What are you doing to protect your financial plan from this big threat?

I get a little “tin-foil hat” sometimes.

BLUF (bottom line up front)

If you aren’t, AGGRESSIVELY, creating TAX FREE wealth, you are setting yourself up for a lot of pain.

No. Roth is not enough.

People often see the threats to their retirement investing through an entirely market driven lens.

– Inflation 📈

– Volatility 🎢

– Poor earnings 🤮

– The economy 🏭

If any number of those turn out bad, you stand to lose 📉 a chunk of money (and, worse, time.)

People often overlook one of the major events that can IMMEDIATLEY cost you 5, 10, 20, 50% of your assets.

Case in point in the article below. “But it only applies to people with big $$$!”

The point is that the federal and state government can change what they like, when they like?

Don’t believe me. For 133 years the State of Washington considered a capital gains tax to be unconstitutional. In 2022….never mind, JK, LOL.

The tax man can not only change tax RATES, but the NATURE of taxation.

Today’s capital gains could be tomorrow’s ordinary income.

This is why I am outside the box, kind of obnoxious, and occasionally cost myself potential clients by using every tool available to create tax FREE wealth in my client portfolios.

Could the IRS/State attack the Roth? Absolutely. The government could:

1️⃣ Income test Roth distributions (yeah, you might pay income tax twice.)

2️⃣ Net worth test Roth distributions

3️⃣ Take away Roth contributions based on income/net worth.

We cannot control what the legislatures do. What we can control is how we prepare.

So the question is NOT what they will do. The question is what are YOU doing to protect your financial plan.

The secret to MAXIMIZING your retirement income.

Two of the most common questions I get when it comes to financial planning is…

When can I retire, and how much income will I have in retirement?

The honest answer to those questions is…it depends.

There is really two components to figuring out the answers to these questions.

1️⃣How much money will you have?

2️⃣How much can you safely and comfortably take out?

These two principals fit in with the investing strategy at my firm.

1️⃣Lose less than everyone else when the market stinks.

2️⃣Do a little better than everyone else when the market is good.

So, what are the benefits of maximizing your retirement income?

  • Have more money in retirement 💰
  • Retire earlier 💪
  • Have more confidence and peace of mind when you retire 🧘
  • Leave more behind to those you care about 💸

Watch here to learn how to create the most income possible in retirement.


5 ways and investment manager can add to your bottom line.

When thinking about how a fiduciary can help you in your life a lot of people think it is about money.

While we do have a rule here at my firm, namely, our clients do better with us than without us, at the end of the day every client tells me it is the peace of mind that makes the biggest difference in their life.

One client said “if the money ain’t right, nothing is right”.

Fiduciary financial planners are actually pretty rare.  Here in the Sammamish area (Issaquah, Bellevue, North Bend, Snoqualmie, Maple Valley) there are surprisingly few.

Once you find someone you can trust with your financial life (in my process, we use DPT, Diagnose where you are, Plan for where you want to be, Treat your finances with the right tools) the final step is to let that financial planner get you invested the right way.

This investment management is like the medicine a doctor prescribes you you are sick.  If you don’t take the medicine, you don’t get better.

For example.  When a client says “I would like passive income when I retire” I may prescribe an investment that pays a 9% dividend.  This passive income then solves my client’s pain point of needing to replace their earned income.

Note, I do NOT consider buying a “well diversified basket of mutual funds” investment management.  I tell every client, if that is what you want, I will help you set it up on your own, don’t pay someone to do that.


Want to feel better about your money?

It’s not so much that having a #financialplan is such a fantastic, life altering thing.

Its that having uncertainty about money makes us have less confidence in the things we want to do. It makes us think about money when we should be watching our kids.

The #1 thing that starts my process is a


Ask yourself:

1️⃣ Would you start a 30 year road trip without a map?
2️⃣ Would you take a 30 year airplane ride relying on old tropes like the plane probably has 30 years of fuel (i.e. “the market 📉 always comes back.)

Whether you are just beginning your #retirement and #investing journey or you are standing at the gate ready to retire knowing these things are what give you the confidence and peace of mind to be able to forget about money and focus on what is important to you:

1️⃣ Where you money 💰 is coming form.

2️⃣ How much you can spend without running out 💸 .

3️⃣ That the market 📉 won’t cause you to lose sleep or sacrifice the things you want.

If you want a FREE, quick, one page financial plan just take the 2 minute quiz below.


No, 9% passive income isn’t “too good to be true…”

Man, when I tell people they can have over 9% passive income with some decent safety, I get my feet held to the fire.


I won’t say the words “too good to be true” were thrown around, but they kind of were.


I recently was talking with some folks who had their retirement accounts with a big box planner.  They said:


“Two grand kids live in California and two grand kids live in Missouri….we gave xxxxxx xxxxx $500,000, and it has turned into $460,000!  We really want to travel but we don’t feel like we can without taking some money out, and now we don’t want to do that!”


I built a custom income note (see my email from last week) that generated to many quesitons I thought I would make a quick explainer, check out the YouTube video below 👇to see how this investment works.


Market timing is a bad idea, but you can “beat the market.”

If you are 55+ years old and nearing or in #retirement

With the market a blood bath 🔻 🤮 again for this week, I thought it a good time to poke Wall St in the eye by addressing one of the biggest reasons I have seen people lose money.

Unquestionably WORSE: The TIME⌛ AND PEACE OF MIND 😟 people lose.

The reason? TIMING THE MARKET (and why this is always a bad idea.)

The solution: You can actually “beat the market” in 2 distinct ways (mathematical and the feels.).

I have three people currently considering coming aboard my practice.

1️⃣ A great guy managing his own money. “I buy and hold the S&P500, because the market always comes back.” After a little trust was built, he admitted “I currently am in cash, I usually work on gut feeling.”

2️⃣ A couple with a big Wall St firm that said “we’re tired of losing but want to make back some losses before we move.”

3️⃣ A couple who sold their house and turned $500,000 over to a Wall St firm because a friend who “has done very well” gave them a referral…(more on this, which is a timing issue.

Three points on market timing.

1️⃣ It is almost impossible. First you have to be right. Then you have to be right all the time. Just because you successfully buy high, you then have to know when to sell, then when to buy ad infinitum. Consider that, according to Barron’s JUST 7% of professionally managed funds have “beaten the market” in the last decade. These are “experts” who wake up every day, with all the most expensive research and insider knowledge, and they fail 93% of the time.

2️⃣ Its a no win scenario. Let’s say you time it right. “I want to wait till the market comes back”. If you are right and the market rebounds, but then drops (a “bull trap”) you lose everything you just made back. You also lose time. And was it a lot of stress free “fun” waiting for the market to come back? If you are wrong and the market keeps tanking 🔻 how long are you going to wait for it to come back? Consider: The S&P 500 took ❗ 12 YEARS ❗ to “come back” from the peak of the 2002 tech bubble. Do you want to put your plans off 12 years?

3️⃣ Its not worth it. Why would you put your plans, your peace of mind, your time with your family, and your money at risk when you don’t have to? If it were a matter of “sit in cash” and “buy and hold” I get it…maybe there is an argument there. But with #investments that limit or eliminate loss, but can still make double digit returns if the market rebounds available, there is no reason to try and “time the market.”

Below is an example of 2 ways to “beat the market….”

1️⃣  The first way is mathematical.  I was the first DIY investor I know.  I started by buying a single stock (TRMB if you want to know) using paper route money through my great-grandmother when I was 12.  Since then I have day traded, bought and sold options, traded futures, done the “10 stock portfolio”, 60/40, read every blog (I was a Boglehead) and mirrored Warren Buffet.   Then I started managing client’s money using one simple principle.  Reduce unnecessary risk without giving up the reward.  By using these institutionally available investments I started to notice my clients were way outperforming my personally money.  Since I have started doing for myself what I do for my clients I have a far better ROI and lost far less sleep over money.

2️⃣  The REAL way you beat the market is this.




Don’t listen to anyone who says they know what the market will do.

Weird thing of the day to hear from an investment advisor.

I don’t care about money.

I care about the time people are losing as their money slips away.

It’s weeks like this where my “imposters syndrome” goes away and I get motivated to help more people. Conveniently it’s weeks like this where I get the most people asking for help.

I was just talking to a prospective client about his #retirement #financialplan.

He was worried about the market being down for so long. But the other side of the coin is this: DIY investors (and people generally) do NOT like to turn the keys over to someone else when it comes to their money.

“I think I am fine buying and holding the S&P500” he said.

“Cool, the market will probably come back, keep doing that.” I told him.

“Well, how long before it does?” He asked.

“I have no idea, is that why we are having this conversation?” I asked.

As he let his guard down he admitted “yes, I sold all 1.4 million of my retirement assets to cash. I can’t stand losing any more, but I don’t want to miss out if the market recovers.”

This ☝ is why I focus on removing unnecessary risk without giving up the reward. By not doing what Wall St tells me (“tell them to buy and hold, don’t catch a falling knife, trust the institution!”) and actually putting in the work I save my clients the stress of watching their plans, their time, and their peace of mind slip away.

By having investments that both protect from the downside without giving up the upside, my clients can ignore the market and get a full night sleep knowing if the market is down 📉 they are losing less than everyone else and if the recovers 📈 they aren’t going to miss out.

It take REAL DIVERSIFICATION to make sure you retire on time.

Bad news I break to those nearing and in retirement ⛴ all the time.

“You have the illusion of “#diversification“, but unfortunately your investments didn’t protect you the way you thought.”

“But I have a 60/40 stock bond portfolio!”

“But my target date fund was supposed to protect me!”

The worst part is not that people lose money they aren’t expecting to.

The worst part is that they lose time with their family 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 .

The worst part is they lose peace of mind 😟 .

The worst part is they lose confidence they can retire 💼.

In the video below 👇 I talk about two types of real diversification that I use in my practice to help keep #retirement on track.

1️⃣ Tax Diversification

2️⃣ Asset Class Diversification

The best investments both protect and grow.

With the FED holding rates high to try and drop inflation, and the DOW at a net loss for the year, things are uncertain.

In all my financial plans I often recommend things 95% of people aren’t familiar with. This is because 95% of financial planning is run by Wall St, who wants to convince people that “the institutional research we do blah blah…buy and hold…don’t catch a falling knife…” will get you to the finish line. And, to be honest, over a long enough period of time…it probably will.

When it comes to the tools you can use to do things like reduce unnecessary risk, lower your tax burden etc… here is my belief about the BEST investment available, and it isn’t what you think.

The truth is…there is no one best investment 🤯 . I know, statements like that are why I will never retire. I probably have half the clients I could but have happier clients than most, because I believe people deserve honesty, and not a sales pitch.

Ok, I told a half truth. The best investment is the one that accomplishes your goals. The best investment is the one that does the job you want it to do.

All stock jocks think their “propriety portfolio” will make you rich overnight 🛥 while ignoring that something ridiculous like 95% of active portfolios underperform a passive index 😥 .

Everyone in real estate will tell you that as soon as they “get to 100 doors” you can help them pick our the color of leather interior on their new G5 🛫 (and then interest rates go from 0% to 10% and the market tanks.)

“Can’t go wrong putting 100% of your money in annuities” says your buddy who was hired at an insurance company right out of business school.

The truth is that all investments do different things, at different times, and have different strengths and weaknesses. Every investment vehicle is different and all have their purpose (except Variable Annuities, I will die on this hill).

Want tax free growth and safety: Roth fixed income

“But I want to use my money before I am 59.5”

I get it, I want my cake but also to eat my cake.

This is why the best financial plans and portfolios have all different tools at their disposal, and why I don’t push one solution, or shy away from another. At the end of the day the point is to have the right tools to build a financial plan that will grow in the sunshine but protect us from the rain.

There are investments that beat inflation, and a down market.

High #inflation got your #invesments down? If you are near retirement you know this pain well. Even now, some younger investors (who have known nothing but an up-trending market their whole lives 📈 )are starting to realize its not all fun and games.


BUY THE FAANG STOCKS AND HODL shouts the millennial! 🎢

MY BOND FUND WAS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT ME shouts the almost-retiree! 🤯


There is a way to beat inflation and a schizophrenic market.


At its most recent meeting the Fed signaled it expects inflation to persist. In my view the American investor wants the pain of the inflation bubble over so bad it has self medicated with that most powerful of drugs.




After pumping 2-3 trillion into the economy I am surprised that anyone is surprised that inflation will persist. With inflation “only” up 3-4% year over year, people have also forgotten that is +3% over the already +20% from previous years.


So really, the self talk of “the market always comes back” should be rephrased “I hope the market always comes back.” Will it? Over a long enough period of time…sure.


The question isn’t if the market will come back. The question is, especially for those nearing and in #retirement, how long? Moreover, how does making those retirement plans or distributions feel with a down market also pulling money from that account rather quickly (and ceaselessly).


How mcuh confidence do you have that you won’t have to spend less, trade off that trip to see your daughter’s soccer game, or put off that trip with your grand kids to Disney Land (right when they’re the best age for that)?


For wealth accumulators and HENRYs (high earners not rich yet) and the investing public generally, how much farther away is that vacation, vacation house, or being able to reduce your hours to spend time with your family?


As I tell all my clients “hope is not a #financialplan.” I have stared at an investment account and hoped as hard as anyone has hoped before, and it didn’t turn the market green.


So what do we do? All good #financialplans do two things (okay, three things).


1️⃣ Grow your #investments when the sun shines 📈

2️⃣ Protect your #investments when it starts to rain 📉

3️⃣ Give you peace of mind that no matter what happens, you’ll be ok.


Ironically, its the #inflation and market volatility that actually makes this possible.


There are investments that actually get much better when #inflation is up and the markets are a roller coaster (doesn’t matter, up or down, its the volatility that makes them better.)


Investments that most off the shelf DIY investors, typical 401ks, and standard Wall St investment firms don’t use (or don’t have access to) have much better terms during these times.


This is because those investments use options as a hedge against a down market and a leverage tool with a good market.


For instance, I just had a client and we needed to create #passiveincome.


I was able to structure an investment that had the following.


1️⃣Doesn’t lose a penny unless the S&P500 is down over 40% at the end of 5 years (very little chance of this.)

2️⃣Pays him 8.45% interest on his money.


I have another set or clients within 2 years of #retirement.  I put them in an investment that


1️⃣Is guaranteed never to lose.

2️⃣Can make up to 10% if the market is good.



My favorite thing to do in my practice is the unexpected.  Most clients at some point utter “I bet you are like everyone else.”  To be honest, I used to have imposter’s syndrome and quietly agreed with them.


By using investments that remove unnecessary risk without giving up the reward it is in times like these that these strategies have really paid off, and I have the happiest clients in the world.