Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New Logos for My Firms

I recently had my logos re-done by Cheryl Mayo of Mayo Media. Their web site is Please visit their web site and contact Cheryl if you need any great graphic design work done. She is awesome!

For Marian Financial Services, Inc., I felt like the name of the firm was not allowing our firm to stand out among other firms. After all, what does "financial services" mean to most people? It means lots of different things and to me, causes confusion. So, instead of changing our name, I decided to promote our slogan instead of the name of our firm. The slogan speaks more to the issue at hand. We are The Right Answer. The Right Financial Adviser.®

I think this format for our logo makes much more sense for our firm. We are making a strong statement that we have the answers that people are looking for and also, we are the correct choice in seeking a financial adviser. I spelled Adviser with a "e" instead of an "o" because we are a Registered Investment Adviser with an "e".

Please visit our web site with our newly designed logo.

My other logo that Cheryl did for me was for my insurance agency, Rick Johnson Family Office, LLC. I get bombarded with calls all the time from other investment management firms who think that I have a billion dollars in assets. I wish I did, but unfortunately, as of today, I do not.

I wanted to clear the air, so to speak, and put to bed once and for all what is it that I do with Rick Johnson Family Office, LLC. So, working along the same theme as above, I wanted to highlight my trademarked slogan, Keep Your Assets. Take My Advice® and minimize the company name in the design.

In addition, I wanted to add "A Licensed Insurance Agency" so there would be no doubt about what this firm is all about. I sell Life Insurance, Health Insurance and Long Term Care insurance. If someone begs me, I might sell an Annuity, but it is not a major focus of this firm. I prefer selling the insurance products that protect families from financial devastation and or insure that their families can continue their current lifestyle.

Please visit my insurance firm web site at:

Thank you.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I must be really stupid

I must be really stupid or something. You see, I have done several things that would make me engaged in the future of my family. Most people are not engaged in thinking about their family and their future. Instead they want to focus on doing nothing and saving their money so they can spend it on themselves. They must be the really smart people. I have to be the stupidest idiot on the planet.

You see, I must be stupid because I have a pour over will and a living trust. Not only have I taken the time to have a will prepared, but also a living trust. In addition, I have amended my living trust as needed. Further, my wife and I have sat down and made the choices related to our health care, in case we become incapacitated. We have power of attorney documents for both financial and health care decisions. I must be stupid, because I paid an attorney to perform these services for my family. I am an idiot for not using an online service or software company to provide me a template and prepare these documents myself. I am even dumber for doing this while I was legally competent.

The smart people must be the ones who do not hire attorneys and pay them their fees. The really smart people must use online services or software companies and prepare their own legal documents. Or better yet, the really, really smart people must be the ones who do not have a will at all. These really, really smart people must be the ones who do not have a living trust, nor do they have living wills or powers of attorney documents, either. Boy I wish I was as smart as the really, really smart people.

You see, paying 3% in probate fees because you do not have a will must be a really smart strategy. Also, these really smart people know that if they go through probate, then everyone will know how smart they are, because everything about them becomes public knowledge.

Having to go to court and have a legal guardian declared to take care of your minor children must be a smart strategy, too. Instead of paying the attorney while you are alive, you pay the attorney and court costs when you are dead! The attorney has to file court papers for every year of your minor children's life until they turn 18 years of age. In fact, I know of a guy who remarried and had passed away without a will. He had remarried and had two minor children. He was so smart. A guardianship had to be established through the courts. He got to pay the attorney and court costs after he was dead.

The state law for those dying without a will in his state was that his two minor children got two thirds of his estate. The other third was fought out in court. His new wife sued the mother of his children. The new wife, you see wasn't in the will because there was no will, so she decided to hire an attorney to sue his estate in probate court so everyone could keep up with what was going on. It was all public knowledge by this time. This new wife even wanted to control the money for the minor kids that were not even her kids. You see this guy was real smart. He didn't have a will. He was so smart. He was even a doctor! Doctors are way smarter than I am. They go to college and medical school. That makes them way smarter than me.

You see, the really smart people do not want to have to make that "pulling the plug" decision with a living will. They have no need to worry about the future hospital costs, since they will be "veggin out" anyway. These smart people know that putting the "pull the plug" decision on the shoulders of their family members is no sweat off of their back. It doesn't matter that their family member may have regrets for the rest of their lives for having to make that decision. What's important is that the really smart person saved those darn attorneys fees. That trumps everything else. Nothing else matters when it comes to saving money for smart people.

You see, I must be really stupid, because I have life insurance and my wife has life insurance. This insurance is in place to help the surviving spouse in case one of us were to die prematurely. Yet, I must be stupid, because the smart people do not have any life insurance. How could I have been so stupid to buy life insurance when I was still healthy. If I would have only waited until I was uninsurable, then I could have saved all those life insurance premiums. Boy was I dumb.

I know of one guy who had two dads. One of his dad's, his biological father had little to no life insurance, even though he had four kids. The other dad, who was this guy's step dad, also had four kids, including his step son, but he must have been stupid. He bought $1,000,000 worth of life insurance. Both dads died prematurely. However, the step dad had to be stupid to buy $1,000,000 of life insurance. Are you kidding me? The sacrifice for the life insurance premiums must have been enormous. What kind of idiot would care enough about their four kids, even when one of them wasn't even his own, would spend money on life insurance? That step dad must have been really stupid. Just like me.

I know for a fact that I am really, really stupid, because me and my wife have a Long Term Care insurance policy. The really smart people must be the ones who do not have Long Term Care insurance. These smart people know that Long Term Care insurance is expensive, therefore they are smart enough not to buy any of it. They are smart enough to know precisely when they are going to die. They know for certain that they are just going to keel over one day and they will never need it. Either that, or they believe that their adult kids will not mind dropping everything in their own lives to care for them. This is obviously the smart way to take care of  Long Term Care issues. Put it all on the shoulders of their adult kids. Boy these people are so smart. I must be stupid, because I am paying for Long Term Care insurance. I am such an idiot. I could have saved that money and let my kids take care of me.

My conclusions for being stupid beyond a shadow of a doubt are that I paid for attorney fees to plan for me or my wife's early demise. I paid what most people would consider to be too much in attorney's fees. I paid for and continue to pay for life insurance and Long Term Care insurance. Pure stupidity. I could have saved all that money and the money that I have to continue to pay in the future. I am not selfish and self centered like all the smart people. That is a bad character flaw that I have...that is not being selfish and self-centered. I need to work on being more selfish and self-centered, then I might be one of those really smart people.

You see, smart people will read this blog post and receive confirmation on how really smart they are compared to me. I must be really stupid.

If you want  to discuss how hiring an attorney and paying Life and Long Term Care insurance premiums has made me so stupid, then feel free to give me a call.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inightful Intuition or Luck

Often when I write about a particular subject, whether it be via a tweet or on this blog, there is often confirmation of my views in major publications that follow. For example, I have been harping against Non-Traded Publc REIT's for years. These so-called investments are sold to individual investors who in most cases are not sophisticated enough to understand what they are buying. The other day, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal where the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) was tightening their oversight of these investments. Apparently brokers have not been accurately disclosing the risks. Here are the risks:

  1. You can lose a significant portion of your principal.
  2. The General Managers take 11 to 13% right off the top on day one.
  3. Your income is a return of capital. (This is why they tout them as tax efficient.)
  4. Your broker can earn 8.5% in sales commission upfront upon your purchase.
  5. You have no liquidity after you buy it.
  6. You have to hold the investment for 10 to 12 years and sometimes longer.
  7. Your investment can be rolled into another poor performing portfolio.
  8. Your dividend can be lowered, temporarily stopped or discontinued altogether.
The odds are that if you ever bought a Non-Publicly Traded REIT, then you had no idea of these eight items above. Why? Because, brokers do not have any duty to do things in your best interest. They do not have to tell you much of anything, except "sign here".

I see this often where I write about it and later on, I read an article basically repeating some of the issues that I have already raised. To me, this is insightful intuition based on my dedication to learning. It certainly is not luck, because it happens way too often.

Common Sense

In my last blog article I wrote about how insurance companies were having troubles with their annuity products. Lo and behold, in today's Wall Street Journal, there is an article on insurance companies having trouble with these annuity products. Specifically, these insurance companies are having to withdraw their guarantees. In addition, they are now refusing to accept new deposits into these once lucrative contracts. As my dad would say, "That was the old deal. This is the new deal."

To me, this is all just plain old common sense. How in the world can an insurance company guarantee to pay you 7% per year on an annuity, year after year for life? Guaranteed? As they say on ESPN, "Come on man!" Common sense would tell you that they cannot guarantee that, yet people bought these in droves from insurance agents. Now they are finding out that was the old deal. This is the new deal.

The Truth

Ask yourself this question whenever you invest your hard earned money. "Is it true? Is it true that this Non-Publicly Traded REIT is a good investment compared to a Vanguard REIT ETF that has none of the negatives described above?" The truth will answer the question for you. Always ask yourself, is it true? If you do not know, then do your due diligence or research on it. If you do, then you will make better decisions.

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