Buyer Beware: Your Broker is a F*@#ing Crook!

Submitted by Chris Wang on Fri, 05/22/2015 - 12:56

handcuffsNow that I have your attention, I have no idea if your broker is a crook or not. But if you do one thing today, go to BrokerCheck to perform a background check on your financial advisor. Hopefully yours has a clean record and not several red flags against them.

In baseball, you get three strikes and you are out. In other professions, it may only take one or two strikes to get tossed. But at the self-regulatory organization FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, that oversees the brokerage industry, it could take 69! The New York Times just wrote a lengthy article about a stockbroker who received 69 customer complaints over 13 years before finally being barred from the business in 2014.

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You just gave your annuity agent a great vacation, cruise or Rolex

Submitted by Chris Wang on Tue, 04/28/2015 - 04:46

warren_annuitiesU.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate and prominent critic of Wall Street, has taken aim at a new target: the biggest sellers of annuities and the cruises, international travel, iPads, cash and stock options she says they're using to entice brokers to sell their annuity products. She is particularly worried about near retirees and baby boomers who are especially vulnerable to poor investment decisions.

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Why I Walk at the March for Babies

Submitted by Chris Wang on Wed, 04/22/2015 - 02:58

balloonLast month, Apple's Tim Cook made headlines as he told Fortune magazine that he plans to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity -- after paying for his 10-year-old nephew's college education. Cook said, "You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change."

While the average person doesn't have millions of dollars to give away, it is important to have a meaningful life and make a difference in the world. One way to do this is to find a worthy cause that resonates with your soul. Whether you donate unneeded household items, give money, or volunteer your time, there are many ways to get involved. In the end, you will help create the ripples for change, and you will create more joy for yourself while you are at it.

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First Quarter 2015 in Review: International markets melt up

Submitted by Chris Wang on Wed, 04/1/2015 - 02:51

draghi-yellen-kuroda-abeI'm not sure where the first three months of the year went, perhaps they are still buried in Boston's snow piles. Wherever the time disappeared to, the central bankers took center stage in the first quarter and their actions dominated financial markets. The European Central Bank joined the QE party to the tune of at least 1.1 trillion Euros to be spent over the next 18 months. The Bank of Japan continues their monetary experiment of Abenomics and there is increasing speculation that they will push the dial further on stimulus which could last for the next 3+ years. Meanwhile economists in the US speculate on when the Fed will make their first rate hike. We don't expect a rate hike anytime in 2015, and maybe not even in 2016, thanks to low levels of inflation and slowing GDP growth.

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Cable TV cord cutting has reached its tipping point

Submitted by Chris Wang on Thu, 03/26/2015 - 12:59

Cut-the-CordI'm calling it right now. 2015 is the year that cable TV cord cutting finally reached its tipping point. For so many years, consumers have been complaining about the rising costs of cable TV and the terrible customer service from cable providers. However the options for cutting the cord were few and far between. But just in the last few months, the options have leapt forward with HBO Now, Sling TV, Sony's PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, Starz Play, Cinemax MAX Go and Encore Play offering viable alternatives to cable TV; and rumors are that Apple will launch their own streaming subscription service by mid-year. Combined with Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, the options for cord cutters are getting better by the day.

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Wang Brothers Debut on Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors List

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Tue, 03/17/2015 - 05:03

investment advisor new jersey

Morristown, New Jersey, March 17, 2015Christopher Wang and Andrew Wang of Runnymede Capital Management in Morristown have been named among BrightScope’s Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors.

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Building an Investment Portfolio That Sparks Joy

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 05:08

clean-2This week, I continue from where I left off in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up... Your Investment Portfolio. What I like about the KonMari method is its simplicity. Keep the things that spark joy and dispose of the rest. There is also a specific order to the decluttering madness: clothes, books, papers, komono (miscellaneous), and finally mementos. Basically, you start with the low hanging fruit. I quickly reduced my collection of 100 t-shirts that no grown man needs. The idea is to work through each category, carefully honing your skills so that you're ultimately prepared to sort through your toughest opponent, keepsakes and sentimental belongings. Why stop there? I suggest that you keep going. 

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The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up... Your Investment Portfolio (Part I)

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Thu, 03/5/2015 - 10:30

Simplify Your Investment PortfolioHi. My name is Andy, and I am a hoarder. Okay, perhaps not to the extent that would get me on TV. Nevertheless, I found papers on my desk from 2009. My closet had clothes in it that hadn't been worn since college more than 20 years ago. My general attitude was if something still worked, it's best to sock it away in a drawer until some future time when I might need it. You never know, if I found myself on Let's Make a Deal, that collection of conference name badges might mean real money!

Enter Japanese organizational guru Marie "Konmari" Kondo. Her best selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. Her KonMari method is simple: keep the belongings that "spark joy" and get rid of those that don’t. A week into a potentially six month decluttering/organizing processes, I have thrown out a garbage can of uneeded papers every day - revealing my desk! I sorted through boxes of old toys taking a trip down memory lane with Battle Star Galactica, Buck Rogers, and Star Wars. While in this deliberate mindset of sorting whether each belonging sparks joy, you might ask yourself, "Can I KonMari my investment portfolio?" My answer is "YES" and let me tell you why.

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Academy Award Winning Investment Advice

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 08:00

investment adviceEver since listening to the intensely popular Serial podcast, I have continued to be hungry for informative, entertaining, audio content that is on-demand whenever I want it. Without boundaries to my curiosity, I've been enjoying everything from Planet Money to This American Life to The Advanced Selling Podcast to Sodajerker to The Nerdist. Better 10 years late to the podcasting bandwagon than never!

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Does My Financial Advisor Need To Be Local To My Area?

Submitted by Andrew Wang on Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:56

local financial advisorWith visitors to this website/blog representing all 50 US states and 145 countries over the last 12-months, this is a question that we hear quite often. There is no doubt that the world is shrinking and the way that we consume products and services is changing.

Case in point, without leaving my desk in New Jersey, I recently worked with a mortgage broker in Minnesota, printed brochures in Tennessee, and bought a ski helmet from Utah. Thomas L. Friedman, author of The World Is Flat, writes, "The simple definition of globalisation is the interweaving of markets, technology, information systems, and telecommunications networks in a way that is shrinking the world from a size medium to a size small." Financial advisors do not operate in a vacuum so it only makes sense that the way clients are selecting and working with their financial advisors is also changing.

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