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Since the Financial Crisis of 2008 and 2009, insurance agents, stock brokers, and bank representatives have been in high gear selling life insurance products to investors clamoring for anything that ensures them against the drubbing they received in the markets. They hear of enticing promises like "Guaranteed Income," "Guaranteed Principal," and "All the market's upside with none of its downside" and they find them hard if not impossible to resist. Are annuities and indexed life products as good as their promoters claim they are?

One of the most powerful forces in the universe is that of inertia. It is defined as a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an...

Who doesn't like the word guarantee? It gives us a comforting feeling when we exchange our money for a product or service to know that we will get our money back if our expectations are not met. But when it comes to most guaranteed financial products, like CD’s, bond funds, and annuities, owners unfortunately don't realize their expectations have not been met until it’s too late because there's another guarantee these products fail to address - inflation. If inflation continues at just 2% for the next ten years, $100 worth of groceries today will cost $122 ten years from now.

[caption id="attachment_7006" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Turner Field. Atlanta, GA. Turner Field. Atlanta, GA. -- https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidberkowitz/[/caption]   I talked to my friend Brian on the phone the other day, and among other things we discussed his desire to go see the Atlanta Braves play at Turner Field this summer. Brian is a diehard Braves fan, but has never been able to get down to Atlanta to see them play, and would love to do so before they tear that stadium down and build one way out in Cobb County (suburb of Atlanta).

I have a good friend who, as a college professor, frequently asks young people this question when meeting for the first time: "what do you think about?" At the moment she considers most opportune, she gently tosses the question into the conversation like a freshly baited hook onto a still pond, and she patiently waits for the cork to bob.

This week's Brief comes to us from our good friend and like-minded colleague Russ Thornton, an Atlanta-based financial advisor. Russ is a thought leader in the area of financial planning, and puts out rock-solid content each week over at his website (and via an email which all of us subscribe to). His post this week on moving past rules of thumb and avoiding overly expensive products while still creating retirement income was spot on, so we decided to share it with you all! Take it away, Russ:

Jesus Christ was crucified, died, and was buried on the Friday preceding his resurrection, the original Easter. Why is a day that marks Jesus’ horrible suffering and death on a cross called "good"?