Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a libertarian point of view.Full Bio


Money Monday




With all of the ups-and-downs in the stock market, many of you are worried and some are losing sleep. Here's how to make sure your retirement savings can withstand the market turbulence that is a part of our economy.

While the S&P 500 lost 6.2 percent last year, the final three months of the year were especially volatile. It’s unclear where the market will go tomorrow, or the next year.

The average return of the S&P 500 is around 11% a year. However, the percentages every year vary around that number. 2/3 of the time, the market ends the year in positive territory, 1/3 of the time it ends in negative territory.

A lesson from Ed Finke: after every stock correction or bear market, the stock market went on to reach record highs.

Feeling down? Use that to do a portfolio check-up instead of making an emotional reaction. Remember, markets are driven by fear and greed.

You might be worried because you 1) Put your savings on autopilot years ago. 2) Your risk is too high for your individual situation. 3) You have a low risk tolerance.

The importance of diversification: In 2018 a high-yield, online savings account outperformed the market for the first time in a decade.

We had some people call our office early in 2018 saying, "Why do I have any bonds? The market is doing great!" What's happening NOW is why.

Work with a good financial advisor: They will go through a 'risk tolerance check.' We call it "riskalyze." We ask questions like, "How did you react in 2008?" "Are you okay losing/making this much money on an investment?"


If you are well diversified and save well, ignore market turbulence! We've had corrections before, we'll have corrections and bear markets in the future.



Every Sunday, you see the Simply Money column in The Cincinnati Enquirer and online at

Trisha in Western Hills: My big goal for 2019 is to really take charge of my finances. I’m 44 and have a little bit of credit card debt, a mortgage, and some savings. Any suggestions for how to get started?



#3: Consumer

Your next hotel stay could be even more expensive: The fees you used to only find at resorts are moving to big city hotels.

Many big-city hotels are adding mandatory facility fees or urban-destination fees to hotel bills, hiding the add-ons, which sometimes reach $50 a night, from advertised room rates

Resort and destination fees increased 400% last year over 2017 and will spread to the suburbs this year!

New fees come in all shapes and sizes. For instace, "housekeeping gratuity"

So what's the thinking here? Hotels are trying to get more creative because while they're enjoying high occupancy and record profitability, they're facing higher labor and borrowing costs - and higher real estate taxes.

Hotels argue the fees can actually represent a good deal for guests... But an industry consultant has found that the harder hotels try to justify the fees, the louder guests complain.

So, what can you do? When you're shopping around for a hotel room, be sure to price compare. And make sure the final price you're willing to pay includes all taxes and mandatory fees.


Hotels are like any other business - they're just trying to make a profit. So just make sure you're being an "informed" consumer - you don't want any surprises when you get the final bill.



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