A little or a latte: turning coffee savings into a car

iced_coffeeOn July 4th, I was with my wife and daughter in New York City and we walked by the Gansevoort Market, a trendy food hall in the Meatpacking District. Being a hot afternoon, my daughter found some delicious gelato and my wife wanted an iced coffee. I found Champions Coffee and they had a cold brew iced coffee so I ordered one. They don't show any prices so I was shocked when the cashier told me it was $5. But it's New York, so I handed over the $5 and went on my way. Anyway I had recently heard great things about cold brew coffee so I was curious to give it a try. I normally drink my coffee with milk but the cold brew was smoother and less bitter so I enjoyed it in its purest form.

What Divorcing Women in New Jersey Need To Know About Alimony 'Reform'

on-your-own-1435956-638x401-bwWhile we typically write about personal finance, investing, and the economy, this week's blog post on the subject of alimony reform is different from our usual programming. Our reason for covering this subject is two-fold. First, Runnymede advises clients who are going through or have gone through divorce. In fact, our professionals' backgrounds in equity research help us review and evaluate investment portfolios that are being split. Second, we were surprised to learn that the effects of alimony reform are likely to be substantially greater to women because women are recipients of alimony 97% of the time. With changes to the law potentially favoring men over women, this felt worthy of including in our blog.

Runnymede Announces Captive Insurance Industry Award Nominations

Captive Investments

Runnymede Shortlisted in “Best Customer Care in Investment Management” and “Innovation in Investment Management” Categories

 Runnymede Capital Management has been nominated by Captive Review for the “Best Customer Care in Investment Management” and “Innovation in Investment Management” categories at the fourth annual US Captive Services Awards. The Awards recognize providers of captive insurance products and services who have outperformed their competitors and demonstrated the highest levels of excellence over the past 12 months. Award winners will be announced Monday, August 10th, at the Hilton Burlington preceding The Annual Vermont Captive Insurance Association Conference, the largest captive insurance gathering in the world.

Unclaimed Property - Claim Your Cash Today

Unclaimed property claim it

One month ago, I was on Twitter and saw a tweet from @MebFaber that said he had a family friend find $50k of unclaimed assets. Intrigued, I headed to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators' (NAUPA) website to see if I had any unclaimed money due to me. I was surprised to see that I had an undisclosed amount due to my name from an address I lived at over 15 years ago. I put in a claim and yesterday I received a check for $73 from the State of New Jersey. It turns out that I had money due to me from Aetna insurance. Such a cool service! Thanks @MebFaber. If you come to NY/NJ, I'll buy you lunch.

How to Use BrokerCheck to Perform a Financial Advisor Background Check

BrokerCheck_AdI have been doing an increasing number of Free Portfolio Reviews lately. It is nice to know that investors haven't yet entered the summer doldrums. Typically, our team will review an investment portfolio to help you understand:

  • If you are taking too much risk.
  • If you own investments that are unsuitable or inappropriate for you.
  • If you are paying too much in fees.
For those whose account is currently being managed by a financial advisor, I like to also search BrokerCheck in order to do a quick background check on the advisor and his/her firm. In this post, I share with you how I use BrokerCheck in hope that it will inspire and help you use it too.

3 Investment Lessons from the Game of Thrones

got21Note: Don't worry I won't be issuing any spoilers in this blog post.

Game of Thrones fans are reeling after another shocking season finale with plenty of deaths left in its wake. This will be a long winter for all of us as we wait for the new season in 2016. Maybe we should start a petition for two seasons per year! 

Today I won't be recapping the finale, there are plenty of sites for that sort of thing. Instead I will be looking at 3 investment lessons that you can take away from watching the Game of Thrones. Let's have at it:

Just say No to front end load mutual funds

sad-mutualfundWhen we started the Runnymede blog a couple of years ago, our number one priority was to educate investors about investments and finance. Since then, we have received hundreds of questions. We take pride in answering each and every one of them.

Last week, I reviewed a woman's investment portfolio who asked, "Are my fees huge for the investments that I have?" After a bit of quick research, I was shocked by the results. In fact, it nearly made me sick to my stomach. Her retirement accounts held five mutual funds and all of them had outrageous front-end load fees. Here is the shocking truth:

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

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.

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

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.

Warren is planning to send letters today to the 15 largest annuity providers which include Allianz SE's U.S. life division, Security Benefit Life Insurance, Jackson Life, AIG, New York Life Insurance, Prudential Financial, Aegon NV's Transamerica, Axa, Metlife, Nationwide Mutual Insurance and Pacific Life Insurance. She wants to know whether perks they provide encourage brokers to put personal interests ahead of the retirement goals of clients.

Why I Walk at the March for Babies

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.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION

Please remember that past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk, and there can be no assurance that the future performance of any specific investment, investment strategy, or product (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended or undertaken by Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.), or any non-investment related content, made reference to directly or indirectly in this blog will be profitable, equal any corresponding indicated historical performance level(s), be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Due to various factors, including changing market conditions and/or applicable laws, the content may no longer be reflective of current opinions or positions. Moreover, you should not assume that any discussion or information contained in this blog serves as the receipt of, or as a substitute for, personalized investment advice from Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. To the extent that a reader has any questions regarding the applicability of any specific issue discussed above to his/her individual situation, he/she is encouraged to consult with the professional advisor of his/her choosing. Runnymede Capital Management, Inc. is neither a law firm nor a certified public accounting firm and no portion of the blog content should be construed as legal or accounting advice. A copy of the Runnymede Capital Management, Inc.’s current written disclosure statement discussing our advisory services and fees is available for review upon request.

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