Do We Have Data Breach Fatigue?

After another monumental data breach this past week from Marriott/Starwood, we were once again exposed to the real threats and realities that exist with our information held within the systems of large corporations where we spend money.  Marriott has not finished identifying duplicate information in the database, but it believes it contains information on approximately 500 million guests.  They believe for approximately 327 million of these guests, the information hacked included name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, and other pertinent information.  There is still no definitive information on whether or not credit card information could be decrypted by the hackers.  Class action lawsuits are already flying off the shelf. It almost seems as if once per month we are barraged with some new data breach from large companies seeing what has happened with Equifax, Yahoo!, and now Marriott recently.  Many Americans may already believe hackers have their information from ...

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The Greatest Tax Strategy You Never Heard Of Before

It’s been a good decade for people.  Stocks have gone up.  Real estate has gone up.  You might have even benefited from a liquidity event where you owned stock in a private company that has now gone public.  What’s interesting is that most people left to their own device make a big mistake of letting the tax tail wag the dog.  If you have an appreciated piece of real estate or stock, you’ll be inclined not to sell it because you are worried about paying a massive capital gain tax.  What if I was to tell you that there is a way to really apply the age-old adage that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Enter the greatest tax strategy you never heard of before….The NIMCRUT. What does NIMCRUT actually stand for…. NI = Net Income:Only trust income is paid by the unitrust.* You control the level of income distributed. M = Makeup provision: Amounts not paid ...

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How Much are Your Family Jewels Worth?

interviewed Kathryn Kinev who is the owner of www.jewelcreations.com. Kathryn is a Goldsmith, Platinumsmith, Gemologist, Custom Designer, AND an appraiser. I’ve had clients inherit jewelry, including myself, and the value is some unknown number. I think some of the things I have came from my grandfather but now that both of my parents are gone, we have no way of knowing who owned it. Kathryn has so many years of experience she can look at the pieces and determine the date it was made within an approximate 10 year window. When she showed us an appraisal for just one ring, the appraisal included 4 sheets of paper to detail her research and findings. I was also impressed when she told the story about one of her award winning pieces that she designed. The 6 gems sat on her desk for 2 years as she would look at them and be with them. Then, in the middle of the night, the ...

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What’s Your Biggest Financial Fear?

We’re now hallway through the year. What’s your biggest financial fear? I’ve noticed a lot of people who resist talking to an advisor because they’re afraid of being judged or afraid they aren’t where they feel they should be at this point in their life, regardless of age. There may also be family history regarding the topic of money. Throw away the judgment and book an appointment. Get clear where you are today so you can take action. Fear leads to no action being taken. This initial meeting is really a job interview, from both the client perspective and the advisor perspective. If we have a fit, great. Then let’s get moving and take action. The decisions today will be adjusted over time but at least you’re taking action. What’s that saying about only a moving bike balances. Take that action and move in the direction of breathing easier about your life. If there isn’t a fit with that particular ...

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Are You Breathing Easier?

Have you ever heard of “Breathwork” or “Rebirthing”? I’ve been doing various forms of breathwork for years. The concept behind it is that when you breathe deeply and rhythmically you oxygenate the body and emotions, feelings and even beliefs that you no longer choose to keep are brought to the surface and released from your body and energy field.  It’s always best to do this with a coach that you trust because some of those emotions and feelings are ones that we’ve labeled bad and we don’t want to feel them. They are the ones that have been stuck for years in our sub-conscious mind.  When they come out, we have to be in a non-judgmental space so we can feel them fully, release them and let them go. We release them so we can Breathe Easier!! It’s kind of like looking at your financial situation. Sometimes we’ve avoided looking at our finances. We may have hundreds of thousands or ...

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Why Investors Can’t Measure Their Own Risk Tolerance

When people start investing money, one of the exercises they engage in is determining their own risk tolerance.  Usually, this process is handled by filling out some sort of questionnaire that has multiple choice questions like the one below. ‘If you had $10,000 to invest, would you….’ Be willing to chance earning 30% growth knowing you could lose 30% Be willing to chance earning 10% growth knowing you could lose only 5% Be willing to lose nothing knowing you could earn no more than 5% We often whisk through these quizzes at a blazing pace because in a simulation exercise we know exactly who we are.  However, there are two types of behaviors that we have within our personality.  How we act in a natural state when we are relaxed and have no pressure.  Then, there is the adaptive state when we are under heavy pressure.  Unfortunately, these quizzes don’t really put us under any pressure so they don’t really ...

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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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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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