Financial Planning During Volatile Markets

The journey to achieving your long-term wealth goals follows a road that is not always smooth, clear and free of debris. Sometimes the market and the world at large will litter our path with obstacles for us to overcome. Global markets have been experiencing increased volatility, which comes in stark contrast to the even, steady growth that we often expect. (more…)

The Case for Optimism

You might be reading this hunkered down in your basement, taking inventory of your supplies, or watching a DIY facemask tutorial on YouTube. If so, you’re like all of us navigating a fog of uncertainty that, so far, has left more questions than answers. To help offer you some firmer footing, allow us to paint a realistic picture of where we stand regarding financial markets and the economy more broadly. (more…)

Active Management’s Persistent Failure to Persistently Outperform

Since 2002, S&P Dow Jones Indices has published its biannual Indices Versus Active (SPIVA) reports, which compare the performance of actively managed equity funds to their appropriate index benchmarks. It also puts out a pair of scorecards each year that focus on persistence of performance. This is an important issue because if persistence is not significantly greater than should be expected at random, investors cannot separate skill-based performance (which might be able to persist) from luck-based performance (which eventually runs out). Following are some of the highlights from the just-released December 2019 Persistence Scorecard, with data through September 2019: (more…)

Directing Your Own Financial Destiny

Do you feel “in charge” of your financial life?  Or do you feel you are being swept along by a set of circumstances that are beyond your control?  Do you take responsibility for making your own financial decisions, or do you acquiesce to the plans and opinions of others?  Does fear, denial, or complacency keep you from taking a proactive approach to nurturing your own financial well-being? (more…)

Resilience in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic and resulting economic uncertainly have had a profound effect on our sense of safety and control.  The closest experience that many of us have had in our lifetimes was the financial crisis in 2007-2008 followed by a deep recession.  Although the root causes are dramatically different, the impact on our sense of financial well-being is similar.  Few of us expected to face such challenging economic circumstances again within such a relatively short period of time. (more…)

$2.2 Trillion Stimulus: What it means for you

By: Matt Grodin

I am working hard (from home) to get tax returns out the door, and I would like to take a moment to answer some questions regarding the stimulus package signed by President Trump on Friday afternoon. There is a lot of information in the news on this subject, but not all of it is complete or accurate.  I’ll provide the highlights, including a few sources that I trust. Please note that information on this topic will continue to evolve. Regulations have not yet been written for how this law will be implemented. (more…)

The State of the Economy and Coronavirus

Given the volatility in the financial markets beginning the week of February 20, 2020, it’s helpful to review the state of the U.S. economy entering into this stressful period, what’s happened since, and some of the potential economic impacts. Here is our take on those topics.
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Why Dismissing Social Security in Your Retirement Plan Is a Mistake

By: Jarret Simpson

When the subject of Social Security comes up during retirement planning conversations, both younger and older investors often greet it with a healthy dose of cynicism. Such discussions tend to include comments like, “Oh yeah, sure. If there’s even anything left for me” or “Isn’t Social Security going bankrupt?” Sometimes I hear a more draconian stance, like, “I just plan on it not being around when I’m retired.” This last viewpoint actually is quite common. According to a study by AARP, 65% of adults are not confident about Social Security’s future. (more…)

Make life easier in 2020

As you begin to be fulling engaged in 2020, take a deep, meditative breath and envision how much easier your life could be if certain obstacles were removed and nagging problems were solved. What if you could eliminate this unnecessary baggage and get to that peaceful life you visualize? (more…)