Q: Several years ago, I heard about something called socially responsible investing. If I recall correctly, socially responsible investing didn’t perform very well. Lately, I’ve started hearing about something called ESG investing. It sounds a lot like socially responsible investing to me. Is ESG just more broker hype or is there something to it?
Women’s issues are getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately, and I’m not just talking about the #MeToo movement. While the courageous women of #MeToo have shined a much-needed spotlight on the problem of sexual harassment and assault, women face other vital issues that are too often ignored—sometimes by women themselves.
Q: I make enough money to where I am getting tired of paying taxes. Since the so-called tax reform was passed, I have fewer deductions to take. Should I start investing in municipal bonds?
A: Municipal bonds can be a great source of tax-free income when they are used correctly. However, whether or not muni bonds make sense for you depends on several things, including your overall investment objectives and your personal marginal tax rate.
Before you buy muni bonds, consider carefully if bonds generally should be part of your portfolio. Bonds might fit for several reasons.
Several years ago, I read a fascinating paper by a couple of psychology professors, Ed Diener and Martin Seligman. Their essay, “Beyond Money: Toward an Economy of Well-Being,” explores the complex relationship between income and happiness. It was originally targeted at policy-makers in government, corporations and other organizations, but I have found that their ideas apply directly to the work we do in families.
Q: I’ve been working with the same stock broker for the past several years. My performance wasn’t very good last year and this year isn’t looking any better. I’m starting to wonder if the arrangement is as good for me as it is for him. How do I know if I can trust my stock broker?
A: I’m not sure if your real concern is your broker’s trustworthiness or the quality of advice you are getting. Either one would be ample reason to look for a new financial advisor, but