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How to Succeed in Retirement

19424094_s.jpg by Jonathan Alton

A successful retirement is so much more than just having enough money to live on.  As financial planners, we often focus on the financial aspect of retirement. The social, emotional, and physical health side of retirement are just as important as having proper funds. In fact, you won’t really know how much money you need in retirement until you know how much you want to do. I will discuss several common retirement goals and how to prepare for success.

Monthly Markets Memo - April 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

With twitter tirades, tariff threats, and trouble in tech, it sure is noisy out there.  The U.S. markets, as measured by the S&P 500, re-tested February lows as the quarter came to an end.  The volatility was fed by escalating trade disputes as the Trump administration raised the prospect of additional tariffs on Chinese products, with the Chinese responding in-kind with their own tariffs on U.S. imports.  The tech sector wrestled with its own problems which added to the pain; Tesla is struggling to meet production goals, Facebook is working damage control for a scandal involving the improper sharing of user’s data, and Amazon finds itself in President Trump’s crosshairs over taxes and its business with the post office.

Market Minute - April 10, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

TECH, TARIFFS & TWITTER = VOLATILITY

Volatility has picked up this year after an extraordinarily calm 2017.  The sources of volatility are numerous ranging from potential regulations for technology companies regarding user data, tariffs on Chinese imports and possible retaliation, and uncertainty from President Trump’s twitter feed.

The Retirement Savings Crisis in America

19424094_s.jpg by Matthew Emerson

Each time you turn on the news, it seems there are new issues and topics that demand your full attention. Across the full breadth from markets, taxes, the happenings in Washington D.C. international dynamics, sports and even celebrities, there is enough news to keep the water cooler busy five days a week. But what is the one topic, crisis even, that you rarely hear about? Retirement savings.

Monthly Markets Memo - March 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Market Update

The correction may have passed, but the volatility remains. The broad markets are in approximately the same spot they were a month ago, which may come as a surprise considering both the strong up and down moves across equities over that same time period. Equities sold off on the talk of trade tariffs out of Washington and then rallied when certain allies were exempt. They sold off again when Chief Economic Advisor Gary Cohn stepped down, and then rallied when the February jobs report was not only strong but failed to propel inflation-related fears. The volatility is not limited to equities.  

Market Minute - March 9, 2018

by Scott Rosenquist, CFA

FIXED INCOME MARKET

The low interest rate environment over the past several years has changed the broad bond index that I discussed last month (Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate).  The interest rate sensitivity has increased to levels that investors may not be aware of.  This is highlighted in the chart below from J.P. Morgan’s Guide to the Markets.

Happy Home Hunting!

19424094_s.jpg by Jon Flaherty

Are you in the market for a new home?  If so, you may be wondering how much house you can afford.  The general rule is that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross income on your housing cost.  Although this doesn’t work for everyone, it is a good starting point in determining a comfortable amount. 

Monthly Markets Memo - February 2018

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA & Scott Rosenquist, CFA

The collective euphoria within the markets was shattered by a surge in volatility that led to several days of intense selling.  After peaking on January 26th, the S&P 500 index had dropped over 10% by market close on February 8th, the first technical correction for the market since the 1st quarter of 2016.  Both developed and emerging international equity markets could not escape the turmoil as they declined in lockstep with the U.S. markets.  

Market Minute - February 9, 2018

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

BLOOMBERG BARCLAYS US AGGREGATE BOND INDEX

The Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index is one of the more popular bond indices that covers the broad bond market similar to the S&P index as related to the stock market.  It is often referred to as the “AGG” for short.  Formerly known as the Lehman Aggregate Bond Index and then the Barclays US Aggregate Index, the index dates back to 1986.  The bond market has certainly changed since then but let us take a look at what makes up this popular index. 

Highlights of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

19424094_s.jpg by Thomas Rueger, CFP

As everyone knows, President Trump has signed into law the first major tax reform in more than 30 years. These changes go into effect for the 2018 calendar year. This means that they won’t have any effect on your 2017 tax return that you will soon be filing, but it could impact decisions that you make in 2018. Here is a quick overview of the key provisions.

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