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3 Things 8-14-223

Thing One


Kipling Knew 


“...If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss...”

That's the fifth stanza (out of eight that all start with the word, “If”) of the famous poem by Rudyard Kipling.  It’s not about investing or risk-taking so much as it is about deciding on a course of action for yourself and taking full accountability for the results.  What follows are some “ifs” more relevant to this newsletter’s general theme.If you had put $1,000 in the market (as represented by the S&P 500 index) at the beginning of the trading session on October 15, 2008 (the date of the largest one-day decline of the “financial crisis”, your investment would have been worth $909 at the end of that day.  Six months later, it would have been worth $852.  But a year later, it would have been worth $1,096.  And almost 15 years later (present-day) it would have been worth $4,464.

 If you would have invested $1,000 at the peak price of the market on March 29, 2022, almost two months later you would have had $870. Because the future is unknowable, we can’t predict with any certainty what you’ll have six months from now, one year from now, or fifteen years from now. But absent that certainty, we do know, because history tells us, that the market goes up over time, sorts out good companies from bad, and rewards patient investors. Still, that may not provide the clarity you need to be comfortable in the current environment. So, here’s one more if:

If you need the money today, tomorrow, six months from now, next year, or even the next couple of years, you probably shouldn’t have it in the stock market.  You decide.




Thing Two


Marry Your True Love, Date Your Property & Casualty Insurer


Did you know that the average full-coverage auto insurance premium has increased about 17% since 2020?  So, when was the last time you shopped your insurance rates for your car (or house for that matter)?  Well, according to, it’s probably been a while.  They say that:


“…One in three Americans with homeowners or car insurance has never shopped for better coverage and nearly 50% of the policyholders who have shopped for a new policy haven’t done so in the last 12 months.” 


They go on to explain why this is likely costing those consumers money by adding that:


“It's not uncommon for insurance companies to re-rate on a yearly basis.  Insurers are regularly re-evaluating their product to make the most sense in changing markets.  On occasion, re-rating can lead to lower premiums for policyholders. Homeowners insurance carriers, for example, sometimes offer loyalty discounts to long-term policyholders. But more often than not, consumers who stay with the same insurance carrier will see their rates rise over time. That’s why, when it comes to shopping for home and car insurance, every year would be ideal.  At the very least, policyholders should shop around every two years.”


As for how to go about shopping your policies, they suggest the following:


1.     Shop for home and auto insurance at the same time, especially if you're currently bundling policies. Most carriers offer discounts to customers who purchase multiple policies, but you won’t necessarily get the best deal by tapping your car insurer for homeowners insurance (or vice versa).  You need to see what other carriers have to offer.

2.     Make sure you have enough coverage. Lower premiums are a good reason to shop around for a new policy, but you also want to keep your property and casualty coverage up to date. Basic homeowners insurance, for instance, doesn’t cover damage due to extreme weather, like a hurricane or wildfire. If your area has become more prone to these events in recent years, it’s important to upgrade before the storm. Insurers commonly issue moratoriums on buying new policies when property damage is imminent.

3.     Ask questions about a policy’s fine print. Home and auto insurance quote comparisons are particularly tricky to navigate, given carriers don’t always use the same definitions for common industry terms. For instance, a replacement cost homeowners policy pays out claims based on how much it would cost to replace destroyed or damaged property today.  But carriers assess replacement differently.  You’ll want to understand the nuances and rules that may affect how much you get back for personal property claims. To get as close as you can to an apples-to-apples comparison, read each policy carefully and ask prospective insurers questions about any terminology you don’t recognize or understand.

4.     Consider a broker. “They can propose several variations that you may not be able to navigate on your own. 


It should be noted that, depending on which surveys you read about the results of shopping around, the percentage of consumers who saved by switching ranges from almost half (42% according to to almost everybody (92% according to  The bottom line is:  It shouldn’t be “’til death do us part” with your P&C carrier but rather, ‘til you find a better deal.


Thing Three


Just A Thought


"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind." - From The Dhammapada




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