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MONEY matters

Mark Zaifman's thoughts on money, global economic trends and politics
Investors Buckle-up; 2017 Looks to be a Wild Ride in the Markets
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Dec 20, 2016 @ 10:59 AM

 

 The stock market has long been considered a leading economic indicator. Given the recent stock market rally since the election, it’s fair to believe 'the market' is sending a clear signal of what’s to come in 2017. Oh, but if only it was that easy.

One of the best money articles I read post-election in terms of what do I do now with my investment strategy was written by Ron Lieber of the Times in his Your Money column titled One Crucial Investing Question: Are Your Goals Different Now? Thankfully, this article makes you think long and hard before you decide to change your portfolio strategy.

 

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Keeping Stock Market Volatility in Perspective
Mark Zaifman   |    Thu, Sep 03, 2015 @ 10:02 AM

It’s often impossible to explain stock market volatility until long after the dust has settled. And these past couple weeks of volatility are no different.

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3 Investing Mistakes to Avoid in 2014
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Nov 29, 2013 @ 08:24 AM
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2 Alternative Strategies to Diversify Your Investment Portfolio
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, May 29, 2013 @ 12:28 PM

If you are looking to diversify your investment portfolio, (and you should be) here are two alternative investment strategies worth considering. But first, full disclosure: We have absolutely no affiliation to the firms mentioned below and receive zero compensation or any compensation, financial or non-financial from these firms. At times, we will recommend and acquire these investments to add to our investment management clients’ portfolios.  Both investments come with risk of loss, so you need to do your due diligence before investing.

Propser & Lending Club

Peer-to-peer lending has been popular in Europe for many years and it’s finally getting its due attention here in the states. The two leading companies in this space are Prosper and Lending Club

By creating a virtual platform bringing together borrowers and lenders aka-peer to peer- outside the conventional banking system, peer to peer lending is surely going to become more and more popular as word spreads.  NPR recently did a story on this new concept that you can read or listen to.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners of Prosper at a recent breakfast meeting in San Francisco. His vision, strategy and track record left little doubt in my mind that this is an alternative investment that needs to be seriously considered.

Prosper for example offers 1, 3 and 5 year notes for investors with varying interest rate returns depending on the borrower’s credit score and overall risk profile. Monthly interest payments can be reinvested or deposited electronically into your checking account.

Lower risk seasoned returns at Prosper currently average 5.41% with higher risk notes earning 14.12% and higher. Investments in personal loans from qualified borrowers can be as little as $25. For fixed income investors seeking higher income, this could play a role in your portfolio. Being able to invest across different credit grades and estimated yields provides the diversity you need.

Perhaps it was my 3 years of experience working at Fair Isaac, home of the FICO credit score, that has me believing in this alternative investment so highly, yet peer-to-peer lending/investing in my humble opinion is the next big thing in the investing world. Check it out, make sure you fully understand the risks involved and see if it has a place in your portfolio.

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Tax Return Mistakes and Little White Lie(s)
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

Mistakes, lies, omissions, inflating the truth - these can all amount to the same end. Major problems with the IRS and a possible audit.

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Identity Theft is Now a Family Affair
Mark Zaifman   |    Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 03:36 PM

 

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Attempting to Outsmart the Stock Market is Not an Investment Strategy
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Jan 09, 2013 @ 09:36 AM

Back in the day, I considered myself an ‘outsmarter’. It was the mid-80’s, I was young and carefree and believed, as did the vast majority of my friends and colleagues, that we had the winning formula for stock market success.

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Retirement Planning - Mastering the Art of Risk Management
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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The 7 Virtues of Simplified Investing
Mark Zaifman   |    Wed, Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Before the Holidays, Freeze Your Credit to Protect Your Identity
Mark Zaifman   |    Fri, Nov 16, 2012 @ 09:35 AM

As the holidays approach and your credit cards get ready for their annual workout, please, make a promise to yourself that before the end of this month you’ll take action and place a credit freeze on your credit reports for all three major credit bureaus.

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