Updates

Do I Need a Fiduciary?

Last week, we wrote about the Fiduciary Rule and the need for improved regulation. In our view, increased transparency would solve much of the confusion. Consumers should have the freedom to choose the type of service which best meets their needs. This freedom, however, requires consumers be fully informed about the issues involved in organizing […]

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Planning for Single Seniors

More and more seniors are finding themselves alone and without nearby relatives to help them with financial management. Persons in this situation will need to find an alternative – friends or professionals who can fulfill the roles that might otherwise be handled by family members. Delegated Powers For seniors, the most vexing problems are associated […]

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Fiduciary Rule Redux

We believe competition in the financial services industry is good. Investors are best served when they can choose among a variety of service providers including both fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries. Freedom to choose only works when clients have a clear understanding of the business model of the firm and the nature of the relationship he or […]

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Fiduciary Rule Update

When a financial professional provides investment advice, one of two different standards applies: 1. the recommendation is “suitable” for the client; or 2. the recommendation is the in client’s best interest. To the layman, the difference in these two statements may not seem like much, but to lawyers and regulators, there is a world of […]

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Ho Hum Reaction to Earnings

The earnings per share growth rate for companies reporting to date has been 27.3%, lifting the blended growth estimate for all S&P 500 companies to 25% from the original estimate of 18%. In response, the financial news headline generators are cranking out a parade of potential threats which might be holding stocks back or worse, […]

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Impact Investing

DEAR TRUST OFFICER:  What is this “impact” investing I’ve been hearing about?  Can trust assets be invested for social impact? — SEEKING SOCIAL JUSTICE DEAR SEEKING SOCIAL JUSTICE:  There is no simple definition of “impact” investing.  One writer called it “a movement that aims to force social change by minimizing or eliminating investors’ exposure to […]

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Earnings, Prices, and Rates

The estimate for corporate earnings growth for the first quarter of this year now stands at 21%, up from 18% at the beginning of April. Although slightly lower for the week, stock prices in the month of April have responded positively. As of Friday, April month-to-date increases in the indices have been 1.1% for the […]

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Taxes and Living Trusts

Dear Trust Officer: How much can I save on my income taxes if I put my investments into a living trust? — Looking for Loopholes Dear Looking for Loopholes: Nothing. A revocable living trust that a grantor sets up to manage his or her wealth provides no income tax advantages. The trust’s income and capital […]

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Earnings Season Continues

Stocks were lower in the final two days of trading but still managed a small gain for the week, buoyed by the positive start to earnings season. Reports, while positive, have so far been in line with the positive expectations investors had built up going into the season. Market activity will again be influenced by […]

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Estate Plan Essentials

A surprising number of people have not yet attended to their estate planning. Perhaps this is because estate planning has become so much more complicated in recent years, even though the burden of taxes at death has been in decline. Estate planning now usually covers medical and financial decisions before the end of life, as […]

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