1) Unbiased advice? Yeah right!
For months I have been hemming and hawing about pulling the plug on a modest-sized managed fund that has been going due south, without wavering.
My financial adviser gives me periodic pep talks and tells me to hold the course and reassures me that eventually I'll reap the benefits of patience, persistence and recovery.
As I like and trust my financial adviser, I've heeded his advice not without one eyebrow raised higher than the Arch De Triumph I might add.
While I am confident my adviser has my best interests at heart, some, not all, financial advisers rely on their clients continued commitment to the markets to earn a living.
This piece from the Globe and Mail takes a closer look at fee structures relative to asset allocation. No disrespect to professional advisers but it's worth asking about.
2) Sneaky banks
It's easy to beat up on banks, especially those whose executives earn Hollywood-esque salaries but to be fair some of them deserve it.
For some time now banks in North America and other parts of the world have been jacking up fees, a buck here a buck there, in part to claw back losses from consumer not being so exurberant about borrowing money. At the risk of giving banks here in NZ some ideas, Bank of America has begun charging its customers $5 a month for using their debit (EFPOST) cards.
My intention isn't to fear monger rather to remind readers who care about fees to take a closer look at how much they're paying and for what. I was reminded myself when I noticed a juicy triple-decker come through on a Canadian account. Grrr.
3) Family planning
Amid the craziness of raising a young family, it's easy to forget about financial planning, both yours and theirs.
However, if a tertiary education is in the future, or even if it isn't, it pays to take an active and early start in setting aside a dedicated fund.
4) Operation Twisted Sister
Anyone old enough to remember the horrible one-hit wonder from the '80s, Twisted Sister, will probably recall their raucous Rock 'N Roll tune "We're not going to take it.''
While U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's Operation Twist (an monetary play intended to produce an economic gyration similar in motion and mood to the '50s dance move) was supposed to inject some positivity into the markets, the reaction was more of a Twisted Sister variety.
Forbes Money Builder elaborates in this piece on How Bernanke Ruined the Stocks Market's week.
5) Psychic income
There is a scientifically untested universal law that suggests the more you give, the more you will receive. As both a yogi and Buddhist, I believe this to be true not because I have been told to, rather because I have tested it.
Laugh if you will, or better yet, conduct your own experiment.
As inspiration, read this piece from Bloomberg first on how the social media giants have got super rich using the same principles.
Their motives might be an entirely different matter. One (well me anyway) has to believe that Mark Zuckerberg, worth US$17.5 billion, is recycling the principles on a plane that is not purely profit-driven.
Here's the video to ruin.