Category Archive for: ‘Ron’s View’


Texas Hold’em

A few weeks ago, my neighbor, Dan, invited me to a Texas Hold‘em fundraiser at his temple. Normally, gambling isn’t my thing; in fact, the only card game I play now is Uno with my daughter, Taylor. “I’m not sure,” I said.  “I’m not much of a gambler.” “Come on.  It’s for charity,” he coaxed, “and the buy-in is only $25.” “OK,” I said, “but I have to leave by nine o’clock.” “No problem,” he laughed.  “You’ll probably be out of money by...

Rose-Tinted Glasses

While Ron’s View is generally written to appeal to financial professionals, this Update is focused on consumers and their protection. For this week’s Update, All names have been changed. I recently had lunch with a friend who informed me that he had lost $100,000 in a local investment scam. I found this shocking because Larry is a very successful entrepreneur who has been around the block more than once. Another friend, Sebastian, chose an advisor who was well known in the...
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The Real Cost of Health Care in Retirement:  Barron’s

For its February 4th feature article, The Real Cost of Healthcare in Retirement Barron’s spoke to a number of experts about retirement health care and asked HealthView Services to provide customized data to illustrate the challenges facing future retirees. In the introduction to the article, Senior Editor, Reshma Kapedia, came up with a great way to frame the issue: “Understanding Medicare is like learning about the birds and the bees: Until they experience it themselves, most people...


President Trump has taken the first step in dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) by signing an Executive Order that gives federal agencies the authority to grant waivers, offer exemptions, and delay provisions if they lower costs.  The one-page document is somewhat vague and has failed to outline a specific action, so it is impossible to forecast the potential impact on those who rely on the program.  (Note that Americans who purchased insurance on the open market probably...
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Fire and Consequences

(This Update was written by one of my colleagues, whose parents’ home was destroyed by a fire last week.) At 3:15 in the morning last Thursday, I received a call that anyone who has elderly parents never want to get. “CHRIS! This is your parents’ tenant, Laura. Your parents are fine, but THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE! You need to get here, QUICK!” In a foggy blur, I rushed to my car and sped over to the house, which is only a few blocks away. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to drive up...
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Risk Tolerance (A Client-Facing Education Model)

First of all, I would like to wish all of the Update readers a very happy and prosperous new year. Speaking of prosperity, in terms of market performance – as the Dow closes in on 20,000 – some of you may feel optimistic about the future; others not so much.   Regardless of where we are headed, you must put aside events that cannot be controlled, and instead focus on what you can.   The first step is to measure your personal “risk tolerance.” Your risk tolerance is defined by...

A Ringside Seat on Rising Health Care Costs

As a Health Policy Commissioner, I had the opportunity to participate in a two-day public hearing organized by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General and the Center for Health Information and Analysis. Attendees included the Governor of the State of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, the Attorney General, representatives from The Urban Institute, Harvard Business School, CEOs of major health care providers and medical...


I am certainly not a scholar on the topic of “virtue,” which the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “morally good behavior.” I’ve never read Aristotle’s treatise on what it means to live a good life or The Nichomachean Ethics, his best known work on ethics.  But that won’t stop me from applying ancient philosophy to our 21st century world—because at some point in school I scanned Plato’s classic philosophical dialogue about virtue, the Meno. At the beginning of...
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I’ve managed to conquer yet another mini-milestone in the form of a birthday.  Looking back, I remember my father hitting various points in life as he aged, and I can state without any doubt whatsoever that I view those happenings much differently today than in years past. Yesterday, my ten-year-old daughter quizzically shouted, “Wow Dad, you’re really old!” “Compared to you I’m ancient, but much younger than Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.” My wife Marea ignores my...
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Best Interest

This week’s Update continues my ongoing discussion concerning the changing financial services’ landscape due to the new DoL Fiduciary Best Interest rule. As I’ve stated before, beginning in April 2017, financial professionals will have to disclose all fees that accompany certain investment products, such as IRAs and qualified annuities.  Not only must advisors reveal what they charge, but they are also required to explain why the recommendations are in the client’s best interest –...
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