The other day, in the wee early hours of the Monday of All Mondays, subscribers to my email list received, just like clockwork (just like calendarwork?), their FWoJT email (their First Week of January Test email).
This year the Monday of All Mondays — I speak here, of course, of the first Monday of the New Year, when many of us first go back into our normal day-to-day routine following the holidays — fell (and for many it did indeed fall) on January 5th, but it can fall on pretty much any day in the first week or so of January.
On that Monday of All Mondays, many folks first saw their FWoJT email as they awoke to lift their heads from their pillows to grab their phones to scan their email notifications (that’s the very first thing many of us do now upon waking, yes?) and were reminded that, as happens every year on that very day, Friedman was advising them to just go there — to just go ahead and, for a brief moment, ask themselves how it felt to be back in their day-to-day routines after the holidays.
Moans and groans (and worse) went up across the land, along with, from the lucky few who have reached their Exquisite Balance, a few wahoos and giddyup-doggies and sweet-[deity or non-deity of their choosing]-a’mighty-I-am-happy-at-lasts.
I hope you found yourself among the lucky few!
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If you haven’t the foggiest what I’m talking about, please take yourself back to that moment — role-play yourself back into the mind you inhabited at that very moment — and please read on, as The First Week of January Test email awaits you below!
Many financial planners and tax folks are loathe to utter blanket statements, preferring to gravitate instead towards multi-asterisk’ed, highly footnoted, two-handed, somewhat-non-statement statements. And rightly so: whenever financial planning and taxation come together, you end up in an arena that is way too complicated and way too pernsickety to not lose something in the translation from highly customized and technical to general purpose and lay.
Nonetheless, here goes:
If you are self-employed and have zero employees, then
you should set up an individual 401k plan before year’s end.
These retirement plans — which are also called “solo 401k plans” or “self-employed 401k plans” and recently, in an apparent attempt to give them that Jobsian glow, sometimes even called “i401k plans” — are the bees’ knees for folks who work for themselves and have zero employees, so setting one of these up is just about always a good idea in that situation.Friday, September 26, 2014 at 11am
As a financial planner, I’ve seen many a 401k plan in my day, and I’m here to tell you that the vast majority of them are not pretty, while some are even downright ugly. Admittedly, that’s a mighty broad brush full of awfully harsh words, and I’d surely prefer to be la-la-la’ing about instead, all chipper, sprightly espousing what-a-wonderful-world bromides, but I feel irresistibly impelled to instead write of the truth I’ve seen. And that truth is that the typical 401k plan — in which a decent part of the wealth of most Normal Folks resides — falls quite a bit short of being beautifully designed.
Please allow me to explain.
Hey kids! The FP50IBD for 2014 is out, and it’s a real humdinger!
What’s that you say? You’re wondering what that nasty looking little squirt and a half of letters and numbers all strung together in that first paragraph means, are ya?
Please allow me to introduce . . . er . . . translate it for you, as we take another trip into our continuing series, Language Fail in the Land of Financial Planners, and, in doing so, hopefully help you understand how the concepts of financial planning and investment advising became so thoroughly bollixed-up and so inelegantly hotchpotted.Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 8am
Say you’re driving down the road in your much-loved older car that you know — you just know — is gonna last you for many, many more years. And say you’re smiling to yourself about how the car has only gotten better with age because it’s been your good buddy through many an adventure and your faithful companion through many tens of thousands of miles, just the two of you twogether, so to
speak spell, when all of a sudden WHAM! some idiot staring down at a mobile phone while driving too fast perfectly T-bones you, rendering your dear friend . . . er . . . car . . . forevermore incapable of doing that thing which all cars must do to be deserving of their title, which is to say: drive.
So you get out of your car and, one quick glimpse later, head hanging low, you know — you just know — that your good buddy is dead, gone, done, finished, expired, no longer with us and not merely resting, or, as they say in this context and no other, totaled, because fixing it will cost more than the car, once fixed, would be worth. It’s a total loss.
So you’re just fine, but your car is totaled. What’ch’ya gonna do?
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