Five “No Brainer” Moves to Strengthen Your Finances

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM)   Here are 5 “no-brainer” moves you can make before year-end to strengthen your finances: Taxes: NJ AND NY RESIDENTS ALERT: If Congress pushes through tax reform that eliminates state and local tax exemptions, many NJ and NY residents (along with MA and CA residents) will be hit […]

Take a Quiz: Is Your Financial Advisor a “Broker” or a “Financial Planner”?

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) Professional You have a financial advisor, but what kind is he/she? Take this brief quiz to see if you can tell the difference between a “Broker” and a “Financial Planner.” Receive 2 points for all “Yes” answers, and 1 point for all “No” answers: My financial advisor has […]

“Keep It Simple, Stupid” (KISS) Your Way to Financial Health

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Are you familiar with the KISS (“Keep it Simple, Stupid”) concept? KISS helps you refine your elevator speech, write concisely…and the KISS concept can boost your financial health. How? By helping you focus on essential ways to strengthen your financial well-being. After working with hundreds of financial planning and investment […]

Showdown in Retirement Planning: “The Wild West” vs. a Uniform Standard of Fiduciary Care

by Eve Kaplan, Certified Financial Planner (TM) Practitioner You might be stuck in “The Wild West” without realizing it. I’m referring to your retirement plan – be it an IRA, 401k, 403b or defined benefit plan. That’s because you likely are missing a Fiduciary Standard of Care. That’s a fancy way of saying your interests, […]

Managing Your Financial Life Well: Things to Do and Things to Avoid (Part 2)

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Two months ago I wrote about key areas to help “Manage a Financial Life Well” in the face of the overwhelming volume of financial information and advice. Some examples I mentioned included having sufficient life/disability insurance, calculating how to best fund long-term care and how to make some smart investment decisions […]

Ring in the Year with Investment Clarity!

 by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Practitioner “Out with the old and in the new” – so the old adage goes at the start of each year.  I hope 2014 will bring even more clarity and transparency to the financial planning and investment world so the public is better informed and better protected. Grand Theft, Ponzi-Style: We […]

“The Retirement Gamble”

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Practitioner Have you seen the PBS Frontline documentary “The Retirement Gamble”? PBS ran it again on October 29 on Channel  13 — just in time for Halloween. It’s hard to watch this program without a sense of horror at the way our retirement plan system is rigged to rip off Americans struggling to save for their […]

Shopping for Financial Advice? New Guidelines May Help

by Eve Kaplan, CFP(R) Professional Data show Americans spend more time comparison shopping for TVs and other consumer purchases than they spend shopping for a Certified Financial Planner® professional. Of course most Americans have not comparison shopped for a Certified Financial Planner® professional – I’m only talking about the minority of Americans who have shopped […]

Advisor Caught with Hand in Cookie Jar

By Eve Kaplan, CFP® Practitioner Here’s a sobering tale about an advisor who got caught with his hand in a cookie jar. The theft occurred in Marlboro Township, NJ but it could have happened anywhere. Jordan Zemlock, 50, an advisor/insurance salesman, was sentenced up to 10 years in prison last week for defrauding 20 clients […]

Suze Orman’s Take on Financial Planners

Suze Orman is a media star in the buttoned up world of financial planning. Accordingly, it’s easy for some professionals to dismiss her as a “lightweight,” even though she does a credible job preaching financial common sense to overspending, undersaving American public. In particular, Orman has sound advice if you seek a good financial planner. […]