I must say I was somewhat surprised by the reaction from the advisory community in regard to my recent articles about index and guaranteed annuities. I received some expected feedback from those who strongly disagreed with my views, while also getting many positive comments from fiduciary advisors who see the same factual logic I illustrated in these past articles relative to annuities. The discussion has obviously touched a nerve.
“If it doesn't make sense, it's usually not true.” ― Judge Judy Sheindlin I hear all the time from diehard investors and salesmen of annuity products that “the stock market is nothing more than rolling the dice at Vegas!”
In my last article, What I Wish Every Prospect Had Considered Before Asking ‘Can I Retire’?, I discussed three broad points that most investors need to ask relative to the common retirement question all advisors get from time to time.
As an experienced wealth manager and retirement planning advisor, I find it very challenging when a prospective client somehow thinks I can answer their “Can I retire?” question in an initial one- or two-hour meeting. I’m sure most fiduciary advisors have been asked the same question, which, as you know, entails a far deeper discussion, mostly driven by actions taken long before we ever meet the client.
One of the most publicized stories is that of returning Texas A&M quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, aka “Johnny Football, ” who allegedly signed autographs for compensation. With the premise of college athletes getting paid over and above their scholarships as a backdrop, I thought it would be interesting to explore the actual financial details of the annual debate: Should college athletes get paid to play or should their free education be enough?
I’ve always fancied myself somewhat of a bubble gum aficionado, and fondly remember my childhood when I pestered my mom for some Big League Chew in the grocery store checkout line. I got pretty good blowing the largest bubbles and keeping them from popping all over my face. As I recently reminisced about my bubble gum-blowing days, I noticed some interesting similarities between U.S. bond bubble metrics and those of different bubble gums. Let me explain their shared characteristics.
If you didn’t get a chance to read my first article on this subject, Your Clients and Their Children: The Problems with Joint Bank Accounts, it may be helpful to review it as a means of providing context for this article. As noted in that first posting, if a client couple wishes to make their bank accounts into joint accounts with their children, there are various resolutions for handling that wish efficiently and in less risky ways.
Now that I’ve finally come up for air after a daunting 2012 tax season, which kept me away from my writing my monthly column in April, I want to discuss whether you’ve ever explained or shown your clients their non-market related return on investment. The simplified method of looking at a monthly statement to assess whether their money has increased or decreased is basically what all our clients use to determine the value that we as advisors provide.
Tax season is upon us once again, which means it’s time to start working on compiling all those annual tax documents for clients, such as 1099-Rs, 1099-DIVs, 1099-INTs and others. As you and your clients begin preparing for the 2012 tax filing season, I recommend discussing what I believe is a strategy that is vitally important for all taxpayers to know, as it just might save your clients some money should a tax audit ever come their way.