Thanks, Merrill Lynch! You’re making it easier for independent advisors

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Nick Foy, CFP®
nick@greenwaywealth.com

To much fanfare, Merrill Lynch had previously announced that their “advisors” would be adopting the fiduciary standard, per the Department of Labor requirement that was supposed to have been enacted by now.

Now that the rule won’t be put in place, Merrill has changed their minds.

It seems that Merrill is backtracking on their prior promise to put the clients’ interest first. Instead, they’ll once again allow their “advisors” to push commission-based products that probably aren’t the best thing for their client.

Consider me relieved.

It’s a lot harder to differentiate our services if everyone is acting in a fiduciary capacity.

I’m sorry for those clients that are already embedded in the Merrill platform, with their hidden fees and murky revenue structure. Luckily, better options exist, and there’s really no reason to maintain assets with advisors who are selling products.   Continue reading “Thanks, Merrill Lynch! You’re making it easier for independent advisors”

Are Health Savings Accounts the most underutilized tool for the average investor?

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Nick Foy, CFP®
nick@greenwaywealth.com

Over the past couple of years we’ve been touting the benefit of the Health Savings Account (HSA) to our clients, but it’s worth noting that HSAs are unique in the world of personal finance:

From a tax perspective, HSAs are more beneficial than any other type of account. Contributions go in pre-tax, growth is tax-deferred, and everything comes out tax-free assuming you use the money withdrawn to cover a qualified medical expense. This triple tax advantage doesn’t exist anywhere else.
Continue reading “Are Health Savings Accounts the most underutilized tool for the average investor?”

Redefining Affordability

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Nick Foy, CFP®
nick@greenwaywealth.com

The ongoing battle for real financial advisors (as opposed to salesmen) is to convince people that delaying some gratification is worth their time. It’s a battle we’re destined to lose, but we fight on undeterred.

Back in 2011, Brett Arrends wrote an article in the WSJ called The $2,000 iPad, in which he attempted to show that the opportunity cost for an iPad (or any other $500 spend) is actually significantly more than the sticker price, assuming you would’ve invested the money instead: Continue reading “Redefining Affordability”

There is no present tense in investing (or much else)

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Nick Foy, CFP®
nick@greenwaywealth.com

With some regularity, clients or prospects attempt to take a question that is inherently past tense and flip it into the present tense in order to decipher an unknowable future.

The question often goes something like this: “What are the markets doing?”

I don’t blame them. Attempts to predict the future in an effort to make some extra coin, or at least to feel more secure, are popular. The media does it all the time.

The trouble is, the markets aren’t doing anything. Continue reading “There is no present tense in investing (or much else)”