Disability Insurance Tactics for the Busy Executive

Disability Insurance Tactics for the Busy Executive

The following is meant to be educational and not specific advice. I assume my readers are big boys/girls and understand that, but in today’s climate I have to tell everyone again anyways – people might do something dumb and go hurt themselves! (like stick a fork in an electric socket or something – don’t do that!). Consult a qualified advisor before attempting disability planning strategies.

[Part 1]

Introduction to Disability Insurance

Disability insurance is likely the last thing on your mind right now. And it wouldn’t be a surprise. If you work for a large company, Disability Insurance (“DI” as the insiders call it) was probably on the list of benefits that your company mostly paid for so there’s a good chance you filed it in your brain under “already taken care of.”

Similarly, if you work for yourself or a small company, you probably think very occasionally about the fact that you don’t have disability coverage, but then, echoing your corporate counterparts, you forget about it or put the topic in the “address this issue later” mental folder.

Busy professionals need disability insurance too

The problem here is that DI shouldn’t be in either of those mental files. In fact,insurance overall, often dismissed as another “bill,” (likely because we just don’t use it often – how often do you die, get disabled, get sued or get into a major car accident? ) should be a cornerstone of your financial planning….

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“We Are Entering a Period of Geopolitical Instability and Danger” – Ian Bremmer Speaks at Tufts University on Global Politics and Economics

As promised folks, here it is. These Tufts talks are excellent and as I get to them I will share them with you! It was also great sitting next to a fellow Tufts grad and current Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy student Alex Taylor; who, previous to her time at Fletcher, was reporting for a news service in Lebanon. Great to meet you Alex!

Ian Bremmer at Tufts University on March 25, 2015 – a bit of an ad hoc talk:

Ian Bremmer at Tufts – Audio Coming Soon

Ian Bremmer at Tufts – Audio Coming Soon

I listened to an excellent talk by Ian Bremmer last week at Tufts. if you don’t know, he runs the Eurasia Group and is an expert on foreign affairs and international diplomacy. I recorded the talk and will try to get that up soon.

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and I recommend you listen when I upload it!

2015-03-25 Chris with Ian Bremmer

Poor Ian caught imperfectly in this photo. I’ll blame the undergrad that took the photo but couldn’t wait to get me out of the way to chat with Ian.



On a side note, was bummed to find that I could not record it using the SoundCloud app. Apparently they changed their mission sometime in the past and just play music by artists, but my iPhone app wouldn’t record. I used Evernote and will have to figure out how to get that audio file to a player!

Why Lehman Events Happen

Why Lehman Events Happen

Snow up the wazoo!

Snow up the wazoo!

It’s Tuesday January 27th, and there’s 2 feet+ of snow outside my window. Nice to look at but I’m not going out, except maybe for a short quiet walk. The only time you can enjoy a moment outside without the sounds of some moron Boston driver beeping in the distance or screeching to a halt is when there is two feet of snow on the ground. So maybe I’ll go out.

In the meantime, I’ll ponder the thought – as the market falls hard today – of a common Wall Street saying (paraphrased): that the bond market is smarter than the stock market. I think of that as I watch the Russell 2000, an index of small company stocks, perform relatively the best today. If the bond market is truly the “smartest,” meaning the moves in that market best represent what is and what will happen in the economy, and stock markets aren’t as “smart,” where does that put people who mindlessly buy the smallest stocks on every dip, even as the economic news deteriorates?

Let me stop here to summarize a few things.

1. the 2009-2014 period is over – yes chronologically it is most certainly over. But the warm fuzzy feeling people had as every market dip was bought more ferociously and it seemed like market risk had disappeared, should be forgotten.

2. Volatility is back – meaning large price swings in assets as central banks the world over play with interest rates (some going negative!!!) and currencies. Historically, the textbook analyst values an asset based on a “risk free interest rate (usually a 10 year US treasury bond). When rates are up and down 1% every 6 months, and heading to 0% worldwide, then this idea of valuing an asset is hard to do.

3. Sucker punch probability rises – the chance of a market sucker punch, where prices move extraordinarily, in a day or a few days, is very large now in my opinion. Those of you that read my email newsletters know I have increasingly turned to using options as “placeholders” for full portfolio positions to eliminate the sucker punch risk.

Is the investor sucker punch coming? photo courtesy of Bark on Flickr

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I’d Buy Real Estate in Portugal

9.26.14 Update: Read this recently and had a chuckle:

7 Best Places to Retire Around the World

And wouldn’t you know it, Portugal (southern coast) was one of them! Now back to the original post

After reading for the past few years of European national debt problems, and seeing the fire sales in real estate, I got the idea that owning ocean view property in Portugal might make sense. This is a totally speculative post, just a thought I’ve had for some time. And since I can not do this at the point, maybe you could and would benefit from the idea.

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Fed Minutes Rally Playing into the Pros Hands

I found the “rally” yesterday a bit amusing in that it seemed so strong from a price perspective. And underneath the hood, some of the most explosive names from 2013, the ones that have fallen precipitously in 2014, tried to regain all of their substantial losses (many greater than 20%) in one day.

But days like that happen often in bear markets. If we have seen the peak for US equities, then days like that will again happen. Also under the hood the volume was lighter. Prices crept back to levels where, on many stocks, heavy sell sequences occurred. If this is indeed a low volume (early) bear rally, then amateurs have played right into the Pros hands – giving them a better price to sell (or sell short).

I’ve said this before and was wrong (and don’t want to discount the power of the BUY THE DIP mentality) – but I think in terms of odds – and try like heck not to care about being right (I am working hard to relieve myself of a lifelong need to be “right” or “smart” about something all the time).  Therefore, as Peter Brandt often says, “an opinion is not a position.” And here, I am making an opinion – I may test a position idea – but I am not committing myself fully, nor my or my clients’ funds fully to this idea.

Just something to think about – just another possibility

Fitness & Nutrition Plan Progressing Nicely

I reported a couple of weeks back that I had become fed up with my poor eating and chose to go strictly vegan.

How’s it been going?

Quite well actually. Chalk up now about 6 weeks of eating vegan – and not nasty vegan (some people go vegan and eat foods heavily laden with oils to “make up for” lost flavor) which tends to make people fatter in my anecdotal experience. I’ve followed a starch based diet, which is typical of many trim populations worldwide. I’ve based my meals around oats and other grains, quinoa, spelt, kamut, rice and noodles. Noodles are my favorite.

I’m eating a good portion of fruit and eating a good share of vegetables. What I am not doing is ADDING oil to my meals (not even any “good” oils). I like Dr John McDougall’s statement – “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.” I have put some sugar in iced tea but haven’t significant added sugar to my foods either.

We’ve cooked at home for every meal – soups, wraps, rice dishes, pizza, salads and other stuff I can’t even think of right now.  It’s been 1. quite fun, 2. a huge savings over dining out, 3. quite healthy as we pick the organic ingredients we use. Some people may go over the top with organic, but even so, I am certainly not feeding my son the junk that some of these well-known companies put out and call “food.”

Lastly, I have found the “7 Minute Workout” and the many off-takes of it to be a tremendous boost to fitness for various reasons. 1. it is a decent workout. 2. you can bang it out in 7 minutes and 3. just by doing this frequently (3xs week?) you keep positive and forward moving and therefore more motivated to turn down bad foods. It’s also enough fitness, if couple with regular daily exercise like stretching and walking, to keep the average person in good shape.

I hope the above helps motivate some of you (or all of you) to hit your physical goals. Feel free to drop a comment on what you’re doing. And remember, this post is not meant to be advice specifically for you, since I don’t know you or your health history. Check anything you do with your doctor and professional trainer. Then MAKE IT HAPPEN!