2016 Investment Letter Archive

December 2016

CAN I RETIRE YET?
We get asked this question often by clients. Perhaps a better question and goal for many people is, “Am I financially independent yet?” Being financially independent means you can retire if you want, but if you enjoy working you can keep working because you want to, not because you have to. >more

November 2016

THE JOY AND BENEFITS OF GIVING
Wealthy families can do three things with their money in the end: give it to the IRS, give it to charity, or empower (or ruin) their children and grandchildren. Careful planning can help direct how much goes to each. >more

October 2016

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING—INVESTING WITH YOUR HEART AND YOUR HEAD
The socially responsible investing (SRI) trend has been growing rapidly over the past 10 years. According to Kiplinger Magazine, there are now 493 socially responsible funds with assets of $569 billion. >more

September 2016

SELLING YOUR BUSINESS? THINGS TO CONSIDER
Business owners and executives have many things to think about before, during, and after the sale of a business. There are personal, financial, tax, family, psychological and business factors to consider. >more

August 2016

REACHING FOR YIELD IS DANGEROUS
In 2016, low interest rates have caused investors to take greater and greater risks in reaching for yield. They are doing this to keep their investment income from dropping and to obtain better returns. Financial author, Jason Zweig, says “recently the reach for yield has become a reckless lunge.” Interest rates on “safe” bonds have dropped to 2% or less, which is not enough for many investors. >more

July 2016

ELECTRONIC FRAUD AND CYBERSECURITY
Criminals have gotten very good at stealing information and money from millions of people and businesses electronically. It is much easier to do, more lucrative, and much lower risk than robbing people and banks the old fashioned way. Many people have been affected by credit card fraud, identity theft, click fraud, financial account fraud, fake antivirus software, ransomware, tax refund fraud, invoice fraud, and fraudulent money transfers. >more

June 2016

TAX SMART RETIREMENT STRATEGIES
Many people are focused on reducing income taxes after they retire, because they don’t have as much money coming in each month and they have more free time to think of ways to reduce their taxes. Your income tax rate will likely be lower once you retire, when you no longer have wage income. In retirement, you are still subject to income taxes on your interest and dividend income, capital gains, retirement account (IRA, 401K, 403B) withdrawals, Social Security income, etc. >more

May 2016

REVERSED MORTGAGES
The movie The Big Short does a fairly decent job of telling the story of the 2008 financial crisis. The stories, although embellished, are very interesting. It is also sad to hear about all of the people who had taken out complicated mortgages on their homes, mortgages that they did not understand. We know how that ended. Millions of people lost their homes. Our economy ground to a halt.  >more

April 2016

ADVICE FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF AN ESTATE
Being named the Personal Representative (Executor in some states) of someone’s estate is a big responsibility. In many cases, the Personal Representative (PR) is going through the estate process for the first time. Are you named as the Personal Representative of someone’s estate? Who is the Personal Representative on your estate? In our business we have helped many families go through this process.  >more

March 2016

HUMANS ARE HORRIBLE INVESTORS
The average investor ends up with only about half the market returns over long periods of time. The U.S. stock market return (Standard & Poor’s 500 index) has been 9.85% per year over the past twenty years through 2014. The average equity mutual fund investor’s actual return over that same time period has been only 5.19% per year, according to Dalbar, Inc. How can investors be so bad? >more

February 2016

THE JANUARY 2016 GLOBAL STOCK MARKET PLUNGE
This month’s letter is “The January 2016 Global Stock Market Plunge.” In this letter we discuss the factors the market seems to be concerned about, some offsetting positives to keep in mind, what might stop the decline, and how investors should react to the drop.  Please take a look. >more