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Monthly Markets Memo - December 2017

World Money Small.jpgby Dan Zalipski, CFA

2017 Year in Review

The markets have been more than kind to us this year.  Both domestic, international developed, and emerging markets are all up double digits.  The U.S. benefitted from a combination of earnings growth, and general optimism over the pro-growth agenda of President Trump. 

Funding a Financial Shortfall

19424094_s.jpgby Jonathan Alton

Life is unpredictable, so it’s understandable if you feel you can’t prepare for everything. From losing a source of income to losing valuable possessions, the risk of financial shortfalls are always on the back of our mind. In this article I will outline several pre-emptive and reactionary courses of action to fund a financial shortfall. I will touch on topics from disability insurance to qualified plan distributions to illuminate several options available to fund a shortfall.

Market Minute - December 13, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in the financial press this year and even hotter with investors.  Bitcoin is just one of the several cryptocurrencies that are now receiving interest from everyone; professional investment managers to grandmothers.  Bitcoin, the most popular of the cryptocurrencies has soared in value this year as more and more people are becoming interested in the digital currency. 

Retirement From or Retirement To?

Keeping Up With.jpg by Kimberly R. Taylor, IACCP®​

Thinking about retirement?  If you are like most, your focus is on the ‘retirement from’ aspect.  You may be happy and excited about ending your 9-5 workday world.  The daily commute, travel, responsibilities and pressures are something you are excited to end.  For some, work has been very fulfilling and enjoyable.  There is a bittersweet sense as you think about finishing your career.  Then there are those who wouldn’t retire if you paid them – but they tend to be the rarity.  Retiring from your career takes planning which should begin years or (hopefully) decades ahead of time.  With people living well into their 80s and 90s, there are many years to consider following retirement.  That is where the ‘Retirement to’ question comes in.
 

Monthly Markets Memo - November 2017

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

Market Update

Equities in the U.S. were largely unchanged in the past month with the S&P 500 up approximately 0.5%.  The international developed markets took a breather with a 5 day sell-off, with most major international indices shedding approximately 1%.  The slide seemed to be triggered by weakness in commodities, and lower expected demand for oil.  Nearly every fixed income asset class posted negative returns over the past month.  Solid U.S. economic reports helped push prices lower as investors shifted assets towards riskier spaces.  The Fed signaled its intention to increase interest rates in December, and progress surrounding U.S. tax reform is also pushing yields higher, which in turn puts downward pressure on the fixed income prices.

Market Minute - November 9, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

Capital Gain Distributions

Mutual fund companies are starting to release their estimates for 2017 capital gains distributions.  What do investors need to know about these distributions? 

To start, what are capital gains distributions? 

Monthly Markets Memo - October 2017

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

Market Update

Equities here and abroad continued their march higher over the past month backed by strong earnings and solid economic reports.  Returns were especially strong with smaller companies who stand to benefit from potential tax reform.  The small company index, measured by the Russell 2000, was up about 4.7% over the past month.  Emerging markets also performed well, with the Emerging Market index adding about 2% over the past month. 

Who Are You Keeping Up With?

Keeping Up With.jpg by Jon Flaherty

How often have you become caught up in the “keep up” game we so often play and illustrated so perfectly by the Jones family?  With so many places to spend money, whether it be the newest car, latest technology or that bigger house we’ve always wanted, it becomes far too easy to stay in constant “upgrade” mode. 

Market Minute - October 13, 2017

Market Minute Final Blog.pngby Scott Rosenquist, CFA

The behavioral aspect of finance and its potential impact on investors reaching their financial goals is an important topic to be aware of.  I’d like to spend another minute to discuss additional biases from the two categories (Cognitive and Behavioral) I introduced in my last post. 

Emergency Funds 101

Are You Ready Image.jpg by Thomas Rueger, JD​

Nothing about an emergency sounds good. We don’t want to hear about them, we don’t want to think about them, and we certainly don’t want them to happen to us. But, if we’re honest with ourselves, we all know that we should be prepared for them. Even worse sometimes than the emergency can be the resulting consequences, especially the financial toll it can take if the proper precautions were not taken.

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