Moonshine, Myth, & Micro-aggression: WEB GEMS

Sexism or myth? . . . Andrew Syrios of Mises takes on the so-called gender wage gap.

The taken-for-granted economy . . . Frederic Bastiat taught that the costs of legal intervention in the market place are not the main costs. The main costs are in the developments and innovations that we do not experience because they were not allowed to exist.

By the light of the silvery moonshine (7:00). . . Q&A with Jaime Joyce, author of Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor.

Are you a micro-aggresor?. . . If you’ve never heard the term, then you probably are (micro-aggression: n. unintended verbal offense against an individual from a non-privileged group). Just don’t do that at Ithaca College in upstate NY where a bill was passed that will create an on-line reporting system. But it’s ok–this is all about inclusion. Oh yeah, and safety.

How did Christianity grow? . . . Kevin DeYoung uses Rodney Stark’s The Rise of Christianity to provide 13 answers on how Christianity grew from a fledgling community whose leader was executed to a faith comprising nearly a third of the world’s population. Conspicuously missing from these answers, admits DeYoung, is the supernatural.

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Matson is Compelling…Plan to Attend!

Dear Client,

When you get to the video below, listen for these words: “Don’t you wish you could train people to not run when prices get cheaper?”

The fact is, we can’t train people to not run when prices get cheaper.

But we can coach them not to.

Some people will have the inner fortitude to do the right thing through the years. This reality will have little or  nothing to do with the stock market and everything to do with the investor’s personal temperament.

The rest of us need to be connected with a coach who will keep them educated and motivated to do the right thing in all markets and through all of life’s unpredictable events.

Watch the video, then make plans to learn about this kind of coaching by attending our April event in Okemos, MI, hosted by Cornerstone Wealth Partners.

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Matson, Thiel, & Ajit Pai: WEB GEMS

How do we get rid of sweatshops? (2:47) . . . by not eliminating sweatshops, of course.

The Cost of Regulation . . . Compliance to Federal regulations is costly, to the tune of $1.8 Trillion annually. That’s almost $15,000 per household in hidden taxes. Sorry to have to point that out to you.

Mark Matson highlight reel (2:50) . . . It’s exactly what that title says: a highlight reel of Mark Matson moments. Good stuff.

Swimming upstream (31:00) . . . Ajit Pai, an FCC commissioner, does NOT believe the gov’t should be regulating internet service providers. Here’s why.

Competition is for losers! (53:00) . . . and other contrary thoughts of Peter Thiel, author of NYT bestseller Zero to One.


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401k Rollover Questions

Following a recent on-site coaching event, our friends and clients at MPCA had some good questions about work-based pension plans. I thought I’d post my responses here.


Good Morning!

Thanks to all of you who attended our spring investor on-site coaching event – I was glad for a full room and thankful that a good pizza still holds that kind of draw!

Some good questions were asked during and after the meeting. I thought I’d hit a couple of those points here and encourage you all to schedule a phone or face-to-face meeting with me in my offices in Okemos some time to discuss things further.


How should I rollover my previous 401k, and what do I roll it into?

This is a great question. You have two main options: First, as a current MPCA employee, you can move your old 401k into your new 403b. This is my recommendation. Second, you can also move it into what is called an IRA rollover account, which is separate from any of your work-based plans. This could be a good move given your particular situation (I’m glad to talk further with you about the issues surrounding that decision).

In an era where “the job” may be less permanent, you need to make sure that you are accumulating enough over time from all of your different jobs. My main advice is to never take money out of a retirement account before retirement. Keep rolling it forward as you move through life. Think about your IRA rollover as a big snowball. As you may have the need to change jobs from time to time, always add your old 401k/403b to it and watch it grow as it rolls. Stay invested!


Should I contribute to the 403b here at MPCA?

First, you don’t need to contribute to get the MPCA contribution. This is one of the most generous plans I’ve seen. You get 7% of your income as a contribution even if you don’t contribute yourself. So, who should invest some of his or her own money in addition to this? Maybe you. Consider investing more into your 403b if . . .


~ You don’t have credit card debt – pay credit cards off first.

~ You have an emergency fund. Have at least three months’ worth of monthly living expenses in your savings account. This is very important.

~ Your household is in the 25% tax bracket. If you are in a lower bracket, I generally recommend a Roth IRA outside of this plan (call me to explain and evaluate).

~ You have a good plan for the education of your children.


These are just a few of the things to consider before adding from your own pay into your 403b, but if you meet these criteria, it may be a wise move.

It is recommended that you save 10-15% of your gross annual income into a retirement savings account. If you do this consistently, and you have no debt, including your mortgage, by the time you retire, then you will not likely be disappointed. For a more personal look at your plan, please call Liz and set an appointment.

I look forward to coming back for the fall event. Until then, have a wonderful spring and summer!


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Ferrets, Friedman, and Fat Cats: WEB GEMS

Milton Friedman gets one wrong . . . as he sometimes does. In comparing daylight savings time to monetary policy, Uncle Milty left one really important idea out of the analogy.

End the war! (3:00) . . . on ferrets. NYC voted this week to do just that, but the votes for ferret freedom fell short. Keep your furry chins up, fellas. Your day will come.

The fattest cats . . . a state-by-state guide to the nation’s biggest winners of gov’t subsidies.

Dropped calls? (10:30) . . . Don’t worry, the FCC is on it. No dropped calls? Don’t worry, the FCC is on it. Either way, the FCC will be on it.

Mutual aid . . . an alternative to welfare. Not a hypothetical one, but a solution that works on the ground. Today. Here.


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