Updates

Making the Case for a Corporate Fiduciary

As they say in the movies, the following is based upon a true story. Alex was in the market for a boat slip. He found one, owned by a brother and sister, Jack and Jill. They had inherited it from their father. However, they seemed emotionally tied to the slip, which was odd because neither […]

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Low Signal-To-Noise Ratio

Think back to two years ago. Do you remember the 4.5% decline over the five trading days ending February 10, 2016? This decline added to what had already been an 8.8% fall in the S&P 500 which began the previous November. Do you remember the explanations provided for the 13% decline? Do you not recall […]

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Q4 2018 Earnings Season

We have gotten some relief from the volatile decline which ended on Christmas Eve, down 19.78% from 2018’s September 20th high. Five of the last six weeks have closed higher with Friday’s close leaving the S&P 500 up 15.12% from its holiday low but still 7.65% below the index high on September 20th. The pullback […]

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Ask a Trust Officer: Traditional vs. Roth IRA

Dear Trust Officer: Which is better, the traditional IRA or the Roth IRA? — Generous, but Prudent DEAR FUTURE RETIREE: There is no simple answer to your question, unfortunately.  The traditional IRA offers an immediate income adjustment and savings in federal and state income taxes.  If you are short on cash, you may need the […]

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Accumulation Phase vs. Distribution Phase

For most people, a retirement plan has two stages. During one’s working years, techniques like dollar cost averaging augment the power of compounding (the reinvestment of investment income) to grow the value of financial portfolios. The retirement years, when additions to portfolios typically come to an end and distributions begin, require different planning decisions. For […]

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Choice of Retirement Start Date

Timing is more important than many realize. Investor rule of thumb: Time in the market is more important than timing the market. Here’s evidence for that statement. Start with the following set of hypothetical returns: Hypothetical returns Year Return 1 -28% 2 -4% 3 -2% 4 8% 5 3% 6 10% 7 12% 8 8% […]

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Summary and Outlook

While volatility and the possibility of a test of the recent lows are likely during the first quarter, the 2019 outlook is better than the markets seemed to be signaling in December. There is no sense in me trying to restate what Philip Orlando, CFA and Senior Vice President, Chief Equity Market Strategist and Head […]

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IRS Forgives Rollover Mistake

A man’s family noticed that he was mentally declining in 2016. It may have been the onset of dementia.  In 2017, this man withdrew funds from his IRA, apparently intending to roll the money into a new IRA.  However, due to his medical condition, the man never completed the rollover. This man’s grandson son was […]

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Wealth Preservation and Wealth Creation

Volatility is the price investors pay for long-term wealth creation. Markets fluctuate, sometimes wildly, and this is the reason a person should never invest funds which will be needed in the immediate future in investments which trade in volatile public markets. The definition of immediate future is a personal one, which is why it is […]

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Positive Start to the New Year

Last week, Fed Chairman Powell confirmed the Fed’s future interest rate and balance sheet reduction decisions are not predetermined. Previous Fed boards and chairs have a spotty history of setting Fed policy, so some concern is understandable but current criticism seems excessive. We believe current FOMC members are at least as smart as the majority […]

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