Common Cents Archive

I don’t have a lot of money, so why do I need a will or estate plan?

January 24, 2020, by John Norris

You need to have a will if you meet any or both of the following conditions: 1) have a net worth in excess of, say, $10, and; 2) there is any one in the world about whom you care. If neither of these apply, you probably don’t need to worry about a will or an estate plan. If either do, it is probably best to jot a few ideas down on a slip of paper...

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Common Cents & Fossil Fuels on January 24, 2019

, by John Norris

“One of the things that we have to realize is we cannot get off gas, we cannot get off oil, fossil fuels tomorrow – it’s going to take a few decades. maybe we can shorten it, but there’s going to have to be a transition time.” Justin Trudeau   This week, Geneva-based World Economic Forum held its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The official invite list included close to 3,000 of the world’s wealthiest, most...

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Common Cents in Outer Space on January 17, 2020

January 17, 2020, by John Norris

"I think we are at the dawn of a new era in commercial space exploration." Elon Musk   Over the last week, with the NCAA Championship Game, the impeachment saga in Washington, the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, the stock market which keeps going up, and even Champagne Gate (and shame on me for knowing what this is), it is understandable if you missed it. However, on January 6th, NASA made an interesting announcement,...

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Common Cents & the Draft on January 10, 2019

January 10, 2020, by John Norris

“Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again.” Ray Bradbury Last Friday, January 3rd, my 18-year old son spent virtually the entire day texting his friends. While that might see commonplace for today’s teenager, this was a little different. You see, he was extremely concerned about the events in the Middle East,...

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Common Cents & 2020: A Look Forward

December 31, 2019, by John Norris

"The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears." Attributed to Bill Vaughan   Historically, I shy away from making too many public predictions, as I have found there is very little upside for doing so. If you get something right, it was a lucky guess. If you get it mostly right, it doesn’t count. If you get it wrong, someone will call you out. For instance, a co-worker reminded...

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Common Cents & a Prediction or Two

December 27, 2019, by John Norris

"Don't Fight the Fed" Attributed to Marty Zweig At the beginning of 2019, we told clients to expect a decent, positive year in the markets with one caveat: it was likely going to be pretty bumpy along the way. We were only partially right. The markets were indeed positive, but decent isn’t the best descriptor. The word awesome would be more appropriate. As for volatility, outside of couple of choppy months, the markets pretty much...

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Common Cents & British Politics on December 13, 2019

December 13, 2019, by John Norris

Truth is ever to be found in simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things. Isaac Newton   Yesterday, the Conservative Party (CP or Tory) in the United Kingdom (UK) won a resounding victory over the Labour Party in the General Election 2019. This wasn’t a huge surprise, as recent polling showed the Tories ahead. Still, the magnitude of the victory was, as the Tories picked up 47 seats in Parliament to give...

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Common Cents & Marriage on December 6, 2019

December 6, 2019, by John Norris

Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do. Zsa Zsa Gabor   This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced the US economy created 266K net new payroll jobs and the official Unemployment Rate fell to 3.5% during November 2019. While anyone can find dark clouds in silver linings given enough time and data, this was a pretty good report. It was...

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Common Cents & Thanksgiving on November 29, 2019

November 27, 2019, by John Norris

If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down. Tony Snow   This newsletter/column will go out on Friday, November 29, 2019. I am writing it on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. This week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Although Americans have celebrated some form of harvest festival since the founding of Jamestown, history records it was President Abraham Lincoln who first established a permanent, national...

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Common Cents & Anger on November 22, 2019

November 22, 2019, by John Norris

Too much self-centered attitude, you see, brings, you see, isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. Dalai Lama The media outlets are currently full of anger. It sells. Still, I can’t remember a time when the entire world seemed as angry as it does. Perhaps I am waxing nostalgic over happier times which actually weren’t. Then again, maybe I am not. The world seems at war with itself,...

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