Post Equifax Data Breach Ideas

We are not claiming to be experts. We think you will find this a handy starting point. Clients: Most of you have all or some of your accounts held at the TD Ameritrade institutional custodian. Know that we get immediate around the clock notifications of money and securities moving in or out of your accounts. We are notified of new accounts, transfers and closed accounts. If you think that your data has been compromised and are concerned, you can call TD or us and ask for your accounts to be placed in “Loss Prevention”. That means that TD will flag your accounts into a heightened mode of scrutiny. This will also add an inconvenient layer of extra bureaucracy when you want to legitimately access your account. Are you suspicious that you data has been compromised and your identity has been stolen? Then you should call the credit bureaus and ask that they “freeze your credit”. This will prevent the person(s) who potentially stole your identity to purchase big ticket items in your name. Here the bureau numbers for your convenience. Equifax (CBI) (800) 685-1111 Experian (TRW) (888) 397-3742 Trans-Union (800) 916-8800 Paid Protection Services: What about paid protection services like LifeLock? We think these services are worthwhile. It’s best to protect yourself with preventative measures and then LifeLock will help if someone takes advantage despite your good practices. Importance of Passwords: There seems to be no shortage of hackers these days. It’s very important that every password is “strong” and is changed at some regular frequency. It’s easy to get lazy. I recommend that you calendar your password changes so...

401(k) Workshop Oct. 17 – Open for Flyer

We’re very excited to bring a very high quality 401(k) workshop to North County. Click here for the flyer. A 401(k) plan where a plan sponsor hires a registered investment advisor with specialized 401(k) knowledge is completely different than the typical 401(k) with a broker. Registered investment advisors have loyalty only to the plan and the plan sponsor. They do not accept commissions. Brokers have conflicts of interest  (commissions) with the record-keeper and/or mutual fund company. This makes it impossible for brokers to take on any fiduciary liability. It makes it impractical for them to lead efforts for more transparency and lower fees. Their investment knowledge is often misguided. Please RSVP to roadmap@oreillywa.com or call 760-504-6040. See you at Vista Chamber on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 11:30 for lunch & networking and session starts at 12:00 to 1:30...

H.U.D. Reverse Mortgage Policy Change – Short Fuse!

If you wish to consider how your reverse mortgage would help you under current law versus the new law, you had better contact and meet with your reverse mortgage expert before Sept. 14. On August 29, the Federal office of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees the federal backing of reverse mortgages, announced changes in the reverse mortgage policy. I am not going to get into the technical aspects of the change. Many people are told that a reverse mortgage makes sense for them – and they sit on the sidelines waiting, thinking that they have no need to rush. Now is the time to at least have the meeting! If a reverse mortgage might make sense for you and if you or your spouse are age 62 or older – then you should meet with a reverse mortgage specialist ASAP. If you’re not sure – call us. The net result of the change – you may not be able to get as much out of your home after the change is made. So it is imperative to move now just to know your options – how this change impacts you. Timing? Working backwards, you need to be assigned a case number by Sept 29; you need a 7 day cooling off period, therefore you need to have met and have all your numbers run by Sept 21. However, mortgage professionals are likely to be overrun by this change. So meet with you mortgage professional by Sept 5-14. Reverse Mortgages: A great financial planning tool applied in the correct situations – often misunderstood. This blog is not intended to cover...

401(k): From possible to probable, from reasonable to competitive

  For this article to make sense to the reader, two foundational ideas must be accepted. One is that lower fees lead to better returns in the plan. Two is that investment advice leads to more diversification and better returns. Both are well established in the literature. A number of our blog posts address these important foundational ideas. Not convinced? Click here for a summary of how the Lost Decade hurt those whose investments were concentrated in the S&P 500 Index. This example is perfect for 401(k) plan participants because many participants will place most of their money in large cap US funds because they “understand” these well known companies. 401(k) plans got their largest black eye ever during the Lost Decade. Click here for our blog on the Morningstar report document the relationship between fees and performance. I assure you – this is just the beginning of the proof. Please contact us if you wish to receive more information. The status quo says that if your plan has “reasonable” fees and the fund selection inside the plan “make it possible” for an employee in the plan to have their money in a reasonably diversified portfolio – then you’re meeting basic requirements.. 401(k) plans are based on giving employees freedom to spread their money around the funds as they wish – even if they do it in such a way as to torpedo their returns. Though that seems wrong to us – it is the current situation. We want to make it likely that our beloved employees/co-workers precious retirement assets grow as well as possible – directly impacting the...

Portfolio Performance, Market Behavior as of 6/30/2017 Posted Here

The quarter just ended one business day ago and already we have posted our 6/30/2017 Model Portfolio performance data found here. The quarterly market review is posted here. It quickly informs you what happened in last quarter and first 6 months of year as well as longer term. The last two pages of the quarterly market review reports on the relationship of stock market performance and interest rates. Most assume that the relationship is clear- guess again. In a week or two we’ll have our 401(k) numbers and will add them here. What happened in the last quarter and first 6 months in our portfolios. Well, steady goes the ship – boringly good.  The 100% stock portfolio is up about 8% for the year and just under 3% for quarter. Volatility is low. Some industry pundits are saying, “This is scary that it is not scary”. Their worry is that something will upset the apple cart and the market will get more volatile. My reaction, “”Of course, that will happen – it is NORMAL! And there’s nothing you can do about it – except try not to watch the market that closely!” Ok, ok, I will get off my soapbox! So what’s been happening with various asset classes in recent times? The “rest of the world” stock index that we show as a benchmark in our model data has been on a tear compared to its performance over the last 18 1/2 years. It was up 14.1% last six months and 5.8% last quarter. To enjoy that you have to own it which our clients do in the DFIEX...