Clients Area

Rick Appointed To Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Task Force

Rick is one of ten people appointed by Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender to a task force charged with coming up with a new plan for needed improvements to the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. The Feb. 7 article in the Rapid City Journal announcing the appointments features Rick, though it erroneously describes him as a real estate broker instead of a fee-only financial planner.

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A Wider Perspective on Income Inequality

Income inequality is a topic of passionate discussion today in many of the circles I move in. The discussion typically starts with a foregone conclusion that income inequality is a huge problem in the US. Some solutions I hear include increasing the top income tax bracket to 90%, initiating an annual wealth tax, or increasing the estate tax to 100%.

While leveling the playing field will certainly solve income inequality, it won’t solve the real problem.

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Consider Source of Dire Economic Predictions

“Sell Everything!” That’s the advice to investors from RBS, a large investment bank based in Scotland, which issued the dire recommendation to its customers on January 8. The warning urged investors to sell everything except high-quality bonds, predicting the global economy was in for a “fairly cataclysmic year ahead….similar to 2008.” They said this is a year to focus on the return of capital rather a return on capital.

I was first stunned that a respectable investment bank would issue such a radical recommendation. Then I was amused at my own surprise. I had momentarily forgotten this is logical behavior for a company whose profits depend on its customers actively buying and selling. It is not legally required to look out for customers’ best interests and has no incentive to do so.

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Finding a Financial Advisor with Heart Skills

I’ve written from time to time about the qualities to look for before you engage a financial planner, such as experience, professional qualifications, and having a fiduciary responsibility to clients. One other factor is often important, as well: whether a planner is a “heart” as well as a “head” advisor.

You aren’t necessarily going to identify an advisor’s “heart” qualifications with checklists or by asking direct questions. It’s often more effective to observe advisors’ behavior and listen to what they say in initial interviews.

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