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Sound Familiar?

From November 11, 1974 to November 20, 1974 the S&P 500 fell 9.6%. It dropped because of economic uncertainty and political unrest.

Let’s explore the major themes from 1974.

In August 1974 President Richard Milhous Nixon resigned. He was the first, and only, U.S. President to resign. His resignation was a result of the Watergate scandal.

Did You Die Today?

Few people like to ponder their mortality, but what if you didn’t make it home from work today? Is your estate set up to handle your passing? Is your family? If they walked into your home, would they be able to find your important documents? What would you leave behind? What are your final wishes? A sudden death may leave a lot of unanswered questions.

Weeds

This past weekend my church participated in a serving project at a local elementary school. The school has a garden they use to teach their students about nature. It has vegetables, fruits, and a natural habitat with native Texas plants and trees.

Di-worse-i-fi-ca-tion?

Diversification or concentration? To create wealth, concentrate; To preserve it, diversify. A concentrated portfolio can produce huge gains, if you own the right stocks. Of course, if you own the wrong ones, your wealth will be wiped out. Buying the right sector, at the right time, at the right price requires multiple factors, most of which are out of your control.

Foundations

A home built on rock can withstand countless storms.

Most people, I think, would agree building a home on solid ground makes sense. Today, if a home doesn’t have a solid foundation, like rock, a builder will fortify it with cement, rebar, steel, or some other material to make sure it stood for generations.

Life Sentence

In Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. He declared his innocence and spent hours digging a hole in his cell wall, so he could eventually escape. On a stormy night he finally escaped through the tunnel he dug to enjoy a life of freedom on a beach in Mexico.

The Mechanics of Moving Money

For the past forty years or so, you’ve worked hard and, hopefully, saved a few dollars. While working, you probably contributed a portion of your pay to your 401(k), IRA, or investment accounts. Now what? Yesterday you were working, today you’re retired. It’s now time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Where Do Stock Returns Come From?

Peanut butter and jelly. Thelma and Louise. Calvin and Hobbes. Fish and Chips. Wayne and Garth. Some things are better in pairs!

Lodestar

Lodestar is the new buzzword for the year. It recently appeared in an anonymous New York Times Op-Ed article: “We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring honor to public life and our national dialogue.”[1]

Steak Dinners

About twice a month I receive an invitation to a steak dinner at a local restaurant from two different investment firms. These firms are offering retirement planning seminars to make sure I don’t run out of money during my golden years. 

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