The relationship between supply and demand is widely understood in economics. But does an aging America mean future stock returns will be lower as older Americans sell stocks for day-to-day needs in retirement?
Most economists I’ve spoken with on the matter in recent years have expressed concern about this very dynamic. It’s also a rational, simple explanation for several things. But while supply and demand are still present forces, this thesis makes a number of implied assumptions. The foremost being that baby boomers will be the only supplier of savings (capital) to the productive businesses that need it (in the form of stock purchases in the primary/secondary markets). Read the rest of this entry »
The employer retirement plan (commonly known as a 401k/403b) is an essential savings and investment vehicle available to many individuals today. These plans provide significant benefits to employees, such as tax deferral on employee contributions, employer matching contributions, Roth contribution and greater annual deferral limits than an Individual Retirement Account (IRA).
However, a 401(k)’s features, investment choices and service providers are determined by the employer and offer employees little flexibility. Investors must choose among the investment vehicles offered and work within established rules and limits within their respective plan(s). Choosing the right investments within your plan can be difficult as plan data is not always readily available, and many HR departments often do not understand their own plans well enough to provide guidance to plan participants regarding their investment decisions.
What does the financial news media mean when they say, “brace for more market volatility”?
Over several decades in the investment business, I have consumed many thousands of hours of financial news from the likes of CNBC and Fox Business News. Over that same time period I have heard the term “market volatility” used ad nauseam by news anchors and Wall Street analysts in reference to every kind of investing situation. I would guess you have, too.
Here are several recent examples from a CNBC print article on their website Brace for More Market Volatility in the Second Half of 2013. http://cnbc.com/id/100848558
“Investors, buckle your seat belts. Markets in the second half could be driven by more volatility, though most strategists expect equities to ultimately end the year higher than their current levels.” Read the rest of this entry »
The U.S. Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have just established that several key income tax benefits previously only available to opposite-sex marriages are now available to those in a same-sex marriages as well.
Under the announcement (U.S. Treasury) and the rule (IRS), benefits now available include the ability to file a joint income tax return (which may cut your tax cost), but also increase the tax-free part of a couple’s estate for transfer to heirs (double an individual’s lifetime limit). Additionally, all the same income tax benefits that may come from filing a household income tax return are available, including deductions, exemptions and credits. Read the rest of this entry »
• Fiduciarynoun. From the Latin fiducia, meaning “trust,” a person (or company) who has the power and obligation to act for another under circumstances which require total trust, good faith, and honesty. (Free Dictionary)
As a registered investment adviser, we work as a fiduciary when we give advice and manage money.
We often try to approach our blog topics with a light touch and a sense of fun. We believe a little humor helps us communicate important financial issues more effectively. With this in mind, we think many people often feel that having to deal with financial matters is like having to visit the dentist – it may be necessary but not exactly something to look forward to. No disrespect meant to our dentist friends. They understand.
This article, however, is about something we take very seriously: Our fiduciary obligation to you, our client. Put simply, a fiduciary duty is the duty to put your interests ahead of our own in everything we do. It’s a legal standard we follow, but in our view, also a moral obligation we willingly accept.
One of the most confusing and least understood terms for the investing public is annuitization. Unlike stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange traded funds (“ETF’s”), annuitization does not come up in cocktail party or water cooler conversation very often. What does it mean?
Many investors have money saved and invested in a fixed or variable annuity – two types of contracts issued by insurance companies. Annuitization is the process of converting annuity funds into a stream of income, usually paid on a monthly basis. Choosing whether to annuitize or not is very important because often you can’t change your mind once payouts begin.
Perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages. – General George Washington
Have you read David McCullough’s book 1776? If you haven’t, you might not find a better addition to your summer reading list – particularly over this long holiday weekend. First published in 2005, it’s an entertaining must read not only for its historical recounting of our nation’s first year, but for its lessons in courage and perseverance.
For today’s investors, the book is a reminder of the old saying, “that which is well achieved is usually well earned!” Read the rest of this entry »