Bob Fitzwilson: 2012 is the "Most Difficult Year Ever" for End-of-Year Financial Planning

Little time left to make big decisions
Saturday, December 8, 2012, 12:27 AM

"This is probably the most difficult end-of-year planning I have ever seen in my career"

~ veteran investment adviser Bob Fitzwilson

As the Fiscal Cliff looms ahead, as well as the implications of new legislation at both the Federal (e.g., "Obamacare") and state (e.g., California's Prop 30) levels, financial advisers are furiously working to calculate the impact these developments will have on their clients' net worth in 2013 and beyond.

Add to that the ugly macroeconomic environment of spiraling sovereign debts and deficits, currency devaluation, and underfunded entitlement programs. At this point, the prudent assumptions to make are that taxes will go higher over time, the money printing machines will run at maximum speed, and when the system really begins to collapse under its own unsustainability the rules will be changed. Perhaps that means capital controls; perhaps it means new restrictions on large asset pools like pension and retirement funds; perhaps it means wealth taxation. At this point, no one knows for sure.

No wonder this is such a difficult moment for end-of-year planning.

So, what to do? » Read more


Time to Focus on 'Return of Capital'

Reflections on the day after the election
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 12:01 PM

I am more concerned with the return of my money than the return on my money.

- unknown (often attributed to Mark Twain or Will Rogers)

The U.S. Presidential race is now behind us. And this morning the world woke up and realized that all the issues the election postponed now lie before us.

In his victory speech, President Obama focused on moving 'forward': » Read more


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Now we enter Part Two of the Crash Course. With the background you’ve received thus far, you are now positioned to understand how the Three “E”s - the Economy, Energy, and the Environment - intersect and seemingly converge on a very narrow window of the future - the Twenty-Teens. The next twenty years are going to be completely unlike the last twenty years.

For you and me, there are only two ways to settle a debt: 1) Pay it off or 2) default on it. If you have a printing press like the government does, a third option exists: 3) Printing money to pay for the debt. So what is debt, really? Debt represents future consumption taken today.

Our entire economic system, and by extension our way of life, is founded on debt, and debt is founded on the assumption that the future will always be bigger than the past. Therefore it is utterly vital that we examine this assumption closely, because if this assumption is false, so are a lot of other critical things that we may be taking for granted.