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Life Lessons from Jimmy Buffett

Our family was deeply saddened by the news of Jimmy Buffett’s passing on September 1st. For over 40 years, all of us have been serious “Parrotheads.” I don’t usually get hit that hard when celebrities or other people I don’t know die, but something about the way Jimmy touched our lives was very different. His music provided a soundtrack for us through the decades.

Big Numbers

The Washington NFL Franchise recently sold for a record $6 billion. While it's hard for most people to comprehend such a large amount of money, based on the initial purchase price, the investment didn't return much more than a simple index fund.

2023 Q2 Market Commentary - We Didn't Start The Fire

If you were focused on these scary headlines this year, you might be surprised by how well the markets have performed. We’ve previously discussed why you shouldn’t be surprised by anything in the markets, but have you ever wondered why it always feels like things are worse now than they’ve ever been? A new study by Adam Mastroianni and Daniel Gilbert might help us understand this better. As the title of their NYT opinion piece says, “Your brain has tricked you into thinking everything is worse," and they identified two reasons why this happens...

4% Rule Misconceptions

A general rule of thumb in retirement planning says you can spend 4% of your starting portfolio value when you retire, then adjust that amount for inflation each year, and your money will last for at least 30 years. This rule is based on safe withdrawal rate research by Bill Bengen that was published in 1994. His research looked at historical market behaviors and determined that in every 30-year time period through history, this starting withdrawal rate would have made it through the 30 years without running out of money.

2023 Q1 Market Commentary: Confidence

In our 2022 year-end commentary, we referenced Daniel Kahneman and told you, “The correct lesson to learn from surprises is that the world is surprising.” It seems appropriate that the first quarter of 2023 was defined by another big surprise - the collapse of two major banks, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank. What might be even more surprising is that despite these collapses and amidst the fear of a broader banking crisis, market returns were generally very positive in the first quarter.

2023 Best Financial Planning Ideas

The beginning of a new year is always a great opportunity to step back and think more broadly about the planning issues you should be considering right now. Coming off a challenging year like 2022 with investment losses in almost all asset classes, inflation at record levels, a war in Ukraine, a new retirement tax law, and the upcoming sunset of tax changes just three years away, there is much to discuss.