Financial Planning Blog by Financial Plan, Inc®

Spring 2017 – Is Economic Growth a Reliable Indicator of Future Equity Returns?

We recently learned that the US economy has grown at a 2.1% annual rate since the recovery began in 2009. This pace of expansion has been the weakest of any in modern times: It seems to make sense to treat economic growth as an indicator of future equity returns. However, the relationship between economic growth more »

Online Sites at Financial Plan, Inc. – Winter 2017

After inquiring with our clients,  it seems that many are not particularly active in logging on to our various online sites.  Most are not interested in following their investments on a frequent basis; rather, they use our annual review meeting as a “deep dive” into their portfolio and their financial plan.  Others are concerned about more »

Please Welcome The Newest Addition To Our Company: Justin Gross

The history of our firm and our clients has been one of success, and as a result we have experienced a gradual growth in clients and employees.  In recent years we have been on a pace to add one employee per year. We understand that in order to provide world-class service, we must not allow more »

Trailing by One Point. No Time on the Clock. Two Free Throws. – Summer 2016

The market decline of early 2016 was not anywhere near the magnitude of a bear market such as we experienced in the year 2000 or in 2008.  Yet it had some of the same feel as past events.  Times like that are never easy for investors, who must confront their concern that maybe this time more »

Negative Interest Rates: Coming to a Bank Near You? – Spring 2016

In recent months, several of the world’s central banks have conducted a highly risky experiment with negative interest rates.   For example, the Bank of Japan has a rate of minus 0.1%, the European Central Bank has a deposit rate of minus 0.4%,  and Switzerland’s bank rate is a minus 0.75%.  German government bonds with maturities as long more »

Performance and the Weather – Winter 2016

Belling-hamsters know what it is like to wait out a long winter.  A down market can be like that;  gloomy, day after day.  It’s not pleasant, and there is nothing we can do about it. (Well, OK…I like rain and down markets, because both are necessary for growth,  but I’m odd that way).  Our dislike more »

How to Survive a Bear (Market) Attack

If you are going to invest in the stock market for any meaningful amount of time, you will at some point be faced with an angry “bear” market. A “bear market” is a sustained period of time when security prices are falling. Traditionally, a 20% fall in market prices is considered a bear market, but more »

Are Solar Bonds A Good Investment?

If you’ve browsed the web recently and have a habit of reading up on finance, there’s a good chance you’ve seen an ad for an intriguing new investment: solar bonds. These ads, from energy provider SolarCity, certainly succeed in making their product sound attractive. While it may seem like just another pop-up ad, the delivery more »

Withdrawal Rates – Autumn 2015

In the latest edition of The Plan, Jamie mentioned the 4% rule of thumb for withdrawal rates. To delve a bit deeper, the 4% rule hails from the 1994 Trinity Study which looked at past returns for a “moderate” investment portfolio. This study determined that an initial withdrawal rate of 4%, annually adjusted for inflation, more »

Should You Buy Life Insurance From An Agent?

Most insurance agents are happy to reassure you they’re selling you a great policy, but there’s no getting around the conflict of interest. Confessions Of A Former Agent At the beginning of my career as a financial planner, I made my living selling various investment and insurance products, which gave me personal experience regarding the more »