Recent content from Ross Levin
Ross Levin: After a sour year in stocks, focus on understanding your fear and greed
Did the falling markets affect more than they needed to?
Ross Levin: Giving feeds our soul, so why do we worry about it so much?
When you give, you are telling yourself that you have enough.
Levin: How parents can get twisted around on entitlement
Parents need to ask: Am I modeling entitlement or gratitude?
Ross Levin: Taxes are fair and unfair, debt is good and no good
Life is complex and it'll be nice to put aside the political caricatures for awhile.
Levin: Silence the investment critic in your head
Turn that critical voice into something more productive.
Levin: This is the exact moment to put cash to work
It's surprisingly easy to get a better return with your cash than a savings account provides.
Levin: Don't become 'anchored' in your financial expectations
There's a risk to become tied to an idea or price that doesn't really matter.
Levin: Incentives are powerful, but they can also pose hazards
Incentives usually drive big monetary decisions, but they can be misleading too.
Levin: Some people go to the State Fair and see their financial life in front of them
What you can learn from a stroll around the fairgrounds with ideas of money in your head.
Levin: When talking about money, many people could use a do-over
Sometimes people blurt out uncomfortable feelings about a financial situation. Here's to second chances.
Levin: What your financial planner should be asking you
The key question to be answered is: Does the planner understand you and your family?
Ross Levin: Four things you can do with your stocks in this bear market
Use losses for tax savings, rebalance what's moved off your plan and other ideas for a market that's a lemon.
Levin: Even with prices and rates rising, the equation for buying a home stays the same
Mapping out your time horizon and asset direction will help you decide whether it's better to rent or buy.
Levin: What a Buddhist concept can teach you about your finances
The notion of 'near enemies' can illuminate financial attributes or traits that seem appealing at first but turn out to be problems.
Levin: Action feels right at a moment of economic uncertainty, but it may not be
You can't have a victory if you are playing the wrong game.
Levin: What Tickle Me Elmo can teach you about economic bubbles
The concept of bubbles is an important one for investors, especially those who are trying to make big decisions about real estate and cryptocurrency.
Levin: Moving south part of the year to avoid Minnesota's tax — and other money mistakes
One of the hardest things to do in investing, and life, is to keep the big picture in mind.
Levin: Crypto, losses, capital gains? How to think about taxes in investment decisions
Avoid the investment mistake pro football player Trevor Lawrence made that cost him millions in taxes.
Levin: Playing 'Would you rather?' with your money will teach you a lot
The kids' game about competing choices holds surprising lessons for adults and their money.
Levin: We're all paying the volatility tax right now
Once you see wealth, it's gone.
Levin: In retirement, there are two investment risks and both are happening now
Inflation and volatility are the challenges to retirees' assets at the moment they are most needed.
Levin: Why emotions often overtake personal financial analysis
When money decisions turn emotional, people tend to put weight on the wrong things.
Levin: The market has turned, so do what you always should
Take the appropriate amount of risk based on your situation, not the unknowns of the market.
Levin: The last challenge in planning your finances is one of the hardest
For people of a certain age, there's no time like the present to plan for the end.
Levin: Let's play 'Ignore it or deal with it' with your money
Here are some simple ways to know what matters and what doesn't with your finances.
'The Great Substitution' applies to your investments, too
You can find substitution occurring everywhere — and this affects your life and your finances.
Levin: Watch out for the tricks of wealth
Investment advisers and clients sometimes engage in financial sleights of hand.
How much should you give to charity?
There are basically five overlapping reasons why we give.
Levin: We all want certainty in our personal finances, but there is science involved
The precision of math can deceive investors, when there are too many influences on the outcome of investments.
Levin: When that infrastructure bill passes, the tax consequences will follow
For some businesses, it's best to defer some tax payments until the dust settles.
Levin: What to do when you want to change your life but can't quite see the picture
A recent book about the pandemic holds lessons for approaching your finances and planning.
Levin: People underestimate the costs of owning a home vs. renting one
The comparisons often exclude opportunity costs and the time spent on upkeep.
Levin: Don't expect a savior like Lassie to rescue your retirement finances
Only you can save yourself from an investor's worst tendencies: fear and greed.
Levin: Excited by rising house values? Some of your other assets may be more important
Not all assets and liabilities are equal. Here's a way to evaluate them beyond their numeric value.
Levin: Ask questions in a different way to zero in on financial motivations (and others)
To understand yourself, sometimes you might need to make an Opposite Day.
Look for the lessons in life's financial losses
We visited our daughter and her husband the night they closed on their new home. As we were bringing things in, we heard loud crackling.…
Crowded closets? Time to take a hard look at how they got that way
The lesson: Spend your life wisely.
Uncertainty clouding your money moves? Here's how to sort things out
We just had an election and things are a bit confusing. The current president isn’t ceding power to the president-elect and the Senate has two…
Why it can make financial sense to allow yourself to feel sad
With a lot of tough stuff going on, if we don't experience our feelings, if we simply push ahead and stay positive, the consequences can follow.
Are your financial decisions working out? Don't be afraid to revisit and revise them
Every year in preparation for watching the Super Bowl, I get a 1-pound bag of peanut M&M’s to eat by myself. The first quarter…
Things to consider when you are ready to retire
The pandemic may have accelerated plans, leaving you feeling unprepared.
It pays to focus on how your money will support your values
Rather than focus on what your money can do for you, let's talk about what you can do for you.
Want a better life in 5 years? Here's how to get started
Most job interviewers will ask, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" We have learned to answer so we sound ambitious, but not too…
When will things get better? 3 keys to getting past this
We know that transitions have beginnings, middles and ends, but they don't always occur in that order.
In times like these, it's a sound financial strategy stick to little things
Here are some that you can do that may buy you some time until things eventually stabilize.
Fighting those impulse buys during pandemic can add up to deals later
You may have heard about the marshmallow test, a social science test created in the 1970s by Walter Mischel. Put a marshmallow in front of…
Want to get back into the stock market? Here's one way to do it
Aggregate data reveal that almost a trillion dollars has moved into money-market funds this year between February and May. And as we know, the market…
Looking to buy or sell a home? Here are 10 things you need to understand
The actual value is the price one person is willing to pay for it at a particular point in time.
We don't know when this will end, so we must deal with the now normal
Let’s say there is a 90% chance that social distancing has smoothed things over until we find a cure for COVID-19. There is a 90%…
To improve your resilience, take time to improve your supply chain
Only three things can get you through work stoppages — government support, your ability to borrow, and your personal savings
Scarcity is playing a big role in our lives right now. Here's how.
Scarcity creates this tunneling effect where we are laser-focused on only one thing.
Our opinions often guide our investments, and that can be costly
When an opinion leads to strategy decisions, how can you reduce the expense of the mistake?
To chart your next move in financial markets, think 'here,' not 'there'
There are many models outlining what could happen, although models are not maps. We don't really know how much better or worse things will be.
Market panic is a virus we can contain
Before you quarantine your investments, let's examine what is going on.
Navigating right, wrong and in between in financial planning
I was trying to convince someone what a great thing something was going to be. I was charming and unconvincing. He was the same. So…
Getting retirement right starts with being comfortable with your own story
Sometimes a fear of what could happen is more limiting than dealing with what is actually happening.
After strong decade for stocks, resist making assumptions
If you think back to the end of 2011, were you thinking about calling your broker? I don’t mean calling her about your excitement regarding…
You just might be better off by accepting financial planning mysteries
Even if puzzles are complex, they are solvable. Good advice adds to desired outcomes.
It's a good time to notice those who are struggling
Thanksgiving is a good time to take stock.
Taxes don't have to be as painful as we make them out to be
In Minnesota, we are acutely affected by taxes and we have three choices: eliminate them, limit them or appreciate them.
It is time to talk about the family cabin
Because parents are often not open with their adult children, chaos may ensue.
Long-term care, climate change and your finances
There would seem to be nothing in common between long-term care and climate change. But there is. Insurance companies cannot properly price it. This is…
Why you need to ask questions of your financial adviser
A new client recently was asking many questions in a meeting, ending with one about whether there are ways to see their account directly from…
Build on areas of agreement to resolve money dispute with partner
I have learned a lot in over 35 years of doing this. And I am still learning. But I can give you something I have…
Financial planning jargon could be costing you money
Financial planning has a lot of confusing jargon. Here is a short course on what some of these things really mean.Financial planners get paid in…
When talking money, try these five steps to get to the real issue
When the Mueller report came out, to no one's surprise, many Democrats and many Republicans came away with starkly differing takes. No amount of chatter…
A lesson in learning to help others
It started with the "Be Kind" billboard as we approached Green Valley on our way through Wisconsin. My wife and I looked at each other…
Legacy letter can explain your money values to your heirs
Money and values are intricately intertwined. When you reach the stage of life where you want to pass on your life philosophy on the subject…
Market jitters? Calm down, and follow this plan
When you opened your year-end investment statements, you felt sick and were looking for someone to blame, weren't you? Everything had seemed so hunky dory…
How to apply Marie Kondo's 'Tidying Up' to your finances
As Kondo tidily sums up, "People cannot change their habits without first changing their thinking." That works for financial perspectives, too.
Buying opportunity? Time to panic? How to think amid roiling markets
Let’s be honest — if you are an investor, you are uncomfortable in this volatile stock market. But should you be? There is only one…
Funny thing about the U's presidential search council: It worked
Our diverse, eclectic group helped the U land a terrifc candidate. Here's some of what I learned.
How to keep money issues from turning bitter
Here are a couple of ideas on how to handle things before the resentment builds.
Figuring out who you aren't can help your financial planning
If we are conscious of who we aren't, we are more likely to make decisions that connect our actions and values.
Do not leave money around — use savings vehicles
Look at options other than savings accounts with banks.