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Financial Planning

Lend long, borrow short: Still a bad idea

Friday, January 29th, 2021

For about two years, we told clients that we were concerned about the financial markets. There were a number of “imbalances” in the system. We didn’t know when or how these would start to correct but we were confident that they would eventually have to work themselves out. We told everyone to expect bumps and […]

Worse Before Better – An Update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

Our financial markets update to clients (September 17, 2008): The usual caveats apply. Everyone’s financial situation differs. Consult your own advisor or do your own research. We have been wrong before. [Formatting problems at the bottom are known issue. Webmaster on the case.] ———————————————————————— Lehman is toast, Merrill’s in a shotgun wedding and AIG is […]

Worse Before Better

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Our financial markets update to clients (September 10, 2008): The usual caveats apply. Everyone’s financial situation differs. Consult your own advisor or do your own research. We have been wrong before. ———————————————————————— Shocking VP picks, Russian invasions and now a government takeover of Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FHLMC)… the news just won’t stop […]

Roth IRAs: What was Congress thinking?

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

I attended a conference yesterday for practitioners and academics to determine the requirements for software that would help advisors make recommendations for taxwise decisions about timing retirement withdrawals from all the various investments (401(k)s, Roth IRAs, brokerage accounts, personal residences) their clients hold. Things I learned: 1) These decisions have a huge impact over how […]

Economic Update

Thursday, February 7th, 2008

We recently sent this out to clients : Alexis and Palmer Financial Market Update January 2008 (PDF). For further reading: An explanation of why it is a problem if the bond insurers blow up Barron’s article by Vitaliy Katsenelson that explains why we should value stocks assuming profit margins are lower in future New York […]

The embedded free option in COBRA

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Everyone on the block knows I’m a financial planner so I’m used to fielding a variety of questions about mutual funds and 529 plans when I take out the garbage. Today, I got a question about health insurance. The husband in his family left his old job October 31 and health coverage through his new […]

Whither E*TRADE

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

We sent the following note to our clients and those we have put on our “Friends of Alexis and Palmer” email list. If you would like to be added to this list, please send a request to with your name and affiliation. We are getting inquiries about E*TRADE, their financial future, and the safety […]

Lore and lure of employee stock options

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

The Wall Street Journal ran a story today about a woman who works for Moody’s. Moody’s stock has stumbled with the securitized debt market, and so has the value of her employee stock options. Her financial advisor is quoted as saying, “Options, as part of a portfolio, are often the riskiest asset a client has.” […]

Charitable gift funds

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Update: The Wall Street Journal just ran an informative article about donating appreciated stock. The article is for subscribers only; current clients can request a copy from us. Update 2: Fidelity has published a lengthy research report [Fidelity Gifting Appreciated Securities –pdf] on gifting appreciated securities in lieu of cash. Charitable gift funds offer a […]

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