Is the Cost of Living Really Rising?

According to Prof. Steve Horwitz, one contemporary myth is that the cost of living has consistently risen over the past century. Sure, prices are higher than before, but that shouldn’t be the only factor considered. One way of avoiding inflationary distortions is to look at the amount of labor hours required to make a purchase. Watch this video for some surprising facts.

Is it Time to Sell All Your Stocks?

Burton Malkiel, professor emeritus of economics at Princeton University and acclaimed author of “A Random Walk Down Wall Street,” addressed this question on the opinion page of the Wall Street Journal today.  We recommend you read his entire column.  Some excerpts follow:

“I think not….I believe it would be a serious mistake for investors to panic and sell out.  There are several reasons for optimism.”

“First, I believe stocks today are cheap.”

“Moreover, the structure of U.S. corporate earnings increasingly reflects economic activity abroad…[which] is more important than the inability of Europe to get its house in order and the paralysis in the U.S. and Japan.”

“And for those who believe that the decline in the stock market reliably predicts a new recession, remember the famous dictum of the late economist Paul Samuelson: ‘The stock market has predicted nine of the last five recessions.’ “


“No one can tell you when the stock market will end its decline…. We have abundant evidence that the average investor tends to put money into the market at or near the top and tends to sell out during periods of extreme decline and volatility… the average investor has earned substantially less than the market return, in part from bad timing decisions. My advice for investors is to stay the course.”


For additional perspective, we recommend you read Larry Swedroe’s latest blog post,
How Markets Have Responded to Past Sovereign Downgrades.”   

Five Things to Keep In Mind During the U.S. Debt Crisis

Time is growing short and patience is wearing thin for investors as they contemplate the stalemate in Washington over raising the debt ceiling. As uncertainty over the standoff between Democrats and Republicans has intensified, the volatility in the stock market has ratcheted up accordingly. Many investors are growing increasingly fearful about the potential of a downgrade in the rating of U.S. government debt or, worse, the impact of an outright default. (more…)

What are we doing in our and our client’s portfolios about the debt ceiling debate?

We are not making any adjustments to our or to client portfolios in response to the debt ceiling debate. The market is well aware of the fact that the debt ceiling discussions are ongoing and US Treasury rates are still very low, indicating the market believes the debt ceiling will be increased and that financial market disruptions are unlikely. We believe that efforts to try to move in or out of the stock or bond markets in anticipation of what will happen are not productive.

Even if the worst case scenario materialized and the debt ceiling were not raised it is likely that it would be raised very quickly if there were any subsequent disruptions in the financial markets. Also keep in mind that this is a political technicality more than anything and not an issue with the capacity of the U.S. government to pay its debts.

What is the “debt ceiling” anyway?

This quick presentation from the Washington Post explains what the “debt ceiling” means for the U.S.


Saving Social Security

The need to reform the Social Security system is becoming increasingly more evident as people are living longer and the number of taxpayers per retiree is decreasing. In fact, if you carefully review your most recent Social Security statement, you’ll find a small note:


Most Investors and Smart Investors

Most investors are stressed. They are always looking for the next stock or mutual fund that will make them rich. Smart investors, on the other hand, understand the importance of having a plan, controlling costs, embracing the market, and working with an advisor that puts their interests first.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Just Ignore the Crisis of the Day

Libya, Egypt, Japan, the Dow moving up, the Dow moving down, taxes, energy supply… Every day there seems to be something that impacts our peace of mind. Carl Richards, in the New York Times has a simple advice: Just ignore it.

Using his Sharpie and a napkin, he explains why. Here’s the complete story.

LFA Congratulates Suzanne Lindau


El Paso, Texas, February 9, 2011 –Lauterbach Financial Advisors congratulates Suzanne Lindau, the firm’s Investor Advisor Associate in charge of Client Services, for receiving the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).


Lauterbach’s Sonnen Among Elite Group at Advanced Financial Planning Conference

LAS VEGAS (January 19, 2011) — Jon Sonnen, CPA/PFS with Lauterbach Financial Advisors, gained enhanced education on investments, insurance, tax, estate, retirement and elder planning from some of the world’s foremost experts on those issues at the Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference held January 9-12 in Las Vegas.