Eighty-six percent of the proposed budget increase is due to employee benefits.

Maserati and Ford Bronco

Maserati v. Ford Bronco

I have a house near Rhinebeck, New York.  If you've never been to Rhinebeck, it's in New York's Hudson Valley, about two hours north of Manhattan.  Set in bucolic rolling hills, it is horse and farm country but has become increasingly popular with the ultra-high net worth Maserati set.  It

is also a setting for municipal bond tensions. I recently received the Rhinebeck Central School District 2018-19 Proposed Budget.  After review, it seemed emblematic of what is going on at municipalities across the country: Employee benefit costs are high and rising; Debt service costs are rising; Other services are being…

A municipal bond's Official Statement is a Kafkaesque nightmare of blind alleys and rabbit holes.

This blog post continues my series on municipal bond risks faced by ultra-high net worth investors in Manhattan.  My previous post can be found here. No individual investor I’ve met has possessed the capabilities needed to evaluate municipal bond risk.  Worse, very few advisors I have known have the capabilities to

evaluate municipal bond risk. Why? Because if you go one level deeper than the bond description, you’re in a Kafkaesque nightmare of blind alleys and rabbit holes otherwise known as the issues Official Statement. Because of this complexity, the heuristic of individuals and professionals alike quickly becomes: rely on…

Individual investor underperformance is typically caused by conflicted and/or bad advice.

individual investors

Individual investors about to get picked off.

Individual investors realized investor returns are awful.  The reasons start with poor financial planning and work outward from there. Spinning Gold into Straw Every year, Dalbar studies the realized returns of investors in equity and fixed income mutual funds.  Every year they find the same thing:  investors

dramatically underperform the benchmarks, across every time-period, from 12 months to 30 years.[1] For example, over the 30-year period ending December 31, 2015, equity mutual fund investors received, on average, an annualized return of 3.66 percent.  Over the same time-period the benchmark index returned an annualized 10.35 percent.[2] These investors realized about 35…

We are excited to announce the launch of the Bantam YouTube channel, which can be found here.  In the next few weeks we will also be launching the Bantam podcast.  This will enable you to access our financial planning and strategy content via audio, video, or text. Please let us know if

there are any topics you would like us to address in our blogs or video content.  Some of our previous blog topics have addressed the need to keep fees low, the effect of taxes on returns, and the rising risks in the municipal bond market.  Separately, we have launched…

By using a Total Wealth perspective, large Company Town Risks become obvious.

flooded subway in manhattan

New York City subway flooding. Photo Credit: Justin Lane/EPA

In my previous blog posts in this series, I identified how AmLaw 100 attorneys in Manhattan are exposed to pervasive (and hidden) Company Town Risks® (“CTRs”).  Those posts can be found here and here. In my work, I have found that almost all investors, including ultra-high net worth investors,

are exposed to CTRs that are rarely addressed in traditional financial planning , let alone identified. Many CTRs cannot be eliminated, however some can be reduced.  In this post, I will explore how our representative AmLaw 100 partner could reduce her exposures using methods that are available to most investors. Attorneys…