Broker Check

June 30, 2008

Retirement Confidence at All Time Low

          Worrying about your retirement? You probably are not the only one. Americans’ confidence in their ability to save for retirement has dropped to the lowest level in seven years (since 9/11) according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual retirement confidence survey. This year’s results also revealed the biggest one year drop in the 18 year history of the survey. According to this year’s results, just 18% of workers said they feel “very confident” they will have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Retiree confidence in having a financially secure retirement also decreased from 41% to 29%. Decreases in confidence occurred across all age groups and income levels. Increasing healthcare costs, the ability to find health insurance in retirement and the fear of outliving retirement savings were among the top worries. Other worries respondents cited included the economy, job market and the decline in home values.
          If you are among these worriers, we believe as Certified Public Accountants, Investment Professionals and experienced Retirement Counselors, we are uniquely suited to help you.

Obama Changes the Rules of the Game

          No matter if you are for or against Barack Obama, his merger with Silicon Valley has made him the hottest start up. Before Obama, in order to get the Democratic nomination you needed Labor’s unpaid foot soldiers and the money of reliable large donors. Because Hillary Clinton obtained both (and built the best campaign ever on the old model), before this year’s primary, many candidates could not compete. Thanks to a handful of people from Silicon Valley, Obama has not only secured the nomination of his party but has changed the rules of the game (more precisely his Silicon Valley people have) by raising incredible amounts of money over the Internet by creating a “My Space” and “Facebook” type of model. Atlantic Monthly June, 2008 p.53
          After the election, these four will sell their services to everyone in the world and 2012 will be a very different place.
          Oh yes, Newt Gingrich predicted the internet would change politics, too. He just did not know who would do it.

           I salute the following:   


Mark Greenberg-

Venture Capitalist


Nadine North- 

Executive Recruiter


John Roos- 

Corporate Lawyer


Steve Spinner-


Summer Reading Pick

          Everybody talks about Iraq and its quest for political harmony, from its disharmony,, as if it is a country unique in its attempt to emerge. An assumption of the media and public is that the United States went magically from the Battle of Yorktown (1781) to the peace treaty signed in 1783.
          Thomas Fleming, the author of over 40 books and most recently, Washington’s Secret War, takes us through the byzantine politics of Great Britain, reminds us that 13,000 British troops occupied New York City with another 13,000 regulars and armed loyalists holding other cities and towns including Savannah, Georgia and that Britain was contemplating sending another army to North America. Opposing them was a Congress down to 24 members (from 39), an empty national treasury and an American Army that had not been paid for years and was on the verge of mutiny. Add to that a France on the verge of bankruptcy. Finally, France and Spain were putting together a large army to send to the Americas to conquer the West Indies and Canada because America was only a small part in a World War, the richest part being the ownership of the West Indies.
          In the book, you move between the key players in the drama and see that the outcome we take for granted was far from certain. Not without anguish, General Washington resisted the urgings of many officers to seize power and held the angry army together until peace and independence arrived. Having arrived, the peace commissioners, including Benjamin Franklin, were vilified instead of honored.
          And did you hear the one about the independent country of Vermont, which separately negotiated with the British? (Remind you of Kurdistan?)
          Needless to say the book was a riveting read.

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