August 15, 2018

Newsworthy: Timely. Important. Interesting.

I haven’t given up on my goal of passing along 3-4 articles each month that I think are well worth your time and attention.  I realize, however, that I haven’t been too successful with this some months.  This month may be the worst though as I have more than a few articles that I think are really good; articles that I think you’ll very much enjoy.  So that you can go to only those that catch your attention, I’ve written a short intro to each article, or groups of articles.

First, some interesting sports data:

I recently read where the two fastest growing sports in the U.S. (in terms of general popularity) are soccer and E-sports.  (Watch for more in the future about E-sports, along with the debate about whether it should be considered a sport at all.)  In fact, the article speculated that it may not be long before these two sports overtake major league baseball, leaving only the NFL and NBA ahead in the popularity rankings.

Recently, Forbes Magazine updated their listing of the world’s most valuable sports franchises.  Not surprising, the Dallas Cowboys came in at number one with a value of $4.8 billion (the Panthers recently sold for $2.2 billion).  It’s interesting to note, however, that the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most valuable teams are soccer clubs.  Even more interesting is the huge disparity in the number of Instagram and Twitter followers of the soccer clubs versus all the other teams.  This may have something to do with the recently concluded World Cup but with mostly younger folks using Twitter and Instagram, it’s easy to see where the future is headed and how soccer will likely continue to enjoy a growing worldwide fan base.

dallas_cowboys

 

For those that are 70 ½ and make church and/or charitable contributions:

Rather than making your deductible contributions in cash, under the new tax law it may be more beneficial to make these contributions directly from your IRA using your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD).

A Tax Smart Way to Give to Charity by: Mark Miller  https://www.morningstar.com/articles/872410/a-taxsmart-way-to-give-to-charity.html

 

For retirees that have a large amount of equity in their home:

What are the pros and cons of the various ways to tap this equity for retirement spending?

What Should You Do with Your Home Equity in Retirement? by: Christine Benz   https://www.morningstar.com/articles/875445/what-should-you-do-with-your-home-equity-in-retire.html

 

Not yet retired but getting close? 

Here are five important questions to ask yourself, and your partner.

The Big Questions to Ask Before You Retire by: Lucy Warwick-Ching   https://www.ft.com/content/c587c958-8120-11e8-af48-190d103e32a4

 

What does ‘financial independence’ really mean and how do you know if and when you might be ‘financially independent’?

The short definition might be: You have accumulated enough assets and income resources to live for the rest of your life.  But, how do you know if you have accumulated enough?  This is where nuance comes in and you can never be 100% sure because certain assumptions need to be made.  These assumptions may or may not hold true, especially if you’re relatively young and are projecting into the future for 20 years or more.  Even with this uncertainty, it’s still worth the effort to calculate where you stand and to update your progress at least annually.  (We can certainly help you do this.)  The article below takes a simple, and interesting look, at what financial independence means and where you might stand.

The Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence by: Morgan Housel   http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/the-spectrum-of-financial-dependence-and-independence/

 

Getting better or getting worse? 

How are we (the U.S.) doing when it comes to things like crime rates, terrorism, high school graduation rates, teen pregnancy, and other persistent problems?  What about the advancements in technology; helping or hurting us overall?  The answers might surprise you.

There Are a Lot of Reasons to Feel Optimistic about America’s Future by: Jim Geraghty  https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/america-future-optimism-warranted/

 

Do you consider yourself to be an open-minded person or a closed-minded person?

You’ve probably seen surveys where people are asked about their driving ability – “Are you a better-than-average driver or a worse-than-average driver”?  I’ve seen some surveys where the vast majority of people think they are better than most.  Of course, by definition, no more than half can be better than average.

I haven’t seen a multitude of survey’s that ask the question: “Are you an open-minded person or a closed-minded person?” but, like those terrible drivers that think they are good drivers, I would wager that the vast majority of people would consider themselves to be open-minded.  After-all, who wants to admit to having the not-so-attractive trait of being closed-minded.

I would also bet that most all of us want to be open-minded.  However, it’s not a matter of saying we want to be open-minded; it’s really a matter of actually having an open mind and practicing the art of being receptive to opinion, counterpoint and diverging ideas and thought.

Now more than ever, in today’s world, being open-minded is not only more important than ever, it also becomes an ever-increasing benefit to those that are.  In the following article from the Farnum Street blog, being open-minded and having the ability, and courage, to change your mind is a superpower.  I’ve also included an article by Morgan Housel that closely relates to the idea of being open-minded.

The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People by: Farnum Street   https://fs.blog/2017/09/open-closed-minded/

Mindsets: Optimism vs. Complacency vs. Pessimism by: Morgan Housel  http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/mindsets-optimism-vs-complacency-vs-pessimism/

 

Audacious goals and taking big risks.

What do Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and John F. Kennedy have in common?  They are all, in their own way, bigger than life characters.  And they each have challenged conventional wisdom and set goals that at the time were thought to be impossible to achieve.  Here are three interesting stories about their big, audacious goals.

Natural Maniacs by: Morgan Housel  http://www.collaborativefund.com/blog/natural-maniacs/

Rocket Men Precision by: Ben Carlson  http://awealthofcommonsense.com/2018/06/rocket-men/

Thinking Big and Survivorship Bias by: Michael Batnick  http://theirrelevantinvestor.com/2018/07/24/thinking-big/       

 

I hope you enjoy this month’s articles.

 

From the desk of Marty Moore, CFP®

 

 

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Retirement, Tax Planning

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