The Special Needs Financial Planning Channel

Median Household Incomes by Age Bracket: 1967-2018

We have updated our commentary on household income distribution to include the Census Bureau's release of the 2018 annual data. Our focus was on arithmetic mean (average) household incomes by quintile (and the top 5%) over the 50+ year history of this data series. The analysis offered some fascinating insights into U.S. household incomes. But the classification misses the implications of age for income. Households are by no means locked into the same quintile over time.

Was Renaissance’s Success Luck or Skill – And Was It Behind Trump’s Victory?

The hedge fund firm Renaissance Technologies, founded by James Simons, has been an object of amazement, admiration, and envy for years, because of the incredibly high investment returns of its flagship Medallion fund. In a new book, author Gregory Zuckerman explains how Renaissance did it. He also shows how a key Renaissance employee used his riches to get Donald Trump elected president.

Ending a Busy Year for the Federal Reserve

Rate cuts and overnight operations were important developments this year. Where will the Fed go from here?

Inflationary Angst

We don’t have much time to get our house in order, either in the US or globally. Everything I’ve said today applies, to various degrees, throughout the developed world. Thinking that 2% inflation or zero interest rates coupled with massive deficits will somehow help is beyond wishful thinking.

What Advisors Don’t Understand About Prospects

Few of us realize the anxiety-ridden mindset that drives prospects to seek a financial advisor. If they did, they would structure their initial meetings very differently.

The Big Four Economic Indicators: Real Personal Income in October

Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) in October fell 0.04% and is up 3.8% year-over-year. However, when adjusted for inflation using the BEA's PCE Price Index, Real Personal Income (excluding Transfer Receipts) MoM was down 0.22%. The real number is up 2.5% year-over-year.

The Use of Irrevocable Trusts in Medicaid Planning

There are several things a client can do to plan for long-term care costs that may be incurred as one ages. But for the large majority of clients for whom self-insuring is not an option, what are the alternatives?

Communication Bloopers

Because you’re an expert on all things financial, you may believe you know what’s best for others – in their financial lives and otherwise. But it’s unlikely you do. The culprit is your inability to communicate effectively, as these “bloopers” illustrate.

Economic Brief - A Field Guide to Recessions (updated)

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

The Most Important Insurance Your Clients May Not Have

Despite its importance, insurance risks are often overlooked. And it is my experience that one of the most overlooked risks is excess personal liability insurance – coverage provided by an umbrella policy.

Social Security Is Dying Because Baby Boomers Aren’t

Unfortunately, my good news is also bad news for younger Americans, who won’t get nearly as much as my age cohort is collecting. Worse, they could actually see negative real returns despite having paid proportionally more into the system. In investment terms, they are getting screwed.


Am I the only one who is growing concerned about the current trajectory of the financial planning profession?

More Brexit News, Strong U.S. Labor Force, and Mixed Results from Sanctions

What fueled the rise in U.S. employment, and can we sustain it?

Focusing on the Wrong Niche Could Be a Disaster

Picking the wrong niche is one of the worst decisions you could make for your practice.

Central Bank Shenanigans

In May the Congressional Budget office (CBO) updated its 10-year fiscal estimates for federal revenue, spending, and annual deficits through 2029. The CBO is a non partisan agency tasked with analyzing data to provide Congress estimates for GDP growth and the impact on government spending and revenue from changes in tax laws.