Media

please schedule time here

to discuss views on the economy, financial planning, or sustainable investments.

Chris was extensively interviewed for this article by Brian Thorp at Wealthtender about financial planning for employees of Mass General Brigham (MGB). There are a few peculiarities of MGB’s retirement plans that make it worth it to seek a consultation. Check out the full article

There are techniques that an investor can use to increase their returns by reducing taxes. Check out this article by William Edwards writing for Business Insider with contributions from Chris Chen CFP Check out the full article

There are a number of possibilities to reduce taxes. Check this article by Liam Gibson for Wealth of Geeks with contributions from Chris Chen CFP as well as several other financial planners. Check out the full article

It is the season of giving! Emily White writes for HerMoney, Jean Chatzky’s publication about the best educational gifts. Check out the full article

It is often said that grandparent like their grandchildren more than their own children. It follows that many will want to help them financially as well as in every other way. Kimberly Palmer from NerdWallet has a some ideas in this article published with ABC News. Check out the full article

Emil Hallez explores for Wealth Professional the current bitcoin buzz. Bitcoin has more than doubled in price so far this year. At this point a legitimate question is: is it an investment or is it just speculative?

Writing for Investment News, Mark Schoeff explores the new Massachusetts millionaire tax that imposes a 4% surcharge on annual incomes in excess of $1M. It is worth noting that the tax doesn’t apply to a large number of people. And as per usual, it creates planning imperatives for people subject to it. Read the full article.

Writing for Wealth of Geeks and the Jacksonville Journal Courier, Jeff Fang explores what States are the best to retire in. FLorida did not make the cut. According to a quote from Chris, proximity to family is important and it is difficult to achieve when moving to another state.

ESG mutual funds used to be the shiny new investment. Now they have lost some of their luster. Emile Hallez writing for Investment News notes how that sectors has been struggling recently. According to Chris, some the backlash is due to the complexity of ESG concepts. They are difficult to communicate and to integrate in a portfolio. What do you think about ESG investing?

The main benefit of annuities, the guarantee of monthly payments for life, is very comforting to many retirees.

Industry affiliated academics have been on a roll suggesting that annuities are the bedrock of a retirement plan. In fact, we agree. Social Security is an annuity that has the advantage of being COLA adjusted, unlike most private sector annuities. This article has a balanced view of the issue. Check it out here!

For those envisioning to retire in Illinois, this short article looks at different locations and their advantages. As befits someone living next to Cambridge MA who lived previously in Austin, TX and Chapel Hill, NC, Chris favors the university towns of Urbana Champaign! Check it out yourself over here!

In this blog post in Wealth of Geeks Liam Gibson observes some of the opportunities and challenges that women will face with their finances. Chris addresses some of women’s issues that come from divorce. Read the full article

Currently, private investments are typically restricted to high net worth people. The US Congress is considering a bill to make them more easily available to more people. Is that a good idea? Mark Schoeff from Investment News investigates the question in the following article.

When mediating a divorce settlement, a 50-50 split of assets isn’t always equitable when Social Security benefits are taken into account. Read the full article here

The message remains the same: even though divorced individuals can get benefits based on the record of their ex-spouse, the difference is worth paying attention to." Read the full article here

In this Marketwatch article, Beth Pinsker covers the difficulties of getting divorced in a situation when asset valuations are in question: real estate is down, we think; the financial markets are volatile. Check it out over here

Alisa Wolfson, writing for Marketwatch, received a question from a consumer. The consumer is wondering if she should invest in an annuity as recommended by her "fiduciary" advisor.

Part of Chris's feedback to Alisa is that it is unlikely that this advisor was fiduciary because they recommended a product that usually pays commissions to the seller. Mind you, it is possible that an annuity is the right thing to invest in a given case.

However, any question that claims that a fiduciary advisor recommended putting 50% of assets in an annuity raises a red flag.

Obviously, as a fee-only fiduciary, I recommend that you get one also. If you are unsure, check the NAPFA.ORG or the Feeonlynetwork.com websites. They are not the only sources, but everyone there is a fee-only fiduciary Certified Financial Planner, including yours truly. Good luck!

TD Ameritrade

1/6/2023

You know how financial planners tell you that you need an emergency fund. It's not always as easy as it looks. Bernice Napach in the Wall Street Journal goes through a step by step process, including Chris's view on how to structure one. Go check it out for yourself!

In the crazy real estate market that we had before interest rates started rising in the second quarter of 2022, many felt compelled to overbid for houses, and now are left feeling a little helpless.

This article by Alisa Wolfson at MarketWatch describes one such case. It's like every other financial problem: it requires a cold hard look at the facts and the emotions of the case. Check it out over here

Jeff Benjamin writes about the webcast that he led with Chris Chen and three other industry experts. Direct indexing allows investors and their advisors to personalize their portfolio efficiently. An example is to personalize for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Factors. A screen could be built to favor certain investments and exclude others. Personalization is clearly to attract many investors.
 
However, the main application could well be tax loss harvesting which will allow investors to potentially increase their rate of return over time. Read the full article

Who would ever have thought that the words "Tyra Banks" and "Chris Chen" would appear in the same article?

Well, here we are! Apparently, Tyra has issues with spending money. Hence Alisa Wolfson's article in MarketWatch. You can read the pros and cons in the article. 

Chris's opinion is that so long as it fits in a Life Plan, spending is OK. Have you got your life plan yet?

It is re-enrollment season, and so is the rush to figure out if Health Savings Account is right for you. It is a complex issue which fortunately can be addressed with a little analysis. Check Mark Schoeff's article in Investment News .

There was a time when cryptocurrency was red hot. No longer. The pricing of crypto has fallen even more than the traditional financial markets, reminding everyone that financial risk is an important investment consideration. In the best of cases, your portfolio will take the risk that you need to take and no more than that. Call us if that makes any sense

Bitcoin is down more than 58% year to date compared to slightly over 23% for the S&P500. As a professional in your wealth preservation, I tell you often that it isn't just about returns, it is also about risks.  Read the full article.

It's no longer news that interest rates are going up. Before the last Fed meeting, Dashia Milden sat with Chris and other advisors to stare into the crystal ball. Check it out in this article.

Chris and 9 other financial professionals offer their advice on how to weather the bear market.

Chris points out that we have had many bear markets before and just as many many recoveries. We will continue to have bear markets and, hopefully, will continue to recover.

Chris brings up recent data that shows the down and up record of the stock market and how it managed to finish up anyway. Check the article for an interesting read!

Start Up Equity Is a Great Retirement Plan, If You Can Pull It Off 


7/8/2022

"Should you use your executive compensation (stock options, RSUs, etc) to plan for retirement instead of retirement accounts?

Many people, especially those working in startups, like to think in that direction. They often think that stock options are "real money" instead of the "peanuts" provided in retirement accounts. I don't know what's real and what's peanuts.

However, it is worth keeping in mind that not all startups are phenomenally successful. The majority of them actually don't work out that well, and a significant percentage actually fail. The advantage of investing in a 401k is that, plodding as it may be, the law of compounding works to your advantage, and it eventually can become quite substantial.

Think of it as a put option on your startup." Read the full article here

If you have followed cryptocurrencies at all, you may know that there are almost 10,000 available for purchase (many with no value to speak of). In comparison, there are fewer than 8,000 listed companies in the US. If you were so inclined, how then would you choose what to buy?
In this article for NextAdvisor and Time magazine, Alex Gailey describes a method to rate cryptocurrencies for their investability. It's a very dynamic market, and this investability score is a step in the right direction. I am happy to have contributed to Alex's thinking on this topic. Read more here.

PS: Caveat Emptor: Insight Financial Strategists does not recommend at this point that you buy or not buy crypto investments. This is entirely your choice.

We are all suffering from inflation. Adelia Linkecker writing for Investor's Business Daily suggests "Seven Easy Ways To Shield Your Money From Inflation" with contributions from Chris and several other financial professionals.

Go here to read it!

Is it a good idea to raid your retirement plan? Patricia Amend explores that question in this article in the AARP magazine. It can be a costly opinion especially with retirement looming. Check out the article over here.

Angela Moore, Senior Retirement Editor at Marketwatch interviews Chris and Fritz Gilbert author of the Retirement Manifesto. They address a number of topics including inflation, the bucket strategy, and others. Check it out!

In this episode of the Financial Planning Association of New England's Wicked Pissah Podcast, Jeff Tomaneng CFP, a past President of the FPA speaks with Chris about his journey to divorce financial planning. Check it out!

Jeff Benjamin from Investment News writes about taking on debt in retirement. Unfortunately, it is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. Check out this article for some considerations including Chris's view that in an inflationary environment like we have now, borrowed money could be considered inexpensive. Read article here!

Divorce is stressful and complicated and hurts on so many emotional and financial levels. It becomes even more complex when you throw in the additional financial stress of student loans. Before you just sell the house and write a check to pay off your Parent PLUS loans, look at all your options. One could potentially save you a couple hundred thousand dollars! Read the article here!

One way that people have tried to help Ukraine, and Russia too actually, in this war has been to donate cryptocurrencies to the belligerents. This article by Alex Gailey at Time Next Advisor addresses some of the issues. Read the article here!

Having debt in retirement can be a concern, This article in Forbes highlights some of the ways that you can deal with it. It is usually a complicated topic. So make sure that you get a consultation with a professional to get a practical plan. Read the article here!

I am humbled to be cited as a 36 Top Influencers in 2022 along so many industry leaders who have actually influenced me. My cynical self wants to say that it is an accidental listing. However, I plan to try hard to justify the award! Read the article here!

When divorcing, we think that financial expertise is critical to supplement your lawyer or help in your mediation. However, it is not always clear which specialist to hire. This article in Kiplinger may help clarify some of these issues. Give us a call if it doesn't! Read the article here!

One of the more interesting fintech consumer innovation is the multicurrency account. Writing for Nerdwallet, Spencer Tierney goes over the intricacies of this type of account, and quotes my own experience on a recent trip saving money on foreign exchange. Check it out!
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/banking/multi-currency-account

If you want investment exposure to crypto assets, there are ways than buying a cryptocurrency directly. Vikram Barhat explores those alternatives in this article in Money Sense. Check it Out here

Crypto is making headline again with a precipitous drop in values in the past weeks, inducing concern among many crypto investors. Check this article in Next Advisor / Time by Alex Gailey to read several views from people watching the crypto markets, including Chris. Read the article here

Crypto Was a Popular Gift Last Year. Here's What You Should Know About the Tax Implications

1/5/2022

Were you looking to give crypto as a gift? Here are a few considerations in this article by Alex Gailey at Next Advisor, Time's money publication. Chris's view is that taxes are one more complication to crypto that investors need to pay attention to. Read the article here

Cyril Tuohy writes in Life Annuity Specialist about the trend of creating new types of annuities that appeal better to fiduciary advisors such as Insight Financial Strategists. Historically, annuities have been complicated and expensive with a single compelling feature: lifetime income. Insurance companies are looking to make that better. Read the article here

Insurance companies have been hard at work over the past couple of years lobbying to let Washington allow them into your 401(k). There is no mystery why. It is where the money is! The benefit is much harder to discern. Check out this article by Lewis Braham in Barron's. Read the article here

It is year-end, and it is time to tend to your finances and make sure you get a little extra bump in your finances before the year end. Check this article and check in with your Wealth Strategist to implement! Read the article here

Chris is interviewed in Business Insider article by Zina Kumok about the difficulties that American expatriates can experience. There are many issues with respect to taxation, reporting, and what can be invested in. In summary, expatriating can be a fun adventure, but it requires proper financial preparation. Read the article here

Just getting a designation isn't enough

10/26/2021

In this video interview, Chris talks about what it takes to specialize in divorce financial planning. For Chris, the first step was to get the CDFA designation. But that's not enough: it requires working extensively in the field, getting additional qualifications including mediation training, and working on many many cases. Read the article here

Federal student loan borrowers will be required to resume payments after January 31, 2022, after a payment pause and interest rates had been dropped to 0% for nearly two years. Many borrowers benefited from this freeze and now must prepare to make payments again or for the first time. Saki tells readers that it is very important to explore your federal repayment options before the freeze ends.. Read the article here

Do you have access to a Roth 40(k) plan at work? These accounts can be a good way to help you grow your retirement assets tax-free, but according to Chris, it's not for everyone. People who anticipate their marginal tax rate in retirement will be equal or lower than their current rate should not opt for a Roth 401(k). Those who are in lower tax brackets, or in transition between careers when their income levels are lower than usual may wan to consider it, though. Read the article here

As a volatile, highly speculative investment, many investors are cautious about cryptocurrency. Many people who are skeptical about cryptocurrency but believe in the blockchain technology behind it see blockchain ETFs as a much more sound investment. Chris tells NextAdvisor that the companies that are supporting the development of blockchain are the shovel sellers during the gold rush of the 1800s- they are the ones who made the money by selling shovels to the people who rushed to dig for gold! Read the article here

Chinese stocks dominate the emerging market indexes these days, accounting for about 40% of the typical fund. That's a big challenge today because your typical Emerging Market fund isn't really that diversified. Chris tells MarketWatch that people should be invested in emerging markets, but there is merit in splitting out China and non-China emerging markets as separate allocations. Read the article here

More than half of Robinhood's users are first-tie investors and 31 is the median age of all users, who tend to have less complicated financial lives. With Robinhood becoming a publicly traded company in July 2021, the article asks if these users want to grow old with Robinhood- even as they get older and their financial lives get more complicated. Would they still want to manage their own positions in Robinhood or will they move away to seek expert advice from financial planners? Read the article here

Should you buy a second home? In this article by Robert Powell, Chris recommends that you have a good plan in place before and after you purchase a second home. Read the article here

In this article, Chris explains how he started specializing in financial planning for women going through a divorce. He started developing this specialty and expertise 12 years ago. The more specialized an adviser is, the better the service the adviser will be able to provide! Read the article here

Congratulations Class of 2021! If you took out student loans to pay for school, you may be wondering what to do about your loans as you get ready to start a new chapter of your life. This article will guide you through the terms you need to know, concepts that are unique to student loans, and actions you can take to take control of your student loans! Read the article here

Investors and economists are worried about inflation, but should you? How does it affect you? Read about how inflation helps borrowers, when it doesn't, and what Chris has to say about loans with variable rates.

In this article in The Street, Chris recounts how Jill came to decide to cover her future Long Term Care liability. We also published it as a blog post. Read the article here! And the blog post here.

Crypto was all the rage when John Puterbaugh wrote this article for NextAdvisor, Time's personal finance section. Shortly aftwerwards, Bitcoin experienced some serious volatility. Regardless, people increasingly ask if they shoulf include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in their portfolio. Read the article here!

Student loans can take a serious toll on your finances. Learn when you can settle student loans, how it works and why Income-Driven Repayment plans or forgiveness programs might be a better alternative. Read the article here!

Read the article here

In this article for Yahoo Finance's personal finance section, Stephanie Asymkos interviewd Chris to get his views on finance and divorce. Read the article here!

                         12/7/2020

Changes may be coming to the student loan repayment programs when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month.  Writing for Kiplinger, Saki explains what's in Biden's proposed student loan plan.  The future of student loan debt could look quite different.  Read the article here!

The rules for claiming Social Security are confusing, especially for people who have had more than one marriage and divorce.  Chris explains the details.  Click here to read the article.  

What are the differences between private and federal student loans?  It's important to know if you have student loans.  Writing for Kiplinger, Saki Kurose explains the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing your student loans.  Click here to read the article.

Is it a good idea to raid your retirement plan? Patricia Amend explores that question in this article in the AARP magazine. It can be a costly opinion especially with retirement looming. Check out the article over here.

Angela Moore, Senior Retirement Editor at Marketwatch interviews Chris and Fritz Gilbert author of the Retirement Manifesto. They address a number of topics including inflation, the bucket strategy, and others. Check it out!

In this episode of the Financial Planning Association of New England's Wicked Pissah Podcast, Jeff Tomaneng CFP, a past President of the FPA speaks with Chris about his journey to divorce financial planning. Check it out!

Jeff Benjamin from Investment News writes about taking on debt in retirement. Unfortunately, it is becoming an increasingly common occurrence. Check out this article for some considerations including Chris's view that in an inflationary environment like we have now, borrowed money could be considered inexpensive. Read article here!

Divorce is stressful and complicated and hurts on so many emotional and financial levels. It becomes even more complex when you throw in the additional financial stress of student loans. Before you just sell the house and write a check to pay off your Parent PLUS loans, look at all your options. One could potentially save you a couple hundred thousand dollars! Read the article here!

One way that people have tried to help Ukraine, and Russia too actually, in this war has been to donate cryptocurrencies to the belligerents. This article by Alex Gailey at Time Next Advisor addresses some of the issues. Read the article here!

Having debt in retirement can be a concern, This article in Forbes highlights some of the ways that you can deal with it. It is usually a complicated topic. So make sure that you get a consultation with a professional to get a practical plan. Read the article here!

I am humbled to be cited as a 36 Top Influencers in 2022 along so many industry leaders who have actually influenced me. My cynical self wants to say that it is an accidental listing. However, I plan to try hard to justify the award! Read the article here!

When divorcing, we think that financial expertise is critical to supplement your lawyer or help in your mediation. However, it is not always clear which specialist to hire. This article in Kiplinger may help clarify some of these issues. Give us a call if it doesn't! Read the article here!

One of the more interesting fintech consumer innovation is the multicurrency account. Writing for Nerdwallet, Spencer Tierney goes over the intricacies of this type of account, and quotes my own experience on a recent trip saving money on foreign exchange. Check it out!
https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/banking/multi-currency-account

If you want investment exposure to crypto assets, there are ways than buying a cryptocurrency directly. Vikram Barhat explores those alternatives in this article in Money Sense. Check it Out here

Crypto is making headline again with a precipitous drop in values in the past weeks, inducing concern among many crypto investors. Check this article in Next Advisor / Time by Alex Gailey to read several views from people watching the crypto markets, including Chris. Read the article here

Crypto Was a Popular Gift Last Year. Here's What You Should Know About the Tax Implications

1/5/2022

Were you looking to give crypto as a gift? Here are a few considerations in this article by Alex Gailey at Next Advisor, Time's money publication. Chris's view is that taxes are one more complication to crypto that investors need to pay attention to. Read the article here

Cyril Tuohy writes in Life Annuity Specialist about the trend of creating new types of annuities that appeal better to fiduciary advisors such as Insight Financial Strategists. Historically, annuities have been complicated and expensive with a single compelling feature: lifetime income. Insurance companies are looking to make that better. Read the article here

Insurance companies have been hard at work over the past couple of years lobbying to let Washington allow them into your 401(k). There is no mystery why. It is where the money is! The benefit is much harder to discern. Check out this article by Lewis Braham in Barron's. Read the article here

It is year-end, and it is time to tend to your finances and make sure you get a little extra bump in your finances before the year end. Check this article and check in with your Wealth Strategist to implement! Read the article here

Chris is interviewed in Business Insider article by Zina Kumok about the difficulties that American expatriates can experience. There are many issues with respect to taxation, reporting, and what can be invested in. In summary, expatriating can be a fun adventure, but it requires proper financial preparation. Read the article here

Just getting a designation isn't enough

10/26/2021

In this video interview, Chris talks about what it takes to specialize in divorce financial planning. For Chris, the first step was to get the CDFA designation. But that's not enough: it requires working extensively in the field, getting additional qualifications including mediation training, and working on many many cases. Read the article here

Federal student loan borrowers will be required to resume payments after January 31, 2022, after a payment pause and interest rates had been dropped to 0% for nearly two years. Many borrowers benefited from this freeze and now must prepare to make payments again or for the first time. Saki tells readers that it is very important to explore your federal repayment options before the freeze ends.. Read the article here

Do you have access to a Roth 40(k) plan at work? These accounts can be a good way to help you grow your retirement assets tax-free, but according to Chris, it's not for everyone. People who anticipate their marginal tax rate in retirement will be equal or lower than their current rate should not opt for a Roth 401(k). Those who are in lower tax brackets, or in transition between careers when their income levels are lower than usual may wan to consider it, though. Read the article here

As a volatile, highly speculative investment, many investors are cautious about cryptocurrency. Many people who are skeptical about cryptocurrency but believe in the blockchain technology behind it see blockchain ETFs as a much more sound investment. Chris tells NextAdvisor that the companies that are supporting the development of blockchain are the shovel sellers during the gold rush of the 1800s- they are the ones who made the money by selling shovels to the people who rushed to dig for gold! Read the article here

Chinese stocks dominate the emerging market indexes these days, accounting for about 40% of the typical fund. That's a big challenge today because your typical Emerging Market fund isn't really that diversified. Chris tells MarketWatch that people should be invested in emerging markets, but there is merit in splitting out China and non-China emerging markets as separate allocations. Read the article here

More than half of Robinhood's users are first-tie investors and 31 is the median age of all users, who tend to have less complicated financial lives. With Robinhood becoming a publicly traded company in July 2021, the article asks if these users want to grow old with Robinhood- even as they get older and their financial lives get more complicated. Would they still want to manage their own positions in Robinhood or will they move away to seek expert advice from financial planners? Read the article here

Should you buy a second home? In this article by Robert Powell, Chris recommends that you have a good plan in place before and after you purchase a second home. Read the article here

In this article, Chris explains how he started specializing in financial planning for women going through a divorce. He started developing this specialty and expertise 12 years ago. The more specialized an adviser is, the better the service the adviser will be able to provide! Read the article here

Congratulations Class of 2021! If you took out student loans to pay for school, you may be wondering what to do about your loans as you get ready to start a new chapter of your life. This article will guide you through the terms you need to know, concepts that are unique to student loans, and actions you can take to take control of your student loans! Read the article here

Investors and economists are worried about inflation, but should you? How does it affect you? Read about how inflation helps borrowers, when it doesn't, and what Chris has to say about loans with variable rates.

In this article in The Street, Chris recounts how Jill came to decide to cover her future Long Term Care liability. We also published it as a blog post. Read the article here! And the blog post here.

Crypto was all the rage when John Puterbaugh wrote this article for NextAdvisor, Time's personal finance section. Shortly aftwerwards, Bitcoin experienced some serious volatility. Regardless, people increasingly ask if they shoulf include Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in their portfolio. Read the article here!

Student loans can take a serious toll on your finances. Learn when you can settle student loans, how it works and why Income-Driven Repayment plans or forgiveness programs might be a better alternative. Read the article here!

Read the article here

In this article for Yahoo Finance's personal finance section, Stephanie Asymkos interviewd Chris to get his views on finance and divorce. Read the article here!

                         12/7/2020

Changes may be coming to the student loan repayment programs when President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month.  Writing for Kiplinger, Saki explains what's in Biden's proposed student loan plan.  The future of student loan debt could look quite different.  Read the article here!

The rules for claiming Social Security are confusing, especially for people who have had more than one marriage and divorce.  Chris explains the details.  Click here to read the article.  

What are the differences between private and federal student loans?  It's important to know if you have student loans.  Writing for Kiplinger, Saki Kurose explains the advantages and disadvantages of refinancing your student loans.  Click here to read the article.

In this episode of the Financial Planning Association of New England's Wicked Pissah Podcast, Jeff Tomaneng CFP, a past President of the FPA speaks with Chris about his journey to divorce financial planning. Check it out here!

Divorce is stressful and complicated and hurts on so many emotional and financial levels. It becomes even more complex when you throw in the additional financial stress of student loans. Before you just sell the house and write a check to pay off your Parent PLUS loans, look at all your options. One could potentially save you a couple hundred thousand dollars! Read the article here!

One way that people have tried to help Ukraine, and Russia too actually, in this war has been to donate cryptocurrencies to the belligerents. This article by Alex Gailey at Time Next Advisor addresses some of the issues. Read the article here!

Having debt in retirement can be a concern, This article