Jeffrey R. Karp, CLU, ChFC, CASL®
As an eternal optimist, I am trying to approach the current political environment with a positive outlook (noting that it will be over soon), hoping that some good ideas arise along with the noise pollution of the candidates self – promoting silly ideas.
Let me take you on a quick walk down memory lane. The year is 2006. As the year begins, the S&P 500 index is approximately 1268 (exact values are not as important as the message to come). By the end of 2006, the S&P 500 has a value of approximately 1418, representing a gain of just shy of 12%. The real estate market was booming, with prices being driven up by market demand.
When I started in the financial services industry in 1993, my mentor guided me to a few core success principles. First, always keep the needs and goals of my clients as my top priority. Second, stay committed to a continuous hunger for knowledge, so that I can better serve. Third, build a practice that is above reproach, as measured by values, ethics and actions. My mentor also suggested that if I wanted to be the best, I should associate and learn from the best which is sound advice for any goal in life and certainly sound advice for my career.
Patience is a Virtue
By Jeffrey R. Karp, CLU, ChFC, CASL®
Everyone knows that investing in the stock market can be an emotional and sometimes gut wrenching experience. We only need to look at last Thursday, Dec. 3rd and Friday, Dec. 4th as prime examples of why maintaining a long term view of investing is so important.
By Jeffrey R. Karp, CLU, ChFC, CASL™
I read an article the other day that sighted a Danish proverb, “it is difficult to make predictions especially about the future.” I must admit that I did not go and research whether such a proverb really exists or if indeed it was Danish, regardless the meaning in the message is pretty clear.
The stock market will go up and down, over time. I wanted to state the obvious as it seems that over the past few years many people have forgotten this basic tenet of investing. In fairness, and statistically, the markets performance has added to the irrational expectation of up only. This past week has brought reality back into focus.
In the 24 years that I have been in practice, I have experienced the death of a client only five times. I can remember the circumstances for each and every one of them, and each has impacted my approach to this difficult planning topic in their own way.
I begin all my initial visits with a new potential client with two simple questions: What do you believe a sound financial plan should address and why?
Most of us remember the story line behind the Terminator Movie series with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but just in case, let me refresh your memory. The basic theme goes something like this; Man creates artificial intelligence in robots to help make life more efficient and easy; Robots, lacking emotion and caring, take over the planet; Man then has to battle to regain control.
How many people do you know that have had their credit card numbers misused recently, or have you been a victim yourself? From companies like Sony and Target to the US government, it seems that data hacking is in the news almost every week. At our identity theft seminar last spring, we had an attendee mention that their info had been misused four times over a six month period! Once your credit card and personal information is stolen, it can be exchanged by criminals all over the globe. Dealing with a breach can be a complicated and time consuming process.