Master Financial Education
Financial Planning Daily Commentary 2016
The  most intensive and extensive on the Web
E. F. Moody


I have asked EF Moody to provide a brief example of what he has actually found on behalf of a client who engaged his services to review the insurance contracts which funded the client's estate plan. You will be amazed. In my 30 years in the business, I have never seen an authoritative, objective, prudent expert speak so clearly on the use of insurance. What Errold can do is unique in the industry.

Steven Winks

Secretary of State John Kerry - In America,  "you have a right to be (as) stupid (as) you want to be."
(But too many Americans are abusing the privilege)

"our economics are based on an unjustified faith in rational expectations, market efficiencies and the techniques of modern finance"

 Paul Volcker

“The events of the past few years have revealed limits in economists’ understanding of the economy..."

“Extreme economic events have often challenged existing views of how the economy works and exposed shortcomings in the collective knowledge of economists,”

Janet Yellen

You must not believe everything you think

Stephan Thomas Vitas

You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.

Kevin Kind

Words  are chosen in order to influence us as manipulable objects, not to inform us as autonomous subjects.

Stephen Colbert

language intentionally designed to influence rather than inform is now ubiquitous in the business of sports and politics and markets
 Why? Because it works.

Ben Hunt

Hatred is too strong an emotion to waste on someone you don't even like

Dr. Who

Be careful who you call your friends. I'd rather have four quarters than one hundred pennies.

 Al Capone

Investing is not easy. Anyone thinking that it is, is stupid

Charlie Munger

There is no sense in being precise when you do not know what you are talking about

        John von Neumann

“ . . . there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

 Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken

“As skill improves, performance becomes more consistent, and therefore luck becomes more important.”
Michael Mauboussin

'The Federal Reserve is a giant weapon that has no ammunition left'

Former Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher

The reason the professors teach nonsense is that if they didn’t, what would they teach the rest of the semester?

Teaching people formulas that don’t really work in real life is a disaster for the world.”

Charlie Munger

“The expected rarely occurs and never in the expected manner.”

– Vernon A. Walters

Nations rise and fall with the quality of their leaders, and their leaders succeed and fail based upon who they are at their core – what they believe, how they think, and what they do. Nothing shapes a leader or a society like their education or lack thereof. Let me be clear: when I refer to an education, I’m not referencing earning a degree, I’m talking about developing a rich intellect – they are not always one and the same.

Mike Myatt

 "If you see fraud and don't shout fraud, you are a fraud"

Nassim Taleb

“We really can’t forecast all that well, and yet we pretend that we can, but we really can’t.”

Alan Greenspan

Arrogance diminishes wisdom

Fail with honor rather than succeed by fraud

Obi Wan Kenobi

. I do not base my forecasts on mathematical models or some finely honed methodology, but on my sense of where the economic world stands today and where I think it might likely be in the near future.

Actually, I’m going to spend the first few pages demonstrating that the mathematical models used to forecast GDP and all sorts of interesting economic events are basically nonsense.

John Mauldin

The essence of investment management entails the management of risk, not the management of returns.

Benjamin Graham

“For the foreseeable future any risks from tracker funds are far outweighed by their ability to offer cheap, diversified funds to retail investors. The real problem is not the rise of Vanguard and the other tracker funds; it is the rotten deal that retail investors have received from the fund-management industry for far too long.”
The Economist

“If you are not confused about the economy, you don’t understand it very well.”

Charlie Munger

The least competent are the most certain of their skills

Dunning-Kruger effect

"In equity markets, high-frequency traders (HFTs) ... account for a larger share of transactions. "Indeed, trading in the U.S. nowadays is concentrated at the beginning and the last hour of the trading day, when HFTs are most active; for the rest of the day, markets are illiquid, with few transactions."


The key to success is the ability to fake sincerity.

Many humorists

“I think the reason why we got into such idiocy in investment management is best illustrated by a story that I tell about the guy who sold fishing tackle. I asked him, “My God, they’re purple and green. Do fish really take these lures?” And he said, “Mister, I don’t sell to fish.”

Charlie Munger

It’s difficult to put in the hard work of reading a great work of literature, when we spend our time writing in 140 characters. 

Mark Myatt

…the current culture of education has displaced parents as the primary instructors of children in favor of professionals who try their best to recreate the home environment at school; has the federal government rather than the community determining the structure of equal educational opportunity; has deserted the idea that memorization trains the brain; has fostered a loss of literacy by replacing the study of original writings with abridged textbooks; and has created a populace unable to engage in reasonable discourse. We have rejected the historically successful model of rigorous, classical education in favor of entertainment and job training.”
Leigh Bortins

“You cannot manage returns but you can manage risk 

Peter L. Bernstein

There is an important methodological point here — distrust conclusions reached primarily on the basis of model results. Models are estimated or parameterized on the basis of historical data. They can be expected to go wrong whenever the world changes in important ways.
Larry Summers

“What you think is much less important than how you think.”
Philip Tetlock

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”


Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler


“We observe the world how it is today and make these very simple projections and turn them into a terrible scenario. “This approach fails to take into account that the world is changing.”

World Bank’s Social Protection and Labor Global Practice.

The most glaring problem with current risk tolerance questionnaires is its failure to add any perspective and context to what the risk score means.

Brian Leitner

Markets are supposd to be be based on informed consumers making rational choices. Instead, the point of marketing is to create uninformed consumers who will make irrational choices often against their best interests 

Noam Chomsky

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is getting its boots on.

Mark Twainn

A wise man can learn more from a foolish  question that a fool can learn from a wise answer

Bruce Lee

     The power to understand and predict the quantities of the world should not be restricted to those with a freakish knack for manipulating abstract symbols...

Brett Victor

In the absence of regulation, someone will always be willing to exploit our irrational tendencies, leading to a “phishing equilibrium” in which individuals are harmed.

Phishing for Phools; George Akerlof and Robert Shiller

“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.”

 George E.P. Box

A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic


There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.


Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds 

Albert Einstein


World Clock by


Sorry for the downtime

Site was hacked

Still having problems
10/27:  Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries: Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement (PDF)
"As the mutual fund industry continues to evaluate the plans and proposals that may be advanced by intermediaries in light of these developments, it is important to be mindful of potential business, legal and regulatory implications, each of which presents distinct challenges. This [article] summarizes recent enforcement and regulatory developments thought to be primarily responsible for this re-examination, as well as responses that are reportedly being proposed or considered by intermediaries with respect to mutual fund sales charges and share class structures."
Dechert LLP

EFM- many finds have already reduced fees and you will see a lot more by March 2017. A lot of companies are eliminating commissions. Many
brokers will leave the business. Those left will universally work only with substantial clients becuase they will not be able to charge enough for the lower income clients.

10/27: REtirement limits 2017

The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000. In addition, the catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and older who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000.

Other limits also remain unchanged. The limitation used in the definition of highly compensated employee under Section 414(q)(1)(B) remains unchanged at $120,000, and the dollar limitation on premiums paid with respect to a qualifying longevity annuity contract under Section 1.401(a)(9)-6, A-17(b)(2)(i) of the Income Tax Regulations remains unchanged at $125,000.

The limit on annual contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA) remains unchanged at $5,500.  The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals age 50 and older is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains at $1,000.

However, some limits have changed. Effective January 1, 2017, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit (DB) plan under Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.  For a participant who separated from service before January 1, 2017, the limitation for defined benefit plans under Section 415(b)(1)(B) is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2016, by 1.0112. The limitation for defined contribution (DC) plans under Section 415(c)(1)(A) is increased in 2017 from $53,000 to $54,000.

The annual compensation limit under Sections 401(a)(17), 404(l), 408(k)(3)(C), and 408(k)(6)(D)(ii) is increased from $265,000 to $270,000.

The dollar limitation under Section 416(i)(1)(A)(i) concerning the definition of key employee in a top-heavy plan is increased from $170,000 to $175,000.

The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) subject to a five-year distribution period is increased from $1,070,000 to $1,080,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the five-year distribution period is increased from $210,000 to $215,000.

10/27: This will only stop when 2/3 of the humans are gone

The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.

stemming the overall losses of animals and habitats requires systemic change in how society consumes resources. People can choose to eat less meat, which is often fed on grain grown on deforested land, and businesses should ensure their supply chains, such as for timber, are sustainable

Guess which food also causes the most CO2 no matter cars, planes, manufacturing etc.  Cows

10/26: Another housing bubble????

According to S&P/Case Shiller, the index of national house prices is within 0.1% of the record it set 10 years ago. 

10/25: UK is doing a much better job

The U.K. government has canceled plans to create a secondary annuities market, concluding that the development of a competitive market could not be balanced with sufficient consumer protections.

10/24: Newest US and UK growth data

After a sluggish start to the year, data on Friday are expected to show that the US economy gathered steam in the thirdquarter. Wall Street estimates that GDP rose at a 2.5 per cent pace, a pick-up from the 1.4 per cent rate in the previous quarter. Consumer spending growth isexpected to have slowed sequentially but economists still expect a strong contribution due to auto sales.

The same cannot be said of the UK however, where economic growth is expected to slow to 0.3 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, following 0.7 per cent growth in the second. 


Duration is a measure of a bond portfolio’s sensitivity to changing interest rates. A one percentage point rise in a portfolio’s yield typically causes the price to fall in line with its duration. That translates to a 5.5 percent price decline for a core bond fund with a 5.5-year duration if rates were to rise one percentage point.

10/24:  Bond history.   

Readers know I don't like to gauge the future by merely looking at the past. In the case  below, most focus should focus on what is going on or anticipated- not easy to do. Reliance on the past is limited...... 

  1. T-bills paid less than inflation in 2015, earning 0.1% in a 1.3% inflationary environment. We paid the government to use their mattress, as we have for the past ten years, with a 1.21% return in a 1.85% inflationary environment.
  2. Bonds were more "efficient," delivering more returns per unit of risk than stocks in the first 45 years, but they have been about as efficient in the most recent 45 years. The Sharpe ratio for bonds is .48 versus .34 for stocks in the first 45 years, but the Sharpe ratio for both is about the same in the more recent 45 years. Both stocks and bonds have returned about .32% per unit of risk.
  3. Average inflation in the past 45 years has been more than twice that of the previous 45 years: 1.83% in 1926-1970 versus 4.09% in 1971-2015.
  4. Bonds returned 2% above inflation in the first 45 years, and that doubled to above 4% in the past 45 years.
  5. Stock market volatility was much higher in the 20-year period 1926-1945 than it has been since. Volatility subsided from 20-35% down to 15% in the most recent 70 years.
  6. By contrast, bond markets have become more volatile, more than doubling in the most recent 45 years to 9.23%, versus 4.52% in the first 45 years.

10/23: Declining incomes

10/23: The recession signals are not necessarily valid any more   good article

the once-dependable indicators traders relied on for decades to send out warnings are no longer up to the task. The so-called yield curve isn’t the recession predictor it once was. Swap spreads are so distorted they can’t be trusted. Even the vaunted VIX — sometimes referred to as the “fear gauge,” is leading its followers astray,

The curve is created by tracing a line through yields on bonds of different maturities. Normally, longer-maturity debt has higher yields than short-dated securities. When that inverts, it’s seen as a sign the economy is at risk of contracting. In fact, it’s happened before each of the past seven recessions.

While the curve has yet to invert, it’s flattened significantly. Strategists say the shift is the product of disentanglement between financial markets and macro-economics. The gap between yields on two- and 30-year Treasuries touched 1.4 percentage points on Aug. 30, the lowest since 2008.

10/23: They certainly are smart enough. Is it the wage discrepancies????

The percentage of women in the computing workforce is expected to fall to 22% from 24% by 2025 if current trends continue. And that’s down from 37% in 1995. This at a time when there are hundreds of thousands more computing jobs available in the U.S. than college graduates to fill them.

Getting more women involved in these high-quality, high-paying jobs would go a long way to helping women’s overall earnings. Currently, the report finds “the salary gap between men and women in U.S. computing roles has widened in recent years from $8,540 in 2011 to $12,661 in 2015.” According to Julie Sweet, Accenture’s group chief executive for North America, women’s cumulative earnings could increase by $299 billion if three times more women pursued computer science careers.

10/23: I gave up on Japan since the early 90s. I kept saying that they were a world leader, etc. but they could not get their act together. What a mess. Deal with this at at a medium/high risk.

Will Japan ever escape deflation? This should come as no surprise to anyone, but Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda has said that the BOJ may once again push back its 2% inflation target, which currently sits somewhere in fiscal 2017. Recall that when Kuroda started his job in early 2013 and began his turbo-charged asset-purchase policy that continues to this day, he originally hoped that inflation would hit 2% by late 2014 or 2015. Almost four years later, inflation has disappeared after an initial rise.

10/23: Remember when they said that housing prices never fall? Wouldn't surprise me that prices will tumble.

China's house-price index dropped to 4.3% in September from 9.2% in August amid attempts by central and local governments to dampen the red-hot sector with purchasing restrictions in a number of cities as fears mount about the huge debt in China. Despite the early signs of cooling, analysts are skeptical about the government actions. "The most powerful property control is credit tightening, which we haven't seen," UBS economist Wang Tao said. "The purchase restrictions currently imposed can still be bypassed."

Then there is this:

Chinese hackers targeted US aircraft carrier

Chinese hackers targeted government personnel associated with US Navy exercises at the time of a contentious international court ruling on the South China Sea, according to a US cyber security company.

The China-based group created an infected document impersonating an official message addressed to personnel visiting the USS Ronald Reagan, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that conducted patrols of the South China Sea in July. 


The largest managers of proprietary mutual funds used by DC plans

10/23: Small business slowdown???\\


10/23: Euro hits 7-month low against the dollar

Somewhat expected with Brexit but tough to know all the repercussions with Mosul. election, China, Japan, Philippines, and more. We are no longer in Kansas and a lot is new and troubling.

10/23" Hints of Trump????

Canada walks out of trade talks with EU

Canada's trade minister walked out of talks with Belgium's French-speaking regional government, drawing a last-minute attempt to rescue the free-trade deal between the EU and Canada to a temporary close. 

Speaking after fruitless negotiations, Chrystia Freeland said: "It seems obvious for me, and Canada, that the EU is not able to have an international agreement even with a country which has such European values as Canada, and even with a country so kind, and so patient as Canada"

10/23:  Cash is king?????

Mutual funds have pushed cash balances to 5.8 percent of their portfolios in October, up from 5.5 percent last month, matching levels not seen since the aftermath of the Brexit vote. The share of cash hasn’t been higher than that since November 2001, shortly after the terrorist attacks in the U.S.

10/20" Bonds are in a bubble.

the biggest concerns on investors' minds right now are a breakup of the European Union, a bond market crash, and a Republican winning the US presidential election.

10/20: Asset-Based 401(k) Admin Fees Are Unreasonable, So Fiduciaries Should Avoid Them
"The problem with 401k providers charging asset-based administration fees is that plan assets have little to do with their level of service, meaning a 401k plan with lots of assets can pay way more than a 401k plan with fewer assets for the same 401k administration services. That's not right and a potential source of liability for 401k fiduciaries with a responsibility to keep 401k fees reasonable."

That was an opinion from a web site. I understand it completely but it would put a LOT of fiduciaries out of business real quick

10/20" They are going to have to keep being skeptical. It is possible to have a smooth running ship but retirement planning requires knowledge that is not taught. How would an employer know that?. It is not addressed in the DOL rules

Companies Struggle to Understand How Retirement Plan Industry Works

10/19: Way in debt

$1.47 trillion of total student debt outstanding and the average student debt balances outstanding of $29,400.

10/18: Janet Yellen: “Extreme economic events have often challenged existing views of how the economy works and exposed shortcomings in the collective knowledge of economists,”

“Even though the tools of monetary policy are generally not well suited to achieve distributional objectives, it is important for policymakers to understand and monitor the effects of macroeconomic developments on different groups within society,

Yellen also suggested that changes in spending and behavior among some groups could have outsize effects on the health of the broader economy — a nuance that current mathematical models may not capture well.
EFM- And yet another eminent economist dismissing the (supposed) elegance of mathematics as the be all and end all of how the world economy works and what to do next to make it better

10/17: Worth while BEFORE you buy. Some can work well but in other cases, some officers are making the work a stepping stone to run for office in the city/county et al. Can be lots of politicing, just hearing minor issues including planting the wrong shrubs, putting up Christmas lights and so on. I ran a lot of these in my prior life. The bickering  was too much. 

5 things to know about condominium associations and insurance

10/17: This is not going well. I know it was thought of before the vote. If the vote was done again, the UK would remain in the EU (financial times)

UK looks at paying billions into EU budget after Brexit


Britain would continue to pay billions of pounds into the EU budget after Brexit to maintain cherished single-market access for the City of London under plans being discussed by Theresa May’s cabinet.

The prime minister’s demand that Britain controls its borders and throws off the jurisdiction of EU judges has led many in London and Brussels to conclude that British-based banks and insurers would inevitably lose the “passporting” rights that allows them to trade freely in Europe.

And more
In August, the annual rate of CPI inflation stood at 0.6 per cent, having risen gradually from a low of -0.1 per cent in October 2015. The inflation rate is moving up partly because previous falls in petrol prices are leaving the annual comparison and partly because companies are beginning to pass on rises in import prices. Economists expect the measure to rise to 0.9 per cent in September and to continue to rise gradually through the rest of 2016. The big question for early 2017 will be how quickly, and to what extent, importers pass on the rise in their costs to consumers

10/17:Market Efficiency

The idea that financial markets are efficient is one of the core tenets of modern portfolio theory. This concept, championed in the efficient market hypothesis, suggests that at any given time prices fully reflect all available information on a particular stock and/or market. Since all market participants are privy to the same information, no one will have an advantage in predicting a return on a stock price because no one has access to information not already available to everyone else. In efficient markets prices become unpredictable, so no investment pattern can be discerned, completely negating any planned approach to investing. On the other hand, studies in behavioral finance, which look into the effects of investor psychology on stock prices, reveal some predictable patterns in the stock market

EFM- what the bulk of MPT misses- you can state that all information is offered etc. but it is the consumer.investor.analyst that may have little insight or capability in taking that information and turning it into knowledge valuations. EVERYBODY would/should  come up with the same .valuation. Not even close . After all, the instruction that they get from universities and CFA should force the analysts into conforming methodologies that demands that all follow the same system. Not even close. Further the analysts don't necessarily do much of anything since they simply can  wait for some guru with the most recent adulation to come up with an answer/narrative they they will accept.

One can talk about the efficient market theory and the fact that whatever 'information' is received, that all investors will/must do the same thing with the same facts. Not even close. So the efficiency is all over the board and one cannot know if their analysts/advisors have offered much at all.

If there is no efficiency after the fact, what is the point of trying to rely/react on a theory that cannot work in the real  world.

10/17: Bill Gross short interview

You should view this

10/17: Adjustable Life versus Universal

Adjustable life insurance is a “flexible premium” “adjustable death benefit” type of permanent cash value insurance. It is essentially a hybrid combination of universal life and ordinary level premium participating life insurance

Good overview

  1. Updating the Recession Risk and the Excess Bond Premium




Giovanni Favara ; Simon Gilchrist ; Kurt F. Lewis ; Egon Zakrajsek

Beginning with the publication of this Note, we will provide updated estimates of the EBP and the associated model-implied probability of a U.S. recession every month.


10/16: Frankly, anything based solely on the MPT is not real world. 

Modern Portfolio Theory

Modern portfolio theory is the basis for much of the conventional wisdom that underpins investment decision making. Many core points of modern portfolio theory were captured in the early 1960s by the efficient market hypothesis put forth by Eugene Fama from the University of Chicago. According to Fama’s theory, financial markets are efficient, investors make rational decisions, market participants are sophisticated, informed and act only on available information. Since everyone has the same access to that information, all securities are appropriately priced at any given time. If markets are efficient and current, it means that prices always reflect all information, so there's no way you'll ever be able to buy a stock at a bargain price.

Other snippets of conventional wisdom include the theory that the stock market will return an average of 8% per year (which will result in the value of an investment portfolio doubling every nine years), and that the ultimate goal of investing is to beat a static benchmark index. In theory, it all sounds good. The reality can be a bit different.

Read more: Modern Portfolio Theory vs. Behavioral Finance | Investopedia 

10/16: Elder Care- basic stuff for many of you but always good for a review.

1. How can I afford long term care for the rest of my life?

This is a common question with no easy answer. “You can’t make money magically appear,” Furman says. Instead, he suggests that you “take a look at what your needs are and will be, what resources you have and find ways to 1stretch those out.”

To do this, you’ll need to consider:

2. How can I protect my assets from Medi-Cal (in California) taking my estate from me when I die? (referring to the Medicaid lien).

Most people have a “false impression that when they apply for Medi-Cal that anything that is exempt under their application is also exempt from recovery under the Medicaid recovery statutes,” Furman says. This is not the case.

“One of the common misconceptions people have is that they confuse the wording used in Medi-Cal. Often, people confuse eligibility exemptions with recovery exemptions. If their house is exempt, and thus not counted for eligibility determination, it doesn’t mean that it is also exempt from the recovery. This confusion often leads to families having a Medi-Cal recovery lien placed on their home when they thought their home was exempt from the program,” Furman explains.

Unfortunately, your local Medi-Cal or Medicaid office cannot offer advice on how to protect assets.

However, there are legal methods to protect your house from a Medi-Cal lien but there are myriad issues to address with each strategy. Options to protect a home also vary by state, so you should consult with your elder law attorney.

3. Can I get a living will* so that there is no probate?

*Actually, when people ask this question they often confuse the language, Furman mentions. When they say ‘living will’ they are actually referring to a ‘living trust.’ “A living will and a living trust are two different legal documents. A living will is a life directive in which you would ask someone to ‘pull the plug’. A living trust is a tool used to avoid probate,” he explains.

You can use a living trust as a tool to avoid probate, but the rules and regulations surrounding living trusts vary by state, so it’s important to talk to your attorney about your unique situation.

4. Can I change my trust once I create one?

Yes, you can.

There are two types of trusts:

5. Am I giving up any control if I create a living trust?

No, you aren’t.

With a traditional living trust, change of control only happens upon death or legal incapacity. “You are in control until death (the death of you and your spouse, if applicable) and the living trust is then distributed to the beneficiaries,” Furman explains. “If you are legally incompetent, the successor trustee will assume control of your trust without court involvement,” he concludes.

These elder law topics are significant, and require a discussion of your unique situation with your elder law attorney. You can reach Stuart Furman, Esq. by:

In 33 US states it costs more to send your kid to childcare than college

Considering that the average family saving for college didn't start saving until their oldest child was 7 years old, it's likely that many are unprepared to cover the costs of childcare. Currently, a family earning the median household income spends 18% of its earnings on childcare costs, while minimum-wage earners spend 64% of their income on childcare.

What's more, those who prefer in-home care, like nannies, to childcare centers are shelling out an average of $28,353 a year, equal to about 53% of the median household income or 188% of earnings for minimum-wage workers.

The study also found that the cost of childcare for children under age 4 — also known as infant care — is 12% higher than for older children.

Here are a few reasons why childcare costs are rising, according to the The Care Index report:

the average cost of full-time, in-center care for one child under age 4 has eclipsed that of in-state public college tuition. Overall, across the country, childcare now costs $9,589 a year on average, compared with $9,410 for in-state college tuition.

0/14: I think I will call in sick

about 11.5 percent of men between the ages of 24-54 are neither employed nor looking for a job. Economists say that these people are “out of the labor force” — and they don’t figure into statistics like the unemployment rate.

Apparently a lot are sick-

In a recently released draft of his paper, which he will present at a Federal Reserve conference in Boston on Friday, Alan Krueger finds that 44 percent of male, prime-age labor force dropouts say they took pain medication the day prior — which is more than twice the rate reported by employed men.

Comments from a legal case. Not very pretty but definitely worthwhile reading

How Much Information Do You Share With Your Spouse?

5th Annual Dynasty Trust State Rankings Chart Good stuff

What appeared to be easy= leaving the EU- is now fraught with problems. It's still uncertain how bad the exit will be but it is getting more contentious as time goes on. 


Unpaid budget appropriations, pension liabilities and other commitments make up total

10/13: What can be covered



Issue Ages 0-90

Issued & Placed

HIV Individuals

Issued & Placed

Cigarette smokers receive near non-smoker rates

Issued & Placed

Simplified issue term life up to $200,000 face amount

Issued & Placed

Cancer 1 year after initial diagnosis

Issued & Placed

Serious heart conditions

Issued & Placed

Insulin diabetics all ages

Issued & Placed

Juvenile Diabetics

Issued & Placed

Morbidly Obese

Issued & Placed

Grand Mal Seizures

Issued & Placed

Hepatitis C

Issued & Placed

DUI/Substance Abuse History

Issued & Placed

Stroke History

Issued & Placed

Cerebral Palsy

Issued & Placed

Multiple Sclerosis

Issued & Placed


Issued & Placed


Issued & Placed

Autistic Clients

Issued & Placed

Worth the read

11 different life insurance beneficiary issues

Drug war we are losing

Police arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes — combined

"It's been 45 years since the war on drugs was declared, and it hasn't been a success,". "Rates of drug use are not down. Drug dependency has not stopped. Every 25 seconds, we're arresting someone for drug use."

"Around the country, police make more arrests for drug possession than for any other crime," the report finds, citing FBI data. "More than one of every nine arrests by state law enforcement is for drug possession, amounting to more than 1.25 million arrests each year."

In fact, police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined.

22 interesting maps of the U.S. showing great facts

10/12" Oil prices could stay low longer

The price of oil is dropped substantially on Tuesday morning after Igor Sechin, the president and chairman of Russia's state oil company, said he saw no reason for an immediate freeze or cut in oil production.

And look at 10/5 and the huge oil find in Alaska.

I must be a vegetable by now

A new study from the University of Melbourne finds that working the standard 40 hours per week could lead to a decline in cognition for people over the age of 40.

The study notes that while work can stimulate older workers’ brains, long hours can “cause fatigue and physical and/or psychological stress, which potentially damage cognitive functioning.” For those over 40, working over 25 hours per week could impair intelligence, while working up to that produced the opposite effect.


Cost of Long Term Care by State 2016 Interactive Map


  1. How Do Beliefs about Skill Affect Risky Decisions?




Adrian Bruhin ; Luis Santos-Pinto ; David Staubli

Beliefs about relative skill matter for risky decisions such as career choices, market entry, and financial investments. Yet in most laboratory experiments risk is exogenously given and beliefs about relative skill play no role. We use a laboratory experiment free of strategy confounds to isolate the impact of beliefs about relative skill on risky choices. We find that low (high) skill individuals are more (less) willing to take risks on gambles with probabilities depending on relative skill than on gambles with exogenously given probabilities. Additionally, the correlation between stated and revealed beliefs -- beliefs estimated from choices -- is only moderate, suggesting that relying exclusively on stated beliefs may be misleading.


Individual risk taking behavior, Self-confidence, Laboratory experiment


C91 D81


10/10: Didn't expect this

  1. Being Poorer than the Rest of the Neighbourhood: Relative Deprivation and Problem Behaviour of Youth




Nieuwenhuis, Jaap (Delft University of Technology) ; van Ham, Maarten (Delft University of Technology) ; Yu, Rongqin (University of Oxford) ; Branje, Susan (Utrecht University) ; Meeus, Wim (Utrecht University) ; Hooimeijer, Pieter (Utrecht University)

According to the neighbourhood effects hypothesis, there is a negative relation between neighbourhood wealth and youths' problem behaviour. It is often assumed that there are more problems in deprived neighbourhoods, but there are also reports of higher rates of behavioural problems in more affluent neighbourhoods. Much of this literature does not take into account relative wealth. Our central question was whether the economic position of adolescents' families relative to the neighbourhood in which they lived, was related to adolescents' internalising and externalising problem behaviour. We used longitudinal data for youths between 12-21 years of age, combined with population register data. We employ between-within models to account for time-invariant confounders, including parental background characteristics. Our findings show that for adolescents, moving to a more affluent neighbourhood was related to increased levels of depression, social phobia, aggression, and conflict with father and mother. This could be indirect evidence for the relative deprivation mechanism, but we could not confirm this, and we did not find any gender differences. The results do suggest that future research should further investigate the role of individuals' relative position in their neighbourhood in order not to overgeneralise neighbourhood effects and to find out for whom neighbourhoods matter.


neighbourhood effects, externalising problems, internalising problems, relative deprivation, adolescents, residential mobility


I30 R23


10/9: Manufacturing will not be our future

Although both campaigns occasionally like to pretend that manufacturing is the backbone of the U.S. workforce, manufacturing jobs are projected to decline by one million jobs in the next ten years. The fastest growing occupations of the next decade are all in health—personal care aides, registered nurses, and home health aides. These jobs couldn’t be more different from the prototypical mid-century steel worker. Underpaid and without a strong union, home health aides make an average wage of about $23,000, according to the New York Times’ Binyamin Appelbaum. "Instead of white men who make stuff, the group is increasingly made up of minority women who serve people,”

EFM- the idea that our economy would bloom if we took all these jobs back to the U.S. is a pipe dream. Yes, certain trade laws need changing but it is more of a tweaking than a wholesale 'starting over;.

In 2015, the majority of children born in the U.S. were non-white. By 2035, immigration will add twice as many people as natural births and deaths to the population. By the time today’s toddlers are in their 30s, white workers will be a minority of the labor force.

10/9: Well this sucks

if the owner of a freshly printed 10-year note paying 1.5% were to see the market rate on that holding one year later rise 100 basis points to 2.5%, its price value would drop about 8%. Similarly, if the owner of a freshly printed 30-year bond paying 2.25% were to see the market rate on that holding one year later rise 100 basis points to 3.25%, its price value would drop by nearly 20%.

30% of CFA respondents believe all bonds are in bubble territory. Another 24% see a bubble in sovereign bonds and at least one other class of fixed income; 14% of poll participants think that only high-yield bonds are over-inflated. When combined with other classes of bonds, 54% of poll respondents view high-yield bonds as in bubble territory. Meanwhile, only 13% don't see a fixed-income bubble anywhere. 87% of its 815 participants believe that owning at least some types of fixed income no longer makes sense.

If we look 10 and 15 years out from historical rates at levels similar to those at present, annual returns have been less than 2% per year, on average, even before inflation. The average and median real (inflation-adjusted) returns for yields under 3% over 10- and 15-year periods are actually negative while even the best performing years are only slightly positive. Clearly, the next 35 years are very unlikely to be nearly so kind to investors in long-term bonds as the previous 35 years have been.

Those saving for retirement face similar challenges. Finding promising investment opportunities is difficult — the risks in bonds are outlined above and equity valuations are high too — while “staying the course” is both more difficult and more fraught with peril as retirement nears. Investors nearing retirement ought to be taking risk “off the table” systematically and comprehensively to avoid sequence risk. But finding a reasonable investment choice for money that was in equities with acceptable risk parameters and the prospect of a decent return seems all but impossible.

over 30% of workers have no retirement savings, and only 63% of workers are currently saving for retirement. Most workers overall and roughly one-third of workers age 55 and over have less than $25,000 saved. That data is terrifying, but it's far from all that is terrifying.

over 30% of workers have no retirement savings, and only 63% of workers are currently saving for retirement. Most workers overall and roughly one-third of workers age 55 and over have less than $25,000 saved. That data is terrifying, but it's far from all that is terrifying.

Most people think that a $500,000 nest egg is a really good achievement. Lots of people with $500,000 in retirement savings feel rich. However, in today's ultra-low interest rate environment, a half-a-million-dollar portfolio cannot be expected sustainably to provide more than $20,000 in annual income (and even that is far from assured). That's nothing like rich yet lots of people are hoping to get by on even smaller nest eggs, which is of increasing concern due to there being fewer and fewer pensions available.

Indeed, less than half of all workers think they need to accumulate $500,000 or more by the time they retire to live comfortably in retirement. Plus, 17% feel they need between $250,000 and $499,999, while 26% think they need to save less than $250,000 for a comfortable retirement.

Indeed, less than half of all workers think they need to accumulate $500,000 or more by the time they retire to live comfortably in retirement. Plus, 17% feel they need between $250,000 and $499,999, while 26% think they need to save less than $250,000 for a comfortable retirement.


Returning Home after a Disaster: Be Healthy and Safe

  • Do not enter a building if you smell gas. Call 9-1-1. Do not light a match or turn on lights.
  • Wear waterproof boots and gloves to avoid floodwater touching your skin.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and clean water, or use a hand-cleaning gel with alcohol in it.
  • Avoid tetanus and other infections by getting medical attention for a dirty cut or deep puncture wound.

Clean Your Home and Stop Mold

  • Take out items that have soaked up water and that cannot be cleaned and dried.
  • Fix water leaks. Use fans and dehumidifiers and open doors and windows to remove moisture.
  • To remove mold, mix 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water, wash the item with the bleach mixture, scrub rough surfaces with a stiff brush, rinse the item with clean water, then dry it or leave it to dry.
  • Check and clean heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems before use.
  • To clean hard surfaces that do not soak up water and that may have been in contact with floodwater, first wash with soap and clean water. Next disinfect with a mixture of 1 cup of bleach in 5 gallons of water. Then allow to air dry.
  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles when cleaning with bleach. Open windows and doors to get fresh air. Never mix bleach and ammonia. The fumes from the mixture could kill you.

Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Do not use generators, pressure washers, charcoal grills, camp stoves, or other fuel-burning devices indoors or in enclosed or partially enclosed areas such as garages, even with doors or windows open. Do not put these devices outside near an open door, window, or air vent. You could be poisoned or killed by carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas from burning fuel such as gasoline, charcoal, or propane. Make sure a battery or electric powered CO detector is functional to alert you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home.

Keep Drinking Water and Food Safe

  • Listen to public announcements to find out if local tap water is safe for drinking, cooking, cleaning, or bathing. Until the water is safe, use bottled water or boil or disinfect water.
  • If a "boil water" advisory is in effect, do not drink tap water or use it to brush your teeth unless water has come to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute or is treated with unscented household chlorine bleach. To treat water, add 1/4 teaspoon (approximately 1.5 mL) bleach to 1 gallon of cloudy water or 1/8 teaspoon (approximately 0.75 mL) bleach to 1 gallon of clear water. Stir well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it.
  • Do not eat food that smells bad, looks bad, or has touched floodwater. When in doubt, throw food out.

Prevent Electrical Injuries

  • Do not touch fallen electrical wires. They may be live and could hurt or kill you.
  • Turn off the electrical power at the main source if there is standing water. Do not turn on power or use an electric tool or appliance while standing in water.

Avoid Contact with Animals and Insects

  • Reduce mosquito bites. Consider avoiding outdoor activities during the evening and early morning, which are peak biting times for many mosquitoes. Use an insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin.
  • Stay away from wild or stray animals. Stray dogs may be hurt or afraid and may bite. Call local authorities to handle animals.
  • Get rid of dead animals according to local guidelines.

Drive Safely

  • Stop and look both ways at all intersections. Drive slowly and keep space between you and other vehicles. Watch out for trash on the road.
  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Do not drive if you have been drinking.

10/7: IPO volume way down

10/7: Teaching is a calling

, a global study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that American elementary school teachers make around 22% less than their peers in almost every other industry. Wages for middle and high school teachers didn't fare much better: The study found that they had largely frozen since the financial crisis in 2008.

But location can play a significant factor on how much a teacher makes.

Personal finance site WalletHub recently ranked the best and worst states to be a teacher, considering factors such as average starting salary, median annual salary, income growth potential, and average teacher pensions, as well as non-salary metrics like public school enrollment growth, school safety, and student-teacher ratio. (You can read WalletHub's full methodology here.)  

EFM- It is hard work to try and instill knowledge in students. I dealt only with adults and you must engage them on many behavioral levels. When it clicks, it is great. When you miss the mark- it hurts.  A very humbling experience..............  I just did classes every so often. For those who pick teaching full time, I applaud you. 

10/7: On a wide range of issues, bureaucrats believe that Americans are ignorant. For instance, over half of them say that the public knows little to nothing about government crime programs, child care programs or environmental programs.

EFM- interesting reading

EFM- The problem in the industry and human behavior is that the consumer has been marketed a slurry of fabrication that they have been more than willing to accept. I have a better mousetrap that can revolutionize the industry. If the venture capitalists fund it, then this could play out nicely. Otherwise its the same ol', same ol'. 

10/5: What will that do to  Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and so on

An independent oil exploration company has made what could be one of the biggest discoveries in the history of Alaska.

Caelus Energy says the site could provide up to 200,000 barrels of "light, highly mobile oil" a day. In total the site is expected to hold 6 billion to 10 billion barrels of oil, of which about 2.4 billion are recoverable.

EFM= I depends in part on how much per barrel it will cost to get it. OPEC is going to have a hard time with this.

The Efficacy of Publicly-Available Retirement Planning Tools


Publicly-available retirement planning tools are publicized to aid households in their retirement planning efforts, but households are likely overestimating tool effectiveness. The authors conclude that the advice provided from a majority of these tools is extremely misleading to households, and propose a more systematic approach to tool development by improved choice of input variables. Analyzing professional advisor opinion and theory, critical input variables are identified and recommended. A case scenario is developed incorporating these critical variables and used to test the efficacy of 36 publicly-available retirement planning tools.

10/5: This should kill another rate increase. It's just plain bad

The IMF expects that America’s output will expand by a tepid 1.6 percent, more than half a percentage point less than forecast in July. It is the biggest decline for a developed nation and is driven by unexpectedly weak business investment and slim inventories. Overall, the fund predicted that advanced economies — which include Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada — will grow 1.6 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from the IMF’s last estimate.

However, slower growth in developed nations is being offset by slightly faster improvements in emerging economies, the IMF said. It edged up its forecast for those countries by 0.1 percentage points to 4.2 percent. That was enough to hold the IMF’s estimate of global growth steady at 3.1 percent this year.

“The world economy has moved sideways,” IMF Chief Economist Maury Obstfeld said. “Without determined policy action to support economic activity over the short and longer terms, sub-par growth at recent levels risks perpetuating itself — through the negative economic and political forces it is unleashing.”

Sand Beasts


10/5: No so fast:

The benefits of fasting Restricting your calorie intake can have long-term health benefits, including improved mood and better quality of sleep. But now tech workers have latched on to another potential positive. They say not eating increases their mental agility and ability to focus. Some are even practising 60-hour fasts. (BBC)

10/5: Bill Gross    Read it all

Central bankers have fostered a casino like atmosphere where savers/investors are
presented with a Hobson’s Choice, or perhaps a more damaging Sophie’s Choice of participating (or
not) in markets previously beyond prior imagination. Investors/savers are now scrappin’ like mongrel
dogs for tidbits of return at the zero bound. This cannot end well.

10/4: I thought that more college kids were ready and willing to vote. If this is indicative throughout America.........

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Being a field organizer for Hillary Clinton at The Ohio State University means being rejected a lot.

Tyler Hoisington, 24, is one of four full-time, paid staffers focused on registering new voters on the campus of this battleground state’s flagship university, which has 65,000 students. Over more than two hours yesterday, he knocked on every door on both sides of four city blocks, including a few multi-level apartment buildings. Despite his best efforts, he could not get a single person to either register to vote or sign a card committing to support the Democratic nominee for president

A real photo of a lake 30m above ocean
10/4 Year to date returns


 Investor Return

Here is a simple example of investor return. Suppose a mutual fund began a two-year period with $1 billion. Suppose, for simplicity’s sake, that during the two-year period a single cash inflow of $400 million occurred precisely at the end of the first year.

If the fund’s (time-weighted) rate of return were +10% in the first year and -10% in the second year, then it would have ended the first year worth $1.1 billion. After the influx of the $400 million it would have been worth $1.5 billion. But after the second year’s -10% return it would have been worth $1.35 billion.

The fund’s two-year time-weighted rate of return is its first year return of +10% compounded with its second year return of -10%, which comes to minus one percent for the two years, annualizing to about minus one half a percent.

The investors’ dollar-weighted return, on the other hand, is -2.1%. This is the annualized internal rate of return that can be derived from the fact that the fund began with $1 billion, experienced an inflow of $400 million at year-end 1, and ended year 2 with $1.35 billion. (To see why, consider that $1 billion invested for a year at -2.1% return is $979 million; after adding the year-end inflow of $400 million to get a fund value of $1.379 billion and applying the -2.1% return again over year 2, the fund at year-end 2 will be worth $1.35 billion.)

If instead of an inflow of $400 million at year-end 1, there had been an outflow of $400 million, the situation would change. Now the fund would be worth $700 million at the end of year 1 after the outflow and worth $630 million at the end of year 2 after the -10% return. The dollar-weighted rate of return for this scenario is plus 1.85% instead of minus 2.1% – better than the time-weighted rate instead of worse.

From the example in Box 1, the meaning of investor returns is obvious. If the cash flow of $400 million went into the fund before the second year’s downturn, then the investor’s performance, her “investor return,” is worse than the fund’s performance. However, if the cash flow came out of the fund before the second year’s downturn, then the investor’s performance is better than the fund’s performance.

10/4:  Mathiness by Brett Victor

The power to understand and predict the quantities of the world should not be restricted to those with a freakish knack for manipulating abstract symbols...

     Victor's key insight is that what we think of as "math" — equations, numerals, operators, variables, those squiggly symbols filling up millions of blackboards and textbooks — isn't math at all: it's merely the interface. And it sucks. 'I hate symbolic abstraction, [because] I think it's a barrier to creativity... So I don't hate math per se; I hate its current representations. Have you ever tried multiplying roman numerals? It's incredibly, ridiculously difficult. That's why, before the 14th century, everyone thought that multiplication was an incredibly difficult concept, and only for the mathematical elite. Then arabic numerals came along, with their nice place values, and we discovered that even seven-year-olds can handle multiplication just fine. There was nothing difficult about the concept of multiplication — the problem was that numbers, at the time, had a bad user interface...'

     The dirty little secret is that the greatest mathematicians don't actually think in symbols, Victor explains. 'Einstein himself said that he 'did his thing' with 'sensations of a kinesthetic or muscular type.' Sure, e=mc² is an equation — a gloriously elegant and simple one. But the point is that the equation isn't the math; it's not the insight, the creativity, that actually happened inside Einstein's head. What if Einstein didn't have to resort to symbol-manipulation to express and communicate the idea that matter is equivalent to energy in this exact way? What if the next Einstein doesn't have to do that? In fact, what if "not having to do that" is how we get the next Einstein?...

     Math needs a new interface.

Getting a permit for the sewer line was a bear

Nassim Taleb on the Importance of Probabilities


I think Mother Earth is really pissed and a lot of the human rave will change radically after 2050 . 

Earth's atmosphere now has carbon dioxide levels unseen for 15 million years, and we might be past the point of no return

the first time in recorded history that the annual carbon cycle has bottomed out at over 400 ppm. And it means the 2016 carbon trough is about 25% higher than the 1958 peak — just under 320 ppm

Retirement/Financial Planning and the (Invisible)Rebalancing Bonus

I am finishing some research papers but thought I’d give short commentary on a couple subjects that the industry needs to adjust or void as the DOL ruling gets closer. The short form of the first  is that rebalancing does NOT provide greater returns than Buy and Hold.

In the mid 90’s it was proclaimed that if one did rebalancing versus buy and hold, there would be a larger return. To wit,  ( “The actual return of a rebalanced portfolio usually exceeds the expected return calculated from the weighted sum of the component expected returns. A formula for estimating this excess return is derived and tested. It is demonstrated that assets with high volatility and low correlation with the remainder of the portfolio provide considerable excess return, or"rebalancing bonus.")

For the last 20 years, that specific has become sacrosanct.  It supposedly was verified by academicians. It became more than a heuristic- a golden rule of thumb. It was a recognized fact that was lauded in ads, articles, seminars and other research. But we all know that if one repeats a rumor or a blemished rule of thumb enough times, it will ‘become’ a fact.

But it is wrong.

Validation:  I have followed Michael Edesess’ (PhD in mathematics) commentaries and analyses for several years and find the work and analyses exemplary. Few have his understanding of mathematics to begin with and fewer of such ilk can provide succinct conclusions that have held up to others’ scrutiny.  Here are links on rebalancing from 2014:



The Q&A will hurt anyone’s brain, including mine. Very few people have the associated background to judge Edesess material and, to be fair, a fiduciary is NOT required to have anywhere close to this expertise. That said, they need to be aware and conversant on the subject and to recognize when changes in interpretation and fact are needed. 

Subsequently Edesess updated his work in 2016 with

And the Q&A at (

Once again the Q&A covers relevant concerns but also all sorts of minutia meandering back and forth- which I tend to see in some aspects as ‘who will evolve to the top of the sandpile’.  But the validation remains.  

Suffice to say at this point that rebalancing will NOT provide any extra value and the presentations to employees, clients firms and more presenting the false claim must cease.

9/29: Next to nothing

9/29: 5 disadvantages of indexed universal life insurance

9/29: Planning There are some great quotes above on forecasting. And while I have made it abundantly clear that doing a 30 year retirement plan that one can/must adhere to, it is not real life. Further that if I get close to my projections in five years, it might very well amount to luck. And from

CREDIT SUISSE CEO: 'Only a fool would try to make a five-year prediction in a world that is so random'

And more-Here’s how bad the Fed is at predicting rate hikes - In January, Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer predicted that four rate hikes were "in the ballpark" for 2016. Of course here we are at the end of September, with only two Fed meetings remaining for the year, and the Fed has yet to hike rates even once. 

9/29: If the global economy does more of this, the  FED won't raise interest rates in December. This is a major negative forecast.

WTO cuts 2016 world trade growth forecast The organisation said it had cut its estimate by more than a third because of the slowdown in China and falling levels of imports into the US, revising the figure down to 1.7 per cent. :

This is not good news either since it will certainly not stabilize oil prices. And of course Russia and Venezuela  are trying to set up an agreement for how much oil they will pump,

Saudi Arabia slashed worker pay and now its stocks are tanking - Saudi Arabia announced several fiscal consolidation measures on Tuesday in an effort to help reduce the kingdom's record budget deficit as it contends with lower-for-longer oil prices and costly regional conflicts.

9/29:  Cough cough

92 percent of people breathe what it classifies as unhealthy air, in another sign that atmospheric pollution is a significant threat to global public health.

 about three million deaths a year — mostly from cardiovascular, pulmonary and other noncommunicable diseases — were linked to outdoor air pollution. Nearly two-thirds of those deaths are in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region, compared with 333,000 in Europe and the Americas, the report said.

9/28: Yep, that will solve everything

Wells Fargo CEO to forfeit $41m in pay awards


9/28 Brexit

I may have been a bit uncertain about what would happen to the European Union when Britain decided to leave. I have subsequently seen lots of occurrences both good and  and therefore offer this current of what still might happen.
I am uncertain.

9/28 Impaired underwriting

According to World Health Organization estimates, there are over 30,000 human diseases known to modern medicine. Of those classified and analyzed conditions, roughly two-thirds have no known effective treatment. Yet, we have come a long way from the archaic days of visits to the medieval barber for blood-lettings or shock therapies to improve ailments of the twentieth century. Medicines have evolved, and treatment methods have as equally improved to great effect on the human race. People are living longer than ever. But as immune systems and lifestyles change over the generations, certain afflictions blossom and create epidemics that affect world populations.

Several such conditions like Ebola and Zika are born unto poor developing countries with insufficient sanitation controls. Sometimes these tropical viruses find their way to the United States, but so far have remained under control or completely wiped out. But there are other diseases that are flourishing in America that bring about longer term concerns.

Because of our generally sedentary, fast food lifestyles, morbid obesity has become an epidemic in the United States. Poor weight control ultimately leads to poor health. As underwriters of life and disability insurances, every year we are witnessing unprecedented increases in applicants with disproportionate body mass indexes, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes, vascular disease and uncontrolled sleep apnea.

In the last 10 years, we have also seen a dramatic rise in the amount of patient prescriptions for anxiety and mood disorders as well as rehabilitation stints for drug and alcohol dependence.

These varying ailments and conditions have become common among disability insurance prospects and probably among your clients as well. Unfortunately, the standard, traditional disability market doesn’t provide many solutions for impaired risk cases. Several secondary carriers rely on offerings of graduated or graded benefit programs with heavy benefit limitations,

9/28: Hedge this

As the hedge fund industry has grown, scooping up tens of billions of dollars from public pension funds and endowments, returns have become harder to come by, and the strategies that once reaped big returns no longer do. In the last two years a number of managers who helped define the now nearly $3 trillion hedge fund industry have either thrown in the towel, converted to family offices, or posted lackluster returns.

EFM- Hedge funds can do very well when the market stumbles. But it simply keeps going and go,ing like the Energize bunny.. After a while it will burn out but the staying power of a lot of funds  will only leave a few to reap the benefits. 

9/27:Advisors Get More Time for Clients When Outsourcing Investment Management
Northern Trust survey shows financial advisors who use third-party managers have a highly positive view of outsourcing. Read more

EFM= Considering the fact that
neither brokers or Registered Investment Advisors are taught the , it's probably a good thought to pass on the. liability. And one question to ask is what did they did with the inverted yield curve in 2000 and 2006.