It is difficult for so many Americans, regardless of their relative wealth.

If this sounds like you, Check out these easy ways to save money on household expenses, broken down by room: http://aol.it/1qaW9Qs

If you’d like more one on one help, we’re here for you. Just give us a call!

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Do you love your job? Does it show?

9 Feb

Hope you all had a fun weekend!  We spent some time down in San Diego learning more about better business practices. We attended a conference for a few days that we truly loved.

In 2015, we are committed to helping serve you better. We are committed to being B Corp.  We are committed to working harder than we ever have to protect your finances in these most volatile times.  In the coming weeks, you’ll see more about what we just learned being put into practice.

For now, it is Monday!  Have a cup of coffee and enjoy the above video.  We love what we do – helping you protect your finances.  But I think the person in the cow suit here takes the cake when it comes to really getting into what one does for a living and loving his job!

Think of this cow’s enthusiasm as you start your week!

Where are the Leaders?

2 Feb

Not sure who said this but it applies very well across the globe today. “Leadership involves remembering past mistakes, an analysis of today’s achievements, and a well-grounded imagination in visualizing the problems of the future.”

Whether divisiveness in Europe, the Middle East or here at home what is needed is leadership.  We seem to be very good at recalling the mistakes and trying to place blame. But our current world leaders have no skill in analysis of today nor any imagination for a better future.

You know where else we lack leadership in this world? People’s money and savings. Whether it is a poorly constructed 401(k) at work or Wall Street’s continual refusal to do what is right by the American public due to their out-sized need for egregious profits, the industry of financial advice lacks solid leadership.

The quasi-regulators at the SEC and FINRA would rather focus on making sure this blog is written in an ‘approved’ manner than catch crooks like Clay Stephens or Bernie Madoff before they destroy the finances of so many. Why are they focused on the wrong places, time and again?

Advisers in Sonoma County and all over the country continue to legally sell awful equity indexed annuities, garbage private or ‘alternative’ investments, stuff people into insurance policies they don’t need and worse.  All because the regulators in power refuse to stiffen their backs to heavy industry lobbying.

Individuals far and wide continue to bank at major Wall Street corporations, continue to invest on the advice of major Wall Street corporations and continue to get fleeced by both.  Why? Why do folks do things against their self-interest?

Out here, in our humble Santa Rosa outpost, we keep swinging at the windmills.  We keep urging people to take responsibility with their money.  To find a financial adviser who is independent of Wall Street, someone they can trust will put the client’s interests before the advisor’s.

So, I commend you reading this. Many of you are our clients.  You’ve placed your trust in a firm that respects and appreciates you rather than sees you as an easy mark, a dollar sign, a chump. You are ‘shopping locally’ when you engage our firm.  You are telling Wall Street you’ve had enough. You are telling your government there is a better way to regulate the securities world. Thank you!

Share this with your friends. See if they are fed up with the misdirection, the half-truths, and the obvious skullduggery of the big guys on Wall Street.  Let’s go have coffee with someone you know who might be tired of all this.  Let’s keep swinging at windmills and see how many we can take down!

Weekly Market Update

21 Oct

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

Zee French

20 Oct

My junior year of college was spent abroad, in the South of France. A lovely little town called Aix-en-Provence.  There, I learned so much about the French culture and language.

Aix is actually a perfect microcosm of France. Better than Paris, for example, at representing all the many paradoxes that exist in French culture. Don’t get me wrong, America is the King of Paradox.  But France is really more enjoyable to poke fun at, isn’t it?

They eat and drink but never get fat. How does that work?

They loved our help in saving them from the Germans but routinely criticize America and our ways of  violence. So ungrateful sometimes!

They value education but teach too many of their young to believe that one can still live a wonderful life without working for it in any meaningful way. And that is the point of this blog post.

No doubt you know that France has had a great many philosophers.  During their revolution, men like Momoro, Hebert, Fouché and others began the Culte de la Raison or Cult of Reason to counter the Catholic church teachings and focus civilization on reason and logic over superstition and feelings.

Today, the French still insist they base their life on reason and logic. Not feelings. The English phrase common sense doesn’t directly translate and is mocked like a cow-launching John Cleese as a foolish sentiment.

“Sense” a Frenchman might say “is a feeling.  How can it be common and why would you want it to be anyway?”

There is the famous Descarte, “I think, therefore I am.” A mathematician, Descartes desired to build a thought process for science based on facts and reason, not ideas and guesses. Reason and logic.

Now consider the French government, which for 40 plus years has violated all reason and logic by making promises to its population it could never keep.  Paradox.

Today, those promises are becoming less and less tenable.  And other European countries, mainly Germany, are sick of trying to explain to France that their budget misadventures are threatening the entire European Union.

I’m not anti-French.  I enjoy these paradoxes and certainly their people and culture.  But right now, the French government and its refusal to see that the people of France must accept a new reality regarding their promised pensions, is not honoring men like Descartes or Fouché. And it may just be the thread which, when pulled, will unravel the economic recovery we’ve been waiting for in Europe.

C’est la vie, I suppose.

Weekly Market Update

23 Sep

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

Weekly Market Update

26 Aug

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

How Is there $128 Billion in Penalties but No One Person has Been Found Guilty of Anything?

22 Aug

Since 2009, the US Justice Department has been building cases against major financial institutions for the improprieties committed to cause the 2008 financial crisis. Just the institutions, not their wayward executives.  Even though our Supreme Court says corporations are people, logos don’t serve jail time. Only people do. We all know someone made the idiotic decisions that nearly collapsed the entire free word economy.

Thursday, Bank of America settled with the Government for $16,500,000,000 . That is $16.5 billion.  I wanted you to see all the zeros.

We’ve grown accustomed to these big numbers. He is one way to find the scope of what 1 billion is versus 1 million.  Supposing you had the time, it takes a person 12 days to count to 1 million, one second at a time.  It takes just under 32 years to get to 1 billion.

$16.5 BILLION! That is A LOT of WRONG?! Right?

Obviously, BofA agreed to pay this enormous sum for some reason. Yet, they don’t admit to any wrong doing.  Here is what their CEO, Brian Moynihan, said –

“We believe this settlement, which resolves significant remaining mortgage-related exposures, is in the best interests of our shareholders, and allows us to continue to focus on the future.”

No culpability, no admission of guilt. This is just a business decision so the bank can ‘focus on the future.’  Must be nice to be immune from personal responsibility.

In fact, not a single top-level executive has been tried for malfeasance since 2009. Why not? The Enron guys went to jail. Many bankers went to jail in the 1930’s following the Great Depression. I find this puzzling why so many banks would pay so much money yet the government can’t find a single guy who did anything illegal?

Where do the fines go? JP Morgan paid $13 billion last November. Another $16 bill is coming from BofA. Over $128 billion has now been squeezed out in “we didn’t do anything wrong but here is a ton of dough” fines and settlements.

Little of it gets back to the folks on Main Street who got killed in the 2008 crisis.  It mostly goes to various governmental agencies.  This seems nuts to me.  Shouldn’t this money come back to us? Taxpayers?  We know if it goes to bureaucracies, it will be spent. Not always so wisely.

I won’t hold my breath counting to a billion hoping I get a tax break…

Weekly Market Update

20 Aug

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

Weekly Market Update

12 Aug

Our blog today links to the most recent “Market Update” from the experts at Commonwealth Financial’s Investment Research team.  If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to give us a call.

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