Write a business plan worth reading

A business plan includes a brief industry overview that helps readers understand the history of your firm in the context of recent industry trends and leads into an analysis of your strategies for the future. Coming as it does the beginning of the plan, if you cut and paste boiler plate language, you’ll likely lose […]

On a mission: Statements serve as a guiding force

The goal of the Public Broadcasting Service is to “create content that educates, informs and inspires.” Kiva is a nonprofit corporation “with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.” Ford Motors is a “global family with a proud heritage passionately committed to providing personal mobility for people around the world.”  We’re all […]

In business, failing to plan a plan to fail

President Dwight Eisenhower once observed, “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” The process of thinking about the future and organizing the required resources to accomplish your goals is its own reward. Although the final written plan will be obsolete almost before the ink dries, failing to plan constitutes a plan to fail. Whether you’re starting […]

Leading indicators point toward ongoing recovery

The Avant-Garde Advisors proprietary leading economic index (LEI) paused briefly in October, but remains in a longer-term upward trend that began in May. During the most recent month, the number of indicators reporting improvement increased compared to a month ago. However, the magnitude of the decreases in the declining factors more than offset slight improvement […]

Don’t let different views obstruct financial planning

I’m glad I know sign language, it’s pretty handy. I used to have a fear of hurdles, but I got over it. Have you noticed that writing with a broken pencil is pointless? I love puns. Words have so many meanings. Sometimes the multifaceted perspective about a single word causes confusion, but other times it’s […]

Sectors important in building investment portfolios

Zeno’s dichotomy paradox refers to the philosophical conundrum in which someone wishing to get from point A to point B must travel halfway before completing the journey. Since half the journey first must be completed and half-journeys can go on ad infinitum, the Greek philosopher concluded the traveler would never arrive at the destination, but […]

Leading economic indicator: Growth likely to continue

May-Investments developed its own Leading Economic Indicator (LEI) to better understand an economy that for most of 2013 has been sending mixed signals. The latest LEI readings continue to forecast economic growth during the months ahead. After weakening earlier in the year, the LEI increased in May for a second consecutive month of gains. May-Investments […]

Plan ahead to embrace the four stages of retirement

Planning is vital to enjoying a happy and peaceful retirement — not just financial planning, but preparation in a wide range of areas. My investment and retirement planning practice breaks planning issues into four distinct stages. We encourage people to start planning at least 10 years before hitting their retirement dates. While successful retirees share […]

Plan ahead to smooth retirement income and taxes

The January 2013 tax hikes make tax planning more important than ever.  Two strategies we’ve identified are of particular interest to retirees trying to make their savings last as long as possible. Perhaps some of these strategies will help you think about your income and expenses during your retirement years. Planning is the key to […]

Social Security benefits: When does it pay to delay?

Retirees can start taking Social Security benefits at any time between the ages of 62 and 70. While many people start taking benefits as soon as possible, today’s low interest rate environment has changed the calculus enough that for many folks, that’s the wrong decision.  It almost takes a doctoral degree in economics to calculate […]