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The Mallard Money Blog

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Five Simple Steps to Wealth

Most wealthy people were not born rich. In fact, 80% of wealthy people are first generation millionaires. In other words, never assume you are born into a standard of living that you can’t move out of. Your circumstances may not be ideal, or you may have been dealt a poor hand. However, even if your circumstances are not your fault, it remains your responsibility to manage your financial future. Don’t expect to be bailed out by family, the lottery, or the government. My goal is to empower you to take small steps towards wealth, even when you can’t see the immediate results.

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Set Up an Alternative to a Private Foundation!

You don’t have to be as wealthy as Bill & Melinda Gates in order to set up your own private charitable foundation. There is an alternative to a private foundation for those of us not as wealthy as the Gates called a Donor Advised Fund (DAF). What is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF)? Simply put, a DAF is your own private charity, funded in a lump sum or over time with cash or securities. You can then invest the dollars in your DAF and allow it to grow, or you can direct your DAF to donate some or all of the funds to the charities of your choosing whenever you decide.

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Bill's Father Discusses His Retirement Community (CCRC)

My father and his wife moved into a CCRC last year and in no way feel they have moved into a nursing home. Instead, they would say it is closer to a cross between a college campus and a country club. He was recently featured in the 2.5 minute video (above) for their community (Garden Spot Village) to show the under-represented side to CCRCs: the youthful, adventurous, and active side experienced by many of the physically active residents.

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Naming Beneficiaries - A Key Ingredient

Naming the beneficiaries of your 401(k), IRA, or life insurance policy may appear pretty straight forward, but there is one important nuance that should be strongly considered and may result in your estate not passing to the individuals you desire.

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Corrections: My Favorite Graphic

The following short must watch video reviews my favorite graphic from JPMorgan Asset Management. I use it to illustrate a few key points: 1. Corrections are to be expected. 2. Corrections can't be predicted. 3. The corrections are always worse than the calendar year returns. 4. Corrections are the emotional price we must pay to capture the expected returns of the stock markets.

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The Power of Positive Investment Thinking

During volatile times in the markets, everyone needs words of wisdom and comfort to fall back on. Being mindful of our thoughts and words during volatile market times is especially important because it is certainly worrisome to watch portfolio values go down. Finding positive words will not change your portfolio's value, or where the market goes, but they can change how you feel, and therefore how you act.

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Is the Stock Market Overvalued?

Investors have been reading about the market being overvalued for years. Of course, the tacit assumption is that the stock market is poised for a big “drop”. While there are many valuation metrics, the most popular is the CAPE Ratio popularized by Robert Shiller (also known as the Shiller P/E Ratio).

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Dispelling Gifting Myths

One of the great joys of financially independent clients is gifting to family members during their lifetime. Unfortunately, there are many gifting myth's that linger. We routinely receive questions that go something like, "How much am I allowed to gift to my daughter this year without having to pay gift tax?"

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Is The World Getting Better?

Pessimism and an overly dramatic world view saps your faith in the future. However, when armed with the facts, your faith in the future (and your portfolio) can be restored - resulting in a better overall investment experience and optimistic outlook on life.

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Spend Down Your Home with a Reverse Mortgage

Retired homeowners likely have some equity in their homes that is actually a large "asset" that they don't think about, or consider valuable in any way. However, for most clients, their home equity is a large asset that should be evaluated and considered as part of their overall "portfolio". The best way to do this is to think of your home’s equity the same way you would think about an IRA. They are both assets that are available for withdrawals. Spending down your IRA is easy to understand and to execute, but how do you spend down your home?

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Piecing Together a College Education

Paying for college is a partnership! It is not a test of endurance. It is not an obligation. It should not take precedence to saving for retirement. It should not result in your own personal bankruptcy. Paying for college is a partnership shared by those vested in its benefits!

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