Utilizing a Reverse Mortgage

19424094_s.jpgby Jonathan Alton

A reverse mortgage is a home-secured loan on the primary residence for homeowners over the age of 62, also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). It allows borrowers to loan against some of the equity in their home for future funds or a line of credit. There are several options to choose from that differ on interest rate, how much money is available, and payment options.

Does Your Estate Plan Include Your #DigitalAssets?


As a Financial Planning Analyst, I try to practice what I preach. This includes updating my estate plan on a regular basis due to a life change or changes to state law. I am currently in the process of updating my Estate Plan for the third time. I was somewhat surprised to see a paragraph covering Digital Assets within my Power of Attorney for Property document. Most people have heard about allowing their attorney-in-fact or “agent” handle real estate, banking, and investment transactions, but not handling digital assets.

Monthly Markets Memo - July 2017

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

Market Update

U.S. Equity indices hit new highs this past month as stocks moved on the back of Q2 earnings.  International equities, however, led the way easily outpacing their U.S. counterparts.  Emerging Markets were especially strong, helped by a weakening dollar.  Fixed income was mixed, with higher yielding and below investment-grade issues outperforming their more conservative counter-parts.  

Market Minute - July 17, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA
Behavioral Finance

Traditional finance is built on the premise that investors are rational and will make optimal decisions regarding investments.  It relies heavily on financial market theories and the relationship between risk and return.  Behavioral finance, on the other hand, acknowledges that people are the ones interacting in the financial markets and may not always act rationally or make optimal decisions.  Behavioral finance introduces the idea of biases that investors exhibit and how they can affect decision making.  I find this topic very interesting and wanted to introduce it by highlighting one of these behavioral biases.  I plan on discussing others in future market minute posts.

Downsize Your Way Into Retirement

19424094_s.jpgby Jon Flaherty

Are you looking to retire, but are unsure if you have enough retirement income to do so?  One solution may be to downsize your current home and use the proceeds to provide that additional source of income needed to fund your lifestyle. 

Monthly Markets Memo - June 2017

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

Market Update

Through much of the year the international equity markets have easily outpaced the domestic U.S. equity markets.  This past month, however, saw a break in that trend with the U.S. outperforming international equities as both groups moved higher.  Despite this, both developed and emerging international equity markets are well ahead of their U.S. counterparts on a year-to-date basis.

Alternatives to the 529 Savings Plans

19424094_s.jpgby Jon Alton

There’s no doubt that a 529 savings plan is one of the best available options for college funding. It has a high contribution limit ($14k annual eligible for gift splitting up to $28k annual and it can even be super funded in the initial year up to $140k). The owner of the 529 savings plan can direct the investments (within plan constraints), and is even allowed to change the beneficiaries. Depending on state of residence, contributors may be eligible for a state tax deduction based on 529 contributions.

Monthly Markets Memo - May 2017

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

Market Update

As we work our way through earnings season, companies are broadly reporting growth in both revenues and net income that is higher than what analysts expected.  Despite this positive news, investors have been reassessing their growth and inflation expectations as the feasibility of the Trump administration’s pro-growth agenda is being called into question.  This move has benefited the fixed income markets with yields declining off their recent highs.   

Market Minute - May 5, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA
History of the Option Market

Option contracts trace their origins back to ancient Greece where they were used to speculate on the olive harvest.  If someone thought the harvest in a given year was going to be plentiful, they paid the owners of the olive presses for the right to use them in the future.  If they were correct and the harvest was large, then the rights to use those olive presses would be very valuable and could be sold for a profit. 

The Alphabet Soup of Planned Giving Vehicles

RMD Image.jpg 

It is easy to get lost in the alphabet soup of Planned Giving vehicles.  CGA, CRAT, CRUT, and DAF are common abbreviations for Planned Giving Vehicles used by charity groups, financial advisors, non-profit groups, and estate planning attorneys. People in these groups, myself included, can slip into “industry speak” and lose the charitably minded audience we are trying to help.  My hope is to briefly explain a few of the different Planned Giving Vehicles and the tax benefits to donors.

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