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  • The Mountains Are Calling
    Growing up, my parents would send me to a small town called Timpson, TX, every summer to get away from the screens and city life. Being a kid from inner-city Dallas, the lack of air conditioning and... READ MORE
  • Mortgages: To Pay Off or Not to Pay Off
    If you got a mortgage or had the chance to refinance in the last 10 years, congratulations! You were able to lock-in historically low rates for your house payment. A question we often get is if... READ MORE
  • Wedding Budget Tips
    A wedding is a beautiful and wonderful event where a couple gets to celebrate the saying of their “I Do’s”. Countless hours are spent planning details and the backbone of all that planning is... READ MORE
  • Your Deposits are Safe! But Did the Fed Break Something?
    The last week has been especially busy in the banking world. Most of you have likely heard about the bank failures at either Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), or Signature bank, and banking... READ MORE
  • Are Home Prices Going to Crash?
    I’ve heard several people asking about home prices for the last year. It’s an important question because it affects everyone. If you own a home, you don’t want one of your greatest assets... READ MORE
  • Bienvenido a Argentina
    As I reflect on our recent nuptials and honeymoon, I would like to share our travel experience. Over a year ago, my now wife and I had decided to have our honeymoon in Argentina. Being the hiking... READ MORE
  • What’s Going On with Egg Prices?
    Inflation has been an issue the last couple of years, but what particular good seems to be driving that inflation at any point in time seems to be constantly changing. The price of lumber was the... READ MORE
  • SECURE Act 2.0 Summary
    On December 23, 2022, Congress passed a new tax bill that will have a huge impact on Americans’ lives in the upcoming years. At WJ, we have been researching and clarifying all the new 92 provisions... READ MORE
  • The “When I Die” File: Making the Hard Stuff Easier
    Death is never an easy thing to prepare for or talk about. If you’re in the later stages in life, you may be wondering what you can do to help your loved ones once your time comes. A “When I... READ MORE
  • Scarcity: Remember the Big Picture
    The current state of the economy was the hot topic in the first half of 2022. The rapidly rising inflation rate, the lowest returns on bonds in over 200 years, low stock returns, and an increase in... READ MORE
  • June Inflation Recap
    You've probably noticed inflation came in especially hot this week. I'd like to share a quick article by Barry Ritholtz that digs into what goes into that 9.1% number. Long story short, its mostly... READ MORE
  • The Economic War on Russia
    Over the past few weeks, there is one story that trumps all in the world, and that’s the Russian war against Ukraine. Like all of you, I have been bombarded with stories from mainstream sources on... READ MORE
  • What’s Going on With Inflation?
    January’s CPI (Consumer Price Index) numbers came in last week and inflation was hotter than expected. Prices were up 0.6% in January, which means a year over year (yoy) increase of 7.5%. As you... READ MORE
  • Follow-up to Previous Blog – WHEN You Should Invest
    Brandon wrote a great blog post last week regarding when someone should invest. Click Here for his post. As a follow-up to that post, Visual Capitalist recently published an article that continues... READ MORE
  • Client Question: How Important is WHEN I Start Investing to My Overall Investing Experience?
    Not too long ago, a client came to me with an interesting idea for a blog. The client asked (paraphrasing), “how does WHEN I get started as an investor in stocks, affect my experience as an... READ MORE
  • Historic Low Yields Mean Dismal Future Bond Returns. What Can I Do?
    We have written in the past about how to address an upcoming dismal period for bond investors. See here and here . In this blog, I address advice I often hear and read in the financial press and from... READ MORE
  • Multiple Leaves, Separate Piles for Each Leaf
    Over the years I have run into people that have multiple leaves but separate piles for each leaf. In other words, they have multiple advisors to help them manage their assets. The reasoning they... READ MORE
  • Does Inflation Hurt Stock Returns?
    Below is an excerpt from our latest WJ Notes newsletter. The full piece examines how inflation affects stocks, bonds and alternatives as well as our own positioning in those asset classes.  Stocks... READ MORE
  • Market Timing, Is Now a Good Time to Invest?
    The market (S&P 500) is again reaching all-time highs. Many wonder if now is a good time to invest. As the saying goes, "There's no time like the present." Ben Carlson's video illustrates this... READ MORE
  • How am I doing compared to others: 3 ways to measure your financial security
    We are often asked, “How am I doing compared to others?” I get the sense that people do not ask this question hoping to be better off than others or in “Keeping up with the Joneses.” I... READ MORE
  • All About Inflation
    Inflation is one of the scariest words in finance. It is something people have been especially concerned about ever since the Fed started printing money in 2008. You have all seen the commercials... READ MORE
  • Some Thoughts on Cryptocurrencies
    Recently, we have received several questions regarding cryptocurrencies from our clients. The questions are typically whether or not they are a good buy at the current price or not. Here are some... READ MORE
  • Baseball & Investing
    As a fan and student of the game, I'm excited that baseball season is upon us. Bottom of the 9th, 2 outs, full count, bases loaded, down by 3. As a kid, we constantly played out this scenario in the... READ MORE
  • Questions About Rising Interest Rates
    Although most of the focus has been on stocks lately, it is bonds that have arguably had the more interesting year. Interest rates (which we will use the 10-year treasury yield to represent) have... READ MORE
  • IRS announces tax relief for Texas severe winter storm victims
    The IRS just announced this past week that Texas victims of the recent winter storms now have until June 15, 2021, to file tax returns. Additionally, they may provide tax relief to some depending on... READ MORE
  • The Strength of the Cable and Financial Independence
    Watching the inauguration in D.C. earlier this month reminded me of the many years I spent living in the D.C. area. Much of that time was spent during my tenure at the United States Naval Academy in... READ MORE
  • How Much Should Stock Prices Move?
    Clients often tell us the stock market makes no sense to them. How can the value of a company fluctuate 10% in a day? How can an entire stock market index, representing hundreds of stocks, move on... READ MORE
  • Forecast Folly
    One of my favorite events each year is the “CFA Annual Forecast Dinner” that takes place every January. At this dinner, there is an array of professionals in the money management business who get... READ MORE
  • Market Predictions: Up, Down or Sideways
    I came across this article over the weekend in The New York Times , Clueless About 2020, Wall Street Forecasters Are at It Again for 2021 . It hits the nail on the head when it comes to market... READ MORE
  • 2020 Investing Lessons
    As 2020 winds to a close, you will notice the typical barrage of articles being sent out explaining what happened this year and predicting what’s going to happen next year. Typically, it’s best... READ MORE
  • The Biggest Investing Challenge Today
    In almost any portfolio, for investors large and small, there are two primary parts. There is the side that should grow (almost always stocks), and there is the counterbalance that should give the... READ MORE
  • Compounding your Money Requires Compounding Good Decisions
    I ran across an interesting article last week written by Larry Swedroe. Mr. Swedroe is a prolific writer having written eight books and numerous articles explaining, in layman's terms, how to be a... READ MORE
  • Should you consider a Buffer Annuity?
    This year has yielded very volatile market conditions, primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the Federal Reserve, interest rates are now very low and there isn't much indication that... READ MORE
  • When it Comes to Stocks, It’s Hard to Stay on Top
    I've written several posts about how difficult it is for companies to remain at the pinnacle in terms of market capitalization. It is not likely the current big winners like Apple, Google, Microsoft... READ MORE
  • What the Election Means for Your Portfolio
    In case you have not heard, we have an important election coming up. According to politicians it is the most consequential election in American history. That is a pretty bold claim when considering... READ MORE
  • How The CARES Act Impacts Charitable Giving
    As we quickly approach the fourth quarter, year-end tax planning and charitable giving are often discussed with our clients. The CARES Act has expanded charitable giving opportunities for this year.... READ MORE
  • The Wild Ride of Lumber: A Market to Watch
    If Noah had to build his ark today, he'd be in for a shock. Over the course of the past several months, lumber prices have been on a wild ride. Since the beginning of April, lumber prices more than... READ MORE
  • An Upside-Down Market
    One of my favorite financial writers is an anonymous researcher who goes by the pseudonym, Jesse Livermore. The real Jesse Livermore was a pioneer of day trading in the early 1900s, whom at one point... READ MORE
  • What is up with Tesla’s Stock Price?
    I ran across these charts on Twitter recently (@AlbertBridgeCap). The charts compare the enterprise values and sales of the entire auto industry vs. Tesla. Tesla is up over 400% this year and is now... READ MORE
  • Being Prepared During Hurricane Season
    Earlier this week, Hurricane Laura threatened to potentially hit the Houston area. As Laura made it's way across the Gulf of Mexico, it strengthened rapidly into a major Category 4 hurricane and it's... READ MORE
  • Understanding the Economy
    We are often asked about interest rates, the printing of money, taxes and other various levers that can impact the economy. Ray Dalio, Co-CIO and Co-Chairman of Bridgewater Associates, put together a... READ MORE
  • Thoughts From a First Time Home Buyer
    Last week, my wife and I bought our first house. We initially signed the contract about 3 months ago and have been dying of anticipation ever since. Actually, it wasn’t 3 months, it was about 76... READ MORE
  • Hot Potato
    This year the 5 largest stocks in the S&P 500 have added $1.66 trillion in market capitalization while the remaining 495 have lost $1.61 trillion according to the BeSpoke Investment Group.... READ MORE
  • Should you consider refinancing?
    Lately, the topic of refinancing has come up many times when talking with our clients, given how low interest rates currently are. However, in order to justify the cost of refinancing your mortgage,... READ MORE
  • Getting your “Life” in order
    We were recently asked by a client about putting together a “Red Book.” This type of document is essentially an “If I die” type of book or checklist. These are great for executors of estates... READ MORE
  • Look Forward Not Backward
    Twitter Source: Joachim Dressler (@thevolawatcher) You don’t drive looking in the rear-view mirror and you shouldn’t invest looking backwards either. The largest, most valuable stocks now will... READ MORE
  • The Effectiveness of Wearing a Mask
    In observance of Independence Day, WJ Interests, LLC will be closed on Friday, July 3rd. As you enjoy your fourth of July festivities, we wanted to share an interesting article and visualization... READ MORE
  • Explaining the COVID-19 Oil Crash
    Visual Capitalist posted a great, simplified summary last month on why oil prices went subzero on April 20th. Click the picture to access the link to that article:... READ MORE
  • CARES Act: What Retirees, Employees and Business Owners Should Know
    On March 27th, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” also known as the “CARES Act,” was signed into law. This is a $2 trillion emergency fiscal stimulus package intended... READ MORE
  • CARES Act
    In the coming weeks, we will be sending out our thoughts on the CARES Act. In the meantime, the following video is a quick overview: Additionally, here's a simple breakdown: $510  billion - Loans to... READ MORE
  • Keep Your Time Horizon in Perspective
    During periods of volatility, keep your time horizon in mind. Over short periods of time, many asset classes can experience a wide range of returns. However, over longer periods of time, they will... READ MORE
  • Coronavirus Update
    The spread of Coronavirus and its impact on our health and the economy are increasingly becoming a more serious concern. We’ve reached more than 82,000 confirmed cases and the virus is continuing... READ MORE
  • How Does the SECURE Act Impact You?
    Back on December 20th, President Trump signed the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act” into law, which was part of a larger spending bill to continue funding the... READ MORE
  • The Tradeoff of Market Timing
    Timing the market is the holy grail of investing. On one hand, traders try to time the market opportunistically to achieve higher returns. On the other, many portfolio managers try to sidestep bad... READ MORE
  • A Look Back
    Another decade came to a close last year. I thought it would be interesting to compare the last decade to the previous four decades. The table below shows returns for 5 primary asset classes and a... READ MORE
  • Latest Travel Trends and Destinations
    As many of you enjoy spending some time traveling, we recommend that you check out this Virtuoso article by Elaine Glusac. It provides insight about the latest travel trends and top destinations to... READ MORE
  • 2020 Personal Financial Planning Calendar
    Happy New Year! Don’t let 2020 pass you by and let hindsight be this year (see what we did there?). Take prudent steps now in order to make the most out of your hard-earned wealth. Here we’ve put... READ MORE
  • What are the FANMAG stocks?
    I’ve been reading quite a bit about the FANMAG stocks recently. These stocks are Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, Amazon and Google. These are the hottest stocks of the last decade, due to how... READ MORE
  • End of Year Tax-Smart Charitable Giving
    This year we've discussed different types of tax-smart charitable giving strategies with several clients. Click here for a short video from Charles Schwab that discusses some of these strategies. For... READ MORE
  • Retirement Plan Contribution Limits Going up in 2020
    The IRS has published the new increased retirement plan contribution limits for next year. However, contribution limits for IRAs are remaining the same. Please click here to check out Forbes '... READ MORE
  • Is Your Portfolio Right for You?
    The previous blog I wrote had some general investing advice for those just starting out . In this blog we’re going to drill one level deeper. A Simple Investing Framework There are two things you... READ MORE
  • Diversification is Key to Building Portfolios
    Jason Zweig's latest contribution to the Wall Street Journal is called "Putting the Buy-and-Hold Gospel to the Ultimate Test." Click here to read the full article. In the article, he discusses the... READ MORE
  • Have you heard about the SECURE Act?
    The SECURE Act, assuming it does pass and becomes law, will implement many changes that will affect everyone. It passed in the House back in May, however, it's been held up in the Senate with little... READ MORE
  • Donkeys, elephants, bears, and bulls: Why who is in the White House may matter less than you think.
    Hartford Funds posted a good article and reminder regarding election cycles and how it impacts investing. Something to keep in mind as we enter this next election cycle. Click here for the article.... READ MORE
  • Advice For Someone Just Starting Out With Investing
    “What do I do with my money?” It’s a question I’m starting to get more and more frequently. Most of my peers (late 20s give or take a few years) are at a stage in life where they are starting... READ MORE
  • The Importance of Flood Insurance
    We hope everyone remained safe and dry during yesterday's flash flood event here in the Houston area. Some areas in Southeast Texas received substantially more rain, which unfortunately resulted in... READ MORE
  • Medicare Open Enrollment
    As a reminder, open enrollment for Medicare begins on October 15 and remains open until December 7. Click here for a good resource regarding open enrollment. As always, we're happy to assist with... READ MORE
  • WJ recognized by HBJ as Top Wealth Management Firm
    We are proud to announce that WJ Interests was recently recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the Top Wealth Management Firms & Practices. WJ is ranked #19 among 25 firms and... READ MORE
  • Brandon’s Charts of the Week – Why Does Healthcare Cost So Much?
    Every week, we read a TON of information. Blogs, articles, research papers…it’s our job to be informed about what’s happening in the market, economy, and society in general. Most people don’t... READ MORE
  • WJ Interests ranks #508 nationwide
    We are excited to announce that WJ Interests was recognized by Financial Advisor Magazine. WJ ranked #508 nationwide in the 2019 Annual RIA Ranking. Click here to read more.... READ MORE
  • Diversification
    A portfolio of all stocks is great when the market is rising. In that scenario (like the one we’re in today in the U.S. stock market), the old adage “a rising tide lifts all boats” holds true.... READ MORE
  • Still working? How to decide on Medicare
    Lately, we've noticed more of our clients who are contemplating retirement are choosing to stay employed beyond age 65. Therefore, we are often asked about when they should sign up for Medicare (if... READ MORE
  • Brandon’s Charts of the Week
    Every week, we read a TON of information. Blogs, articles, research papers…it’s our job to be informed about what’s happening in the market, economy, and society in general. Most people don’t... READ MORE
  • Dividend Delusions
    This blog is inspired by a client who recently asked what our thoughts were about an article titled, “3 Safe Dividend Funds Averaging 8% to Buy Today and Hold Forever.” This is a pretty fair... READ MORE
  • Conventional Wisdom is Often Wrong
    Conventional wisdom is defined as the generally accepted belief, opinion, judgment, or prediction about a particular matter. “Recycling saves the environment” is a good example. But is it true?... READ MORE
  • When to Claim Social Security?
    When to claim social security is a tough decision. This article from Bloomberg is a great explanation about not only the benefits of waiting, but also explains that it may not be the ideal decision... READ MORE
  • Brandon’s Charts of the Week
      Every week, we read a TON of information. Blogs, articles, research papers…it’s our job to be informed about what’s happening in the market, economy, and society in general. Most people... READ MORE
  • Brandon’s Charts of the Week
    Every week, we read a TON of information. Blogs, articles, research papers…it’s our job to be informed about what’s happening in the market, economy, and society in general. Most people don’t... READ MORE
  • Why Everyone Needs Estate Planning
    As we often create and implement financial plans, we find that estate planning is by far the most difficult action item to mark "complete." Yes, it's a morbid subject that no one is eager to discuss,... READ MORE
  • Brandon’s Charts of the Week
    Every week, we read a TON of information. Blogs, articles, research papers…it’s our job to be informed about what’s happening in the market, economy, and society in general. Most people don’t... READ MORE
  • What is going to cause your demise? Terrorist Attack or Heart Attack?
    Most of you would correctly guess that a heart attack is more likely to kill you than a terrorist attack.  But, most would also significantly overestimate the probability of dying from a terrorist... READ MORE
  • Moving to Another State?
    Doeren Mayhew published a good article last week regarding tax considerations when moving to another state in retirement. It also applies to anyone considering moving states for a job or other... READ MORE
  • How Many Dominoes Does It Take to Knock Over the Empire State Building?
    “Start investing early because of compounding interest.” Almost everyone has heard some variation of this generic advice. It's personal finance 101. You probably first heard about compounding... READ MORE