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My State Flunked Financial Literacy. How About Yours?

My CFP peers across the nation are probably tired of hearing me sing the praises of living in South Dakota. One of them recently emailed some disturbing news that put some sour notes in my “South Dakota is God’s Country” song. A recent national survey that ranked the...

Single Parents Deserve a Hall of Fame

There are Halls of Fame for musicians, athletes, volunteers, and high achievers in many other fields. My quick check on Wikipedia found over 250 of them. Yet nowhere did I find recognition for one group who richly deserves it. There is no Hall of Fame for single...

Why Your Financial Planner Needs a Financial Planner

If you learned that your financial planner had their own financial planner, would you be concerned? Would you see it as a confession of incompetence or a sign of confidence and wisdom? Years ago, when I told my clients that I had a financial planner, their reactions...

The Financial Impact of Grief and Loss

One of the emotions—or more accurately, the constellation of many emotions—that financial planners often must help clients deal with is grief. It’s common for people to engage a planner during times of transition and loss such as the death of a parent or spouse....

Should You Be Afraid of a Bear Market?

“The Bear is coming! The Bear is coming!” Indeed it is. Should you be worried? No, if you have heeded my advice and diversified your portfolio and set aside a cash reserve. You can actually stop reading now. For everyone else, the answer is “probably...

When “Financial Planning” Is Not Financial Planning

Whenever I surf television cable news channels, I can’t help but notice the plethora of ads for financial planning. Some of them sound compelling, even to me. I often find myself thinking, “Dang, that’s exactly what we do.” Then I notice the...