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Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Last month we talked about giving ourselves permission to be helpful to our kids and grandkids. I thought I might give us all a topic to be thinking about - should the opportunity to help arise. Conflict surrounding finances is one of...

 

Monday, April 1, 2024

For the last several years I have been writing newsletters about families and money. Some have addressed the mechanics of money, while others focused on character and values. For the most part, I have received positive feedback on...

 

Friday, March 1, 2024

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was an interesting time. So many new choices everywhere we looked. When I was young, we had five TV channels to choose from. By the time I was in high school my friends in the city were...

 

Monday, February 5, 2024

We talk a lot about the market indexes - the Dow, NASDAQ and of course the S&P500. If you want to know how the market did on any certain day, you will likely be looking at one of these indices to get the answer. But what are they, how...

 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Happy New Year! Even though today is only one day removed from 2023, we hope this fresh start brings with it hope and new beginnings. One of the hallmarks of a new year is all the investment predictions from “experts” as to...

 

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Friday, December 1, 2023

I would love to be the first to wish you a Merry Christmas, but most of the major retailers have been doing that for the last two months. 2023 has been a year of contrasts – both dragging and somehow simultaneously flying by....

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A week ago, it was almost 90 degrees here in sunny Oklahoma City. This morning as I write to you, it’s 29 degrees. It is one of the things we all know about Oklahoma weather – yes, we have a four-season climate. And yes,...

 

Monday, October 2, 2023

What do election years typically mean for the stock market? I’ve had several of you ask this and similar questions recently during reviews and phone calls. Now that we are about a year away from the election and just days away...

 

Friday, September 1, 2023

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was enacted on December 20, 2019. Many of you are aware of how this act increased the age at which Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from 70 ½ to 72, as...

 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

I think we all would appreciate going back to a simpler, less complicated, less technological time. Sure, some of the conveniences are nice – but so much of the recent change seems to be overkill. Whether we are talking about...

 

Saturday, July 1, 2023

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway to 2024. I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of summer’s warm evenings and family get-togethers. I thought I might give an update about what we are seeing in the markets and...

 

Thursday, June 1, 2023

To learn from your own mistakes is valuable. To learn from the mistakes of others is far less painful and much more efficient. How important is it, then, to share those lessons with our children and grandchildren so they might avoid...

 

Monday, May 1, 2023

If you have been with us any time at all, you know we occasionally reach out and ask you to come in for a review. In case you’re curious, we do about 150 or more of these meetings a year. Over the years I have developed a pretty...

 

Monday, April 3, 2023

I spend a good part of every day looking at, reading about, listening to and searching for ways to help each of our clients make progress on their biggest goals. Whether that is by minimizing the risks from market declines, finding...

 

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Ah, spring! A time when a young man’s mind turns toward insurance renewals. I’m assuming, of course, that my mid-fifties are still young…right?The recent bout of inflation and interest rate hikes from the Federal...

 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

In nature we see some amazing rituals: the great elephant migration of the Okavango, the annual flamingo lek and of course the almost nightly ritual of my wife and me trying to figure out where to eat dinner. All these rituals are...

 

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 – I’m not sure I’m going to miss you. Yes, you brought us a few good things worth remembering and celebrating. But it’s time to put a new foot forward with fresh energy and give 2023 a real chance. So, I...

 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Welcome to December! This year has been quite a ride. In our family, we celebrated graduations, a wedding and a new grandchild. Those were the highlights. On the other side of the ledger, we had a very challenging year with the market...

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

When the news tells us that “the market is up” or the “the market went down,” what do they mean? We know there are lots of different markets – commodities, real estate, and the stock market(s). Even the...

 

Friday, September 30, 2022

Next month will mark 30 years since I decided to embark on an exciting career in finance. No, I’m not retiring, but every once in a while, it’s beneficial to look back. I really have enjoyed helping people and families...

 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

One of the newer features of our current two-party system is the politicization of everything. Up until recently, most administrations shied away from claiming things about the markets. They recognized the markets were fickle and that...

 

Monday, August 1, 2022

Some summers are longer than others. When the number of 100-degree days exceeds 7-10 in a summer, fall can’t come soon enough. Now we all know that summer is actually the same duration each year, but when we are uncomfortable...

 

Friday, July 1, 2022

Teaching teens to drive is an extended and challenging experience – I’ve done it three times. It’s a lot to learn. The mechanics of what to do with your hands and feet. Feeling how long it takes to brake, remembering...

 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

What Have we Learned?I took Algebra 1 and 2 in high school. I also took business calculus in college. I passed them without trouble at the time, but if you made me re-take any of those exams now? It would likely be pretty embarrassing...

 

Monday, May 2, 2022

 

Friday, April 1, 2022

 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

 

Monday, January 31, 2022

 

Monday, January 3, 2022

 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Making a List – And Checking it Twice As we race down the hill to Christmas and the end of 2021, we want to take a moment to thank you for letting us partner with you. The last couple of years have brought many challenges and a...

 

Monday, November 1, 2021

So, what happens when the Social Security trust funds run out of money? I’ve been getting several phone calls and emails from folks wanting to know if this is the end of Social Security benefits as we know it. If you have paid...

 

Friday, October 1, 2021

This may come as a shock. In my 30 years of working with couples and their finances, I have witnessed quite a few arguments about money. Shock number two – in my 28 years of being married, I have won very few arguments about...

 

Friday, September 10, 2021

As my wife and I crest the hill approaching the days of the empty nest, we have visions of freedom, lower bills, sleeping in more often, and walking around the house in our underwear (OK, that’s more on my list). We now have one...

 

Monday, August 2, 2021

In our previous article we explored a few issues around estate planning. We reviewed some of the basic concepts around issues like time, beneficiaries, ownership, taxation, and the complexity that family can (and often does) bring....

 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Nothing says summer like the 4th of July, swimming pools, hot dogs – and reviewing your estate plan. Ok, maybe there isn’t anything seasonal about updating your will or thinking about beneficiary designations. But like most...

 

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

As many of you have noticed, I reached the milestone where reading anything without glasses is apparently humorous to watch. And while it is obviously easier to just struggle to read a statement or menu than to keep up with my glasses,...

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Will we have enough? It is by far the most common question clients ask. And, maybe not surprisingly, it’s one of the most complex to answer in a way that brings lasting peace of mind. For example, one retired couple makes $60,000...

 

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Over the last month I have had one discussion over and over again. No, it has nothing to do with finding shrimp in your Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast cereal, or double parking a container ship in the Suez Canal. What almost everyone...

 

Monday, March 1, 2021

You may not know this, but the way you and your family “do money” is very unique. In my 25 years of working with families I’ve never seen two families have the same financial culture. It makes sense really –...

 

Monday, February 1, 2021

While it may be hard to tell, I want to re-assure you that 2020 is indeed over. Also, as predicted by many, the election has come and gone. One of the amazing (exhausting) things about last year was the dizzying pace of significant...

 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Have you started making the list yet? You know, the list of all the things you want to do once the vaccine is distributed, the masks come off and the travel restrictions are lifted. Maybe for you it’s just a simple long hug with...

 

Monday, November 30, 2020

I have some good news – If you have been waiting for the end of 2020, you only have about 30 days to go! Maybe you are like me and think the best thing about this year will be seeing it in the rearview mirror. I think it is safe...

 

Friday, October 30, 2020

Life has always been full of unknowns. A few weeks ago, my son went for a bike ride with a friend in our neighborhood. I was on the back porch plugged into a Zoom meeting when I got a heads-up from the wife that he had crashed and a...

 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

I don’t remember an election being one of the biblical plagues, but after everything else that has happened this year, it feels like the next thing we all must survive. Since I am getting lots of questions about how the market...

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

We all know that 2020 has been full of surprises – mostly bad surprises. Like when the cat throws up in your shoe. But somehow, amid all the bad news, parts of the stock market are setting new record highs. Confused? I will...

 

Friday, July 31, 2020

Over the last several weeks we have been able to do face-to-face (or mask-to-mask) reviews with some of our clients. It has been encouraging to be able to do more than just talk on the phone. One of the questions I have been getting...

 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

My oldest daughter told me that when she was younger, she always thought it would be cool to live during a volatile or important time in history. A couple of days ago she let me know that the reality was not as cool as she imagined. We...

 

Monday, June 1, 2020

On March 11, the Oklahoma City Thunder was scheduled to play the Denver Nuggets. That was almost 12 weeks ago. Since then so many things have changed. And as the world figures out how to get back to business with all of the new rules...

 

Thursday, April 30, 2020

I have a deep respect for the waste disposal workers in my neighborhood. Like many, during quarantine we have cleaned closets and garages – touching everything and finding quite a few items we no longer choose to keep. Like Marie...

 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

March 24, 2020 Dear Valued Investor: The world continues its battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which now has likely impacted, either directly or indirectly, nearly every person on Earth. This is far more than just a health...

 

Monday, March 2, 2020

February 28, 2020 Dear Valued Investor: “The stock market takes an escalator up, and an elevator down,” is a classic Wall Street saying. The last week has sure felt like taking an express elevator down, as the end of...

 

Monday, February 3, 2020

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off”. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt When you think...

 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Many times, we face a new year with blank curiosity. No real expectations of what may come, much like sitting down to watch a new movie or begin streaming (binging) a new series on cable. That is not how we come to the opening scene...

 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Beginning January 1, 2020, we will begin to brand our practice under the new DBA (doing business as) name of Values First Planning. As you may have noticed, we already use that name for our website. This name change exemplifies what we...

 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

As a kid, I LOVED Thanksgiving. It was the best meal of the year by far. I was that boy who could never seem to get full. Thanksgiving was one of the few opportunities I could keep going back for more without someone stepping in and...

 

Monday, September 30, 2019

It is always nice to be able to say YES. YES to dinner invitations. YES to charities. YES to your grandkids. YES to home repairs. YES to vacations. However, the list of things we could do, must do, want to do, and wish we could do is...

 

Friday, August 30, 2019

Shrill, hyperbolic, partisan, non-stop, and exhausting: No, I’m not describing our last family reunion, I’m talking about the Media – you know, the never ending barrage of news and opinion that has the potential to...

 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

If you have spent any time around money, you have likely heard about the power of compound interest. Albert Einstein called compound interest “the greatest mathematical discovery of all time”. The reason it garners so much...

 

Monday, July 1, 2019

I enjoy a season of plenty as much as the next person. You know those times of life when we have enough resources to accomplish what we need and to enjoy what we want can really be the best. But what do we do with the stories from our...

 

Friday, May 31, 2019

I started working for a “real employer” when I was in high-school. I spent my summers and a few nights a week working at an audio/video store in the mall. It was an almost surreal experience, getting a regular paycheck at...

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Life has its moments. We typically move along at decent pace as we accomplish our plans, check off our projects, and move to the next destination. But sometimes, things go sideways – or even backwards. Since it is now May –...

 

Monday, April 1, 2019

My family just moved. We touched 15 years of memories, packed some and threw others away. If you are anything like me, events like these cause us to reflect how much the kids have grown, how time has passed, and what has or has not...

 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

According to Mr. Rogers, “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood”. Fred Rogers, beloved host of a children’s tv program and former Presbyterian minister, may be the darling of the year. There is a new...

 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Many of our clients and friends are reaching a point in life where travel is becoming an option. They are not as consumed by schedules and commitments and have decided to go and experience things they have only seen on television or...

 

Monday, December 31, 2018

So, what can we say about 2018 as get ready to move forward towards a new year? It’s been violent – and I’m not just talking about the market. Not that you need reminding, but here are a few things I wish we would all...

 

Friday, November 30, 2018

Tax-Season’s Greetings! It’s that time of year again. When everyone’s mind and heart turns towards the annual Advent (like) countdown to the end of the 2018 tax year. Sure, you could get wrapped up in the normal...

 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Have you heard the saying, “There is nothing new under the sun”? The longer I live, the more I believe this to be true. Sure, new phones, tennis shoes, camera doorbells and robot vacuum cleaners argue differently, but the...

 

Monday, October 1, 2018

While not all caregiving situations arise due to aging, most of what we see is an aging spouse or a single parent.  Just like planning for retirement or other big life events, caregiving issues need to be discussed prior to a crisis.

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

For the last year I have been writing articles about families and money. Some of these articles have dealt with the actual mechanics of how to teach the proper care and use of money. Others have been focused on the character and...

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

We all feel time ticking away. There will come a day when our next paycheck will be the last one we ever get. Retirement is coming. TV bombards us with “not so subtle” hints that we need to be saving and preparing...

 

Friday, September 7, 2018

I may have lost 80% of my potential readers at the title. Most of us are not ok with the amount of taxes we pay. We often feel like we have zero control over how much the government takes and when they take it. So, the idea that we...