Avoiding the Social Security Income Trap

April 2021

Retirees face multiple income traps, and many retired taxpayers will see a portion of their Social Security income make its way onto the taxable income line of their 1040s.

2021 Letter to Clients

Enclosed you will find your performance reports for the last year. How did you do? Chances are you did very well this past year. This letter is going out to all of our clients, and I can’t think of one that will be dissatisfied with their personal 2020 investment performance.


retirement-options-self employed

Retirement Options for the Self-Employed

January 2021

This past year highlighted small businesses more than any other. The impact from a struggling economy has not gone unnoticed and the support from local shoppers has made the difference between open and closed for many small business owners.



Retirement Income Planning

November 2020

Retirement income planning is an important part of preparing for retirement. The amount of income you will need, as well as when and where to withdraw it from, can be one of the hardest tasks in financial planning.


white baseball

Invest During an Election: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

October 2020

I played a little baseball as a kid. I can still remember what it felt like to hit the ball on an cold spring day and have the aluminum bat send shock up to my elbows.


exploring tech stocks

Are Tech Stocks a Good Value

September 2020

Are tech stocks a good value? Will tech stocks do a nosedive like they did 20 years ago after the recent big run up? If I were to invest in tech stocks which should I choose and how would I blend this new selection into my existing portfolios?


Surfer with Mountains in the Backround

Three Ways to Increase Investment Performance

August 2020

When it comes to investment performance, I believe that we should care for the following reasons:

  1. It lies within our grasp to know
  2. Because goals that get measured get done
  3. It’s the responsible and stewardly thing to do
  4. It should help us build greater wealth more quickly


Efficient Market Hypothesis

Efficient Market Hypothesis

July 2020

The efficient market hypothesis is a hypothesis that states that stock markets share prices genuinely reflect the reality of their worth. The assumption with efficient market hypothesis is that the market’s efficiency in valuing stock is laser quick and accurate. By its very nature, hypothetically, the efficient market hypothesis does not permit investors to find value.



Stand Strong

June 2020

During a crisis of any kind it is critical that we hold on to our values and core beliefs. In investing and in life, I have found that standing strong and remaining calm is a sound battle tactic.


follow the leader

Follow the Leader

May 2020

“Over the last few weeks, I have given some thought about what it means to be a leader. Not just a leader in business, politics, or the championship team, but about what it means to be a leader in my own home, in my interactions with friends old and new, and even how I’m leading myself. This post starts with the family, has the stock market at its core, and ends with a story about a U.S. Marine that is hoping to inspire us all.”


Coronavirus Market Correlation

Buy Low, Sell High

April 2020

You may have heard the saying before that the “time to buy is when there is blood in the streets”. Another favorite of mine is “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful.”


Coronavirus Research

Coronavirus Havoc: Strategies for an Election Year 

March 2020

When the AIDS epidemic broke out in June 1981, the 12 month change on the S&P 500 was -16.5%. When the pneumonic plague broke out in September 1994, the 12 month change on the S&P 500 was +26.3%. During the SARS epidemic which broke out in April 2003, the 12 month change on the S&P 500 was +20.76%.


Quarterly Stock Market Update. Staying the Course: Strategies for an Election Year

February 2020

Presently we find ourselves in another election year. We are also in a trade war with China. If that’s not enough we are experiencing continued historically low interest rates, and the coronavirus outbreak.


Timing the Market: Strategies for an Election Year

January 2020

Timing the market with some type of sell could be a good strategy for 2020. With a trade war in China, an inverted yield curve, global bonds that are paying a negative yield, and the world’s biggest election on the horizon --one could probably argue it’s a good time to close up shop and come back at a later time.


Christmas Tree Bulb

The Frailty of Life

December 2019

As a financial advisor, it may be a misnomer to write about the frailty of life. After all, if I am in the business of making people money on their money by making solid financial recommendations, why would I waste time discussing anything other than perfectly blue skies?


Preparing for a Market Downturn

October 2019

When preparing for a market downturn, there are many things to consider. Start with controlling the controllables, and being open to new ideas.


Dow Jones Indutrial Average

Dave Ramsey and the Twelve Percent Investment

September 2019

Instead of focusing on optimal asset allocation, budgeting, or the importance of working with a financial professional, we seem to have become preoccupied with things that we have little control over—aka market returns.


New York Stock Exchange

Stock Market Year-to-Date

August 2019

To put it mildly, most asset classes have been on a tear for the first half of the year. When I look across the array of Vanguard equity ETFs in our portfolios, the worst performer is FTSE AW ex-US Small Cap (VSS). The return year-to date through June was 12.16% The highest performer was the Vanguard Growth (VUG) at 22.44%.



How To Stay InspiredMillenial couple running to stay inspired.

Do you ever wish you knew how to stay inspired? At Inspire Financial Planning, we’re concerned about keeping you inspired for investing. But we are also concerned about keeping you inspired for life.


Three Investment Experts discuss Lifecycle Funds.

Are Lifecycle Funds a Good Investment?

Conceptually, lifecycle funds are easy to grasp. They are marketed to investors with a glide path methodology that takes some of the constant thinking out of the equation. But are lifecycle funds a good investment? Read on to learn more.


Man Standing in Front of Blackboard Stress Test Equation

Portfolio Stress Test: Seven Steps to Stress Test Your Portfolio 

Are you ready for a portfolio stress test? Do you need to have one? These are great questions. As with just about everything in the world of investments, this is yet another topic that can be incredibly complex or really simple. It just depends how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.



Dave Ramsey and Millennial Magic: Six Characteristics That May Make Millennials Rich

Most millennial couples that I meet not only think alike but act alike when it comes to money. I believe this might be one of the most unique differences between them and other demographics.


stock market graphics

Mutual Funds vs. ETFs: A Comparison

I often get calls from Dave Ramsey listeners looking for that perfect mutual fund. They want a fund with experienced management, lower expense ratios, and insanely high returns. And while these types of funds do exist, they are not always that easy to find.


stock market analysis

Stock Market Deja Vu

By now you should have received your quarterly statement for your 401(k), 403B, IRA, etc. This might be a good time to pull up that most recent statement and see how you did. If your portfolio was down -7 to -9%, then this was about par if you had some international equity exposure.


man studying stock market

Four Principles of the Successful Investor

You see, after a lot of study and learning, I now know how to find calm in a raging sea. I find calm by slowing down, performing analysis, and studying what I have found. But as I was doing this charting, one thought kept popping through my head: “What if everybody knew how to do this?”


christmas village

 Four Reasons to Love Your Financial Advisor

Below are four reasons to love your financial advisor. They can also be considered four reasons to love your accountant, attorney, or any other professional that works quietly on the sidelines to further your financial success.


Hands Holding Letters to Success

2019 Tax Tips Everyone Should Know

The 2019 tax tips below are universal. By this I mean that they apply to everyone at just about one stage in life or another. But there are a few, for the small business owner or the high net worth family in particular, that may be of interest to a more specific audience.  


Annual Review Business MeetingThe Holy Grail of Financial Planning: The Annual Review

I believe to whom much is given, much is required. So, if you have been blessed with tremendous wealth, you may very well need a tremendous amount of financial planning in order to keep, grow, and pass it on. If you are just getting started building your financial home, you still need to have regular financial meetings with your spouse or significant other to reach your financial goals.


group of people joining handsThe Financial Planning Revolution: A Beginner’s Guide to Working with a Financial Planner

"Ever thought about working with a financial planner? How much do financial planners cost and are they worth it? How do you know if you need a financial planner?   


Man writing statistics on blackcoardYour 401K and The Efficacy of Asset Allocation

"Your 401k may run more smoothly with efficient asset allocation. And the closer you are to retirement, the more this may matter."



Bond logo on glass wallDisagreeing with Warren Buffet: An Argument for Bonds

"In a February article I read in Reuters (Buffett Says 'Terrible Mistake' for Long-Term Investors to be in Bonds), Warren Buffett is quoted as saying that it is a “terrible mistake” for long-term investors to be in bonds. It is these one-size-fits-all type comments that make a financial planner’s job challenging."


young woman looking into the sunsetBear Market on the Horizon: How Does a Financial Advisor Prepare?

"At my noon meeting today, I will not be the smartest guy on the call--- not by a long shot.  There will be others with more industry experience, some with their CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation, and possibly one or two with a PhD in economics."


Preparing for a global stock market crash.Three Ways to Prepare for a Stock Market Crash

"While the sky might not be falling, the stock market may be crashing---soon. Or, it may be 10 years from now. I can’t say for sure. But I was able to learn some things from the crash of 2008, and I would like to share them with you so that we can both learn from them."


Bunzai tree in waterBalance in Life, Balance in Investing

"This week’s post is primarily a stock market update. Every 90 days we try to get hard-core at Inspire and ratchet up our research on what the global markets are doing."


Hand writing budget on a whiteboardBe Smart: Why Everyone Needs a Budget

"I’ve learned over the years that we need to treat our personal finances as if they were the finances of a large corporation. Large corporations don’t forgo doing a budget because their profits are currently high. They do a budget because it’s smart business."


Employee benefits plaqueNo Financial Plan is Complete without Assessing Your Employee Benefits

"Assessing your employee benefits is where financial planning begins. I mentioned in the last article that I wrote: “Be Smart: Why Everyone Needs a Budget”, that creating a budget was important. And I believe it is. But another key step is examining the retirement benefits, the disability benefits, the life insurance benefits, the health insurance benefits, and many other employee benefits before you crack the nut on what to do next."


Woman reading at sunset in the midwestSurviving Hurricane Florence: Mentally, Physically, and Financially

"Surviving Hurricane Florence. It’s just after lunch time as I write this blog. I am safe and dry in Chattanooga, TN, awaiting news from the authorities that they are ready for my family and I to return home to Wilmington."


father palying with kids at the beachMoving to the Beach? Here are 23 Ways to Get There

"Have you ever considered moving to the beach? If so, here are 23 ways to prepare!"


picture of a heart and stethoscopeLong-Term Care: Why You Shouldn’t Focus on Just the Cost

"If you are considering long-term care insurance, don’t just focus on the cost. This blog is written to inspire you to look further than the price tag when determining your best path."

If you would like to meet with a financial planner for a free initial consultation let us know. We have are available Monday through Friday, as well as on select evenings and weekends. The cost if free and there is NO OBLIGATION.