Mountain Money Blog


Thoughts on Current Events

Will Artificial Intelligence replace your financial planner?
Artificial Intelligence applications -- and especially chatbots, which can seemingly research and write like us humans, are becoming increasingly prevalent.[...]
ESG Investing Back in the Arena, Political Hot Potato Gets Tossed Again
The political football has been tossed back into the hands of workplace retirement investors who want to take their values[...]
Options for Senior Living through the Spectrum of Aging
Planning for our senior years would be so much easier if we knew how long we will live and the[...]
Dealing with the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
On Wednesday night, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin followed through on his threat to invade his neighbor, the sovereign nation[...]
CARES Act Relaxes Rules for Charitable Giving
The $2.2 trillion stimulus package – known as the CARES Act - passed by Congress and signed by the President[...]
Index Funds: Good, But Not Perfect
It’s only been a few weeks since the passing of John Bogle, the inventor of the index fund. In memoriam,[...]
Owed to Saint Jack. RIP
Millions of American investors – including yours truly - owe a debt of gratitude to John “Jack” Bogle, who died[...]
Lessons From the Madoff Fraud, 10 Years later
Has it really been ten years? One of the low lights indelibly associated with the Great Recession of 2008 was[...]
$1 Million May Not be Enough to Retire in Denver – Or in Our Beloved Mountains
As if planning to fund your retirement weren’t difficult enough. In a story in the Denver Post, we now learn[...]
Where are you on the Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence?
Where are you on the Spectrum of Financial Dependence and Independence? (H/T to financial planning guru Michael Kitces for including[...]

Peak Thoughts

In Depth Reports & Commentary

Inflation Rears its Ugly Head and What to Do About It
To paraphrase Mark Twain: Everybody talks about inflation, but nobody does anything about it. Inflation, simply defined, is the erosion[...]
Book Review: The One Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to be Smart About Your Money, Carl Richards (Penguin 2015)
Running joke: If it’s a one-page financial plan, then why isn’t the book only one page? I first read Carl[...]
Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) – Advantages and Pitfalls
Managing life-stage transitions is an essential component of good financial planning. Late life planning – for a time when you[...]
Is Retirement a Dirty Word?
I made the mistake of asking a client when she wanted to retire. This is a common inquiry to my[...]
DOL Proposed Rule Change Brings Awareness to Sustainable Investing
The current US Department of Labor (DOL) has a bone to pick with sustainable investing; what is now colloquially called[...]
Preparing for Short-Term Election Volatility
What’s better for investors, Republican Presidents or Democrat Presidents? It’s a trick question. First, because in general, over the long[...]
Book Review: The Deficit Myth, Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, Stephanie Kelton (Public Affairs, 2020)
“Trillions of dollars of debt! This is what Republicans stand for?” Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, reacting to his own party’s[...]
Retire Early? Retire Late? Or Retire Right on Time? – Lessons from the Early Retirement Movement
The FIRE movement captured my interest only recently. Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) is an aspiration of motivated young people[...]
Dreaming of a Mountain Retirement
Do the mountains call you for your dream retirement? Many people, including most of my clients, aspire to retire to[...]
Value Investing and Skiing May be The Key to Living Longer
A recent column entitled, Survivor Bias: Why Successful Value Investors Live Longer, mused on the apparent longevity of legendary value[...]


Quarterly Client Notes

2nd Quarter Client Note – Fed Up With Rising Rates
The S & P 500 (total return) Index bounced back from its first quarter (.75%) loss, rising 3.43% in the[...]
1st Quarter Client Note – Volatility Emerges
It was nice while it lasted. The S & P 500 (total return) Index fell .75%, its first quarterly loss[...]
4th Quarter Client Note – Preparing for an Inevitable Bear Market
Global equity markets defied predictions - and perhaps even gravity – in 2017. The S & P 500 (total return)[...]
3rd Quarter Client Note
Equity markets continued their record run in the 3rd quarter. The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 4.48%[...]
2nd Quarter Client Note – Tribulations of a Value Investor
Stock markets around the globe had their best first six months in years. In the second quarter, The S &[...]
1st Quarter Client Note
The “Trump Bump” continued unabated in the first quarter. The S & P 500 (total return) Index gained 6.07%; tacking[...]
4th Quarter Client Note
Now that was exciting. With the surprise election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, the S &[...]
3rd Quarter Client Note
Markets continued to move higher in the 3rd quarter. The S & P 500 (total return) index was up 3.85%[...]
2nd Quarter Client Note
The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 2.46% in the quarter; but not without a whipsaw caused by[...]
1st Quarter Client Note
The S & P 500 (Total Return) Index gained 1.35% in the quarter. This was no mean feat considering what[...]