The Classic Story of a Spender and a Saver

The untypical financial planning blog! Yes, my wife came up with the title as I get teased a bit for being a little frugal. However, we do try to find some humor in it. Hopefully some of these random thoughts will help you in your financial journey, So enjoy! - James Daniel, CFP®, CMT, EA Now for the DISCLAIMER: This blog is not intended as financial advice. We encourage you to consult with your personal advisor before acting on anything you read here.

Medicare open enrollment time

Written on October 19th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

Did you know the State of Georgia has a free service that can help answer your medicare questions?  It’s called Georgia Cares and help can be found here:

10 reasons why financial plans aren’t just for the 1%

Written on September 29th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

Came across this article and could not have said it better:

increased tax savings on 529 contributions

Written on September 7th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

I’m not sure how this news got by me, but the State of Georgia has increased the state tax deduction on 529 contributions:

New Georgia law doubles tax deduction for Path2College 529 Plan

May 05, 2016

ATLANTA — Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that will double the state tax deduction for families filing a join tax return for contributions made to the Path2College 529Plan. Beginning with returns filed in 2017, joint filers are eligible to deduct up to $4,000 per beneficiary, per year, giving families even more advantages to saving for education-related expenses. Contributions up to $2,000 per year, per beneficiary remain deductible for those who file single or head of household. (Limitations apply. Read the Disclosure Booklet carefully for details.) Contributions to the plan made before the tax deadline each year are eligible for a state income tax deduction regardless of annual income.

House Bill 802, which was sponsored by Representatives Sam Teasley (R-Marietta), was signed into law on May 3rd by Governor Nathan Deal.

no such thing as a guaranteed return more than a 1.5% CD

Written on August 11th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

Here we go again.  More headlines of investors being defrauded with “no risk / high return” promises.  The only guaranteed no risk investments are US Treasuries or Bank Insured CD’s.  They pay between 1% and 1.5%.  If someone mentions returns in excess of this with no risk, please run away quickly.

Felt like you haven’t made a lot of progress in the market over the past year?

Written on August 11th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

I think this graphic of the S&P 500 sums it up pretty well.  A big volatile range since late 2014, and we just crested June 2015 highs this past month.

weekly investment client update for July 29th

Written on July 29th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

One important question every new client asks is “how much communication do you have with clients?”  Here is a sample email that I send out each week to my investing clients to discuss what is happening in the markets:

Weekly Investment Update for July 29th

I guess I could just copy and paste last weeks update in today’s email.  The market has done a whole bunch of nothing as shown from the price chart of the S&P 500 below.  We have basically been trading sideways for 2 solid weeks now…..

Generally a consolidation period is good, however this is stretching out for quite a long time.  I still think we get a little more upside before some minor selling in early August.  However as I mentioned last week, I do think any pullback in the 2% to 3% range is a buy opportunity especially if Oil can turn around.  The price chart below shows how both Oil prices and Stock prices (S&P 500 index) moved up together from the low in February through June.  However Oil has corrected in July while stocks have traded sideways.  You can look at this two ways, either the oil drop will eventually pull down stocks for a little correction, or if Oil prices begin to move higher they will propel stocks upward.
We actually may see both occur, first stocks drop a little and then rebound with Oil.  No way to tell for sure but I would imagine stocks will move out of this 2 week range pretty soon.
In other news this week the Federal Reserve met and said maybe, just maybe they might hike interest rates in September.  Then today the GDP number (Gross Domestic Production) was released, which is the gauge the Fed uses to see how hot the economy is, and it was a bit below expectations at an annual rate of 1.2%.  The Fed wants to see more inflation so my guess is they will not hike real soon.  You are starting to see the stock market pick up, more help wanted signs out there and continued construction, but not quite enough activity for the Fed to put the brakes on the economy just yet.
Lastly, for many clients a little more was added toward your International allocation this week.  This fits within the allocation models as we were under-invested the past few years in that area.  Valuations overseas are a bit better than here in the States, so it was time to add a little to our holdings.


so you really want to use a “robo-advisor” to save a few bucks?

Written on June 30th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

When you let an online system manage your money, are you ever really in control?  So what happens when you really want to get out of the market?  No advisor to talk with, just an online message that says “sorry no trading”.

click on link to read further:


Blog link regarding Fed’s testimony this week

Written on June 22nd, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

a good read on the Fed’s stock market valuation thoughts:

Negative Bond Yields around the Globe

Written on June 9th, 2016 by Jamesno shouts

This is a great visual of just how crazy the central bankers around the world are.  Although, maybe they aren’t crazy ones?  Maybe the folks buying these bonds are!