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Now Never Feels Like the Right Time to Invest



As I sat with a friend the other night, the conversation came up as to what he should do with all the negative market news as he indicated to me that he had a significant amount of funds on the sidelines. (Full disclosure: He said this conversation should be a blog post since it was this blog that opened the lines of communication.)

Conveniently, I’ve had a number of experiences over the past few years where clients have come into a lump sum to invest or where prospective clients have been introduced to me for similar reasons.

To be clear, this is not another post about the best strategy to invest a lump sum but on the feelings of investing a lump sum. I will discuss the strategy I’d utilize, but the important point here is the part about feelings.

Regardless of the source of funds, one thing I’ve found to be true across all lump sum investment opportunities is:

Now NEVER seems like a good time to invest your money.

If the market is near a peak, the fear is that the market is going to fall as soon as the money is invested. If the market is down, the fear is that the market is going to keep going down. The prevailing theme at any point is that the market is destined to go down. As a result, “Let’s wait and see what happens” is a common refrain as if the future market performance would offer any indication of the wisdom of the decision.

We can play the what-if game until we are blue in the face, but no matter the outcome of that hypothetical game, the key question isn’t about what is going to happen over the next week (or whatever time period) but, when will you need the money?

It’s quite simple in my opinion – any money you may need over the next few years (dependent on the person) should not be invested in the stock market. Any money that falls outside of that simple rule should be invested immediately in accordance with your agreed-upon investment allocation.

Why? The data is pretty clear on this from a statistical standpoint. Here’s the simplest way of looking at this…On a rolling basis, over any four-month period, there is a 70% probability of positive returns in the market and the numbers get better from there the further out you go.


It’s surprising even to me that over a short period of just four months, market returns are likely to be positive – to the tune of 70% of the time. Why would anyone want to bet against those odds? Casinos make millions by maintaining a very slight edge over gamblers yet we balk at the idea of investing dollars right away because we think we know what will happen next or are at least worried that we are going to make a timing mistake – in other words, a mistake that is both unknowable and entirely out of our control.

But surely there is an optimal way to do this, right? You’d be correct of course, but the problem is that any “optimal strategy” is based entirely on the past – data that is more or less useless to us unless it gives you some sort of emotional fortitude that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Said another way, we can’t possibly know what optimal is until the future gets here.

For example, if the market just goes up, then the optimal strategy would have been to invest 100% right away. If the market just falls, then the optimal strategy would have been to wait until the bottom and there are infinite situations in between that could happen. Long story short, optimal is only known via the rearview mirror and any strategy you abide by because it’s optimal is almost sure to NOT be optimal once the allotted time passes.

And I think it’s relevant to note that up to a point, we are optimizing for theoretical marginal gains. I believe we should optimize things that provide long-run significant benefits like asset allocation and not haggle over optimizations that are short-term in nature where outcomes are a crapshoot.

Because, as I wrote a few weeks back, nobody can see these things coming. People who came into a lump sum or panicked at the end of 2018 and wanted to (understandably) slowly dip their toes back into the waters of the market may have missed out on the majority of the benefits of 2019 – one of the best market performance years of the last forty years.

To be clear, it could have gone a different way as the market could have kept falling. And I’m not prognosticating what’s going to happen next, but to make a point that we cannot always equate the outcome of a decision to the quality of a decision. Sometimes, those two things diverge from one another – it’s the nature of life. The key is to make the best decision we can based on the information at hand.

If it provides any additional comfort, you may remind yourself that your retirement is likely to be a 30-year endeavor or more. Therefore, it is unlikely that any one-month, six-month, one-year or whatever span is going to ruin your retirement unless of course, you make an emotional decision in the throes of one of those scary periods. The best idea is to have a plan for your portfolio that might effectively provide income over a 30-year retirement.

To reiterate the primary point of this soap-box post: Putting your money into the market will NEVER feel like it’s quite the right time. It’s the nature of investing.

Thanks to my friend who spurred this conversation – you know who you are.

This post is not advice. Please see additional disclaimers.

The post Now Never Feels Like the Right Time to Invest appeared first on Retirement Field Guide.

By: Ashby Daniels, CFP®
Title: Now Never Feels Like the Right Time to Invest
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Published Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2020 12:01:00 +0000

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5 Reasons Why An RV Surge Protector Is Worth Every Penny



The post 5 Reasons Why An RV Surge Protector Is Worth Every Penny appeared first on Live Insurance News.

Whether you are recently retired, want a change of pace, or just like to travel, living in an RV is the right choice for many Americans. Living in an RV permanently or just for a little while, it only makes sense to make sure that it is as safe as possible. But too often than not people skip some vital equipment that ensures their RV is safe and protected all the time. One of those pieces of equipment you should never skip is a surge protector.

What is a Surge Protector?

An RV is filled with different electrical systems that require the proper voltage to operate efficiently and safely. Whenever there are fluctuations in the power supply like a sudden surge or drop, electronics from the air conditioning, TVs, stove, appliances, and anything else that gets plugged in can become damaged and, even worse, pose a safety hazard.

At its most basic definition, a surge protector comes in two different types. The first one is attached to the power pedestal, the part where you plug into the power supply at the RV park, and prevents both too high and too low of currents from entering your RV. Whenever it detects anything outside the acceptable range, it blocks it. That means the power is shut off but at least the electronics are safe.

The next type is the full service, newer surge protectors. They perform the same basic function of preventing the improper current but they have the added benefit of detecting if the pedestal is mis-wired or there is not a ground.

Are RV Surge Protectors Really Worth the Investment?

The first reason is more about practicality and common sense than anything else. The average surge protector, whether it is portable or permanent, runs between $100 to 200 dollars. To learn more, check the best RV surge protectors. The more advanced surge protectors can reach about 500 dollars.

While this may seem like a lot of money, especially for those that are cash strapped, in the long run, it will actually pay for itself many times over if you ever needed it. Think about it. The average RV starts at 10,000 dollars and can reach upwards of 100,000 dollars. The electronic equipment inside like the air conditioning, TVs, computers, appliances, and refrigerators combined can cost thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.

The surge protector acts as an insurance policy on all of this equipment. Even better, it is only a one-time payment and not a monthly fee forever. You get it and that is it. Think about how much less financial hardship and trouble a surge protector would save against the small initial investment.


It certainly does not happen every day, but most of you have either experienced or probably know someone who has been affected by a lightning strike. These natural electrical surges can severely damage your RV and take out pretty much all the electrical equipment on board. It is pretty difficult to avoid these and the only thing besides unplugging all the electronics during a thunderstorm that will help you is having a surge protector installed.

Thankfully, direct hits are very rare, but indirect lightning hits are actually pretty common. An indirect hit happens when your RV is near a power pole, pedestal, or some other high voltage electrical component that receives a lightning strike near it. The strike then travels through the power grid into your RV causing the same effect as a bolt of lightning hitting the roof of your RV.

Lightning strikes are more common in open areas with little cover around, but they can still happen anywhere, and having a surge protector is the only thing that can save you from the catastrophic loss either hit would cause.

Improperly Wired Parks

RV parks, especially the older ones, are not known for how well their electrical systems are wired. Oftentimes to save money, less popular or less scrupulous park managers will have people who are not qualified to work on the wiring which can result in unintended power surges or drops. The end result might not even be intentional if the infrastructure of the park is just old, but you never know who last certified that equipment is safe to use.

The issue of improper wiring has become such an issue that a recent federal law was passed that all new RVs come equipped with reverse polarity detectors which indicate to the owner whether the wiring is mis-wired or faulty. What it does not do is protect you in case the indicator shows faulty wiring, and that is where a surge protector will come in handy.

Low Voltages

As stated earlier, surge protectors protect against too high and too low of a voltage. But why exactly is low bad for your electronics and what causes it? Below is a quick explanation:

  •   As long as temperature and resistance stay the same, the voltage is directly proportional to the current and when the voltage goes down so does the current.
  •   Every appliance has its own voltage and current rating. When a lower voltage is supplied to the appliance or system than what it is rated for, it will create a new set of parameters to operate at the same capacity.
  •   What this usually means is that whatever appliance or system affected will draw more current to maintain its required power output. This makes more current flow through the conductor than what was intended.
  •   As more current passes through the conductor, it overheats and can start to burn wiring, start fires, and ultimately destroy the equipment.

These low voltage situations can often happen in RV parks where there are a lot of people trying to use the same amount of power at the same time. Those that are not equipped to handle all the use will cause the output for each RV to drop significantly. Of course, even when you go during the off-season you never know how many people are going to be there, and even going during popular times you should be unafraid of the power dropping.

High Voltages

High voltage situations are just as bad and happen even more frequently than low voltage situations. Below is a quick explanation about why high voltage damages your electronics:

Each piece of equipment has a maximum voltage it is rated from the wires to the resistors to the conductors and so forth.

If the load becomes too great on any of the components in an electrical system, it can fail or this load can jump from that part to another creating a cascading effect.

This cascading effect will produce a lot of heat which in turn destroys the electronics.

Even equipment that is supposedly “high voltage” cannot withstand certain, powerful electrical surges in the system and they will ultimately fail. There are a variety of causes that can make the power surge. As discussed earlier, lightning is one of those but that one is actually incredibly rare.

What is more common is instead of a large amount of equipment drawing power, a lot of high energy use equipment going off at the same time can suddenly force a greater than expected amount of power back into the system and cause the surge. Again, you cannot predict who is going to do this and when.


Surge protectors should be a no-brainer when it comes to protecting your RV and all the electronics inside of it. It is very cheap compared to the catastrophic damage that can be caused out there from a variety of sources. Whether it is people plugging in or taking out large energy requirements, faulty park wiring, or even lightening, there are just too many ways to get burned when a simple solution at the very beginning could have protected you.


The post 5 Reasons Why An RV Surge Protector Is Worth Every Penny appeared first on Live Insurance News.


By: Live Insurance News
Title: 5 Reasons Why An RV Surge Protector Is Worth Every Penny
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Published Date: Mon, 06 Jul 2020 16:09:50 +0000

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Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage?



The post Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage? appeared first on Live Insurance News.

Since you’re living in “hail alley” in Denver, damage to your property due to this meteorological phenomenon kind of just comes with the territory. That being said, it doesn’t make the damage any less frustrating when you have to deal with it. Repairing places around your home, like your roof, can be a financial burden if you’re not appropriately prepared to handle the responsibility. There is a real need for hail preparedness, considering that parts of Colorado receive the “highest frequency of large hail in North America and most of the world.” Getting covered by an insurance company seems like a great idea, but will they cover damage created by hail? Here’s what you need to know about hail coverage in Colorado.

Make sure you read the fine print.

It’s no surprise that hail can do a lot of damage when you consider that it’s falling out of the sky at the size of a baseball or larger. The insurance agencies in Colorado understand that hail is a definite and impending risk, so you can get Homeowner’s Insurance to cover it. According to the Better Business Bureau, some insurance companies even offer “separate roof deductibles due to frequent hail storms.”

However, it’s important to note that no two insurance companies are alike, so the extent that they’ll cover this damage varies widely. Make sure you read the fine print and take the time to really compare companies before coming to a decision. If you get into a bind with a claim being processed, you can always contact the Colorado Department of Insurance, and they’ll be able to help you according to your policy.

Confer with the roof doctors.

Just like it’s important to go to the doctor for a yearly checkup, it’s similarly important to have professionals make regular visits to assess the state of your roof. All you need to do is make a quick Internet search for “roofing companies Denver” and you’ll find some great candidates.

Having professionals look at your roof before the hail season starts is a great idea, even if you don’t think you have damage, because their report will show any work that needs to be done. If nothing needs to be addressed, that’s even better. This is all just a safety net in case hail or other bad weather does damage your roof, because you’ll be able to easily prove to your insurance company that the damage wasn’t preexisting. This improves your chance of getting the cost covered. Before going through the hiring process for a roofer, if you live in Larimer County, double-check that the people you want to hire are in fact licensed; you might run into some legal trouble if your workers don’t have the proper paperwork.

The right questions to ask

How exactly are you supposed to know if a particular insurance policy is what you’re looking for? A big part of finding the right fit is not being afraid to ask questions. There are a lot of different topics to bring up.

For example, you’ll want to ask how many times will the policy pay for a replacement roof before you’re no longer offered coverage? What is the situation with the deductible? Is it a flat rate, or a percentage, or a combination of the two? If I rent my home or leave for a long period of time, will everything still be appropriately covered? When you meet or call the insurance agent, have your list of questions prewritten. You can never ask too many. Arm yourself with the knowledge you need so that you never find yourself in a tight spot financially on account of hail damage.

The post Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage? appeared first on Live Insurance News.


By: Guest Author
Title: Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Hail Damage?
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Published Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2020 15:22:17 +0000

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What happens if I don’t have motorcycle insurance?



The post What happens if I don’t have motorcycle insurance? appeared first on Live Insurance News.

The day you pass your motorcycle test is probably going to be one of the best days of your life. You’ll suddenly have the freedom to pick your favorite KTM motorcycles from the local dealer and hit the road.

Your license may limit the size of the bike you can ride but it won’t limit how far you can ride, or how much fun you can have!

However, it’s not as simple as just hopping onto a bike and riding off into the sunset. You need to get the right gear, make sure the bike is properly tested, and you need insurance.

Levels of Insurance

As a new rider or even an experienced rider getting a more powerful bike, you may find that motorcycle insurance is surprisingly expensive. Knowing that you’re a safe rider means you may be tempted not to take out any insurance. But, the fact is that you are legally required to have bike insurance.

The legal requirement is to have third-party coverage or referred to as liability insurance. This means that your insurance company will pay the other party the cost of all damages and health bills up to the limits on your policy, if the accident is your fault. You won’t get any funds yourself if you caused the accident.

There are other levels of insurance available including full coverage which sometimes means Comprehensive, Collision and medical payments that pays for your bike and health bills as well as anyone else involved, even if you were the one that caused the accident.

Not Having Insurance

If you don’t have motorcycle insurance then there are two possible scenarios.

  1. Police Stop

If the police stop you and find that your bike is not insured they will fine you on the spot. They also have the power to confiscate your bike because you can’t continue to ride it without insurance and they may feel you are not safe on the road.

Alongside the fine, you may face appearing in court to have your license endorsed or you could even lose your license, have to retake the test, or attend a driver training course.

  1. Accident

The situation is considerably worse if you are involved in an accident, especially if you’re the one that caused it.

Alongside the above penalties imposed by the police for failing to have insurance, you’ll also find yourself liable for the cost of damages to other vehicles and property. On top of this, the other people involved may incur substantial health costs, if the accident was your fault they will be entitled to reclaim these costs from you.

In short, you could be made bankrupt or end up paying these people for the rest of your life. Suddenly paying the cost of insurance doesn’t seem quite so bad.

Don’t forget, most insurance policies also cover fire which can happen completely by accident. Without motorcycle comprehensive insurance, you’ll lose your bike. If it’s expensive that could be a considerable sum of money you’ve lost. The insurance will reimburse this.

Having insurance may seem like an expensive hassle. But, it is a legal requirement and can be a real life-saver for your wallet in the future.

The post What happens if I don’t have motorcycle insurance? appeared first on Live Insurance News.


By: Guest Author
Title: What happens if I don’t have motorcycle insurance?
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Published Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2020 15:34:05 +0000

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