Archive for TheLiveBigWay® Digest

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 8/14/2009

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As you may have noticed, I took a break from sending out the weekend digest during the month of July. Enough interesting items have now accumulated, however, that I thought it was time to send out a fresh edition.

Have a great weekend!

Media Matters

 

Maximizing Social Security

Dave was just quoted in the August 5 edition of the AARP Bulletin Today in an article discussing little-known strategies for maximizing Social Security benefits. These strategies range from “claim and suspend” — which allows your spouse to claim a “spousal benefit” even while your own benefits continue to grow — to “claim now, claim more later” — which involves claiming a spousal benefit now and then switching to your own, higher benefit later. See the full article.

Flash from the Past
We just stumbled across a Wall Street Journal article from June of 2005 in which Dave warned of the dangers of loading up on real estate. No crystal ball was involved, just the idea that chasing hot assets — “driving with the rear-view mirror” — rarely turns out well in the end. Remaining Cool in a Hot Housing Market.

Yeske Buie on Facebook

Yeske Buie now has a “fan” page on Facebook where we post the occasional item of interest or pearl of wisdom. You don’t have to be a member of Facebook to follow our posts however, as there’s a feed on our website at https://www.facebook.com/YeskeBuie/

Recent Recognition

In addition to being recognized by Wealth Advisor Magazine as one of the top wealth management firms in the country, Yeske Buie was also named a Top Registered Investment Advisor by Financial Advisor Magazine.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

The Virtues of Muddling Through

David Brooks wrote an interesting piece last week in which he describes the “Wise Muddling Through” that allowed Fed and Treasury officials to guide the country through a recession that might have turned into another great depression, even as they continuously underestimated the size and scope of the problem.

In many ways, there are financial lessons for individuals in all of this. Coping with a sometimes chaotic environment requires the ability to adjust, adapt, and muddle through. This might involve the use of safe-withdrawal-rates, spending adjustments, or dipping into emergency reserves, but most of all, it means adapting to reality as it unfolds around us. Read the Brooks column.

What? Me Worry?

Tim Bond, writing in the Financial Times two weeks ago, tells us that it’s “Time to stop worrying and learn to love the recovery.” Bond notes that “never has a bull market climbed a steeper wall of worry,” and then goes on to declare that “pessimistic expectations are likely to collide with the economic reality of a strong recovery.”

Just to keep things balanced, we note that Wall Street retail analyst Kristin Bentz told tech ticker that “Americans are willing to do with less and aren’t going to be so easily seduced by retail,” so “you can kiss that talk of a ‘V’ shaped recovery good-bye.” Read the article.

Boston University economist Zvi Bodie told me yesterday that such analyses just shows that “nobody knows,” and what we need instead of a crystal ball is “an early warning system, a rapid-response system, and a risk-management system.” At its best, the financial planning process helps us to install all three.

Quote of the Week

But this is not a story of failure. It’s a story of effective muddling through. Bernanke & Co. never really got control of events. But they did avert disaster and committed only a few big blunders. In the real world, that counts as a job well done.

David Brooks

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 6/26/2009

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There was a particularly rich batch of interesting (and sometimes conflicting) opinion on offer this week regarding the direction of the economy and the markets. We’ve culled the best of the bunch for your weekend reading. Enjoy!

And have a great weekend!

Financial Tools on the Web

Budgeting

www.Mint.com, a powerful, free online tool

www.Quicken.intuit.com, online version of popular software package

Charities

check them out before you give

www.CharityNavigator.org

www.Dmachoice.org (to cut down on junk mail)

www.Give.org

www.Guidestar.org

Credit Cards

www.Bankrate.com

www.Cardtrak.com, comparison shopping site

www.Cardratings.com, comparison shopping site

www.FederalReserve.gov/pubs/shop, Federal Reserve information on choosing a card


Travel

www.FareCompare.com, shows the lowest recent fare for a route

www.Expedia.com, major travel-shopping site

www.Hotels.com, you can guess what this one’s about

www.Travelocity.com, major travel shopping site


Student Loans and Financial Aid

www.CollegeBoard.com, look for the Pay for College section

www.FAFSA.gov, the site for the crucial financial-aid form

www.FastWeb.com, comprehensive scholarship information

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

Wither the Economy and Markets?

Writing in the New York Times, economist and former Federal Reserve governor Alan Blinder explains why recent Fed moves to stimulate the economy are not necessarily inflationary. Adding to banks’ reserves doesn’t cause inflation unless banks are lending those reserves, something that isn’t happening right now. And as long as Fed Chair Ben Bernanke follows through on his plans to soak up those excess reserves once sustained growth is on the horizon, there’s no reason to believe that an inflation surge is inevitable. Economic View: Why Inflation Isn’t the Danger

Former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan, meanwhile, believes that inflation may reappear in 2012, depending on money supply, housing prices, and investor psychology. Inflation – the real threat to sustained recovery.

Mark Hulbert, writing in MarketWatch, notes that companies are engaged in record share offerings, usually a sign of poor market performance to come. Interestingly, several analysts who subscribe to this inverse relationship remain “cautiously bullish.” Supply and Demand.

The Conference Board reported that the US Index of Leading Economic Indicators has risen for the second month in a row. The Board is now predicting that the economy will be back on a (slow) growth path before the end of the year. Leading indicators for every major economy except Japan rose last month. The Report. The Conference Board.

Interviewed by Knowledge @ Wharton.com, Jeremy Siegel predicts another 15-20% rise in stock prices by year’s end. The Market Will Stage Another Recovery.

Fareed Zakariah, writing in Newsweek, notes that every other crisis in the 20th Century led to massively expanded opportunities. This time is not different.

The Capitalist Manifesto: Greed is Good.

When the current crisis is over, the reputation of American-style capitalism will have taken a beating—not least because of the gap between what Washington practices and what it preaches. Disillusioned developing nations may well turn their backs on the free market, warns Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, posing new threats to global stability and U.S. security. Wall Street’s Toxic Message

Human Nature Today

“Has there ever been a time when there were so many different views of human nature floating around all at once? The economists have their view, in which rational people coolly chase incentives. Traditional Christians have their view, emphasizing original sin, grace and the pilgrim’s progress in a fallen world. And then there are the evolutionary psychologists, who get the most media attention.”

read David Brooks’ entire column

Quote of the Week

The allure of evolutionary psychology is that it organizes all behavior into one eternal theory, impervious to the serendipity of time and place. But there’s no escaping context. That’s worth remembering next time somebody tells you we are hardwired to do this or that.

David Brooks

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 6/12/2009

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We seem to have reached an interesting juncture in this current recession. On the one hand, there are a growing number of signs that the worst is behind us and we can begin to see a glimmer of recovery on the horizon. On the other hand, there’s reason to believe that our world going forward will be very different from the one we lived in before the crash. In this week’s digest, we’ve included articles discussing those encouraging green shoots, as well as some thoughtful writing about the the challenges to come. We also offer up some of the more interesting web-based tools for managing your credit and dealing with family loans. Have a great weekend!

Media Matters

Elissa was recently selected for inclusion in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2009 list of “Expert Financial Advisors.”

The magazine’s list of independent financial advisors was culled from Wealth Magazine’s “Top Dog” list and information provided by the Financial Planning Association’s National Capitol Chapter. Elissa and Yeske Buie were among 15 of the listed firms to have appeared in the “Top Dog” list.

See the full list.

Financial Tools on the Web

Credit scores are under pressure these days, and yet they’ve never been more important as lenders continue to tighten standards. A new website, CreditKarma.com, not only offers the ability to get your score for free, but will point out the factors that went into the score and suggest ways for improving it.

And speaking of lenders, many people are finding themselves in that role with cash-strapped family members who have found it harder to borrow during the recession. One good way to manage those loans (and preserve good feelings within the family!) is to set up loans using Virgin Money. Not only will Virgin Money manage the collection and tracking of all loan payments, but you can even choose to have payments reported to the major credit bureaus, creating the opportunity to heal damaged credit histories.

Identity Theft

Just a reminder that we’ve posted an article on our website (“Guarding Against Identity Theft“) on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

More Green Shoots

Citing signals from a new USA TODAY/IHS Global Insight economic outlook index, IHS’s Nariman Behravesh said “we’re two to three months away from an upturn.” David Wyss, chief economist for Standard and Poor’s agrees: “We see a bottom in the fall, but there’s a lot of risk attached to that.”

The new index is based on 11 forward-looking economic and financial indicators that predict future GDP growth.

http://usat.me/?35319490

And in the Federal Reserve report released Wednesday, known as the Beige Book, there were signs that the economy’s downward slide is easing, suggesting that the worst of the recession is over.

http://usat.me/?35315644

A study conducted by JennisonDryden and released through Prudential Investment Management, meanwhile, suggests that whenever we have a period in which 10-year rolling returns of the S&P 500 are 5% or less (the last 10 years qualify), the following decade produces higher than average returns. Since 1929, such periods have produced returns that averaged 15% a year.

Muted Returns and Good News

In another study, the same research firm notes that small company stocks have outperformed large company stocks following the last nine recessions. Reasons cited for this behavior include a greater sensitivity to changes in business conditions resulting in more rapid growth during the early stages of an economic expansion.

Small Caps Lead the Way

The World to Come

David Brooks, writing in today’s New York Times (“The Great Unwinding”), observes the explosive growth in public and private debt, pointing out that the ratio of debt to disposable income grew from 55% to 133% between 1960 and 2007. And while Americans aren’t borrowing as before, the accumulated debt lingers on. Reuven Glick and Kevin Lansing of the San Francisco Fed point out that Americans would have to raise household savings rates from 4% to 10% by 2018 in order to restore the balance.

The implications for public policy are clear, but whether or not our elected officials can make the hard calls, asking Americans to sacrifice a lifestyle that depended on easy credit and little concern for saving, is far from certain.

Read the full essay.

Quote of the Week

The members of the Obama administration fully understand this and are brimming with good ideas about how to move from a bubble economy to an investment economy. Finding a political strategy to accomplish this, however, is proving to be very difficult. And getting Congress to move in this direction might be impossible.

David Brooks, The Great Unwinding

Yeske Bue Weekend Digest 5/22/2009

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Memorial Day weekend is upon us and we hope you’ve made plans to do something fun for the weekend. In honor of the coming holiday, we’ve devoted this issue of the Weekend Digest to all things Memorial Day. Have a great weekend!

Media Matters

Scott Simon, writing for Morningstar Advisor a few years ago, called upon financial planners to embrace the solemn responsibilities of a fiduciary. In doing so, he invokes the sacrifices of those in the military who we honor on Memorial Day and asks:

“In these times when we are asking men and women in uniform all over the globe to lay down their lives to defend America and to help build a better world, is it too much to ask that each of us do our utmost to help create an America imbued with the ideals for which so many of our countrymen shed their blood through the ages?”

Scott then does Dave the honor of quoting from his national conference speech in Philadelphia, where he called upon his fellow financial planners to aspire to the highest standard of conduct in their work with clients.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

Some Memorial Day Facts

* Memorial Day began at the end of the Civil War. Waterloo, N.Y., is considered the official birthplace of Memorial Day.
* General Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, established May 30, 1868 for “decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.” The holiday was initially known as Decoration Day.
* It’s customary to fly the flag at half mast until noon and then raise it until sunset on Memorial Day.
* A World War I poem inspired the wearing of red artificial “buddy poppies” on Memorial Day, which you can buy from VFW vets.
* In 2000, Congress established a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, asking Americans to pause for one moment in national unity.

Things to do on Memorial Day

* Attend a morning memorial service at your local cemetery.
San Francisco Events
Northern Virginia Events
* Place flags and flowers at the grave sites.
* Buy and wear a VFW poppy.
* Write a note to an active-duty soldier.
* Fly the U.S. flag.
* Participate in the National Moment of Remembrance.
* Thank a veteran.

Quote of the Week

Instead of providing a quote, we’re going to recommend that you visit the Library of Congress site devoted to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 5/8/2009

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Mother’s Day arrives this Sunday, so I hope you’ve prepared for the big day. If you’re looking for a no-cost gift, consider making “Mom Checks” that you can fill out with chores you’d be willing to perform. Mom can then cash them in whenever the spirit moves her (and be sure to leave some lying around for your kids to find). Have a great weekend!

Media Matters

The Live Big List just keeps getting bigger! In fact, one of the reporters we work with at Businessweek, Lauren Young, wrote about it on the BusinessWeek website a few weeks ago, offering a few suggestions of her own. Dozens more were posted by her readers. Check out Lauren’s blog on BusinessWeek.com.

Lauren also quoted Dave in the latest issue of BusinessWeek. She was writing about unique benefits you can sometimes get by working with a financial advisor. Among other things, she notes the fact that we’re able to get access for our clients to the institutional portfolios of Dimensional Fund Advisors. These funds normally have a minimum initial investment of $5 million each, but our relationship with DFA allows us to access them on behalf of clients in any increment, no matter how small.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

Buffet-Mania

And no, I’m not talking about Jimmy Buffet but the Oracle of Omaha himself. The annual shareholder meeting for Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s main holding company, was held last weekend and it led to the usual Buffet-mania:

A Back to Basics Weekend With Warren Buffet. Opening quote: “If you have a 150 I.Q., sell 30 points to someone else. You need to be smart, but not a genius.”

Is Warren Buffet Brilliant or Lucky? Answer: A little bit of both.

Here’s the Story on Berkshire’s Munger. Learn all about Warren’s 85-year-old partner, Charlie Munger.

While we’re not stock pickers like Buffet, we do have at least one thing in common: an abiding faith in the virtues of value investing.

Quote of the Week

“Wall Street needs to recognize that its proper role is, as it has been in the past, to follow the real economy, rather than trying to drive it. During the housing bubble, the financial sector essentially tried to create reality. Now’s the time for it to respond to reality instead.”

James Surowiecki writing in the New Yorker

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 5/1/2009

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Today is the first day of May, also known as May Day. Depending on your state of mind, that phrase might refer to a distress call, a Marxist celebration, or the day we all dance around the maypole. On this particular Friday, I think we’ve earned the right to dance. Have a great weekend!

Changes under way at DFA

You should have received proxy voting materials from Dimensional Fund Advisors by now. You’re being asked to elect the Boards of Directors of Dimensional’s four investment companies and to vote on proposals which are intended to increase the funds’ abilities to attract and retain the best Directors and enhance the funds’ operating efficiencies in numerous ways, such as standardizing investment restrictions across multiple funds, creating greater flexibility in cash management for multiple funds, and minimizing costs associated with redemptions. These proposals will also simplify the funds’ prospectuses, making the investment process, the investment restrictions, and the associated risks more consistent across all of DFA’s strategies.

Yeske Buie is recommending that all of our clients vote in favor of these changes, which we believe will enhance fund efficiency and lower expenses, among other benefits.

To find more information and/or vote, go online.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

25 Years to Bounce Back? Try 4 1/2

Mark Hulbert, editor of the Hulbert Financial Digest, pointed out in the New York Times last Sunday that the stock market recovered from the lows following the 1929 crash in a mere 4 1/2 years, not the 25 years so often reported. What accounts for the discrepency? The more pessimistic analysis fails to take into account three critical factors: dividends, deflation, and the distinction between the Dow Jones Industrial Index and the market as a whole. Check it out and see what you think.

12 Reasons to be optimistic

Economist Ed Yardeni offered up his list of 12 reasons for optimism in the Wall Street Journal this week. Reason #11: “Condé Nast has decided to shutter Portfolio after two years of struggle. The introduction of the glitzy magazine about Wall Street launched in the spring of 2007 marked the end of the bull market. Now its demise may mark the end of the bear market.” See the other eleven reasons.

IDTT: It’s Different This Time

Or is it? As Mark Twain said, “history may not repeat, but it sure rhymes.” Robert Arnott and John West examine the evidence of the past year and conclude: yes, it’s different in the short-run, but not in the long-run. And that means it’s time to be a contrarian.

Quote of the Day

“We know that what is comfortable is rarely profitable … and the most profitable opportunities are often the most uncomfortable investments to make. For this reason, contrarians form a disproportionate share of the world’s all-time greatest investors.”

Robert Arnott and John West

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 4/24/2009

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The weather is beautiful and it feels like Spring may have finally arrived (not to mention the economic “green shoots” that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has reported seeing!). Hope you enjoy our latest offering. And have a great weekend!

What it means to Live Big®

The list continues to grow! Here’s the latest entry: “Get an almost free vacation through a home exchange”

Speaking of which, check out www.HomeExchange.com.

Volunteer Work

And speaking of our Japanese connections, Dave is also a director (hon.) of the Japan Academic Society for Financial Planning

And speaking of what it means to Live Big, that was the title of Elissa’s keynote speech, delivered on Thursday at the Rachel Carson Middle School career day event. As you might have expected, the presentation was a big hit with both students and teachers.

Webinar Archive Available

Judging by the responses received so far, our “Perfect Storm webinar last week was a great success. We’ve now made it available on our website for download or viewing. There are three versions to choose from:

– Windows Media Version this recording can be streamed or downloaded to your computer.

Podcast: this can be played on any video-capable iPod.

Slides Only : in Adobe Acrobat format, these do not have the audio narration.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have trouble accessing any version.

Identity Theft

Just a reminder that we’ve posted an article on our website (“Guarding Against Identity Theft“) on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

What we will miss about the prophets® of doom

by David Marsh, Financial Times

For two years now, we have collectively gorged on tales of tears and deeds of downfall. If the bulls really are back and the economic and financial misery is about to end, here are 16 reasons why we will miss the gloomy times.

1. Role-play will be a lot less pleasurable. We have split the world into two pantomimic parts: the evil (the bankers) and the good (everyone else). In future, sorting out villains and victims will require more imagination.

2. The crisis has favored inexpensive, socially constructive pastimes such as bird-watching, book-reading and communal needlework. More aggressive activities will soon be on the rise again.

3. The prophets of doom have had a field day. Yet we feel strangely comfortable with the Cassandras. We have enjoyed being told that the light at the end of the tunnel signals an approaching train. Now we will have to get re-acquainted with the optimists – a much more dangerous and unsettling bunch of people.

4. During the recession we profited from empty planes, hotels, restaurants and buses. When recovery comes we will have excess demand again. The good life, when it returns, will be a lot more crowded.

Read the rest . . .

Weekend Reading

Here are a few of the more interesting items that appeared over the past week.

Irrational Banks or Irrational Incentives?

In an interesting interview with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, we learn about the dysfunctional assumptions that led policymakers, including Alan Greenspan, to overlook the dangerous behavior of banks in recent years. Greenspan, we are told, made the mistake of assuming that banks were rational when, in fact, their managers had been given short-term incentives that were at odds with the long-term interests of the bank. He also quotes a colleague from Princeton who said “there were exactly five people who foresaw this crisis, and this does not include (Fed Chairman) Ben Bernanke.” Not to mention that fact that many who foresaw the crisis were among those who predicted 10 out of the last three.

Bonds for the Long Run?

Financial analyst Ross Arnott claims in a recent study that bonds have not only beaten stocks over the past 40 years, but that they’re probably a better bet going forward. Robert Huebscher of Advisor Perspectives strikes back with his own analysis. Huebscher demonstrates that not only was the dominance of bonds over the past 40 years an anomoly, but the prospects for bonds going forward aren’t anywhere near as rosy as stocks.

A Crisis of Ethic Proportions

John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Funds, delivers a point-perfect screed against the bankers and fund managers who have maximized their interests at the expense of their customers. He calls for the establishment of a “fiduciary society.”

Quote of the Day

“Ten out of three is a pretty good record, relatively. But I conclude from the fact that only five people predicted the current crisis that it was impossible to predict it. In hindsight, it all seems obvious: Everyone seemed to be blind, only these five appeared to be smart. But there were a lot of smart people who looked at the situation and knew all the facts, and they did not predict the crisis.”

Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 4/20/2009

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We’ve been gratified by the positive feedback we’ve received for last week’s webinar, “The Perfect Storm: How We Got Here and Outlook for Recovery.” If you weren’t able to attend, you can still find it in the archives (see below for instructions). Have a great weekend!

Webinar Archive Available

Judging by the responses received so far, our “Perfect Storm webinar last week was a great success. We’ve now made it available on our website for download or viewing. There are three versions to choose from:

– Windows Media Version: this recording can be streamed or downloaded to your computer.

– Podcast: this can be played on any video-capable iPod.

– Slides Only : in Adobe Acrobat format, these do not have the audio narration.

Media Matters

Dave’s latest article (“Is The Stock Market ‘Efficient’ or Is It Just Insane?” ) is now available on the Boomer-Living website. This piece was inspired by a question that I received from a webinar participant (thanks Bill).

Volunteer Work

The president-elect of the Financial Planning Association has asked Dave to co-chair FPA’s 2010 Retreat. Retreat is FPA’s annual meeting for the profession’s most advanced practitioners. If he agrees to do it, I’ll be co-chairing with my good friend and study group partner Guy Cumbie of Fort Worth, Texas.

And speaking of FPA meetings, Elissa is scheduled to speak at FPA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim later this year.

Identity Theft

Just a reminder that we’ve posted an article on our website (“Guarding Against Identity Theft“) on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://www.yebu.com/portal.htm) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

Take the Tour

Among the investment vehicles we’re able to access when assembling client portfolios, few are as unique as those offered by Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA). Although these institutional class portfolios sport minimum initial investment requirements of $5 million each, we’re able to access them on behalf of our clients in any increment required as a result of the relationship we’ve established with the company.

One of the reasons we find the DFA approach so compelling is that it is research-based, founded upon the science of investing, and therefore completely compatible with our own philosophy and practice. You can take a tour of the DFA philosophy and approach on their website; it’s well worth a few minutes of your time.

Weekend Reading

Here are a few of the more interesting items that found their way into print over the past week.

With all these tea parties going on, you might be surprised to find a former Reagan advisor saying that federal revenues as a share of the economy is the lowest it’s been since the 1950s.

Check out The Good News Economist, where “when all you read is gloom, turn here for a different perspective.

You don’t need my help finding bad news, that’s the bread and butter of the mainstream press. So here’s an antidote, the Good News Daily, which scours the world and reports the good news of the day.

Quote of the Day

“A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.”

Albert Einstein

Yeske Buie Weekend Digest 03/28/2009

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We so enjoyed the massive response to our “Live Big” email that we thought we’d roll out another edition of the Yeske Buie Weekend Digest for your delectation. Note the link below to the ever-growing web version of the list. As always, don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about any of the topics covered in this digest or anything else for that matter.

New Webinar Scheduled

Our next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, April 2 at 9:00 AM Pacific Time and 12:00 PM Eastern Time. We will be discussing current economic conditions, how we got here, and the outlook going forward. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions during the presentation. Your invitation will arrive in your inbox at the beginning of next week.

And don’t forget to invite your friends!

Media Matters

Dave was quoted by syndicated columnist Janet Kidd Stewart in an article discussing the dangers of deferred-compensation plans in this economy.

Volunteer Work

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has asked Dave to chair a new Research Center Team devoted to assessing research proposals submitted by academics and practitioners. The Financial Planning Association is the community that fosters the value of financial planning and advances the financial planning profession. Building the profession’s body of knowledge through rigorous research is one of the ways in which FPA pursues this mission.

Identity Theft

Just a reminder that we’ve posted an article on our website (“Guarding Against Identity Theft“) on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

How to Get Help

And don’t forget that our updated client page (http://clients.yebu.com/) offers a full list of who does what and who you should contact for help with various issues. Contact numbers and email links are available from that page as well.

Weekend Reading

Here are a few of the more interesting items that found their way into print over the past week.

An AIG employee who worked in the company’s notorious Financial Products unit had his resignation letter published in the New York Times this week. Read it and see if you think those 400 people got a raw deal “Dear A.I.G, I Quit!

Fresh Air host Terry Gross conducts a fascinating interview with Frank Partnoy, author of “FIASCO: Blood in the Water on Wall Street.” Partnoy is a professor at the University of San Diego law school who started out as a derivatives trader at Morgan Stanley. In this 39 minute interview he explains derivatives, credit default swaps and how they led to the current financial crisis. Well worth a listen!

“Can capitalism survive? No. I do not think it can.” — Joseph Schumpeter, 1942

Robert Samuelson discusses the status of Schumpeter’s prediction in light of massive government intervention in the economy. American Capitalism is Besieged.

Very cool graphic. This chart by design firm Nicolas Rapp shows how the first $3 trillion of what will eventually amount to $12 trillion in government spending has been allocated. A picture is worth a thousand words!

What does it mean to Live Big in these trying times? We’ve been adding your responses to our “living list.” Please share any new ones you can think of.

Quote of the Day

“Americans should realize that the nation’s most successful export isn’t Coke or Boeing airliners or Microsoft software or even Hollywood films. It’s the dollar, which is accepted around the world as a store of value”

Randall W. Forsyth, writing in
Barron’s (“Is the Dollar Sunk?“)


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson