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Where to Put Your Money in 2018

It seems I find myself in a bit of a conundrum. I write a newsletter, Peak Income, dedicated to finding profitable income investments at a time when bond yields are rising and income-oriented investments are coming under pressure. As I write this, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yields just shy of 2.6%. As recently as September, the 10-year yield was touching 2%. That’s a big a move in a very short period of time. Hey, I get it. Some of this is understandable. The U.S. economy has picked up steam of late, growing at over 3% in each of the past […]

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Only Start a College Fund If…

Nothing – and I mean nothing – will change your life as dramatically as the birth of your first child. It’s a wonderful moment and one that I hope everyone gets to experience. But it will turn your life upside down. That chic apartment downtown no longer makes sense… nor does that sporty two-seater car. And enjoying that cappuccino on your patio after sleeping in late on Saturday? Yeah, maybe you can do that again in 18 years. My wife and I decided to move to Peru, where she’s originally from, for the birth of our first son. And, let […]

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How to Plan for Retirement in 2018

It’s a new year… which means a new set of retirement savings deadlines. So it’s time to do my obligatory beginning-of-the-year nagging. Think of it as a New Year’s resolution for your 401(k) plan. If you’re self-employed, you have until April 17 to make your 2017 contribution to your Individual (Solo) 401(k) or SEP IRA. And all taxpayers, whether regular W2 employees or self-employed, have until April 17 to top off their Traditional or Roth IRAs for the 2017 tax year. But for the rest of us investing in a good, old-fashioned corporate 401(k) plan, January 1 represents the start […]

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The Most Useless Number in Retirement Planning

What’s your number? No, I’m not planning to ask you out on a date. I’m sure you’re a lovely person, but my wife has a South American temper and is definitely the jealous type. Rather, I’m referring to the single most common question I see in retirement planning: “What’s your retirement number?” Said another way: What size nest egg do you need to quit working? It sounds like a reasonable and straightforward question. The problem is, it’s completely useless. Like so many things in the financial planning business, the question takes something complex and full of nuance, and effectively dumbs it down […]

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What Tax Reform Could Mean for Stocks

There’s an old joke that the Founding Fathers wisely chose a patch of land located along the Potomac River as the site of our nation’s capital because it’s a place so miserably humid in the summer and so bitterly cold in the winter that our elected representatives would choose to stay away most of the year, thus have fewer opportunities to make a mess of things. Alas, centralized heat and air conditioning made the swamp habitable, and Washington, D.C., has been infested ever since. Most of what our government does is, at best, a waste of time and, at worst, […]

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What’s a Crypto Worth?

I’ll be straight with you. When it comes to Bitcoin, I got nothing. For months, I’ve watched Bitcoin explode higher. And philosophically, there’s a lot I like about cryptocurrencies. I like the idea of a viable currency that exists outside of government control and outside of the banking system. I like the fact that there is no central bank like the Federal Reserve to debase the currency, inflating away its value over time. And I like that Bitcoin and other cryptos – at least in theory – are anonymous. But, back in 1998, I also liked the internet. That didn’t […]

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How to Prepare for Higher Rates

It was already a busy month just two weeks into November when we released the latest issue of Peak Income to subscribers. Before embarking on a trip to Asia, President Trump had nominated Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve, and not long after Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced a tax reform bill that could, well, change a lot of things. The Senate has since followed suit with its own proposal. For our purposes in Peak Income, both bits of news are positive for our income-generating approach, as I detail in the issue. […]

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There’s More Than One Way to Kill a Bull (Market)

I like to call Peru the Texas of South America. It has nothing to do with footwear (the Texas cowboy boot is vastly superior to the Peruvian horseman’s boot) or cuisine, though I might have to give Peru the nod on that one…  A good lomo saltado, a traditional Peruvian stir fry, might actually be worth killing for. No, it has everything to do with attitude. In the eyes of a Texan, everything is bigger and better in Texas. Everything. No exceptions. And we all talk about Texas constantly. It’s just what we do. Well, Peruvians feel the same way […]

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You Have to Follow the Money

John Del Vecchio really is a nice guy, I promise. But he doesn’t smile a lot. Maybe it’s because he grew up in upstate New York, where you can go weeks in winter without seeing the sun… or maybe it comes from the years he spent working as a forensic accountant and as a professional short seller. But John definitely has a serious, no-nonsense demeanor about him. And let me tell you from experience, you don’t want to be on the opposite side of a trade as him. This seems almost ridiculous now, given the company’s dismal performance, but many […]

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Happy (Belated) Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason Why the Gunpowder Treason. Should ever be forgot. Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, ’twas his intent To blow up the King and Parli’ment. Three-score barrels of powder below To prove old England’s overthrow; By God’s mercy he was catch’d With a dark lantern and burning match. Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring. Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King! –Traditional English nursery rhyme  Yesterday, November 5, was Guy Fawkes Day. While it doesn’t get a lot of press on this side of […]

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