April 19, 2015

About Megan Russell

Megan Russell+ is the Chief Operating Officer for Marotta Wealth Management. She studied Cognitive Science at the University of Virginia and now specializes in explaining the complexities of economics and finance. Megan loves formal logic, creative writing, and kittens.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Services Not Provided

A computer algorithm cannot help you with these things.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Incomplete Rebalancing Algorithm

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios

See our review of the two pros and nine cons of how Schwab monitors and rebalances portfolios.

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Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios: Built on a Faulty Premise

It is a great marketing campaign, and the service is a wonderful idea, but the asset allocations of SIPs aren’t actually that intelligent.

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Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

Stock Ownership Is a Bad Strategy for Social Change

You cannot help a company by buying its stock.

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Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

Did Obama Violate an SEC Regulation?

From the blind eye of the law, this seems like a violation of SEC regulation.

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Twitter’s Reign of Terror

Twitter's Reign of Terror

“They find whatever is different and peck it to death.”

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“Citizenfour” Reminds Us We Should Still Be Outraged

"Citizenfour" Reminds Us We Should Still Be Outraged

The domestic spying of the executive branch deserves our outrage. Efforts like “Citizenfour” that keep the issue in the public eye deserve our support.

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Three Reasons To Engage In Gift Giving

Gift Giving

The new holiday cliché is to complain about hyper-materialism, but gifts and gift giving help shape our identities.

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The President’s Impact

The President's Impact

Obama evidently believes that politicians are elected to make a difference in the lives of Americans. The problem is that no one can opt out of a federal impact.

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Wealth Redistribution and the Most Social President

The Most Social President

The loudest tend to drown out competitors regardless of whose reasoning is better.

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One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

One Hidden Way the IRS Hurts the Bereaved

It is often said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. The IRS takes that truism to heart.

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The Success of Freedom Investing

The Success of Freedom Investing

It is a simple thought experiment. Would you rather invest in South Korea or in North Korea?

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Understanding Cash Flow Is Critical

Understanding Cash Flow Is Critical

Regardless of income level, overspending causes poverty.

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The Delirious Happiness of Free Market Choice

The Delirious Happiness of Free Market Choice

Here is one of the most brilliant breakthroughs in all of food science and how it relates to almost every aspect of life.

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Obama Acts Like a Mob Boss, But There Is a Solution

Obama Like a Mob Boss

A mob boss exercises absolute control over his many followers and profits from the often criminal activities of his organization.

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Contact Lens Regulations Cost Consumers Billions

Contact Lens Regulations Cost Consumers Billions

It is illegal to sell contacts in the United States without requiring a prescription. A Federal Trade Commission regulation provides penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

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How Not to Promote College Innovation

How Not To Promote College Innovation

These noble-sounding goals intuitively appear useful, but the federal government has only two ways to encourage change and neither of them helps in this case.

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Stop Borrowing From Yourself

Stop Borrowing From Yourself

Stop borrowing from your future self. Each day you fail to save is another day where you tighten the ball and chain around your ankle. You deserve better than that.

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How To Buy A College Degree

How to Buy a College Degree

Unfortunately, Obama’s good intentions are thwarted by the economic principle formulated by banker Charles Goodhart.

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Financial Willpower

Financial Willpower

The amount of energy available in the brain to exercise self-regulation and resist temptation is a limited resource. When the account runs out, well… you know the kind of decisions you make.

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The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The Economics of a Thanksgiving Turkey

The average factory-farmed frozen turkey from a grocery story is sold for as little as $0.67 per pound. Economics can offer five explanations.

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We Need a Partial Shutdown of Government

Partial Shutdown Needed

Unless McConnell is willing to risk a government shutdown, he will ultimately have to acquiesce to Obama’s wishes.

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Mailbox: Which States Allow Prize-Linked Savings Accounts?

The Drive of the Lottery

There are thirteen states so far. Does your state allow them?

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Do New Healthcare Plans Cost More?

Cost of ACA-Compliant Healthcare

Last year plans were being cancelled. This year, citizens are receiving notifications of rate hikes in the double digits. Is this really happening?

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Interview with Senatorial Candidate Robert Sarvis

Sarvis

We e-mailed all the senatorial candidates inviting them to be interviewed on our blog. Of all the candidates, Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian 2014 Virginia Senatorial candidate, was the only one to respond.

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The Drive of the Lottery

The Drive of the Lottery

The lottery is based on the most powerful way to motivate people and change their behavior: a variable reward in response to a specific behavior.

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The Mindset of the Lottery

The Mindset of the Lottery

The classic conversational pastime of answering the question, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” could help you or it could hurt.

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The Luck of the Lottery

The Virginia Lottery

Government-run lotteries have a sordid and monopolistic past. Should we enforce a separation of sin and state?

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Five Lessons from the Whiskey Rebellion

Protest

The Whiskey Rebellion established the sovereignty of “we the people” to tax and oppress any selected group.

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How To Diversify Highly Appreciated Stock

Dog and Turtle

Exchange funds, also know as swap funds, can provide investors with one highly appreciated security a way to trade it for an equivalently valued but more diversified portfolio.

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Appreciating Donor Advised Funds

Wrapped Gifts

There are five ways that both you and the government could make charitable giving more significant.

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How Can We Make Medical Insurance Affordable?

Doctors at work

We must return, as much as possible, to a fee-for-service approach to health care and restore the traditional doctor-patient relationship.

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Why Do Physicians Permit, If Not Encourage, Futile Medical Care?

Mark Marotta

We can only afford to allow others the freedom to strive against death when we are not trying collectively to subsidize it.

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Skin in the Game of Health Care

Piggy Bank on Money

“Shouldn’t patients and their families have some skin in the game as a brake on the profligate spending of other people’s money for health care?”

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Cryptic Medical Bills And Health Insurance

Eyechart

Next time you receive an unintelligible medical bill, remember how hard it is for your doctor to get paid.

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U.S. Health Care Costs versus Health Outcomes

Teddy Bear Hospital

Asians in New Jersey have the best life expectancy of any racial or ethnic group.

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Why Are Insurance Companies Reluctant To Cover Preventive Care?

Pink and Blue Piggy Banks

Now there is absolutely no charge for a costly set of test and procedures on the all-you-can-spend preventive care buffet.

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Do We Need Price Controls to Stop Exorbitant Hospital Fees?

Injured piggy bank with crutches

After the birth of my (David’s) first child, my wife and I noticed we were being billed for a very expensive bedpan and box of tissues that we had never used.

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Why Are Canadian Drugs Cheaper?

Money Pills

Why shouldn’t we just institute price controls in America?

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Chipotle’s Wisdom

Chipotle line

These quotes are provocative for what they say about us as Americans.

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The Wealth Of Nations Is Their Freedom

Berry Hard Work

“When institutions protect the liberty of individuals, greater prosperity results for all.” – Adam Smith

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Are We Lab Rats?

Lab Rat

If you are not paying for the product, you are the product.

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How to Open a Roth for Your Child

Open a Roth for Your Child

Someone has to be proactive about your child’s retirement and every year you don’t open a retirement account is another year you’re holding back compound interest.

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Our Government Versus The People

Hammer Lock

Government has never been known for customer service. But today it is known primarily for being against the very people it is supposed to serve.

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The Economics Of Healthcare

Injured piggy bank with crutches

Michael Kirsch, a practicing physician and newspaper columnist, laments that there are questions he can never answer satisfactorily for his patients. His questions are central to the public policy debate increasingly being decided by voters and politicians rather than physicians and economists.

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FINRA Supports Regulation to Quell Competition

Wolves in Sheep's Clothing

Beware of government regulation, especially when a portion of the industry thinks it’ll be good for business.

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Fight the NSA with Your Choice of Search Engine and Browser

Browser Choices

We are all embarrassingly honest with search engines.

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Capability Is Tyranny

Bullying

Those who stand by and do nothing are complicit in aiding the loss of freedoms for others.

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7 Quotes to Summarize U.S. Surveillance

Surveillance Quotes

“We don’t have concentration camps and political dissidents and large numbers being hauled into prison because we don’t need that because we have effectively put prisons inside people’s minds.”

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Fourteen Ways to Avoid Paying Capital Gains

Like water for money

The capital gains tax traps wealth in an investment vehicle requiring special techniques to free the capital without penalty.

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