Two Rules | Rule #1 Do Not Lose Your Principal | Rule #2 See Rule #1

20070326 Jin Nakashima image 1182257L

Mike (original)


Ike Devji montage


Charles Tune Esplanade



John Herman



Roger Stolp

Golf 6


Ike headshot

Russell Stolp

Desert golf


J. Michael Stolp

J. Michael Stolp is Managing Member of CFO Solutions LLC, founded by Michael in 1991. CFO is a registered investment advisory and boutique financial planning firm with corporate offices in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is based and resides in Scottsdale. CFO specializes in the unique planning needs of doctors, other professionals, and small business owners, and the economic issues facing them.

Keep Your Money Safe for Retirement! You’ve worked hard. You’ve earned your savings. Don’t lose it all now on risky investments. We can help you keep your money safe and create the retirement you want, when you want it. We charge no commissions, and no client of ours has ever lost a dime who followed our risk averse philosophy. Contact one of our CFO Financial Advisors today and find out how.

At CFO Solutions, we hear the following comments all the time, “I wish I would have started this process earlier in my life”, and “I wish I would have heard about you sooner”. It’s never too late, but when it comes to preparing for the future, the sooner you start the better. An earlier start will allow your investments more time to earn and mature.

Healthy retirement planning depends on asset allocation rather than on the performance of one single investment. For this reason, we recommend that you spread your investment capital around. However, don’t just spread your savings for the sake of diversification. Be sure your investments are safe and thoroughly discussed with a professional.


Liquidity is suddenly drying up. Early warning indicators from US ‘flow of funds’ data point to an incipent squeeze, the long-feared capitulation after five successive quarters of declining corporate profits. Yet the Fed is methodically draining money through ‘reverse repos’ regardless. It has set the course for a rise in interest rates in December and seems to be on automatic pilot. “We are seeing a serious deterioration on a monthly basis,” said Michael Howell from CrossBorder Capital, specialists in global liquidity. The signals lead the economic cycle by six to nine months. “We think the US is heading for recession by the Spring of 2017. It is absolutely bonkers for the Fed to even think about raising rates right now,” he said.

Source: Fed risks repeating Lehman blunder as US recession storm gathers

Last year, the Irish government passed a law which placed a 0.6% levy on assets held in private pensions for each of the next 4 years. The Irish tax on private pensions was made in response to a larger financial crisis and the need to increase government revenues. Ireland isn’t the only country in recent history to seize private investments. Hungary, Argentina and France have all overhauled their private and public pension plans in recent years, in some cases seizing them in their entirety, and in others, taxing them to oblivion. There have been recent discussions of something similar in the United States, which brings up a good question – are private pensions and retirement plans in the US also at risk?

Source: Will the US Government Seize Your 401k or IRA? | Cash Money Life

WASHINGTON The government ran a $587 billion budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year, a 34 percent spike over last year after significant improvement from the record deficits of President Barack Obama’s first years in office. Friday’s deficit news, while sobering, does not appear bad enough to jolt a gridlocked Washington into action to stem the flow of red ink. It came in an annual report by the Treasury Department and the White House budget office. In the presidential campaign, intractable budget deficits and growing debt have been mostly neglected by Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. The latest figures show that the government is borrowing 15 cents of every dollar it spends. Government spending went up almost 5 percent to $3.9 trillion in fiscal 2016, but revenues stayed flat at $3.3 trillion.

Source: Obama administration: Budget deficit increases to $587B | McClatchy DC

The federal government collected $3.27 trillion in taxes in fiscal year 2016, according to the latest monthly Treasury Department statement. The federal government ran a deficit of $587 billion despite the record revenue. Treasury receipts include tax revenue from individual income taxes, corporate income taxes, social insurance and retirement taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, excise taxes, estate and gift taxes, customs duties, and other miscellaneous items. After adjusting for inflation, the amount of taxes collected by the federal government in fiscal year 2016 is slightly lower than the $3.3 trillion the government collected in fiscal year 2015. The 2016 fiscal year begins on Oct. 1, 2015, and runs through Sept. 30, 2016. The federal government collected $3,266,688,000,000 from October through September in fiscal year 2016. Most of the $3.27 trillion came from individual income taxes, which comprised almost half of that total at $1.55 trillion.

Source: Government Collects $3.27 Trillion in Taxes in Fiscal Year 2016

A growing number of people in Obamacare are finding out their health insurance plans will disappear from the program next year, forcing them to find new coverage even as options shrink and prices rise.At least 1.4 million people in 32 states will lose the Obamacare plan they have now, according to state officials contacted by Bloomberg. That’s largely caused by Aetna Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and some state or regional insurers quitting the law’s markets for individual coverage.Sign-ups for Obamacare coverage begin next month. Fallout from the quitting insurers has emerged as the latest threat to the law, which is also a major focal point in the U.S. presidential election. While it’s not clear what all the consequences of the departing insurers will be, interviews with regulators and insurance customers suggest that plans will be fewer and more expensive, and may not include the same doctors and hospitals.It may also mean that instead of growing in 2017, Obamacare could shrink. As of March 31, the law covered 11.1 million people; an Oct. 13 S&P Global Ratings report predicted that enrollment next year will range from an 8 percent decline to a 4 percent gain.

Source: More Than 1 Million in Obamacare to Lose Plans as Insurers Quit – Bloomberg

Worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter of this year totaled 68.9 million units in a 5.7 percent decline from the same period a year earlier, according to preliminary estimates by Gartner. It was the eighth quarter in a row that PC shipments have dropped, marking the longest duration of decline

Source: Personal computer sales continue to slide

Trillion dollar tax hike – Hillary’s tax hike proposals will raise taxes on the American people by over $1,000,000,000,000 over the next ten years, based on her campaign’s own numbers. Payroll Tax Hike – Hillary said she would not veto a payroll tax increase on all Americans should such a bill reach her desk. She said she would set her middle class tax pledge aside. This took place Jan. 12 in Iowa, and it’s on video: Moderator: “Democrats have introduced a plan that Senator Sanders supports that you’ve come out against because it is funded by a payroll tax. If that were to reach your desk as President, would you veto it in order to make good on your tax pledge?”             Hillary Clinton: “No. No.”

Source: List of Hillary Tax Hikes | Americans for Tax Reform

Weak global trade, fears that the U.K. is marching towards a hard Brexit, and polls indicating that the U.S. election remains a tighter call than markets are pricing in have led a bevy of analysts to redouble their warnings that a backlash over globalization is poised to roil global financial markets—with profound consequences for the real economy and investment strategies.  From the economists and politicians at the annual IMF meeting in Washington to strategists on Wall Street trying to advise clients, everyone seems to be pondering a future in which cooperation and global trade may look much different than they do now.

Source: This Was the Week the World Got Really Anxious About Globalization’s Future – Bloomberg

( – The federal government passed a fiscal milestone on the first business day of fiscal 2017—which was Monday, Oct. 3—when the total federal debt accumulated during the presidency of Barack Obama topped $9,000,000,000,000 for the first time. On Jan. 20, 2009, when Obama was inaugurated, the total debt of the federal government was $10,626,877,048,913.08, according to data published by the U.S. Treasury. As of the close of business on Friday, Sept, 30, the last day of fiscal 2016, the total federal debt was $19,573,444,713,936.79. At that point, the total federal debt had increased under Obama by $8,946,567,665,023.71. On Monday, Oct. 3, the first business day of fiscal 2017, the total federal debt closed at $19,642,949,742,561.51. At that point, the debt had increased under Obama by $9,016,072,693,648.43 from the $10,626,877,048,913.08 it stood at on the day of Obama’s inauguration.

Source: Debt Under Obama Up $9,000,000,000,000

Payroll growth was disappointing for a second straight month in September as employers added 156,000 jobs, which raised questions about the health of an economy that was expected to perk up from a prolonged slump in the second half of the year.The unemployment rate rose to 5% from 4.9%, the Labor Department said Friday, as a rise in employment was more than offset by a sharp increase in the labor force, or the number of Americans working and looking for jobs.

Source: Disappointing 156,000 jobs added in September

There are a lot more apartments available for purchase these days in Manhattan. And fewer people are buying. Sales of previously owned condominiums and co-ops fell 20 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier as potential buyers grew cautious amid more choices, according to a report Tuesday from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. There were 5,290 resale apartments on the market at the end of September, 53 percent more than the number available in late 2013, the lowest point for listings. The swelling inventory is providing an opportunity to New Yorkers shut out of a market in which construction has been dominated by ultra-luxury condos aimed at the wealthiest buyers. Resales, particularly those priced at less than $1 million, were in chronically short supply in recent years, and those that made it to the market sparked bidding wars. Now, more owners are listing apartments to profit from climbing values, and they’re finding lots of company. “Rapidly rising prices over the years have pulled more sellers into the market hoping to cash out,” Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, said in an interview. “But buyers are more wary. There isn’t the same intensity of activity to burn through the new supply.”

Source: Manhattan Apartment Sales Plunge 20% as Buyers Get Pickier – Bloomberg

Policy-making elites converge on Washington this week for meetings that epitomize a faith in globalization that’s at odds with the growing backlash against the inequities it creates.From Britain’s vote to leave the European Union to Donald Trump’s championing of “America First,” pressures are mounting to roll back the economic integration that has been a hallmark of gatherings of the IMF and World Bank for more than 70 years.Fed by stagnant wages and diminishing job security, the populist uprising threatens to depress a world economy that International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde says is already “weak and fragile.”

Source: Existential Threats to World Economic Order Cloud IMF Talks – Bloomberg

The Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú has more than doubled his stake in The New York Times Company, to nearly 17 percent, the company said on Wednesday. Mr. Slim exercised warrants to acquire nearly 16 million shares of the company’s Class A stock at a price of over $6.36 a share, the company said, increasing his stake from 7 percent. He now owns nearly 28 million shares in total. The company received more than $100 million in the transaction, it said, which it intends to use to repurchase Class A shares — a different category from the controlling Class B shares held by the Sulzberger family. Mr. Slim, who made his money in telecommunications across Latin America, is one of the world’s richest people, worth about $72 billion, according to Forbes. He lent the Times Company $250 million, at an interest rate of 14 percent, in 2009; at the time, with the world economy struggling and credit tight, the company looked to be in peril. The loan was repaid in 2011, more than three years before it was due. But the warrants, which expired this month, were issued in connection with that deal. “The option is a lower price,” Mr. Slim said in an interview with Reuters last July. “I’m sure we should exercise the option, but we look at it like a financial investment that has been very good.”

Source: Carlos Slim More Than Doubles His Stake in Times Company – The New York Times

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The head of Germany’s financial regulator warned on Saturday of negative perceptions that could lead to downward spirals on the markets, at the end of a week that saw Deutsche Bank shares battered by a crisis of confidence. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper due to be published on Sunday, the head of Bafin, Felix Hufeld, declined to comment specifically on Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest bank. But he said: “I warn people not to let themselves be drawn into a kind of downward spiral of negative perception. Not every nervous market reaction is backed by objective facts.” Deutsche Bank shares were hit first by a demand for up to $14 billion from the U.S. Department of Justice for mis-selling mortgage-backed securities, then a report that Berlin was preparing a rescue plan and lastly on Friday by a report that hedge funds were reducing their exposure.

Source: German bank regulator warns of negative perception spiral: report

Washington (AFP) – The US government on Saturday ended its formal oversight role over the internet, handing over management of the online address system to a global non-profit entity. The US Commerce Department announced that its contract had expired with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which manages the internet’s so-called “root zone.” That leaves ICANN as a self-regulating organization that will be operated by the internet’s “stakeholders” — engineers, academics, businesses, non-government and government groups. The move is part of a decades-old plan by the US to “privatize” the internet, and backers have said it would help maintain its integrity around the world. US and ICANN officials have said the contract had given Washington a symbolic role as overseer or the internet’s “root zone” where new online domains and addresses are created. But critics, including some US lawmakers, argued that this was a “giveaway” by Washington that could allow authoritarian regimes to seize control.

Source: US cuts cord on internet oversight