Callahan Financial Planning joins approximately 1,400 firms worldwide that have adopted this professional conduct code.
The Asset Manager Code of Professional Conduct outlines the ethical and professional responsibilities of companies that manage assets for clients. This code serves as a point of reference for investors, establishing clear policies on what investors can expect by working with a firm that has claimed compliance with the code. Read the rest of this entry »
Retirement portfolios are generally intended to have withdrawals made regularly. These withdrawals provide the regular income necessary for a retiree’s living (and other) needs. However, when a multi-year downturn in the markets is combined with regular withdrawals, a retirement portfolio can deplete at a rapid pace.
The S&P 500 (a broad measure of large American business stocks) averaged a compound annual return over the last century of more than 9% (made up of the change in stock prices plus dividends). This long-term average has been remarkably consistent over long periods of time, but it is a poor predictor of returns over shorter periods of time. Let’s look at some examples to see why. Read the rest of this entry »
In the Greek poem, The Odyssey, Homer illustrates an age old flaw in human nature. Odysseus, the hero, is warned by goddess Circe that when his ship is sailing by the island of the Sirens, the irresistible songs of the Sirens will lure him towards the island and destroy his ship.
The sirens are symbolic of the flaws and biases that seem to be a natural part of our brain’s chemistry. Homer suggests a solution to keep these flaws in check. To counter the allure of the Sirens, Odysseus orders his crew to tie him to the mast of the ship and to ignore his future pleas for release until they have passed the dangerous islands. Odysseus commits himself to a rational course of action at a neutral time to ensure that he does not get swayed by emotions during the time of distress. Read the rest of this entry »
History books are filled with examples of what can happen to investors under the direction of poor national governance. The real challenge is, once we are aware of poor governance, how do I respond as an investor?
Recent events have highlighted the potential for trouble in an investment portfolio. Commonly known as political risk, this may be any event triggered by a government’s executive, judicial or legislative decisions that has the potential to negatively affect the stock or bond holders of that country.
As international investing has become broader and more accessible to investors, these issues have become front-and-center questions for the average investor. A recent Economist article sought to quantify the impact of “bad governments” on that same nation’s investors, and cited some specific examples (Argentina, Iran, and Russia in this research) to study their impact relative to their global peers. 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.