Amazon Prime and Mutual Fund Investing

There are an estimated 50 million Amazon Prime members in the United States which means that a household in this country is more likely to have an Amazon Prime membership than to have a dog.  It actually seems to be more challenging to find a Gen X or Millennial family who does not use Amazon [...]

Investing Scared

Most investors like the idea of waiting for a period of calm to invest.  Our brains tell us it is better to wait until there is clarity and risks have subsided before investing.  And our brains have good reason to work this way.  For our ancestors, waiting until things calmed down was necessary for survival.  [...]

Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?

An important issue that often arises for working professionals seeking to save for retirement is whether to utilize a Traditional 401(k) or Roth 401(k) for retirement savings.  Although this dilemma may seem utterly confusing and resultantly receive less thought than the decision of whether to accept an old co-worker’s Facebook friend request, it can have a [...]

IRA Rollover or Leave Assets in a 401k?

In a country founded on the idea of individual freedom, Americans value the idea of choice.  We inherently believe that maximizing individual freedom increases our individual welfare or happiness and that the best way to maximize individual freedom is to maximize choice.  A bar with 120 beers on tap is perceived better than a bar [...]

Major Changes to Social Security Claiming Strategies

Early this Friday morning, the Senate passed a bipartisan budget agreement to extend the government debt ceiling and avert a default.  At this hour, the agreement is headed to the White House where the President is expected to sign it. While the initial headlines of this Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 will likely address the [...]

Evaluating the Cost of Education

Among the most consequential decisions that parents make is choosing the primary and secondary education venue for their children.  For parents with resources, the decision often begins with the dilemma of private vs. public school.  Parents are also often confronted with the financial costs of college education and helping a child choose between institutions with [...]

Parallels of Sports Betting and Investing

The most interesting research project I worked on in graduate school was a study of statistical inefficiencies in sports gambling markets.  Our small team of students hypothesized on all kinds of possible anomalies in sports.  Was the over/under line inefficient when high scoring NBA or NFL teams were competing?  Were teams coming off a bye-week [...]

Act Now to Capture this Simple $700 Georgia Tax Credit

The following article was originally published in 2015.  Note that an updated explanation of the tax impact under the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act exists here. Many of our early-career and mid-career professional clients face the annual reality of alternative minimum tax (AMT), knowingly or unknowingly.  This secondary tax system captures a large segment [...]

Thinking Differently About Social Security

Imagine how financial planning would be different if the sole focus was on accumulation of wealth while risks were ignored.  There would clearly be no need for insurance of any kind.  Disability insurance, umbrella insurance, and life insurance, as examples, would just be unnecessary expenses.  Individuals would borrow as much as possible to leverage their [...]

Financial Advisors and Conflicts of Interest

Politicians.  Used car salesman.  Mechanics.  There are but a few professions less trusted than financial advisors.  The lack of consumer trust is arguably well-deserved as there is nothing trustworthy about opaque conflicts of interest, hidden fees, or bad advice that lines the advice giver’s pockets.  There is nothing trustworthy about consumers being sold expensive annuities that [...]