Monthly Archives: June 2017

8-Year-Old Girl Pens Letter To Gwen Stefani Asking Her To Give Little Sister’s Rare Disease A Voice

Taryn Connor, 8, with sister Brynn, 5. Taryn Connor, 8, with sister Brynn, 5.

Raising money to help find a cure for a loved one’s rare disease can trump most other financial priorities. That’s precisely the case for Kristen and Shawn Connor, of Marlton, N.J., whose five-year-old daughter Brynn was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome, a neurological and developmental disorder that is caused by a random genetic mutation, in 2013. Brynn’s disorder prohibits her from speaking, walking and using her hands, but the Connors have made it their mission to do all they can to help find a cure.

To date, the Connors have raised more than $200,000 for Rett Syndrome research through organized events like the annual Happy Hour to Help End Rett—and now their eight-year-old daughter Taryn is doing her part to help in a big way.

After watching NBC’s The Voice, Taryn decided to write a letter to pop singer Gwen Stefani asking her to help raise awareness about Rett Syndrome. “My family goal is to raise enough awareness and money to cure Brynn,” Taryn wrote in her letter. “I watch you every week on The Voice and I think you would be a great addition to team Brynn.”

Taryn Connor, 8, wrote this letter to Gwen Stefani. Taryn Connor, 8, wrote this letter to Gwen Stefani to help give her little sister’s disorder, Rett Syndrome, a voice.

Taryn’s mother Kristen posted the letter on her Facebook page, Believe in Brynn. So far, the post has accumulated more than 220 shares.

Taryn says she singled out Gwen because “she’s real ly into girl power, and Rett Syndrome is mostly an all-girl disease.” She explains, “I thought she’d be a really good addition to help Brynn.”

There are several organizations that support Rett Syndrome research, which impacts about 1 in 10,000 live female births. The Rett Syndrome Research Trust (RSRT) has raised $42 million for Rett research since 2008. Another organization,, has raised some $32 million for Rett research since 1998.

This past summer, Taryn raised $2,000 for Rett research by hosting the first annual Brynn’s Beach Games, in Sea Isle City, N.J., in which she organized a day of beach activities, food and drink.

The first annual Brynn's Beach Games in Sea Isle City, N.J. in 2016. The first annual Brynn’s Beach Games in Sea Is le City, N.J. in 2016.

“I’d love to say how proud I am of both Taryn and Brynn,” Kristen Connor says. “Brynn struggles daily with the little things, and the fact that Taryn recognizes her struggles and wants to do everything she can to help her makes us super proud.”

“As parents, we want nothing more than for our children to love each other… and to see that and that our girls want to change the world at the same time fills our hearts,” she adds.



What’s Keeping These 4 Fixed Income Managers Up at Night

5 Best Countries for Affordable Health Care in Retirement

DOL Takes First Step Toward Fiduciary Rule Changes

Planners Fear Unintended Consequences as DOL Rule Compliance Date Nears

As the population ages and so do pension plans pension, there is obviously a sector need for fixed income, according to Karl Dasher, CEO and co-head of fixed income in North America at Schroders.

“Given that we need to be in it, how do we operate within this environment, where the compensation for risk at the highest level, at the aggregate level, has declined significantly?” Dasher asked.

Jim Barrineau, co-head of emerging markets debt relative

While Barrineau follows President Donald Trump on twitter, he says he’s less worried about an errant tweet about Mexico than he is about “unraveling QE when asset prices in every arena are inflated” and a “recognition by central banks that there’s lower perpetual growth everywhere in the world.”

The annuity provider will offer clients a different subaccount option for its variable annuities, according to a report.

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Goldman Sachs, Disney Lead DJIA Higher Monday

June 26, 2017: Markets opened higher Monday but the Nasdaq Composite turned south early on and remained there for most of the day. The tech sector was the day’s poorest performer while utilities and telecom performed best. WTI crude oil for August delivery settled at $43.38 a barrel, up 0.9% on the day. August gold dropped 0.8% for the day to settle at $1,246.40. Equities were headed for a mixed close shortly before the bell as the DJIA traded up 0.17% for the day, the S&P 500 traded up 0.11%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.22%.

The DJIA stock posting the largest daily percentage gain ahead of the close Monday was The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) which traded up 1.73% at $220.94. The stock’s 52-week range is $138.20 to $255.15. Volume was about 45% below the daily average of around 3.7 million shares. The investment bank had no specific news Friday.

The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) traded up 1.26% at $105.68. The stock’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $116.10. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 6.8 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) traded up 1.03% at $75.61. The stock’s 52-week range is $65.28 to $80.47. Volume was less than 65% below the daily average of around 8.9 million. The company had no specific news.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) traded up 0.95% at $83.00. The stock’s 52-week range is $57.15 to $83.28, a new 52-week high posted this morning. Volume was around 35% below the daily average of about 3.5 million shares. The company had no specific news.

Of the Dow stocks, 18 are on track to close higher Monday and 12 are set to close lower.

Fossil Group Inc (FOSL) Chairman of the Board & CEO Kosta N Kartsotis Sold $6.1 million of Shares

Chairman of the Board & CEO of Fossil Group Inc (NASDAQ:FOSL) Kosta N Kartsotis sold 625,000 shares of FOSL on 06/14/2017 at an average price of $9.73 a share. The total sale was $6.1 million.

Fossil Group Inc is engaged in designing, marketing and distribution of consumer fashion accessories. It offers men’s and women’s fashion watches and jewelry, handbags, small leather goods, belts, sunglasses, soft accessories and select apparel. Fossil Group Inc has a market cap of $450.710 million; its shares were traded at around $9.30 with a P/E ratio of 18.22 and P/S ratio of 0.18. Fossil Group Inc had annual average EBITDA growth of 13.90% over the past ten years.

CEO Recent Trades:

Chairman of the Board & CEO Kosta N Kartsotis sold 625,000 shares of FOSL stock on 06/14/2017 at the average price of $9.73. The price of the stock has decreased by 4.42% since.Chairman of the Board & CEO, 10% Owner Kosta N Kartsotis sold 520,281 shares of FOSL stock on 06/09/2017 at the average price of $10.71. The price of the stock has decreased by 13.17% since.Chairman of the Board & CEO, 10% Owner Kosta N Kartsotis sold 1,075,000 shares of FOSL stock on 05/30/2017 at the average price of $11.29. The price of the stock has decreased by 17.63% since.

For the complete insider trading history of FOSL, click here


How I Stopped ‘Awfulizing’ Retirement

By Jonathan Look, Next Avenue Contributor 

I had been planning my retirement for years. I read all the literature about my pension and ran all the calculations. I reduced my spending. I got completely out of debt and even added a little padding to my savings. So why did I fear what is supposed to be the best time of life? Why did I awfulize retirement — thinking so much about the things that could go wrong that I was afraid to retire?

The truth is, I was far from alone.

Credit: Shutterstock

Now that I’m retired and traveling around the world, I have met many retirees — tourists, expats, and nomads — who’ve expressed frustration with themselves about how they had awfulized what has turned out to be the best time of their lives.

Wh y I Was Awfulizing Retirement

In my case, even I was surprised that I had awfulized retirement. After all, from the time I began working as a teenager, I fantasized about living what I now call “Life Part 2” (which is also the name of my blog about my experiences as a retiree globetrotter). And although I enjoyed my 25 years working as an air traffic controller,  near the end of my career I longed for the days when I could set my own course, travel the world and do my photography. I wanted to leave the comfortable cage I had built for myself, live life “closer to the bone,” challenge my boundaries and explore the world. I was ready.

Or so I thought. But what, I wondered, if my assumptions and estimates were wrong? What if I hadn’t saved enough? What if the cost of health care soared out of reach? What if inflation shot up? What if my investments took a dive? What if I outlived my plan?

How Fear Distorts the Picture

W hen pondering retirement, many people fantasize about, say, life on the beach or having time to write the next great American novel or finally being able to spend more time with our grandchildren. But when action and decision making are required, fear distorts the picture. Opportunity starts to look like a nightmare. The human brain is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t deal with uncertainty very well.

Also on Forbes: 

Retirement is a bet on the future, and no one can anticipate all the unknowns. The data is necessarily incomplete. When confronted with incomplete data, our brains look at the information gaps and fills them with fear. To the brain, anything is better than ambiguity.

In our mind, the worst case scenarios suddenly become the most likely of circumstances. We begin to doubt our calculations. We begin to doubt the experts. At the very time we need to trust our judgment the most, fear gets into our head, distorts our outlook and overwhelm s all our assumptions.

Hence the term psychologists use to define this phenomenon: awfulizing.

Dreams Deferred or Crushed

Many dreams of an enjoyable retirement have been deferred, or even crushed, under the weight of awfulizing. It is easy to find excuses for waiting to retire. Doubts begin to creep in and fear overwhelms the confidence we have in our preparations.

Because we are awfulizing the future, the present — no matter how much we want to break free — starts to feel “comfortable enough.” Fear tricks us into inaction and we put off our dreams a little longer. When we should be taking control, awfulizing keeps us paralyzed and wanting.

How I Stopped Awfulizing Retirement

So, how did I overcome my fears, move forward and stop awfulizing retirement?

I envisioned my dreams — of traveling the world, of enhancing my photography skills and of learning about different cultures. I gave up on my need to kno w with certainty that my plans were the right ones. Instead, I wholeheartedly embraced the adventure.

I gave notice at work, sold all my belongings including my house and created a scenario where I left myself with no choice other than to move forward.

I decided to live by the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” In other words, I told myself, any plan or forecast that I made would be wrong moments after I wrote it down. I made a personal pact that I would periodically adjust my plans, based not only on changing conditions but also on my changing desires and expectations.

Retirement Planning vs. Reality

Planning can teach us a lot, but what you plan and what you get will be two different things.

In the five years since I’ve retired, I’ve become comfortable with uncertainty. In fact, I have even learned to embrace it!

I have found that many of the excuses, limitations and doubts I had put on myself were merely fictions created out of fear.

Time is our most valuable asset and how much time remains is one of the biggest variables in retirement. What we do know is, that with every minute that passes, we have less time available. In the end, we all reach the same destination.

The Opportunity of Retirement

Deferring your dreams, after you have wrung all the joy out of parts of your life because you are afraid to move forward, is surrendering to your fears. Retirement is an opportunity to unapologetically try new things, reinvent yourself, expand your horizons, help others or even just bask in the glow of what you have accomplished. But it is no more predictable than life before retirement.

Yes, retirement is a big step. Of course, you’ll have concerns. Just don’t let awfulizing crush your dreams — whatever they are.

I have yet to meet a retired traveler who wishes he or she had delayed quitting work a few more years before embarking on adventures or beginning to fulfill dreams. To the contrary, in most cases, once they started retirement, any fears of running out of financial resources have transformed into fears of running out of time.