"They don't trade on an exchange," he says. "That helps them retain their share price, and in the meantime they pay a 6% dividend net of fees." He also established a position in a trust deed mortgage pool, which makes loans to commercial real-estate developers, and bought a managed futures fund with a very low correlation to stock market returns.

Finally, he suggested that the client use the proceeds of a small IRA to buy a tax-deferred variable annuity with a guaranteed death benefit. The annuity would provide lifetime income for the woman, and upon her death her beneficiary, a nephew, would inherit the guaranteed death benefit amount.

While the portfolio Silberman created is complex, he says his client is delighted with the results.

"Since she retired, she's gone traveling around the world," he says. "It's hard to get her to come in and see me, and that's the biggest compliment I could get."

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