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Tax & Finance

Whether it’s a volatile trading day or a few tweaks to the website, you can find our latest updates on our Facebook, Twitter, or right here – simply scroll below to read more.

My Opinion on “Brexit”:


Britain’s citizens voted yesterday to exit the European Union, that explains the significant market selloff today. But rather than exiting the market, investors may consider it a great buying opportunity. If you keep a watch list of great company stocks that you’d like to own, this can be the chance to pick up some world-class dominator businesses at a discount. You see, I think the selloff to be short-lived. Why? For one thing, the U.S. doesn’t do that much business with Britain. According to financial data firm FactSet, S&P 500 companies make just 2.9% of their sales from Britain… and 11.5% from all of Europe. So outside of some potential short-term volatility, the selloff is not expected to last. Remember Warren Buffett’s words of wisdom: “Be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy when others are fearful”. The market is fearful today.

John Lau

How to Play Defense in Today’s Market Environment


When the market tanked in late August last year, I sent out a blog on August 24 outlining the strategies during market selloffs. The following day, August 25, I sent out another blog “Capital is finite. Opportunity is infinite”. Accordingly, we had moved 60% – 70% of our portfolio values to cash back then. I also put a small position in an inverse fund ProShares Short S&P 500 ETF (SH). This fund is up 6.09%1 so far this year. Between allocation to cash and the inverse ETF, we have substantially lessened the impact of the market’s volatility in recent days. In the days and weeks ahead, I will continue to play defense to possibly increase allocation to cash and add more inverse funds to our portfolios. You can read my earlier blogs by scrolling below or clicking here and here.

In this current market, my goal is wealth preservation and risk management. Don’t lose sight of the big picture and let emotions get the better of you. We are sticking to a carefully disciplined approach, and we are doing everything we can to stay in the game.

We’re in this together and my team and I will be with you every step of the way.

To your health, wealth, and happiness,

John Lau

1Yahoo Finance, 1/15/2016

12 Days of Financial Tips


As the air begins the chill, and the preparation for Christmas is underway, this is an intuitive time of year to take inventory, to reflect and to plan. I have composed an educational series called, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with strategies to help you move forward to 2016 with hope and confidence. Read Day One –>

Secured Portal


New web feature: the Client Portal. Accessible at the top right of any page of our website, the Client Portal is a page where you can securely log in to your personal account to view documents related to your account from LFS or to upload your own documents.

If you already know your log in credentials from our SmartView program, you’re good to go – just use those same credentials on our Client Portal. Get started

If you do not have log in credentials, or you don’t know your SmartView credentials, you may email us to request your username and password to be sent to you. Once you have received your credentials, visit the Client Portal on our website or click here. Read More ->

Final Budget Bill Dramatically Changing Social Security Claiming Options


It is a good thing that Congress and the White House has worked out their budget deal to avoid a government shutdown. The bill has now gone to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature.

Among other changes, the bill has made sweeping changes to Social Security claiming rules for retirees surrounding the Restricted Application and the Voluntary Suspension. Joe Elsasser, CFP® and Creator of Social Security Timing, summarized the changes in the following:

  • Changes to Restricted Application
  • Changes to Voluntary Suspension

These changes necessarily require adjustments to the social security claiming strategies presented in my recent seminar. During this transition period, we will make the necessary changes to apply the right set of rules in order to ensure that our clients are able to get the most they are eligible for under the new law. We will continue to post notices on our website and email all users as changes are made. Read More ->

 Four Signs to Tell When the Bull Market is Back


The equity market has been moving higher in recent sessions. It therefore begs the question: is it time to move back in?

As I wrote in my Q-3/2015 portfolio review report, we have about 50% of our portfolios currently in cash. Some may wonder, when will I get back into the equity market. Are we missing the upside by continuing to stay in cash, and for how long?

Let me explain…

Teaching the Next Generation of CPAs about Financial Planning


The managing director of LFS Asset Management joined with Thomson Reuters for a two-hour continuing education webinar.

BURLINGAME, California–September 22, 2015–John Lau, author and advisor, presented a two- hour continuing education webinar to a nationwide network of CPAs through mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters (TRI) at 10AM this morning. Read More ->

Capital is finite. Opportunity is infinite.


Many of our positions got stopped out at the close of yesterday’s market. And today, we are seeing a sharp bounce back.

Does it matter? Nope.

What matters is that we take the professional investor’s approach by sticking to our guns, follow a disciplined investment strategy and don’t look back.

We will liquidate the positions that were stopped off yesterday, take profits, and keep the powder dry for now.

Our focus now is capital preservation. We absolutely cannot afford to let happen a total disaster.

We have to survive in order to thrive.

You will be getting trade confirmations on our sells today.

Capital is finite, opportunity is infinite.

We will take our lumps and wait for the next opportunity.


Strategies During Market Selloffs


Trading last Friday and this morning are some of the nastiest I’ve seen in a long time. For many, the immediate instinct is to run for the hills. I totally understand that, and you won’t be alone if you do. The angst is palpable and there are a lot of jangled nerves out there at the moment. But there’s the thing – running for cover may feel good in the short term, but doing so is counter-productive to building Total Wealth. Selloffs are part and parcel of eventual market gains, although they don’t always FEEL that way.  That is why it is important not to panic…rather, to calmly evaluate what’s happening while deliberating making our next steps, and to have a defensive strategy. According to my defense playbook, I am putting the following actions in play this morning:

  1. A few of our holdings have triggered their stop losses. For these positions, we will sell this morning. They include Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM, and Walmart (all blue chip stocks). Proceeds from sale will stay in cash for now.

Thanks to STS, many of these positions will still be sold at a gain despite the current market selloff.

  1. These are great stocks, so I will be watching for the proper re-entry points. Once they are determined, I will sell PUTs against them for more income while waiting for the stocks to hit their re-entry prices.
  2. Meanwhile, I will use inverse funds to counter potential continuing market declines. Inverse funds are funds designed to short the market. The two inverse funds that I will use are DOG (PtoShares Short Dow 30) and FXP (ProShares UltraShort FTSE China 50). I will allocate no more than 6% to these funds (3% each) with very narrow stops just in case the market turns positive. The strategy is like telling a flu patient to take two aspirins and get plenty of rest.


Tribute to the Boomers

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