Author Archives: Justin Smith, CFA, CFP

Your Muni Fund Isn’t In Kansas Anymore…It’s in Puerto Rico

I bet there are plenty off people in New York who wish that 1 out of 4 of their winter days felt like Puerto Rico’s (which is 40 degree warmer in December!) … but for those who can’t afford the … Continue reading

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Debt Ceilings Aren’t For Lovers: A Timeline of the Coming Debt Limit

This seems like a banner year for single economists, politicians, and journalists who want to blame their lack of Valentine’s Day dates on something. We’re headed right toward debt ceiling crisis and the Bipartisan Policy Center projects it will occur sometime between February … Continue reading

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Get Stuff Done by Creating Your Own Personal “Fiscal Cliff”

On New Year’s Eve, while Congress was busy waiting until the last-minute to “resolve” the Fiscal Cliff crisis…I was busy doing the same at my kitchen table. As it goes with Cobblers kids going shoeless, I have to admit that … Continue reading

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Because all we need is less time between an investment idea and a purchase

  I disabled 1 Click buying from my Amazon account because I bought a couple things that I probably wouldn’t have if I’d had the 5 more seconds to consider if I really needed it. This new App from eTrade … Continue reading

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Warren Buffett: From The Way Back Time Machine

  A friend of mine sent me this photocopy of an article written by Warren Buffett in 1984: The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville (thanks @CurtisChesney). In it, Buffett highlights some of the results and process of some of his like-minded contemporaries. Note: all of … Continue reading

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QE Explained on a Whiteboard by @paddyhirsch

QE Explained by Paddy Hirsch: “The danger, of course, is that if the banks turn on the pump and start pouring cash into the shallow end of the pool, we could end up being the ones drowning in cash. Which is an … Continue reading

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Opportunity Costs: From Fig-Leaf Underwear to Robert Frost

Over 250 years ago, Benjamin Franklin penned a four page pamphlet titled “Advice to a Young Tradesman from an Old One”. In it, Franklin dispensed wisdom that seems concurrently basic and indispensable. For example, Uncle Ben advised that if I … Continue reading

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The 5 Sources of Moat (video by @StockInvestPaul)

In the video below, Morningstar’s Paul Larson describes what an economic moat is, where is comes from, and why it matters in investing. As a side note, we think a  growing or stable moat is more important than the actual size of … Continue reading

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Unprecedented Fiscal Cliff – CFA NC Annual Meeting Recap

Last night, Jonathan and I went to the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) NC Annual Meeting at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro. Our speaker was Andy Laperriere, CFA from ISI speaking giving us an “Economic Policy Outlook”. And as dry as that might … Continue reading

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Delaying Social Security as a Triple Hedge (@MichaelKitces)

Michael Kitces is a fellow Financial Planner ( and all around smartest guy in the room. He recently wrote about delaying Social Security as a hedge against 1) higher than expected inflation 2) lower than expected investment returns and obviously 3) living … Continue reading

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