At an Impasse but Finding a New Path

At an Impasse but Finding a New Path

By: Carl Richards “I can’t believe you see it that way!” Just last week, I said this to my wife in the middle of a discussion (O.K., a fight) about money. We were experiencing something many of you have probably also faced. We needed to make a very important financial decision about how much of an emergency fund we wanted to maintain before we built a house, and we were both locked into our way of seeing it. I saw it my way and wanted more of a safety net. She saw it her way and needed much less of a backstop. Neither of us thought the other person was making any sense. We were at an impasse. The fight dragged on for a couple of days, and then led to a discussion with some friends. As a result of these discussions, we started to believe that there might be a third way.  To continue reading please click...
What’s The Goal?

What’s The Goal?

By: Joe Delaney I recently had the opportunity to celebrate a dear friend’s milestone birthday. She is a unique cat and didn’t want this to be just some ho-hum affair. She wanted an experience to remember. Early on there was discussion of going to Jazz Fest in New Orleans but later it turned to climbing a mountain – Mt. Hood, located 75 miles due east of Portland. It stands 11,239 feet above sea level and is clearly visible from most points around Portland and the surrounding areas. As the date approached, there was uneasy email chatter about physical conditioning, equipment, who was going and who wanted nothing to do with it. Later, the discussion turned to the goal. People had different ideas about what they wanted to accomplish. Some wanted to summit, others just wanted to make the birthday memorable, and some only wanted to survive. The tension was palpable. I realized we needed to agree on what the goal was or we weren’t going to get anywhere. So I took the opportunity to engage the group on the subject, and after much discussion we settled on making a safe trip and an uber-memorable birthday for our friend. If we were to summit, that would just be icing on her cake. Fast forward to the evening of April 30th. We set off from the Timberline Lodge at 11 pm and hiked into the night. We were blessed with great weather and wonderful guides. By 5:30 am, dawn was approaching and we were at the Hogsback, a long, narrow ridge that was the final stop before pushing through to the...
Don’t Force Decisions; Just Back Off and Adjust. Or Go for a Walk.

Don’t Force Decisions; Just Back Off and Adjust. Or Go for a Walk.

By: Carl Richards I love rock climbing. Looking from the ground up, it seems almost impossible for climbers to balance themselves and find handholds where none seem to exist. And sure enough, even the most talented climbers can end up getting stuck on climbs well below their skill level. I’ve done it, and I’ve seen it happen to other climbers, too. But the fact that the next move feels so hard, like we need to force it, means we’re missing something. In other words, there must be a handhold we just haven’t seen yet. When I get stuck, I try to relax and take a step back. This small pause helps me refocus, and I usually end up seeing a handhold I overlooked. I compare these moments with the resistance we sense when we try to turn a bolt, and it just won’t go. We could apply more force, believing that sheer strength will do the job. In reality, we’re seconds away from what’s referred to as cross threading, or stripping, the bolt. If that happens, the bolt is ruined. In theory, the bolt is designed to line up perfectly with the hole or nut. We don’t need force. So if we’re wise, we’ll back the bolt out, double check the alignment and try it again. We’re tempted to use that same brute force when we’re pursuing financial success. We all probably know at least a few people (maybe it’s you) who forced themselves into a particular career. Parents, peers or even our own internal voices convinced us that being a lawyer, for example, was the path to wealth...
Speculating Versus Investing: The Buying of Individual Stocks

Speculating Versus Investing: The Buying of Individual Stocks

By: Larry Swedroe When it comes to investing, it’s important to distinguish between two very different types of risk: good risk and bad risk. Good risk is the sort that you are compensated for taking. This compensation comes in the form of greater expected returns. For example, equities are riskier than safe bonds, such as Treasuries. Therefore, equities must compensate investors by providing greater expected returns. The risk, of course, is that the expected doesn’t occur. In traditional financial theory, the stocks of small-cap and value companies are riskier than their large-cap and growth counterparts. And just as the risk of owning equities cannot be diversified away, neither can the risk of owning small-cap and value stocks. As a result, small and value stocks must also carry risk premiums. In addition to the risk of equities and the risk of small and value stocks, there’s a third type of equity risk — the idiosyncratic risk of an individual company. Because this type of risk can easily be diversified away, owning individual stocks is a risk the market doesn’t compensate investors for assuming. Thus, it is bad (uncompensated) risk. And because the decision to invest in individual stocks involves taking uncompensated risk, it’s more akin to speculating than investing. To continue reading please click...
Three Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs

Three Estate Planning Documents Everyone Needs

By: Manisha Thakor When it comes to estate planning, the most common mistake people make is, quite honestly, the simplest one: They fail to do it. Why is this the case, since the one thing we all know with certainty is that one day every single one of us will die? The answers are varied. Some people feel intimidated or afraid when thinking about death, others don’t want to initiate a difficult conversation with a spouse, still others want to avoid rocking the family dynamic by gifting to children based on need rather than equally, and another group simply doesn’t know where to start. So what are some of the basic estate planning needs that everyone–irrespective of income and net worth–should address? To continue reading, please click here.   By clicking on any of the links above, you acknowledge that they are solely for your convenience, and do not necessarily imply any affiliations, sponsorships, endorsements or representations whatsoever by us regarding third-party Web sites. We are not responsible for the content, availability or privacy policies of these sites, and shall not be responsible or liable for any information, opinions, advice, products or services available on or through them. The opinions expressed by featured authors are their own and may not accurately reflect those of the BAM ALLIANCE. This article is for general information only and is not intended to serve as specific financial, accounting or tax advice. © 2016, The BAM ALLIANCE...
Page 1 of 212