The Financial Tales Philosophy: You Are Your Own Financial Advisor

Posted by Carlos Sera on Oct 23, 2015 2:48:04 PM

You Are Responsible for Your Money

While the buzz around the financial industry may have you believe that you have two options: 

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Topics: financial tales, Investing Tales

How I Feel About Today: The Soft Launch of "Financial Tales"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Oct 16, 2015 3:17:48 PM

Today marks the first day my book, Financial Tales, is available for all to read. 

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Topics: financial tales, Investing Tales

Fixed vs Variable Annuities: An Alternative Tale

Posted by Carlos Sera on Oct 14, 2015 2:37:57 PM

Before making an investment decision people need to ask themselves, “Is there a better alternative? Is there something better to invest in than what I am considering?” If you routinely ask these questions, not only will it help you develop your investment acumen, you will be able to eliminate entire types of investment alternatives. 

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Topics: FINANCIAL TALE, Investing Tales

The Need for Personal Financial Responsibility: A Basic Tale

Posted by Carlos Sera on Sep 3, 2015 7:51:00 AM

There’s a motto that conveys the core concept of our financial responsibility. This motto was prominently displayed on a plaque on President Harry Truman’s desk while he occupied the White House. It read “the buck stops here.” The motto or saying derives from the slang expression “pass the buck” which means passing the responsibility on to someone else. The expression is said to have originated with the game of poker, in which a marker or a counter, frequently in frontier days a knife with a buckhorn handle, was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the “buck,” as the counter came to be called, to the next player. This concept of individual responsibility was so strong that President Truman referred to it even in his farewell address to the American people. He asserted “The President-whoever he is-has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anyone. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.”

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

A Challenging Tale: "The Wealth Challenge"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Sep 2, 2015 7:58:00 AM

We learned in A Cyclical Tale the 4 stages of the successful wealth cycle and we learned in A Wealthy Tale the definition of wealthy.  This tale focuses on applying what we’ve learned by giving you what I call the wealth challenge.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

A Tale of Recovery: "The Mathematics of Recovery"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Sep 1, 2015 1:23:00 PM

My daughter tells me that I need to write a tale that speaks about percentages.  She says people don’t understand the way money grows and until they do, they can’t really develop an investment approach.  This tale is basic and should be read along with and if you don’t understand this tale you need to read it until you do.  It’s important on many levels.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

How to Deal with High Inflation: A Purchasing Power Tale

Posted by Carlos Sera on Sep 1, 2015 8:28:00 AM

Ideally, this tale should be read after An Inflationary Tale since combined the two explain concepts essential to every investor regardless of sophistication or investment objective.  In An Inflationary Tale we learned basic concepts about the cost of not investing money, the types of investors that benefit or are harmed from inflation and some basic principles about purchasing power and the relationship it has with the inflation rate.  We also learned the purpose of investing should be to at a minimum maintain your purchasing power.  This tale focuses on the relationship between the rate of inflation and the rate of return an investor needs to maintain their purchasing power.  What I want investors to take away from this tale is simple and reinforces what we learned before; you need to make a higher rate of return on your investments than the inflation rate in order to maintain purchasing power.  It doesn’t need to be much higher but it must be higher.  If you don’t understand this hire an advisor.  If your advisor doesn’t understand this, find another advisor.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

A Lost Tale: "Living in the Present"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Sep 1, 2015 8:24:00 AM

When I was a little boy I had a baseball glove that I loved. It was my favorite and my only. I would summarily dismiss the notion of playing with anything other than my prized possession. I would take it out every day and work the pocket. I would oil it and keep it safe from the elements. One morning I go to my baseball bag and the glove’s not there. I quickly become frantic and start looking for it throughout the house. It is nowhere to be found. I ask my mom if she has seen it, then my brother. I am out of luck. I then back-track my activities until the last time I absolutely know I had the glove which was in the final inning of the game the night before. I walk back to the field and still no glove. I am desperate. I go home and start calling my teammates to see if they picked it up by accident, still no luck. Afterwards I call my coach and ask him if he can possibly get me the name of the coach of the team we played the night before so that I can show up at their next practice to see if one of them took it by accident. I do this and once again, I am out of luck.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

The Investment Advisor Search: A Fairy Tale

Posted by Carlos Sera on Aug 30, 2015 8:19:00 AM

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if there were a magic mirror that could lead us to the perfect advisor, even if it was ourselves?  If this magic mirror existed the world would certainly be a more abundant place.  Alas, it is a fairy tale.  Finding the right advisor is difficult and whether recognized or not ranks high on the list of the most important decisions a person will make in their lifetime.  It’s a binary decision.  They either hire themselves or they outsource.  Those are the choices.  Most importantly, remember that even if you hire someone else—you are still responsible.  You cannot abdicate responsibility.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

A Cyclical Tale: "The BIRD Cycle"

Posted by Carlos Sera on Aug 26, 2015 8:09:00 AM

Growing up on the outskirts of Baltimore I was destined to be a Baltimore Orioles baseball fan.  The bird was ever present.   Later when I attended Johns Hopkins University the Blue Jay was our mascot and I became an avid lacrosse fan.  With the Oriole and the Blue Jay I was getting a double dose of the bird.  Later, when my wife and I purchase a home we bought a bird feeder and I am convinced that we are now the primary source of food, water and shelter for untold birds in our back yard.  When developing this tale I wanted to pay homage to nature since so much of life’s cycles can be observed by just paying attention to what surrounds us.  Please pay attention because I am about to explain the wealth cycle as I see it.

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Topics: Tales, Investing Tales

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