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America’s Most Prolific Inventor

On July 7, 2015, Lowell Wood became America’s Top Inventor surpassing Thomas Edison. Edison, often credited as the man who invented the 20th century, was the record holder for eighty-two years. Wood now owns an astonishing 1,085 patents and has 3,000 more awaiting review. Lowell Wood is quite the intriguing individual who enthralls himself with an abundance of reading each day. Reading allows him to obtain the information needed for inventing. That’s a trait he shares with the great Edison. Like Edison, when a problem presents itself that needs to… Read more America’s Most Prolific Inventor

Why You Need Heroes (Even If You Aren’t Sure You Believe in Them)

There is a story of Ray Bradbury’s that lives just under my skin, ready to be brought out at any time to be marveled at, nodded in agreement with, and used as a reminder. It’s not fiction; it’s an anecdote from his childhood. It’s about having a hero and abandoning him. From Zen in the Art of Writing: “Buck Rogers arrived on scene [when I was nine], and it was instant love. I collected the daily strips, and was madness maddened by them. Friends criticized. Friends made fun. I tore… Read more Why You Need Heroes (Even If You Aren’t Sure You Believe in Them)

Social Security Claim Changes

There’s been lots of coverage in the news the past couple weeks about changes to Social Security claiming strategies, so we’d like to share a few key highlights about what’s changed and how it may affect you. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, signed into law by President Obama on Monday, November 2, 2015, closes several “unintended loopholes” in Social Security’s rules. It effectively eliminates a married couple’s ability to use well-known social security claiming strategies – file and suspend and restricted application for spousal benefits – which have made… Read more Social Security Claim Changes

Six Estate Planning Mistakes

I. Choosing the Wrong Controlling Instrument Don’t let the fancy language scare you.  It just means that some people choose wills when they should have a trust, and vice versa.   I’ll admit to you right here that I prefer trusts for most of my clients, even for those who do not yet have substantial net worth.  However, I always leave that decision to a conference between the clients and their attorney.  In cases where wills are used instead of a trust, I still often like to see provisions in the… Read more Six Estate Planning Mistakes

A Little History Lesson for Investors

For those of you who are my age (69) or older, this little essay will be as much a refresher as a history lesson.  But, if you’re younger than I am (most of you), read very carefully and pay really close attention; you are about to receive an investing lesson for the ages.  (My thanks to Nick Murray for the data and the idea.) 1975 The war in Vietnam had been won militarily, and a peace accord had been signed.  The communists had withdrawn to the prewar border.  But, Congress… Read more A Little History Lesson for Investors

Some New Thoughts on Old Money

I think most of you would agree that the foundation for America’s best possible future can only be found in the bedrock of an enduring political system based on the rule of law, economic and civil liberties, a strong work ethic, and a superb educational system.  Although these principles are embedded in our nation’s DNA, many people believe that they are all in some danger of being lost.  They fear for the future of our children and grandchildren.  But, aside from political activism – an avocation most of us have… Read more Some New Thoughts on Old Money

A Noteable September Birthday

Samuel Adams was born on September 27, 1722 in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1740. A strong opponent of British taxation, Sam Adams, as he is affectionately known by most Americans today, helped organize resistance to the Stamp Act (1765), and he played a vital role in organizing the Boston Tea Party. Sam was a cousin to John Adams, America’s second President, with whom he urged a final break from Britain. Both signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence in 1776. An iconic American hero, Samuel Adams is,… Read more A Noteable September Birthday

A Revolution Within a Revolution

Elsewhere in this newsletter I’ve half-argued the case that we’re headed, not for a repeat of the inflation of the 1970’s, but for inflation on steroids. Here is my perspective on all the issues we face, including that one: The Global Capitalist Revolution. We underestimate its power, perhaps because its force is generated by two relatively small minorities. They are the savers and the entrepreneurs, especially the entrepreneurs – the business people who know no limits to their own creative energy. This revolution has been growing for nearly three hundred… Read more A Revolution Within a Revolution