The 10% Lie

The 10% Lie OK, maybe “lie” is a strong word. A more genteel label is “mischaracterization of the facts”. Financial advisers have a nasty habit of telling clients that stocks go up 8-10% per year. This is harmful. It creates the wrong expectations. The reality is that stock returns are far more volatile than that. A few years ago, I examined the returns of the S&P 500 over the 25-year period between 1990 and 2015. What I learned surprised me. Stocks rarely generated returns between 8-10% over any particular 12-month period. They were just as likely to fall 18% or leap 33% over the course of a year. If you own stocks, do not expect 8-10% per year. Stocks are volatile. They go up a lot some ye

"Own It" (but Title It Properly)

Amen of the Week: "I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out." —Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon "Own It" ... but Title It Properly How you title your property matters. Big time. Married couples typically title their property as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship. Few appreciate that this might have significantly negative tax and legal ramifications. There are alternative legal structures that may offer protection and peace of mind when unfortunate situations arise. The good news is that some of structures cost you nothing to implement. One such legal strategy is to hold assets as

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