My Uncle Bob

In October of 1987 the Dow Jones Index was trading around 2,500.  My uncle Bob decided to trust me with his $100,000 investment.  By the time Halloween was rolling around, the only thing spooky was his account as I had managed to turn his balance into just shy of $69,000!  That account bounced around until after Christmas (needless to say I didn’t receive a Christmas present that year!).


To my surprise, he stuck with our original investment plan (though he didn’t ask me to manage any more of his money!).  It took until July of 1989 for his investment to fully recover back to the $100,000 mark.  As much I thought he would ask me for his original money back, he left it with me (though he didn’t ask me to manage any more of his money).  His account balance at the end of March was just north of $1,600,000 as he has never touched his account.


In hindsight does it particularly matter that the Dow went from 2,500 to 1,800?  Sure, the 30% decline was very painful at the time, but I learned an important lesson from that experience.  Wealth is built over time.  Buy quality companies when they are on sale and you will be rewarded for your patience.

Change Your Thinking


We have all heard the adage “Buy Low and Sell High,” but how does that play out in real life?  Can anyone time the top and bottom of the market?  We do not believe it is possible.  So how do we ensure that you are buying when prices are low and selling when prices are high?  Let’s look at a very current and relevant example:

Toilet Paper…Yes, I said toilet paper!  Earlier this year I bought a 30-roll pack of Kirkland Brand 2-ply Bath Tissue from Costco as our household was running low.  The $19.99 price tag seemed reasonable compared to other stores I had shopped.  The VERY NEXT WEEK, Costco put out their monthly advertisement and offered $4 off the same product I recently purchased.  Being the economically consumer that I am, I stopped back and picked up another 30-roll pack.

Was I happy that I had toilet paper for my family even though I paid full price?  Sure, I needed it.  I was even more excited when I got it on sale!  Fast forward one month and now I am REALLY glad I bought all that toilet paper!  I have seen people offering up to $5 a roll on-line!

So what does my story about Costco brand toilet paper have to do with the markets?

Why does your thinking change when it comes to stocks?  It is something you need to meet your long-term goals.  It was full price a month ago.  Today it is on sale for 25% off, so why are we not stocking up?  Could it go on sale some more?  Sure!  But if you see it on sale, buy more as you can always sell to someone for $5/roll!

RMD’s for 2020

960x0As part of COVID-19 stimulus package signed by President Trump, Required Minimum Distribution’s (RMD) have been suspended for 2020.  This will allow people age 70.5 and over (or those who have inherited an IRA) to leave their money intact for a market recovery.

However, should you leave your money?  Limiting the RMD may lower your tax bracket for one year, but you should consider your tax brackets over multiple years.

Please Ignore The Media!

So many examples of out there of the press just trying to catch readers attention.  Here is one example that I saved from Valentines Day…the rest is history.  If you get caught up in what the media is preaching, you WILL be worse off.  Put your money in the markets long-term and LEAVE IT ALONE.

Below I have shown the S&P 500 (biggest 500 companies in US) from 2-14-2020 forward:

Can You Live 2+ Years Longer?

When I run long-term projections for folks, I regularly assume 95 years will be their life expectancy.  You should see some of the looks I get!  Almost everyone laughs and says there is no way they will make it to age 95.  However, statistics show that a 65-year-old couple has a 90% chance that one of them will be alive at age 80 and nearly 50% chance that one of them will still be alive at age 90!  How is this percentage going to change over the next 20 years until I reach retirement?

JPM Life Expectancy

Also, keep in mind that data on the left is put together by the Social Security Administration, so it is a sample set of the entire population!

Do you go to the dentist regularly?  Dr. David Cleveland at Darby Creek Dental shared that more than 1 in 5 Americans hasn’t seen a dentist in more than 3 years!  Do you wear your seatbelt?  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27 million Americans still do not?  Do you have access to quality healthcare?  What about the ability to buy quality fresh foods?  If you answered yes to any of the above, you are likely to have a longer expectancy than the average American.

So again, I ask…is 95 absurd?

So how long of a retirement should you plan for?  Can you change your life expectancy?

The obvious answer is to look at longevity in your family history.  If both of your parents lived into their 90s and were physically and mentally healthy, you have a pretty good chance to be looking towards that centenarian mark.  Want some tips directly from the Centenarian’s themselves, then read this article from PBS or watch this video from Sharp Health.

Ok, so what about you?!?  Try taking the test at that will ask some specific health questions and compare your estimated life expectancy to the average.  It will also recommend life changes and will show how those changes can impact your longevity.

So what age did you get?

If you need help planning for all those wonderful years of retirement, please feel free to reach out to me!