>Hillarious Spoof of Modern Day Brokers

>Saturday Night Live ran a hillarious sketch about a broker who is completely honest with a group of people in a town hall meeting. The broker is calm, cool, and collected as he tells them how he doesn’t really care and he is actively working against their best interest. The reaction of the audience is quite funny. I have posted the video on my website, you should be able to watch it by clicking the above title link. Let me know if you have any problems.

The difference between a broker at a brokerage firm and myself is that I am required by law to put your best interest first, to be your FIDUCIARY. The word Fiduciary to a broker is like kryptonite to Superman.

Enjoy the clip!

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

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>www.GovExec.com – Cost of managing TSP continues to shrink (9/19/05)

>The Federal Thrift Savings Plan is a great demonstration of two things – one, that a low cost plan can work and two, that you can take low costs to an extreme. While low in cost this plan is run like the typical bureaucracy in Washington, it is completely NON-user friendly. The recordkeeping and website is absolutely horrendous yet the plan is held up as a pillar of how a retirement plan should be run. I like this plan, but it needs some style, educational tools, better online management, and a little more choice. I like the low fees, but would rather see them slighlty higher if it meant a better run plan for the participants…..perhaps they should take a cue from Apple and combine style, creativity, and substance.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

www.GovExec.com – Cost of managing TSP continues to shrink (9/19/05)

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>A "Moronic" Proposal

>I don’t normally post articles that are not available for public viewing (this is subscription only) because it is copyrighted material. I hope the Wall Street Journal will forgive me just this once because this editorial hits the nail on the head on Hurricane Relief. This article echoes my thoughts that I put forth on this blog last week.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP® , MSFP

A ‘Moronic’ ProposalSeptember 14, 2005; Page A20

Some public-spirited folks in Bozeman, Montana, have come up with a wonderful idea to help Uncle Sam offset some of the $62 billion federal cost of Hurricane Katrina relief. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports that Montanans from both sides of the political aisle have petitioned the city council to give the feds back a $4 million earmark to pay for a parking garage in the just-passed $286 billion highway bill. As one of these citizens, Jane Shaw, told us: “We figure New Orleans needs the money right now a lot more than we need extra downtown parking space.”

Which got us thinking: Why not cancel all of the special-project pork in the highway bill and dedicate the $25 billion in savings to emergency relief on the Gulf Coast? Is it asking too much for Richmond, Indiana, to give up $3 million for its hiking trail, or Newark, New Jersey, to put a hold on its $2 million bike path?

And in the face of the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, couldn’t Alaskans put a hold on the infamous $454 million earmark for the two “bridges to nowhere” that will serve a town of 50 people? That same half a billion dollars could rebuild thousands of homes for suffering New Orleans evacuees. One obstacle to this idea apparently will be Don Young, the House Transportation Committee Chairman who captured the funds for Alaska in the first place. A spokesman in his office told the Anchorage Daily News that the pork-for-relief swap was “moronic.” Sounds like someone who wants Mr. Young to become “ranking Member” next Congress.

In all there are more than 6,000 of these parochial projects — or about 14 for every Congressional district — funded in the highway bill. The pork reduction plan is particularly appropriate as a response to Katrina, because we have learned in recent days that one reason that money was not spent on fortifying the levees in New Orleans was that hundreds of millions of dollars were rerouted to glitzier earmarked projects throughout the state of Louisiana.

We’re hearing all sorts of bad ideas about how to offset the $62 billion of spending already authorized for Hurricane Katrina relief. Cancel the Bush tax cuts, raise the gasoline tax by $1 a gallon, increase deficit spending, and sharply cut spending on national defense and the war in Iraq. In Washington, it seems, everything is expendable except for the slabs of bacon that are carved out of the federal fisc to ensure re-election.

The glory of what is happening in Bozeman is that taxpayers are proving to be wiser about priorities than their politicians. We like the suggestion by Ronald Utt of the Foundation Heritage that, when the new levee is built to protect the Big Easy from future storms, it should bear a bronze plaque stamped: “Proudly Brought to You by the Citizens of Alaska.”

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>PCWorld.com – First Look: Apple’s Dazzling iPod Nano

>Ok, I know, this is supposed to be a blog about finances…..but I couldn’t resist. The new IPOD Nano is incredibly cool, smaller than a business card and the width of a pencil, plus it has a color screen that displays pictures – oh, and it plays music, podcasts, books, and even games. For those business minded people who are looking to buy an MP3 player but want to use it as a write off…..this might be your best bet(see, I did get some finance related stuff in here), the IPOD NANO stores all your contacts & appointments and syncs with Oulook – now you have a business excuse to buy this cool gadget, though check with your accountant before writing it off!!

The article link below comes with a picture, it is dazzling – I am buying today (if i can find one in the stores) in the color black!

PCWorld.com – First Look: Apple’s Dazzling iPod Nano

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>Alaska’s $223 million "Bridge to Nowhere"

>I read this story with a deep sickness in my stomach, did Congress think they could hide this? Did Rep. Donald Young think that he was bringing home a prize to his Alaskan constituency? This my friends is government waste at its worst and it is sick.

We are now spending about $1 billion per day to provide relief and rebuilding to New Orleans – perhaps Alaska could forgo their pork windfall and instead allow it to go to Americans who will actually use it for something useful.

Perhaps we should all take a look at the last few bills that have passed in congress for pork – there is lots of it – then ask each individual state who recieved it to forgo it. I am under no impression that this will happen, after all we can just pass another supplemental spending bill and print/borrow another $50 or $100 billion. A billion here, a billion there – pretty soon it all adds up to real money! All those bridges to nowhere should not be built, instead lets spend some money building a bridge to somewhere……I don’t know, say Lousianna and maybe Alabama?

Bloomberg.com: U.S.

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>Telegraph | Money | Forbes predicts oil will drop to $35 within a year

>Let’s keep politics out of this – I agree with Forbes in this article. I don’t believe oil prices are high because of long term supply and demand problems. I see oil prices falling as well. Of course, my predictive abilities have been proven to be not that great, however I think this article brings at least some balance to the debate on oil prices.

Telegraph | Money | Forbes predicts oil will drop to $35 within a year

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP

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An Independent Fiduciary

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