Personal Finance

  • 2016-election

    Election Notes

    Albert Camus, the French philosopher and author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1957, probably had October on his mind when he wrote: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Camus died in January of 1960, so his last October among the living was in 1959.  If he’d have […]

  • student-debt-2

    Student Debt Crisis —Part 2

    This is Part Two of a two-part series on the Student Debt Crisis now facing America. In Part One, we looked at how bad the problem really is and how we got here. In this second installment, we’ll look at proposed fixes and how with some good planning you can avoid becoming a student loan […]

  • political-finger-pointing

    It’s Debatable

    You know it’s the fall in North Texas when your kid comes home from school with tickets to the State Fair of Texas.  The Fair just kicked off its 130th year, and it’s a pretty big deal in these parts with a number of attractions drawing hundreds of thousands of people every year. The State […]

  • student-debt-1

    Student Debt Crisis —Part 1

    This is Part One of a two-part series on the Student Debt Crisis now facing America. In this piece, we’ll look at how bad the problem really is and how we got here. In Part Two, we’ll look at proposed fixes and how with some good planning you can avoid or at least take steps […]

  • Rational vs Emotional concept. Words printed on note paper and attached to rope with clothes pins.

    Emotions and Decision-making

    Some time ago, one of my colleagues wrote a three-part white paper on how emotions can affect our decision-making processes.  How it is next to impossible to remove the emotional bias from everyday decisions when it comes to finances.  There was much discussion about how our brains process information and the paper even described the […]

  • tax-free-tax-deferred

    Tax Free? Does it Really Exist?

    Most People Confuse Tax Deferred (will be taxed at some point) with Tax Free (will never be taxed) When most investors hear “tax free income”, they immediately think about investing in municipal bonds which are free from federal income taxation.  There are many financial calculators for the tax free equivalent yield when investing in municipal […]

  • buy or lease

    Buy or Lease that next car?

    The old clunker sitting in the driveway is on its last leg, and you are trying to decide what’s next.  You always see those commercials with the nice shiny brand new cars and the payments advertised seem reasonable until you realize most of them are for a lease.  So, you are wondering if it makes […]

  • planning ahead

    Planning for the Inevitable

    This month I’d like to hit on a topic that most of us avoid because it can be hard to talk about. That topic is death, and more specifically, planning our own funeral, memorial service, and burial or cremation. On a personal note, I’ve been through this process in just the last two months with […]

  • Taxes

    Already 2016????

    Some Updates and Reminders for Closing 2015 and Beginning 2016 As we ring in the New Year and put last year to rest, I wanted to take some time to run down a list of tax and financial topics of interest.  These items are things of importance to consider as you prepare for 2016 which […]