Wealth Health Blog

Thoughts on all things Wealth Health - especially Planning, Investing and Protecting Your Personal Finances

The Two Essential Financial Factors to a Happy Life

bigstock-financial-factors-levers-114963524-MIn the past 14 years as a professional, I have come to understand that there are (at least) two essential financial factors to a long-term happy life. Get these two things right and you’ll avoid the vast majority of major problems that can prevent you from being happy and productive. Ignore either one and you’re asking for trouble. Quite simply these two points are:

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Why Tactical is Better for Your Portfolio Than Buy and Hold

bigstock-Mistake-Concepts-With-Oops-Me-68410360-SThe Winklers had over $500,000 in their retirement portfolio – the result of a frugal lifestyle and saving every extra dollar they could. They would have to trim expenses further to make it work, but they were exhausted and ready to retire. The year was 2007. We all know what happened next. The stock market plummetted 53%. The Winkler’s portfolio – conservatively invested (or so they thought) – did much better and only lost 23%. Still, $128,000 disappeared and with it any chance to retire for many years to come.

The “Buy-and-Hold” approach to portfolio investment is often cited as the best way to manage investments. Unfortunately for you and most unsuspecting investors, it is far more likely to cause you harm than to help you, at least over the next 20 years.

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A Stock Market Martian

Stock Market Martian landscape

When bad stuff happens in the investment world, be a Stock Market Martian.

Mark Watney is left for dead and abandoned on the surface of Mars. He figures out how to survive for years on a planet where nothing grows and and the atmosphere is toxic to humans. Needless to say, he is forced to improvise or, as he says, “science the heck” out of his problems.

While Watney’s story takes the context to much higher level, even on Earth life is full of stressful unknowns. There are two ways to deal with them: reaction or readiness. The Martian explores and contrasts both approaches in extreme conditions. Really bad stuff happens in space. While Watney does flirt with despair and other non-productive, fear-based reactions – he is human after all – he survives because he takes the readiness approach drilled into him through years of training.

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Health Care Costs Keep Rising

Health Care – You can’t afford it and you can’t afford to go without it. That sounds a bit like what we used to (jokingly) say about living with members of the opposite sex.

2015-12-28 Health care Costs

Obamacare ostensibly was supposed to fix skyrocketing health care costs. I knew that wasn’t going to be the case and the data has proven me out. While it used to be that the cost increases were absorbed by the employer, more and more of those costs increases are being passed off to the consumer.

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all in the Wealth Health community.

Wealth Health is all about the daily decisions that affect your Quality of Life. While society teaches us to want more stuff, my wish is that you are blessed with richer relationships and memorable experiences during this special time of the year.

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Forecasts Are For Losers

Forecasts - ignore them to improve your Wealth Health

Forecasts are for losers – both those who express them and especially those who heed their advice.

It must be something in the holiday eggnog. Every year at this time, smart people feel the need to speculate on where the economy and the stock market will be a year from now. It’s silly to think that anyone can predict the future, but fully grown, well-educated professionals still fall victim to the urge every December and January.

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The Legal Stuff:

ALTUS Wealth Solutions is a Virtual Registered Investment Advisor firm, registered with the State of California and created in late 2007 (proof that market timing is not our specialty – then again, nobody can time the market). ALTUS Wealth Solutions is NOT affiliated with any broker or dealer. We provide financial planning and investment management services for a fee, are not paid to make any specific recommendations and do disclose any and all conflicts of interest with the advice that we give.

John Buerger is the founder, owner, Chief Investment Officer, financial planner … and currently everything else in a one-person Registered Investment Advisor firm. The advantage is you get to work with the person actually making the investment decisions, not a salesperson serving up ideas from someone else in New York who doesn’t even know you. John is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and a Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.

John adheres to the fiduciary standard of care, makes every attempt to do whatever is in the clients’ best interest and put those interests ahead of his own.