Portfolio Allocation: Risk-Return Mix
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Portfolio construction begins with the most basic allocation between investments that offer a greater chance of appreciation (stocks) and those that provide portfolio stability (bonds).

Start Your Own Dynasty Trust
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Unlike the trusts which helped John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan keep their wealth in the family, this new breed of dynasty trust is not just for the mega-wealthy.

Be Choosey When Giving to Charity
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When you give to charity, you make an investment. By doing a little homework, you can be sure your gift makes the best possible return on investment. While giving is its own reward, giving wisely seems to double that reward.

Donor Advised Funds
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Donor Advised Funds offer the charitably inclined new flexibility for managing gifts to charity. By funding an account, donors receive an immediate tax deduction for their contribution and gain the flexibility to direct payouts to charity on their own timetable.

IPS: Build Your Financial Dream Home with a Good Blueprint
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Without a financial plan, your investments are controlling your dreams, not the other way around. You need a blueprint for your financial dreams to come true. That blueprint in sound financial planning is called an Investment Policy Statement (IPS).

What the Rich Know and the Poor Do Not
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How much should I save this month? What return did I earn last year?

Financial Planning Begins with Spiritual Values
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Financial planning is the process of aligning your financial choices with your life passions. Values transcend the cash and the numbers.

Belle Didn’t Really Love Scrooge
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Belle measures Ebenezer’s love for her by what he spends on her directly. Investments count for nothing.

Tax Planning Tips for 2006
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In order to make full use of these tax-saving tips, be sure to visit your tax professional before year’s end. Once January 1st rolls around, there’s little else you can do but pay up.

Tax Planning for Small Business Owners
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Solo 401ks permit you to contribute to the plan both as the “employer” and as the “employee.”

Conservation Easements
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Before executing a conservation easement donation, you should be certain that it is in line with your financial goals.

P/E Ratio
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P/E ratio tells you how many dollars you have to invest to receive $1 in earnings.

Virginia Is For Business Lovers
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More businesses migrate across state borders than national borders.

David John Marotta: What Is A Contrarian?
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The markets are brilliant long-term, but short-term they have the IQ of a gnat.

Foreign Freedom Investing 2006
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On average, international stocks appreciate more than US stocks, and stocks in countries with the most economic freedom appreciate more than the international average.

Socially Responsible Investing
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Delegating your morality to a fund’s screening process is like using a blunt instrument to do brain surgery.

Avoid Capital Gains Tax on the Sale of Your Home
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Consider moving your official place of residence to your vacation house, live in it 760 days out of five years, and then take the exclusion.

O Canada, The True North Strong and Free!
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Canada is the one major country that is not included in the EAFE (Europe, Australia, and Far East) foreign index. Not only are they good neighbors but a good investment.

Health Savings Accounts
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One out of every ten patients consume 69 percent of health care costs. The other nine would benefit from an HSA.

Seven Financial Rules For Marital Bliss
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An overwhelming number of failed marriages cite financial troubles as a major factor in their breakup.

Outlook May 2006
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Rebalancing means selling what has done well and buying what has done poorly, not visa versa.

Tax Freedom Day Arrives on April 26th, 2006
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Due to our progressive tax system, your taxes increase even if your buying power does not.

Donald Mortlock – Making a Free Market
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My grandfather Donald Mortlock worked on Wall Street during and after the 1929 crash. The firm he worked for was a “market maker,” a company which helped to literally “make a market” in several stocks.

Florence Mortlock – Dignity is a Happy Ending
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The life of my grandmother Florence Mortlock provided me with many life lessons on finance and financial planning.

VRS: A bird in hand or two in the bush?
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Many people in this situation would choose the quick cash.

Eighty – Twenty Rule of Asset Allocation
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Investors are quick to forget that the markets also go down.

How Your Children Can Win the Stock Market Game
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To meet your goals you don’t need to beat the investment returns of everyone else. Instead, you want a decent return in order to retire comfortably and to ensure a cash flow which will support your standard of living.

Compute Your Net Worth Once A Year – 2006
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Between 40 and 60 you should increase your net worth by half your annual take home pay every year.

2005 In Review
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2005 was a year which showed the weakness of limiting your asset allocation to US stocks and US bonds.

Creating A Ladder for Retirement Income
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Like the iron rods in sailing ships, bonds keep your portfolio upright in stormy weather.

How to Double Your Retirement
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Every six years you delay saving and investing you cut in half the lifestyle you will have in retirement.

Timing the Market Isn’t All Fun and Games
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Market timing is the attempt to switch a significant portion of your assets between different types of investments in an effort to maximize profits. If this is your investment strategy, good luck, because you’ll need it.

Why is Bob Cratchit So Poor?
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At first glance, this story fills us with pity for the Cratchit family, always struggling to make ends meet. But is that the true story?

Medicare Part D deserves an F
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Poor families with children will subsidize millionaire seniors.

Seniors Face Six Month Deadline For Drug Coverage
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Even if you don’t need coverage you can avoid future penalties for as little as $1.87 per month.

Tackling College Costs at the Eleventh Hour
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Don’t borrow or withdraw money from your IRA.

Prepaid Tuition Programs May Be Fool’s Gold
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Prepaid programs are not safe. They just assume a different type of risk.

529 Plans: What’s Important?
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If you are one of the 92% with children under the age of 18 who haven’t started a 529 plan, we encourage you to meet with a fee-only financial advisor soon. You can never start too early, and it’s never too late to do something.

Joshua and the Wall of College Savings
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In the past three years Joshua’s account has grown a whopping 76.6% averaging 22.5% per year.

Start College Savings the Day They Are Born
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If you are not saving for college you are falling behind.

A College Degree is Worth a Million Bucks
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Education matters. He who doesn’t teach his son a trade teaches him to steal.

What Your Advisor Doesn’t Want You to Ask
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Probably the most important question you can ask of anyone offering you financial advice is, “Do you have a legal obligation to act in my best interests?”

Build with Bricks, not Straw or Sticks
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There are many things riskier than volatility.

Hedge Funds Aren’t Worth The Risk Part 5 – What Hedge Funds Do Right
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You can smooth your returns without any of hedge fund’s drawbacks.

Hedge Funds Aren’t Worth The Risk Part 4 – High Fees and Poor Regulatory Control
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Wanting to avoid regulations, Hedge funds appeal to investor’s snobbery to make it seem like a privilege.

Hedge Funds Aren’t Worth The Risk Part 3 – Poor Compensation Structure
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You take all the risk, but the manager gets twenty percent of any winnings. This is not a good compensation scheme.

Hedge Funds Aren’t Worth The Risk Part 2 – Poor Performance
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Hedge claims are equivalent to “All of the coins I want to tell you about came up heads.”

Hedge Funds Aren’t Worth The Risk Part 1 – What Are Hedge Funds?
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As Hedge funds grow in popularity, beware of following the lemmings.

Rocks and Sand – Keeping Expense Ratios Low
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Good portfolios have low expense ratios and minimal trading costs.

Ruling Allows Broker Conflict of Interest
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Currently, stockbrokers can offer the same services as Fee-Only financial planners without being accountable to the same fiduciary standards. This exemption to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 has been called the “Merrill Lynch rule.”

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