How Do You Protect Yourself From Inflation?

The federal government has been grappling with ballooning debt as the cost of government programs and entitlements outstrip tax revenue. Politics will ultimately determine whether to cut spending, increase taxes (or both) to solve the problem. This blog is not political commentary, but rather a response to the media’s concern about how these deficits, and the corresponding debt increases, will impact the financial markets.

Will U.S. Treasury Bonds become worthless?

Read the complete article here …

9 Money Tips from Dad

Just in time for Father’s Day, here’s some financial advice that every dad should share with the kids.

 This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.

 Kids, with Father’s Day right around the corner, I hope you don’t mind if your dear old Dad takes a few minutes to give you a little bit of fatherly financial advice.

Despite what your mom says, I don’t profess to know everything — OK, I guess maybe I do — although in this case you’ll have to trust that what I am about to tell you is absolutely true. Remember, I learned a lot of this stuff through past mistakes and hard-earned experience.

Read the complete article here:

Taming Irrational Decisions By Buying Bad Products?

A good article from Rick Kahler –
I came across an interesting article today in the InvestmentNews on “How to save wealthy investors from themselves.” The article lays out a solid argument that most investors, including those who work with an investment advisor, tend to make poor financial decisions.

IN interviewed a representative of Barclays Wealth who observed that while the financial services industry is aware of the high cost of their client’s emotional trading (a 20% under performance over a long term) the industry hadn’t found ways to help clients implement discipline in the face of market volatility.

Read the complete article here:


The Pickle Jar

A Friend E-Mailed this to me today.  I want to share it with you.



The Pickle Jar

The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents’ bedroom.

When he got ready for bed, Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar.  As a small boy, I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar.

They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled.

I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar to admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate’s treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window. When the Jar was filled, Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank.

Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box, the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck.

Each and every time, as we drove to the bank, Dad would look at me hopefully. ‘Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill, son. You’re going to do better than me. This old mill town’s not going to hold you back.’

Also, each and every time, as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier, he would grin proudly. ‘These are for my son’s college fund. He’ll never work at the mill all his life like me.’

We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. I always got chocolate. Dad always got vanilla. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change, he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. ‘When we get home, we’ll start filling the jar again.’ He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. As they rattled around with a brief, happy jingle, we grinned at each other. ‘You’ll get to college on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters,’ he said. ‘But you’ll get there; I’ll see to that.’

No matter how rough things got at home, Dad continued to doggedly drop his coins into the jar. Even the summer when Dad got laid off from the mill, and Mama had to serve dried beans several times a week, not a single dime was taken from the jar.

To the contrary, as Dad looked across the table at me, pouring catsup over my beans to make them more palatable, he became more determined than ever to make a way out for me ‘When you finish college, Son,’ he told me, his eyes glistening, ‘You’ll never have to eat beans again – unless you want to.’

The years passed, and I finished college and took a job in another town. Once, while visiting my parents, I used the phone in their bedroom, and noticed that the pickle jar was gone.. It had served its purpose and had been removed.
A lump rose in my throat as I stared at the spot beside the dresser where the jar had always stood. My dad was a man of few words: he never lectured me on the values of determination, perseverance, and faith. The pickle jar had taught me all these virtues far more eloquently than the most flowery of words could have done. When I married, I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. In my mind, it defined, more than anything else, how much my dad had loved me.

The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born, we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner, Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa, taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. Jessica began to whimper
softly, and Susan took her from Dad’s arms. ‘She probably needs to be changed,’ she said, carrying the baby into my parents’ bedroom to diaper her. When Susan came back into the living room, there was a strange mist in her eyes.

She handed Jessica back to Dad before taking my hand and leading me into the room. ‘Look,’ she said softly, her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. To my amazement, there, as if it had never been removed, stood the old pickle jar, the bottom already covered with coins. I walked over to the pickle jar, dug down into my pocket, and pulled out a fistful of coins. With a gamut of emotions choking me, I dropped the coins into the jar. I looked up and saw that Dad, carrying Jessica, had slipped quietly into the room. Our eyes locked, and I knew he was feeling the same emotions I felt. Neither one of us could speak.

To the Class of 2011: Financial First Things

I’m waiting, but the invitation to give a college graduation speech hasn’t arrived yet. It’s really too bad, since I would be a great candidate. I’m acceptably old, just of an age to be respected by the 20-something set, but not so old as to be irrelevant or needing assistance to the podium. The fact that I’m a woman should appeal to the majority of college graduates. Giving sage advice is what I do all the time as a financial advisor. Plus my speech is already written.

Looking out over that sea of young, expectant faces, and trying mightily not to be distracted by the purple hair, tattoos, or nose rings, I’d begin by invoking the wisdom of the timeless phrase, “First things first.” I’d remind these graduates that their entire education, from babyhood through college, has been focused on the importance of doing things in the right order. Socks before shoes, first base before second, learner’s permit before license, 101 courses before senior seminars.

Read the complete article here:

“Mom, I’m Home!” 5 Keys to Success When Moving Back Home

I hear of this happening more and more.  If you are involved in this type of situation, this article is good.



The graduation ceremonies are all done. Celebrations are over. And with 3 out of 4 graduates knowing they don’t have a job waiting for them, we hear the inevitable calls from our most recent graduates:

“Mom, I’m home!”

Many of those who have now fulfilled dreams incubated in 2007 and before – the one where earning a diploma was the golden ticket that guaranteed your entrance to the workforce – have no choice… They are moving back home with their parents. And while there’s no doubt most parents will accept you back home, it is less than an ideal situation for you – or your mom and dad.

Read the complete article here:

3 Common 401(k) Mistakes

I totally agree that these are five common (and big) mistakes people make with their 401k.  Read this and take it to heart.



401(k) plans are the most popular retirement investment products available today. But, with so many investors using them, these plans see some of the worst investor mistakes. Here are three common mistakes you can avoid:

Micromanaging the company retirement plan. It all started with the dot-com years when you could buy something today, sell it tomorrow, and make three to five percent or more. However, with a 401(k), it’s usually better to just leave it alone. Set it and forget it.

Read the complete article here:

via 3 Common 401(k) Mistakes – The Smarter Investor (

You can’t go out to the store and buy happiness . . . or can you?

In her book “Money can buy happiness,” DailyWorth editor-in-chief and former New York Times columnist MP Dunleavey explains that happiness may indeed be something you can buy. Dunleavey, who recently spoke at Vanguard about women and finances, helps readers evaluate their spending habits and how their use of money can lead to a to a better life on*, a site that takes a fresh look on women’s relationship with money.

In this interview, Dunleavey gives readers some suggestions on using money wisely.

Question: You tell your readers to take inventory of the activities that make them the happiest. Why do you think people don’t spend time on these activities?

Ms. Dunleavey: That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Why don’t we gravitate toward the choices that would make us happier, healthier, wealthier? In almost every case, the biggest hurdle people face is their desire for instant gratification. Shopping is a lot more fun than saving (for many people). Eating is more pleasurable than working out (again, not for everyone, but for an awful lot of us). But those instant pleasures die fast. You buy that sweater or eat that fried rice . . . and you’re still craving something more, something else, something . . .

But if you shift your focus toward more substantive sources of satisfaction—which almost always involve people and experiences, not stuff—you might be willing to make happier choices. If you REALLY want to travel to Shanghai or buy a new mountain bike, because that would enrich your whole quality of life—not just the current 10 minutes—you might forsake the dumb sweater to put money toward your own greater happiness. It takes a while to retrain your impulses, but you can do it.
Read the complete article here: