AdviceIQ Articles

  • Why Write an Ethical Will

    A traditional will or a trust transfers material possessions. An ethical will bequeaths wisdom, vision, values, life lessons, moral guidelines and personal reflections to family members and other loved ones.

    Ethical wills have roots in religious traditions. Elaine Tiller at Baptist Senior Adult Ministries in Washington, D.C., counsels:  “Ethical wills are windows into the souls of those who write them. It is this that makes them so cherished by family members from generation to generation.”

  • Investing in Entrepreneurs

    Not all your investments should be in established companies. Investing in young businesses, while more risky than in long-time stalwarts, can be very rewarding. Today’s powerhouses started small.

    Our daughter Kathryn has decided to become an entrepreneur. She’s going to work for a start-up company in Boston – EverTrue, which creates mobile apps to help connect colleges with their alumni. She was working as a consultant for Deloitte Consulting, a long-established enterprise.

  • Have Some Bonds, Not All Bonds

    Braving the market – any segment of the market – requires braving ups and downs. Real security remains an illusion. Most smart investors realize that.

    I recently read something distressing in Jason Zweig’s Wall St. Journal column, however. In “Here Comes the Next Hot Emerging Market: the U.S.,” Zweig writes that according to Morningstar, investors have pulled $22 billion from U.S. stock funds and added $339 billion to bond funds in the last year.

  • Millennials & Financial Plans

    The millennial generation, now entering adulthood, needs to start investing and insuring itself, to prepare for the future. But that is a difficult concept for young people to get their minds around.

    In my twenties, before marriage and children, “the future” was the next weekend. Horizons change as life progresses. Generation Y, also known as the millennials, were born between 1980 and 2000. The leading edge of the 77 million-strong Gen Y cohort turns age 33 in 2013. In 10 short years, they will be 43 and 10 years beyond that, 53.

  • Beware Home Coinsurance

    Headlines scream about health insurance policies’ complications and traps, but other kinds of policies need your scrutiny, too.

    A friend, for example, asks me about his rental property. He just moved from a duplex that he entirely owned, though he only lived on one side. He purchases a home and finds a new tenant for where he’d been living – then reels when insurance on his duplex nearly doubles. After debate, he cuts the replacement cost that the insurance company put on the building to $250,000 from $500,000. And red flags fly in every direction in my brain.

  • Danger of Investing in Startups

    Investing in a startup means risk no matter how near and dear you hold the business – or the business owner. Some business plans aren’t worth the paper they are printed on; others may deserve your thorough review.

    Our clients regularly ask for our opinion on offers to invest in private companies, typically business startups seeking support from friends, family and other so-called angel investors. Once it was a nephew launching an aeronautics technology company. Another time, a real estate interest in a cemetery. The list goes on.

  • How to Prepare for Your Death

    Most folks don't make preparations before dying. Preparing means communicating with relatives and other loved ones – and it’s hard.

    First responders and combat soldiers train for life-threatening situations. They rehearse responses and how to communicate with team members. Generally, families don't do that. When a crisis strikes, loved ones wing it amidst stress and confusion.

    We know serious accidents and life-threatening illnesses can strike. Shouldn’t we communicate our wishes to our loved ones, our potential caregivers, before a crisis?  

  • The Case for ETFs

    Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are increasingly popular. Aside from their generally low costs and liquidity – these baskets of securities trade on exchanges throughout the day – ETFs typically have the advantage of specialization: They allow you to target particular segments of investing.

  • Advisors: Not Only for the Rich

    It’s a widely held myth: Financial advisors are only for the rich. I keep hearing this blithe – and oh, so false – assertion repeated promiscuously, and often by people who should know better.

    The numbers tell a different story. Our table (see below) gives insight into the real-life world of advisors. Check out the advisor types highlighted in yellow. This shows a far different picture from the standard baloney that all advisors wear bespoke silk suits and cater exclusively to plutocrats.

     

  • Big Finance, Big Gender Gap

    From the small home to the halls of Congress and canyons of Wall Street, women face a daunting gap in financial ability and power.

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