Over the past few years, many of you have taken advantage of liquid modified endowment contracts as a way to safely grow your money without stock market or interest rate risk. These insurance contracts, which have similar properties to deferred annuities, can be designed without upfront loads or back-end surrender charges and with full liquidity.…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

It’s not uncommon for new clients to ask me how I think the market will perform. I guess some people expect their financial advisers to have a unique ability to predict the future. Many advisers will actually offer their opinion about how they believe the stock market will perform in the near future, either because…

Read More

Benjamin Graham, who is generally viewed as Warren Buffet’s mentor, has several rules about investing. One of his main rules is to always invest with a margin of safety. In other words, invest in stocks at a price that is low relative to a stock’s earnings and at a price that is less than the…

Read More

Hopefully you are enjoying your Labor Day weekend with the knowledge that your stock investments have done well so far this year. Through the end of August 2018, the S&P 500 has gained 9 percent and the Russel 2000, which is comprised of smaller companies, is up 13 percent. If you are wondering why the…

Read More

It is universally agreed that international trade wars are bad for global economies. Tariffs increase prices on goods people buy. Consumers either buy less or they increase consumer debt. Tariffs hurt corporate profits, which is bad for stock prices.   However, President Trump has nevertheless decided to place tariffs on various imports — most notably…

Read More

Many investors have been increasing their allocations to index annuities as a way to reduce market risk while still maintaining reasonable growth expectations. As numerous insurance carriers have recently started offering “uncapped” index annuities, there are now several attractive alternatives to choose from.   Most uncapped index annuities will allow participation in a percentage of…

Read More