Charleston Financial Blog

Cash for Clunkers

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder, CFP on 29 July 2009

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If you have been thinking about trading in your old clunker, now just might be the right time.  The government is subsidizing the trade-in value of gas-guzzling cars, vans and trucks.  To simply the requirements, here's the general guidelines of the CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS):

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US Debt Clock

Posted by Bill Prewitt, M.S., CFP® on 20 July 2009

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The following website is a real attention getter: http://www.usdebtclock.org/. The purpose of the USDebtClock.org is to inform the public of the financial condition of the USA.  Using complex formulas verified by multiple sources, the numbers give a real-time snapshot of the country’s balance sheet.  Here are some areas to focus upon as you ponder:

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Closing the Behavior Gap

Posted by Myles B. Brandt on 14 July 2009

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Over the long run, equity mutual funds can offer some pretty attractive returns. Ibbotson SBBI research shows that Large Stocks have returned an annualized 9.6% from 1926 to 2008. All too often an otherwise rational person will have an investment experience that doesn’t measure up to market returns. Studies suggest that investors actually under-perform the funds they are investing in. How could that be?

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Look Out for Number One

Posted by Diane H. Blackwelder, CFP® on 7 July 2009

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Generally, looking out for your own interests rather than those of other people is not considered a positive attribute.  But when it comes to looking for financial planning and investment advice, you should do exactly that.  Understanding the standard of care required by your advisor is one way to look out for yourself. 

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One Bad Apple

Posted by Bill Prewitt, M.S., CFP® on 1 July 2009

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Investment Advisors managing over $25 million are subject to regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  The general public has long relied on SEC oversight as an indication that regulated advisors are probably okay to invest with.  For its part, the SEC does not issue any such approval since they are acting as regulators.  Regulated advisors are required to make disclosures about how they operate, and bring to light any potential conflicts of interest that may exist in their advisory relationship.

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