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News & Blog

Many Areas Less Affected by Housing Bust

BLOG, MARKETS & ECONOMICS  |  31 Mar 2010

There was an interesting post yesterday in the Wall Street Journal Blogs/Real Time Economics section discussing how many areas of the country have not had such a serious housing bust as California, Arizona, Florida, and the East coast have had. See, Much of U.S. was Insulated From Housing Bust in the WSJ. The main reasons…

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Part II. Hedge Funds vs. Mutual Funds

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  15 Mar 2010

Hedge funds and mutual funds are both investment vehicles that involve a professionally managed portfolio in which investors hope to achieve a positive return. Neither of them are purchased or sold on stock exchanges. Other than that, there are relatively few similarities. Let’s talk about the differences. Who can invest? As I discussed in Part…

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What’s a Hedge Fund? Part I

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  2 Mar 2010

We hear about these things all the time, usually in the context of someone talking about a “billionaire hedge fund manager”. Most people who don’t really know what hedge funds are have nevertheless formed impressions that they are risky and only available to the ultra-wealthy. Is there any truth behind these impressions? Let’s talk. What’s…

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Estate Planning Update, February 17, 2010

BLOG, PERSONAL FINANCE  |  18 Feb 2010

Although we take pride in the fact that we write our own weblog content, we will occasionally post material from outside sources that we have come to trust. The article printed below was authored by Attorney John J. Scroggin. We were granted permission to post it here by virtue of our subscription to LISI (Leimberg…

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Identity Theft and the Importance of Monitoring Your Credit

BLOG, PERSONAL FINANCE  |  8 Feb 2010

With so many financial transactions being performed online over the internet these days, there are ample opportunities for those with nefarious intentions to usurp your identity, run up huge bills, and ruin your credit score. Since your credit score is a vital part of your financial well being and can dramatically impact your life for…

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Japan’s “Lost Decade” Are we bound to repeat it?

BLOG, MARKETS & ECONOMICS  |  29 Jan 2010

Lately, many economists and financial expert-types have been drawing comparisons between what is happening in the US right now with what Japan has experienced in their economy since 1989. Many of the pundits believe that our current economic policy will lead us right to where Japan finds itself today, and everyone agrees that is not…

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Fee-only, Fee-based and Commission-based. How Financial Professionals Get Paid, and How It Affects You.

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  26 Jan 2010

At the conclusion of my gripping piece on the differences between financial professionals of varying titles (Brokers, Advisors and Planners! Oh My!), I promised you a follow-up article of equal or greater value on the topic of compensation. Well, here it is. I have to warn you that you probably shouldn’t read this near your…

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The Gold Rush

BLOG, MARKETS & ECONOMICS  |  7 Jan 2010

Gold was in the news for much of 2009, and this year looks to be no different. Television commercials urge you to sell your gold coins and jewelry to take advantage of record prices, while the talking heads of financial TV all weigh in on whether the price will continue to rise, and how high…

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Brokers, Advisors and Planners! Oh My!

BLOG, EDUCATION  |  15 Dec 2009

I spend a lot of time explaining what we do here at Focus. I suspect that most other fee-only financial advisors do the same. It’s not that the folks we are explaining ourselves to are simpletons. They most clearly are not. They are people of above-average intelligence, just like all of our clients here at…

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The FDIC’s dilemma

BLOG, MARKETS & ECONOMICS  |  3 Dec 2009

by Jon Aldrich Just about everyone is familiar with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the federal agency that insures against the loss of deposit accounts (such as checking and savings) in the event of a bank failure. (For a brief history of the FDIC go here http://www.fdic.gov/bank/historical/brief/brhist.pdf . The FDIC insurance coverage is currently…

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