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March Madness and Investing

My favorite annual sporting event is the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. I’m writing this during the first weekend and, wow, what a truly mad season it’s been so far. #13 Buffalo beat #4 Arizona, play-in Syracuse beat #3 Michigan State, and Texas A&M beat #2 UNC. Then, in an upset for the history books, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers trounced UVA, the #1 team in the country. Never has a #16 underdog beat a #1 seed in the men’s tournament … by 20 points, no less!

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Behavioral Finance: It's Not Just the Numbers as published in InsideNova.com

As a seasoned advisor with a long list of financial credentials, I’d probably be pegged by most people as a “numbers guy.” It’s true, I am quite fond of charts and spreadsheets. But any advisor worth his (or her) salt quickly learns numbers alone aren’t enough to get the job done. We also must be well-versed in behavioral finance, i.e., the many threats investors face from the emotional, instinct-driven side of money management.

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How to Invest in a Volatile Market

What should investors do in volatile markets? My advice is the same for all markets: If you’ve got a personalized investment plan, market jitters shouldn’t matter; ignore them and stay the course. If you’ve not yet got a plan, seize the day, and get one.

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Saving for Retirement? Here's How as published in InsideNova.com

As a financial planner in the D.C. region, most of my conversations are about my clients’ financial goals – especially the essential end game for most investors: planning for retirement. After that, we usually end up bemoaning the performance of our pro sports teams around these parts. Clearly, I can’t do much about that, but I can tell you the four main factors that contribute to a successful retirement:

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A Last-Minute "New Tax Law" Tactic as published in InsideNova.com

As I write this, I assume that the GOP tax plan will be signed into law and mostly go into effect January 1, 2018. Is there anything you can do now, before the rules change? The general advice is to push income into 2018 when tax rates should be lower and accelerate tax deductions into 2017 where they should affect a greater tax savings. At this late date, you likely have little control over the timing of your income and tax writeoffs with one exception: how much you contribute to charity.

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