Investing still best way to build long term wealth

April 17th, 2014 by

In the video link here Lee Munson of Portfolio Wealth Advisors welcomes the show of regulatory force against High Frequency Traders, but warns investors against thinking Wall Street has suddenly become a safe place for investing naifs.

Wall Street “has never been safe for nearly 400 years. Why should it be safe now? This is always going to be a pit of vipers.”

Investors are all too aware of the risk. Stocks have been sitting near record highs for three months but according to a recent Gallup poll fewer than half of the country thinks putting money in stocks is “a good idea.”

Americans' Views on Investing in the Stock Market

A lack of confidence in Wall Street is a serious problem. Not for the vipers and wolves, they obviously do fine with or without Main Street investors. In fact the entire gist of the HFT scandal is that it’s largely a matter of institutions stealing from one another.

It’s never been easier or cheaper for individual investors to invest. The problem with the anger and distrust is that it’s kept too many Americans from investing during one of the great bull markets in history. Stocks have doubled in five years while most of the country stood on the sidelines.

The answer to what ails your investments isn’t taking down High Frequency Traders. Hanging the HFT thieves will be satisfying but it won’t help you retire.

Investing for the long haul is still the safest, smartest way to build wealth. Everything else is a sideshow.

If you would like more information about how Lee Munson and the team at Portfolio Wealth Advisors can secure your financial future – just pick up the phone and call him. 505.884.3445

Save your tax refund

April 8th, 2014 by

Oklahoma City Financial advisor and planning expert Tracy Ann Miller is asked by Fox 25 to discuss what to do with your tax refund. The bottom line is that you should save it barring any high priced debt on your books.

If you would like to speak to Tracy Ann Miller personally to talk about how we can secure your financial future – just call her at 405.917.5309 or


It’s the biggest check most Americans see every year—their tax refund.

And while it’s tempting to buy that new TV or gaming system, financial experts say there are better things to do with your new cash.

“Resist the urge to splurge,” said Tracy Ann Miller, CEO of Portfolio Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma city. She says every year, her advice is to put that money to work for you.

“Everyone wants to take that tax refund and go right out and spend it. If you think in advance and make a plan, then you’ll make sure that every dollar that you get has a job,”

Miller’s advice when making your plan: remember that the money is yours. You earned it by working, so think about how many hours you worked to earn that cash. Then start with who you owe.

“If you have high interest credit cards, pay them down first,” Miller said.

The next best thing: save it. Put it in an emergency fund or a retirement account.

As much as we may want something shiny on the shelf, Miller says those short term purchases do nothing to help you in the long term.

“If you can resist the urge for that short term fulfillment, you’ll have a much better long term result, and think in terms of things that gain value through time. Credit card debt detracts from value through time.”

Miller also suggests donating to charity or starting a college fund for your kids or grandkids.

Michael Lewis is wrong

April 7th, 2014 by

Albuquerque Financial Advisor and market expert, Lee Munson of Portfolio Wealth Advisors, is asked by Maria Bartiromo to explain why the new book Flash Boys by Michael Lewis is causing such a storm in the media. Lee explains how the system is far better set up today than years ago when liquidity was hard to find and expensive. It has never been cheaper for the average American investor to invest. Now more than ever we need the truth about investing, not fear mongering from a writer trying to sell a book to the detriment of baby boomers trying to get a fair shot at retirement.

If you want to secure your financial future – talk with Lee Munson personally by calling 505.301.7399 or

Tax Refund Planning

March 27th, 2014 by

Financial Planning expert Tracy Ann Miller of Portfolio Wealth Advisors discusses common tax refund planning tips and the pitfalls of not listening to them.
1. Pay down your debt! Don’t waste a golden opportunity to pay down high interest consumer credit with your refund.
2. If you debt is under control and you only have ‘good’ debt like a mortgage, set up an emergency fund. Remember that people with credit card debt didn’t have an emergency fund in the first place.
3. If your debt is manageable and an emergency fund exists – fund your IRA.
For more information on how Portfolio Wealth Advisors can help you plan for retirement while keeping your current lifestyle, call us at (866) 222-4391 or reach us at Don’t forget to visit our website for more information
Talk to an advisor right now!

It takes courage to be a pig

March 12th, 2014 by


Albuquerque Financial Advisor and market expert Lee Munson explains how to his investors can take advantage of markets. As founder of Portfolio Wealth Advisors, Lee Munson understands that financial planning involves having the right portfolio to match the needs of his clients. A successful retirement means understanding why you invest. Balancing a portfolio to take advantage of all market and personal conditions is key.
Talk to Lee Munson personally about your retirement plans today. He can be reached at 505.884.3445 or

And now for the best sound bites!
Lee Munson:
“It takes courage to be a pig”
“That is why you always have bonds in your portfolio”
Best quote from Larry Kudlow:
“I have never been a fan of active management”

It is significant that Larry Kudlow would reference his disdain for active management. At Portfolio Wealth Advisors, we know about the poor record of expensive active mutual funds. A savvy advisor with the right tools can target higher expected returns by focusing on the factors that drive performance. A focus on owning markets, not stock-picking, drives a successful retirement plan. Talk to us, we can help.

P.S. What does Lee Munson mean by “it takes courage to be a pig?” First, this is CNBC, and entertaining the viewers involves saying provocative phrases. Behind the sound bite we learn those that only see the world as bulls or bears will fail. The pig is always taking advantage of markets. More importantly, let markets work for you not against you. If you only see yourself as a bull or bear, you will be in conflict with the global markets. Just be.
Wall Street wants to convince you that it is necessary to take sides. We disagree. Take all sides and survive any market or personal situation life throws at you.

Carl Icahn is a pirate

March 11th, 2014 by

All I have to say is – awesome job by the art department at CNN Money!
Here is the link to the article, or simply read the transcript below.
For more information about why we help people find calm and clarity from financial chaos, reach us at or (866) 222-4391


By Lee Munson

Carl Icahn is trying to portray himself as a shareholder activist. His Twitter profile page makes him look like a cross between a wise, old grandpa ready to help Main Street investors and “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from those Dos Equis ads.

But he’s still a pirate and corporate raider. Just look at his recent attacks on eBay (EBAY).

Icahn wants the online auction company to spin off its PayPal unit. And he’s said some nasty things about eBay’s CEO and board members to help make his case.

That sounds just like what corporate raiders used to do in the 1980s. They would buy up shares in a company, made announcements about the wrongs of that company’s executives, and used the media to promote their plan to increase the value of their holdings.

Is that wrong? No. But suggesting that an open letter to management is a public service announcement is wrong. Icahn is portraying himself as an activist to convince the public that his way is truly in the best interests for all parties.

However, there are many different groups involved and not all of them are in harmony. Stockholders, management, employees, and customers are not always in alignment. They don’t have to be for capitalism to work.

Shareholders can be investors interested in long-term growth and speculators looking for a short-term profit. We should not assume one loud mercenary speaks for all shareholders.

Fans of Icahn will point out that he tells it like it is. Not so. He tells you what he wants so he can make a profit. How is he really benefiting average investors?

Someone recently suggested that the public wouldn’t know things like Apple (AAPL) is sitting on a ton of cash if it weren’t for people like Icahn. Really? Every analyst on Wall Street can see the cash. In fact, anybody that takes the time to look at public documents can see it.

In celebrating Icahn, we clearly lack any sense of history. Come on people. Carl Icahn was reportedly the inspiration for Gordon Gekko!

Of course, Icahn is free to speak, present his ideas, and allow the animal spirits of the market do what it will. Just don’t think he is any different now than when I was a kid in the 1980s.

I admire the skill of Carl Icahn. But it’s my job to protect clients from making bets based on what speculators are doing. It would be a mistake to invest their retirement portfolio alongside Icahn and other pirates on the high seas of Wall Street.

Lee Munson is the founder and CIO of Portfolio Wealth Advisors. He does not own eBay. He can be contacted directly at or The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely his.

Teach your kids about finances!

March 11th, 2014 by

Tracy Ann Miller, co-founder of Portfolio Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma City, reminds us that financial habits may be in your genes. Failure to teach your children about finances leads to poor habits when they grow up.
If you would like more information about financial planning and how to retire while maintaining your lifestyle, contact Tracy Ann Miller at or (866) 222-4391

Replacing ‘Magic Bullets’ with a Financial Plan

February 23rd, 2014 by

Nationally recognized financial expert, Lee Munson, is interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about one of his most challenging financial planning cases this year. Founder of Portfolio Wealth Advisors and Chief Investment Office, Lee Munson discusses his strategy when a hard working physician is ready to get his financial health in order.

Munson reflects on the interview: “Physicians face different financial planning challenges. It’s our job to translate a complex environment into a treatment plan they can follow. You have to understand what the hot buttons are for physicians, the top traps they fall into, and solutions that educate as well as treat the financial pain.”

You can read the transcript below or link the article here.

The client was a former surgeon in his 60s who had a history as a free-spender. For years, most of his $700,000-a-year salary had supported an expensive lifestyle that included a mansion and high-end sports cars.
Yet his investing approach wasn’t any more sound: After losing money in the dot-com crash, the man disavowed the stock market and built a portfolio with an 80% concentration in gold.
In 2007, though, a disability ended his career as a surgeon and prompted a dramatic lifestyle change. He sold the mansion and the exotic cars and became a general practitioner. His salary dropped to $250,000, plus $15,000 a month in disability payments, so he reduced his annual expenses to $100,000.
But when the price of gold began falling in recent years, the man realized his retirement was in jeopardy. He had already made drastic budget cuts, but had no idea what to do next. So he reached out to adviser Lee Munson, founder and chief investment officer of Portfolio, LCC in Albuquerque, N.M., for help.
“The client had spent decades chasing a series of magic bullets,” says Mr. Munson, whose firm manages $200 million for 100 households. “What he needed was a true strategic financial plan. And luckily, he was ready to start putting one into place.”
Mr. Munson started by helping the client define his goals, which included retiring within five years and paying off the $350,000 left on his mortgage. But the adviser immediately saw a problem: He had no assets that could generate income once he stopped practicing.
“His only option would have been to cash out his $500,000 gold position,” explains Mr. Munson. “Given his needs, that wouldn’t have gotten him very far.”
With the client’s reduced expenses, Mr. Munson calculated he’d need about $1 million in savings to replace his income stream in retirement. But to reach that goal and pay off his mortgage, the man needed to save about $160,000 annually. So Mr. Munson recommended that he earmark his annual disability payments toward these goals.
It would require a lot of discipline, especially for someone who a few years before had barely saved at all, but the client was committed to salvaging his retirement. “Once he had a strategy, and a way to monitor his progress towards those goals, he was confident that he could do just that,” says Mr. Munson.
The next step was diversifying his portfolio. While the client was anxious to get out of gold, the adviser cautioned against liquefying the position all at once. “We were making this change during a period of high volatility for gold,” explains Mr. Munson. “Unwinding the position slowly was the best way to ensure that we got a reasonable average price.”
Mr. Munson reduced the client’s concentration in gold from 80% to 25% over the course of one year. He then invested those funds in a diversified portfolio, which will provide a mix of growth and income to support the client through his retirement.
The adviser is now using trailing stops to slowly edge the client out of the remainder of his position. When gold falls 10% below its market price, a portion of the man’s holdings are sold off. “The gold has to compete now,” says Mr. Munson. “If not, it’s eliminated by that trailing stop.”
Today, the client has a sense of financial direction for the first time, and is optimistic about future. He expects to have his mortgage paid off in the next four years and is thinking about pushing his retirement date out two years, and possibly working part-time in retirement to put even more money away.
“The client knew that curbing his spending and getting serious about his retirement was the right thing to do,” says Mr. Munson. “What our plan has done is validate those good decisions.”

If you are a physician looking for a plan to create calm and clarity out of financial chaos, contact Lee Munson at 505.884.3445 or

Life Insurance: What Legacy Will You Leave?

February 11th, 2014 by

What Legacy Will You Leave?
Life insurance has many uses, but one size does not fit all. Almost all insurance companies have now updated their life expectancy tables to reflect the fact that we are now living longer. If a person has life insurance and the policy is more than 2 years old, they should absolutely have their policy reviewed by a knowledgeable insurance professional. Assuming that the applicant still has their health, there is a very good chance they may be able to dramatically increase the amount of coverage they have at no additional cost, or simply lower the cost of their current coverage.

You will likely have different life insurance needs at different stages of your life. And with people working longer, customized solutions are more critical than ever.

  • Here are just some of the reasons you should consider life insurance:
  • Help replace your income and provide financial security for your dependents.
  • Help pay final expenses.
  • Create an inheritance for your heirs.
  • Help pay federal, state, inheritance, and estate taxes.
  • Make significant charitable contributions.

Life Insurance is an area of expertise for Portfolio Wealth Advisors and we can custom-tailor a plan that meets all your goals and objectives. We look forward to assisting you in leaving a legacy that you can be proud of.

IRA/RMD Solutions

February 11th, 2014 by

IRA/RMD Solutions

A traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a personal tax-deferred retirement plan established for those who receive compensation or earned income from employment, those who are divorced or separated and receive taxable alimony or maintenance payments and have not reached the age of 70 ½. IRAs were created to provide individuals with the opportunity to build their own tax-deferred retirement savings program.

One of the downsides of IRAs is that every year, millions of Americans are forced to take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from their IRAs and qualified plans starting at age 70½. This RMD, drastically decreases the amount that will be left for their beneficiaries after they’re gone.

Portfolio Wealth Advisors has a broad portfolio of IRA/RMD solutions that can give you the freedom to withdraw your RMD each year and still be guaranteed to leave at least 100% of the original premium as a death benefit through the age of 88, regardless of market conditions.

Would you like to take RMDs and still be guaranteed 100% of your original principal as a death benefit? We can’t change the RMD law, but we can give you the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for those you care about the most.

At Portfolio Wealth Advisors, we work closely with our clients to help them make the best decisions possible about income & retirement planning regardless of current economic conditions. We are passionate advocates for our clients and believe deeply that they should retain, grow and transfer all that they have worked so hard for. Contact us today and let us craft an individualized retirement income plan that is as unique as you are.

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