The Bond Market
The media has been telling us we need to get out of bonds. Instead of blindly following the media’s hysteria, remember why you own bonds. They are there for safety to counterbalance the volatility of stocks and for income. Bonds are not in your portfolio to beat inflation – that is what stocks are for. If you are concerned about the types of bonds or percentage of your portfolio allocated to bonds, let me review them for you, so that you can stop worrying!
Gay Marriage Ruling
Last month the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Federal Government will only recognize same-sex marriages in states that have legalized gay marriage. As New Mexico is not one of these states, the new Federal laws recognizing gay marriage do not apply to same-sex couples here. Regardless of your personal feelings about gay marriage, it seems that the 1,138 rights and obligations on the Federal level will not apply to New Mexicans with the current legislation.
Recently, I received an email from a client, requesting me to help her transfer money overseas to purchase some property. My antennae immediately went up, so I picked up the phone, and called the client, who told me she did not send the email. She was out of town, and a hacker had taken control of her email account. The client checked all her bank and investment accounts and requested the institutions to put a temporary hold on any money transfers from the accounts till she returned home. I do not have control over client accounts allowing transactions like the one requested by the hacker. Make sure you practice safe computing, protect your passwords and NEVER click on suspicious emails that come from someone you don’t know. If you receive an email from someone you know, but something does not “smell right” about it, do not open it either.
Secure File Transfer using Box
Even before the above-mentioned scam attempt occurred, I began implementing a secure file transfer service called Box. Any information that passes between clients and SMFP is sent over the internet in a “secure envelope” that is encrypted with 256 bit encryption. When we are about to send each other a confidential document, I will create a shared folder into which you can drag and drop documents into. This is how it works:
- If I am sending you a confidential document that is in the shared folder, you can just click on the link and view or download the document.
- If you want to send me private information, you will need to create a free Box account, and then you can drag and drop files into the shared folder.
- Make sure you protect your Box account with a very secure password, with preferably letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols. I do not have access to your password.
- Please do not send any confidential or sensitive personal or financial information via email – use the secure Box shared folder.
If you have any questions about using Box, let me know.
Intuit Payment Network
To make the payment of SMFP invoices more convenient and secure, you can now pay online, directly from your checking account to mine. The service is run by Intuit, the organization that created Quicken and QuickBooks. It is safe and secure – your bank account information is safe and never shared with me. No sign up required to pay right away (unless you want to use IPN in the future). It eliminates writing paper checks and buying a stamp. There is no cost to you.
In May I attended the annual NAPFA National Conference in Las Vegas (Nevada not NM!). We are not fans of Vegas, but it was an opportunity to eat great food and attend the spectacular Le Rev-The Dream aquatic show. The following week we rode our bikes in the Santa Fe half-century again. Played on a fun USTA tennis team. Did not win many matches, but fun was had by all the guys. Last month we flew to southeast Alaska, visiting Juneau, Gustavus, Glacier Bay National Park, Skagway, Haines and the Kenai Peninsula to visit Roberta’s family. Great weather, delicious seafood, spectacular glaciers and wildlife (bears, seals, birds, sea otters, moose & breaching humpback whales). Next month I fly to Chicago for an in-person meeting with my business management group. Roberta and I have joined the Oxy-Gen Morons running group again. She wants to do another half marathon. The jury is still out on that one for me!
Contact me for a review meeting if needed. Please plan early for setting up an appointment. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to whoever may be interested.