Bear market blues

If you have been paying attention to your investment accounts, you may have noticed that the stock market has fallen dramatically this quarter. The S&P 500 closed at 2,924 on Oct. 1, and by Christmas it was down to 2,351. This represents an almost 20 percent decrease. Consequently, the value of your investments likely significantly…

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Is cash a thing again?

For many years, clients stopped asking how much they would earn on their money market accounts because for quite a while, money market accounts weren’t paying any interest at all. However, with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates over the past year, our clients can now earn north of 2 percent on their money market…

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Market Volatility

The last quarter of 2018 has been very volatile for stocks, compared to the last several years of relative calm. This has made many investors nervous and potentially caused them to rethink their investment strategy. However, any investor who is surprised by recent volatility doesn’t really understand the historical movement of stock markets.   It…

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Will your Kids Blow their Inheritance?

For most people who spend a lifetime prudently managing their wealth and their spending habits, the thought of their children recklessly and rapidly blowing their inheritance is disconcerting. According to a study by the National Endowment for Financial Education, 70 percent of all people who suddenly receive a large sum of money will use it…

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Conservation Easements

There is a section in the IRS tax code, designed to preserve certain U.S. lands, permitting wealthy investors to significantly reduce their income tax liability. Landowners who are willing to grant a permanent restriction on the use of their property to a qualified organization exclusively for conservation purposes will get a big tax deduction even…

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Encouraging stock market trends

Once we help our clients determine their appropriate allocation to stocks, we generally encourage them to stay invested and ignore short-term corrections. However, if you are trying to decide a good entry point for money that is on the sidelines, certain historical trends indicate that now could be a good time to invest.   The…

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Red October

After an extended period of steadily rising markets and low volatility, October was a very bad month for stocks. The S&P 500 fell about 10 percent from the beginning of the month before finishing the month down 7.3 percent. The technology-laden NASDAQ index fell even further before finishing down about 9 percent.   Many investors…

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Protecting your assets

The term “asset protection” has many connotations. For most people it means shielding assets from claims of creditors. Because we live in a very litigious society, it’s probably wise to consider creating a minimum level of wealth that no one can take away from you.   There are essentially three different ways to protect assets:…

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Has the 60/40 portfolio lost its mojo?

Ever since the start of the huge bull market in the 1980s and 1990s, the 60/40 portfolio was a great way to reduce the volatility in one’s portfolio. The bond portion of the portfolio would spit out 6 to 8 percent yields and, just as importantly, the bonds would tend to rally and yields would…

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