Review Category : Gen X & Y Financial Advice

Can Amazon Get Bigger?

Well, Yes. It seems all we heard about in 2017 was Amazon, Amazon, Amazon.  Weather it was the news of their purchase of Whole Foods, the super successful PrimeDay event, or the addition live Thursday Night NFL games on their video service; it seems that CEO Jeff Bezos (the richest man on the planet) knows exactly how to make Amazon grow. When you look at one of Amazon’s biggest competitors, Wal-Mart; you will see that Amazon’s Market Capitalization is almost double that of Walmart ($558Billion to $286B)1.  But the interesting number is annual sales revenue. Walmart is crushing it at number one in the world at $486 Billion annually.  While Amazon is only at $89B per year.  This might be an indication that there is still plenty of revenue to gain from the competition.  So how is Mr. Bezos going to grow Amazon in 2018. Business to Business. Amazon’s business platform lets small businesses order supplies from other businesses. Their ...

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5 2018 Sticky Financial New Year’s Resolutions

It’s 2018, and that means that most of you have made at least one New Year’s resolution.  For most of you it will surround either diet or exercise, but for some of you getting your financial plan in order may rise to the top of the list. With the average American now surpassing more than $16,000 of household credit card debt, it may appear that feeling flush has left us spending out of control.  In your smart money moves fashion, here are my ideas for a sticky 2018 financial New Year’s resolution that can help you grow your bottom line. Get Your Financial House In Order Set Up An Online Account Aggregation System – At oXYGen Financial, we have been using a personal financial dashboard for almost 10 years in helping our clients get their financial house in order. You can learn more about this by going to oXYGen Financial, but there are also other systems online including Mint and ...

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Five Items To Buy After Christmas

When the Starbuck’s Christmas cups go away and your neighbors begin to take down their decorations, the last thing in the world you probably want to do is to be thinking about shopping considering you’ve been fretting about it for the past month.  While it may feel like we get deals galore thrown in front of our faces during the month of December, once Christmas season is over, you may be able to snag yourself a really good deal if you know what to buy.  I’ve put together a quick your smart money moves guide on five items you might want to consider buying after December 25th (mind you that it’s probably better about the second week of January). Electronics – While you can get a really good deal on video game consoles and cameras, the one electronic I would really keep my eye on are high definition televisions. Remember, each January the Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Las ...

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About The GOP Tax Bill

With the GOP Tax Bill on the verge of passing, President Trump has suggested that this 1.5 trillion-dollar tax cut will be a HUGE Christmas present for the entire United States of America.  As with any type of new tax reform, there will be items you hear in the media about the winners and losers.  You’ll also hear about the major bullet points including the income tax brackets, the corporate tax cut to 21%, the small business pass through tax cuts, and certainly the minimization of state, local, and property income tax deductions on your itemized deductions.  What really separates us from our competition is to work hard on digging several layers down to give you some insight into the small tax changes that you won’t hear about that could affect your bottom line. Here are five things you didn’t know about the GOP Tax Bill Say Goodbye To The Home Equity Loan Deduction – The part of this bill ...

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What a Stupid Question!

So, how many times have you asked someone in the financial world a question and they make you feel stupid? Not only stupid for asking the question, but just plain stupid? That’s what often happens when working with people. There used to be stocks, bonds and cash. There used to be whole life insurance and term life insurance. There used to be disability insurance. There used to be health insurance. Now we have BDC’s and REIT’s and PPL’s and variable life insurance and variable universal life insurance and indexed life insurance and indexed universal life insurance and ETF’s and UIT’s and PPO’s and HMO’s and 401k’s and Roth 401k’s and IRA’s and Roth IRA’s and long term care insurance and then long term care riders and hybrids and properly structured life insurance and improperly structured life insurance . . . You get the point. The financial world of our parents and grandparents doesn’t exist today. It’s become much more complicated ...

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5 Things You Need To Know About The Bitcoin Before You Invest Your Money

It has become clear that the new gold rush people are talking about is the Bitcoin.  The problem is that most people have no ideas what the Bitcoin is exactly, how it works, or the way that a transaction happens with this currency.  When they start talking about the Bitcoin on major TV shows like The Big Bang Theory, then you know it’s time to get educated about this kind of investment before you jump into the deep end with your portfolio.  Here is your guide on five things you need to know about the Bitcoin before you invest your money. What Is The Bitcoin? In the simplest of terms, the Bitcoin is a digital currency peer to peer online payment system.  It is created through something called block chain technology, but at its heart it is simply a peer to peer payment system.  What makes something like the Bitcoin unique to modern currency is that there is no central ...

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I Take The Blame

When I called one of my best clients to wish him a Happy Birthday, on his 81st birthday I might add, he started the conversation with “I planned to call you today or tomorrow. You’re getting blamed for something here.” I responded, “I am fully responsible! Now what did I do?” He proceeded to tell me that he and his wife have been planning something and every time one of them would question their plans, the other one would just say “Mark would tell us to do this.” And they’re probably right. I would tell them to do it. We then spent the next 25 minutes looking at Google maps of Kuaii and sharing stories about traveling to Kuaii. My clients just rented the house and booked the flights for 10 days on Kuaii with their 2 sons, their 2 daughers-in-law and their 14 year old granddaughter. How awesome!!! I’ll gladly take the blame for this. I say I’ll take ...

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Would You Pay $450 Million For A Piece Of Art

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting, “Saviour of the World,” sold for $450,312,500 Wednesday at auction, Christie’s said. The price, which includes a buyer’s premium, makes it “the most expensive painting ever sold at auction,” the auction house said in a recent statement. The previous record for the most expensive painting sold at auction was $179,364,992 for Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger” (“Women of Algiers”), according to Christie’s. The highest price previously paid at auction for a da Vinci was in 2001 for his “Horse and Rider,” a work on paper, which went for $11,481,865.  This begs the question about whether or not it is a good idea to add collectibles into your overall portfolio and which collectibles may make sense if you have no real interest in collecting anything at all. With all of the hoopla going on this year in California, one might stop and think that fine wine could be a good collectible as part of your overall holdings. In fact ...

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Is It Time To Just Rent A Car…FOREVER??

For the past twenty years, I have been buying my personal automobiles one way and one way only.  I would typically look for a used car that was two to three years old with a good chunk of depreciation worn off it and then buy the car for cash.   I would typically drive the car for another 4 to 6 years and then rinse and repeat the process.   In fact, as I gave advice to clients over the years I would continue to emphasize this philosophy as I have never been a big fan of buying new cars as an asset (unless you love cars) nor have I typically like leases with the exception of a few specific instances. Recently, I embarked on a test and for the first time in my own financial life I neither own a car nor do I lease car.   I actually RENT a car full time, and I’m beginning to think that this trend ...

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UBER Gets Into The Credit Card Game??

Uber has become a household name over the past several years by picking us up and dropping us off with the click of a button on our mobile phone.  Effective November 2nd, Uber officially put its hat in the ring and made a foray into the credit card business by issuing a Visa card by Barclays.   The most interesting part of this that the applications can be processed right inside of the Uber app. Uber, apparently thinks that they have tapped into a nerve because they realized their customers love two things: eating out and chilling with Netflix. With the Uber Visa card, you can: Stream with a $50 subscription credit for Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Music, Audible, Sirius XM, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, DirectTV Now, the membership fee for Amazon Prime, and Shoprunner after you spend your first $5,000. You can ride in Uber with peace of mind by having up to $600 of mobile phone ...

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