To Diversify Further or Not

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You have probably noticed that the stock market has gone crazy. Last year was an incredible year with 20%+ rises in most market. So far in 2018 most markets are up over 5%,  our portfolio is up by more than my entire salary for my last full year when I worked in just 3 weeks. It’s insane.

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Issues with Language

A few weeks ago at our local pub quiz we had a question that I should have known – it was along the lines of “What important book was written by E. B. White (of Charlotte’s Web fame) and William Strunk?” I used the little “Elements of Style” book in high school and all through college and my mother referred to it so often that I was really ticked off when I couldn’t remember the title that night. As a graduate of a liberal arts college, my four years of study included dozens of term papers and essays, all of which were constantly graded not only for content but grammar and language usage as well. Over time my writing improved and eventually others came to me to review their papers and slides for grammar. All proceeded well until I came to Portland where assumptions about pronouns and grammatical accuracy required a revisit.

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Keep it Simple Stupid.

The other day I was asked if I would take a look at a family member’s 401K allocations. Nothing major, but they just wanted some clarification that they were investing appropriate to their risk tolerance.

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Gloomhaven – An Entrepreneurial Success Story.

You can’t buy the best board game in the world. A look on boardgamegeek shows that sitting at number one is the game Gloomhaven. It hasn’t been released yet, so how can it be at number one?

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Objectives for 2018

Most businesses operate under a system called management by objectives. In order to align everyone’s behavior, employees will typically have an integrated set of business objectives in order to reach a company’s overall business goals. If an individual employee succeeds with some or all of their objectives they typically get a bonus.

There is no reason why a similar set of objectives cant be set at a family level in order to focus and foster good behavior to meet the family’s needs.

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December Financial Update

So that was 2017. By any standards from a market point of view it was pretty spectacular with all major markets up by 20% or more. I don’t think this year will be anywhere close to this but clearly this is the kind of results that makes it important to be involved appropriately in the market.

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Dividends Day

Now that the holiday period is over it’s back to the twice weekly publication schedule. During the last few weeks there has been a slew of major holidays, Christmas, New Years, Hanukkah and for those with mutual funds Dividends Day!

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The Family Business

As someone who in a previous life spent a lot of time creating and interpreting business spreadsheets I like to look at running our family’s finances in much the same way as I would a business.

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Whats Your Net Worth?

Do you have $1? If so congratulations! You are doing better than at least 10% of all US households. If you look at the chart in this report you can see that the cross over into positive net worth is somewhere just north of the 10th percentile.

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Playing Games – Part 2

Last time I was talking about board games with a quick overview of five of the games we play the most in our house. This time I will overview another five.

Firstly though here are a few useful resources. For research on board games I highly recommend boardgamegeek.com. This comprehensive website has forums, videos, reviews and news on all aspects of board gaming. If you are looking for a new game this is the best place to start.

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