A Fully Integrated Approach
With both CPAs and Certified Financial Planners®, we coordinate financial strategies with Tax Planning and Estate Conservation.
John's Latest Book
Follow a couple’s journey as they discover what is required for them to enjoy retirement without running out of money.
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… Read More ->
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON
Meet John Lau
John Lau is the principal and Managing Director of LFS Asset Management (Registered Investment Advisor) and LFS Tax Services. John is a Certified Financial Planner® and was named the Five Star Wealth Manager in Northern California in 2014, as seen in The Wall Street Journal.
John is also a CPA with an M.S. in Taxation and an educator who volunteers for FiAT, a local Financial Literacy for Youth program. John is a published author and his latest book is titled “A Race Between Time and Money“.