Articles Archives - FP, Inc®

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 »

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 »

Understanding Actual Returns vs. Average Returns

No financial planner can know what the future will bring, and none should pretend to. Markets, stock prices and ultimately return are all beyond anyone’s calculation or control. Any plan that reacts to market events is a plan that is doomed to fail, so a successful investor must appreciate that markets are unpredictable and accept more »

Socially Responsible Investments: The Good, The Bad, and The Green

These days, socially responsible investing, or SRI for short, is a popular practice among investors who consider themselves socially conscious, and who want to believe their money can do more than just increase the value of their own portfolio. And in theory, this seems like quite the win-win: after all, who wouldn’t want to see more »

The Crucial Difference Between Investment Brokers And Fee-Only Advisors

The common perception among the investing public is that all of the professionals who help clients manage their money are “financial advisors,” and all belong to one profession. This (mis)conception is dangerous and needs to change. In reality, there are two distinct businesses: investment sales and financial advice. Knowing the difference can be crucial to more »

3 Simple Investment Principles To Keep You Out Of Wonderland

As a newcomer to financial planning, entering the world of investing without some basic principles to follow can feel a lot like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. All of a sudden, you find yourself in a bizarre alternate reality where normal, everyday language is replaced with “securities,” “beta,” “alpha,” “tranches,” “futures,” and “REITS.” You more »

Tax Planning 101: How To Make The Most Of Your Tax Bracket

(Note: all screenshots in this post are from our 2015 Numbers Unlimited financial planning worksheet, which you can access here.) With April 15 nearly upon us, you’ve submitted your tax returns by now, and the chances are good you’re breathing easy knowing the next tax season is nearly a year away. But before you get more »

Understanding IRA Transfer and Rollover Rules

If you have ever had any sort of retirement plan with your employer, you have probably at least heard the term “rollover.” Until recently, this term has generally referred to the process of moving your retirement funds from your employer-sponsored retirement plan to your own Individual Retirement Account (IRA), any number of times per year. more »

Secrets for Self-Employed Retirement Success

Saving for retirement as a self-employed individual can be difficult. Without an employer setting up and contributing to a 401(k) or similar plan, retirement savings often fall off the radar. But if you are self-employed without employees, you and your spouse have access to one of the most powerful and underutilized retirement planning tools available: more »