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Why Is Investing So Challenging These Days?

It wasn’t that long ago that people expected a common 60/40 investment portfolio (that is, 60% stocks and 40% bonds) to return close to 10% without a lot of volatility. Good luck getting that kind of return today. Why? It’s primarily because bond interest rates have hit their lowest point in generations and have remained…
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Is Trying To Time The Market Worth It? Part 2

A couple of months ago I wrote about the consequences of investing at stock market highs. Or rather the lack of consequences. See https://www.cognizantwealth.com/2020/10/20/is-trying-to-time-the-market-worth-it/. Here’s some additional data demonstrating why the fear of investing when stocks are highly valued is misplaced. J.P. Morgan Wealth Management logged each of the days on which the S&P 500…
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What COVID Reporting Can Teach Us About Investing

A headline in the San Jose Mercury News caught my eye the other day: “State’s COVID-19 case rate explodes.” One would get the impression that half the population of California is sick with COVID. While the media does tend to overdramatize events, the data they reported is correct. The latest weekly rate of new infections…
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How Diversified Do Your Stock Investments Need To Be?

One key watchword in the investment world is diversification. I suspect that a large majority of investors would probably agree as to the importance of this approach for managing investment risk as well as the risk of running out of money in retirement. In our firm’s case we diversify not just across different asset classes…
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Property Tax Changes Under Prop 19

California’s Prop 19, which narrowly passed last week, was promoted primarily as a way to help disaster victims avoid potentially steep property tax increases after being forced to move. However, it also includes a very complicated change to two current benefits, one involving the transfer of ownership from parents to children, and the other associated…
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Which Is Better: Medicare Advantage or Original Medicare Insurance?

It’s Medicare open enrollment time again so I thought I’d address a question that comes up a lot, especially for those reaching age 65: which is better, Medicare Advantage or original Medicare? First, a brief review of original Medicare: Part A, also known as hospital insurance, covers in-patient hospital stays, surgeries, and post-hospital skilled nursing…
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