At 68 there are many times I can feel my age. But it is only about the last year or two that I’ve noticed a definite slowing down. Which begs the question: What am I going to do about it? Fit it or accept the inevitable?
As I look around at other men my age, to generalize, I see men stooped slightly as they walk, with paunches or guts. And that is/was me. I say that because I’m working on it – more later. Actually, not the posture bit – I’ve always maintained good posture, and have to slump way down for my barber, because my usual position in a chair is bolt upright. When I walk, I am intentional in keeping shoulders back and head facing up and forward. But I’m ashamed to tell you that I porked up to 245 lbs. I carried it well, but my 38 waist trousers were getting tight, and I absolutely refuse to wear anything beginning with a 4. So I was at a...
As many of my readers know, I’ve done a good bit of traveling over the last several years, teaching 4-day Live Review classes to students preparing to take the CFP exam. The exam is offered in March, July, and November, so the months before that are my busy travel times. I’ll be teaching my last cycle in October of this year. We’ve got a lot going on at CameronDowning, and the time away has become too much, so I’m closing the teaching chapter of my professional life down. All told it has been some 15 years now that I’ve been teaching CFP students, and it has been a wonderful experience getting to meet and connect with students all over the country.
The usual teaching cities include San Antonio, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Detroit, and here in Miami. Traveling to some of these cities requires a change of plane, and air travel this year has been, well,...
Is this ever a relatively new concept.
I remember in my MBA program, completed in 1984, in the human resources classes, the new way of getting employees to work hard for you was this: give them work they enjoy doing and actually have aptitude for and see a purpose in doing, as well as decent money incentive. Give them a buy-in to a purpose larger than themselves. After all, if they’re unhappy, they won’t work hard.
I remember thinking at the time what a luxurious set up that would be – and how foreign to my own expectations. Having an employer that saw me as a person rather than a unit of production? Not bloody likely. And unit of production is the bottom line for all employers – that’s ultimately what employees are, but now the bosses have figured out that it is in their best interests, for many reasons, to keep employees happy.
I recently attended my Connecticut high school’s 50th reunion. I’ve got to say, it has given me pause. Was the class of ’72 really 50 years ago? Couldn’t be – but it is. I had a great time, and even my wife commented on what a group of really nice people were there – pretty much what I remembered, too. Some quick math: that makes me 68, having been born in 1954.
I remember reading Gail Sheey’s books Passages and Pathfinders as a younger man, and I enjoyed the overall perspective they gave for that generation. I’ve asked around, and as yet haven’t been able to find anything similar for my generation at this stage of life – arguably the late summer if not early winter of our lives. If anyone knows of a good title, please leave it in the comments.
So I’ve actually been thinking about a blog to share my musings for a while now. Not just pieces about...
Have we reached a stock market bottom yet?
"Are you kidding me? After the big price drops we've seen the last few days?"
We get it. Pessimism is popular right now. But here we give you an optimist’s case for the market:
Look at the three major stock market benchmarks – the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ. They all have one thing in common. Each index hit its low for the year on June 16th, 2022. In other words, the worst day this year for markets (and perhaps for your investment portfolio) was a couple months ago as of this writing. The prevailing investor wisdom right now is this – the market’s direction could go either way. Which certainly isn’t helpful, is it? What we’re experiencing today is a time of great uncertainty. This is the drum we’ve pounded for a long time – if there is one thing the markets hate more than bad news it is uncertainty. Rather than focus on what we don’t know,...
We have not seen a prolonged stock market decline like this since 2008! The year 2022 has been an awful year in markets. You don't have to go far for the media to remind you of this every hour on the hour. But this is not 2008, of course. Here's what you need to know now:
How is this time different?
To that our answer is -- in almost every way. Let me explain:
The underlying cause of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis had to do with real estate. More specifically, it was a catastrophic mortgage crisis that cascaded to the rest of the financial system. Let's review what actually happened during this tumultuous period in markets:
In the 1990s, in a push to completely stamp out the practice of redlining (a terrible bank practice where inner-city families were once systematically denied mortgage applications and other loans) and to...
By Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
I began Part I - New Asset Class with this statistic: one in five people in the US have invested in or used cryptocurrency. As Bitcoin becomes more widely accepted – indeed, Fidelity is offering it in 401K accounts – it is high time for me to write about it.
And there’s a lot to write. I’m going to break this up into two blogposts: Part I covers the foundation of bitcoin and how it works, and here in Part II I answer the question, Why crypto currency?
Fundamentally Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies. It is an asset. It is bought and sold through various exchanges called wallets. It can be used to pay for goods and services. These transactions happen on the blockchain.
In 1981 the US came off the gold standard, meaning your currency is backed by nothing beyond the ascription of value of millions of people. Currencies...
By Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
I was astonished to hear this statistic: one in five people in the US have invested in or used cryptocurrency. That means that Bitcoin is indeed a thing, and it is time for me to write about it.
And there’s a lot to write. I’m going to break this up into two blogposts: here in Part I I’ll cover the foundation of bitcoin and how it works, and in Part II - Inflation Hedge I’ll answer the question, Why Bitcoin?
Fundamentally Bitcoin is one of many cryptocurrencies. It is an asset. It is bought and sold through various exchanges. You hold Bitcoin in accounts called wallets. It can be used to pay for goods and services. These transactions happen on the blockchain.
Lots to break down here. First, the concept of a cryptocurrency. This is a currency backed only by the value that people ascribe to it. Right away I can...
by Glenn J. Downing, MBA, CFP®
The foundation for any sort of financial planning begins with cash flow management. Income -expenses = dollars available to be invested toward future goals. We’ve worked with people from all walks of life who have cash flow issues, including those with very high incomes. It all comes down to the same thing: you have two choices. Increase income or cut expenses to make savings happen.
To frame the thinking here, I challenge clients to separate out necessary spending from discretionary spending. Necessary spending is just that: what must I spend to house myself, feed myself, clothe and groom myself, and get back and forth from work. Bare bones, in other words.
The exercise I bring to my readers then is this: Let’s look at every expenditure you’ve made in the last several months. Now sort them: necessary or discretionary. Here’s a...
We all know it is coming – that at one point Till death us do part becomes a reality. What a sad time - someone dear to us has gone away, never to return, and will be missed greatly.
As a financial planner, I hope that the couple has already done the basic legal estate work, i.e. the proper documents are in place, so the transition of property can occur smoothly. For the surviving spouse I have this advice: Do nothing until you really need to.
In some cases, particularly after a long illness, the surviving spouse already has a good idea of what life going forward will be like. But it is still a shock. My counsel is to go through a cycle of birthdays, holidays and anniversaries without your loved one. Let it settle in that you are no longer married. In time, you’ll find your way forward.
And what is the way forward? How will I...