Creeping Slowly Into Debt

Experience has shown that success in retirement is highly correlated with little or no debt. If your monthly fixed expenses are low, you often have the financial flexibility to handle whatever comes along. Accumulating a significant amount of debt has an insidious cost as well -- low savings. Not only does debt make retirement more expensive, it limits the size of your "pot of gold" that's available to live the life you desire after you stop working.

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Useful Tax Season Tip



Please don't forget that you may receive a revised 1099 for your brokerage accounts in the upcoming weeks, thereby making filing taxes early precarious. The companies you invest in often amend the information they provide brokerage companies late into tax season. These updates necessitate revised 1099s to be issued. Don't blame your advisor or custodian. And as always, be kind to your accountant.

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Notes from the Schwab Conference

The annual Schwab IMPACT Conference always provides financial advisors with a great learning experience. The recent event in Chicago was no exception. Please read on for some fascinating insights shared by this year's incredible speakers.

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When Technology Becomes Dominant

I checked Facebook this morning, bought a book on Amazon last week, and used Google throughout the day. My guess is that your experiences are similar. How have these technologies come to play such an integral role in our lives?

Digital technology allows market dominance because it makes capacity constraints irrelevant -- "a single producer with a website can, in principle, fill the needs of millions or even billions of customers." So argues the authors of the book "The Second Machine Age."

Brick-and-mortar businesses incur significant costs in expanding and maintaining a large footprint. Facebook can serve a good portion of the planet with ease. The next participant adds nothing much to Facebook's expenses. Technology allows Facebook to operate with under 20,000 employees; General Motors has 200,000. (I looked it up on Google.)

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