How should family and friends help with 529 college savings plans?

Failing to consider how 529 college savings plans impact financial aid can result in a student missing out on valuable financial assistance.

  It’s summer. While this traditionally means kids in their late teens and early twenties are looking forward to weeks of sun and fun, it’s also the time when tens of thousands of young men and women across our country apply for financial aid to attend college. In the mounds of financial information that you’ll […]

Bonds in a rising rate world

How will a slowdown in the economy affect bond fund performance?

In March, the Federal Reserve Board raised interest rates. The increase of one quarter of one percent was only the third time in a decade that rates have gone up. Many economists believe that more increases are coming. The Fed itself has mentioned the possibility of further rate increases this year. There was a time […]

8 planning steps to take before the year ends

8 year-end planning steps for 2016

Another year is coming to a close. So much has happened of late — England voted to “Brexit” the European Union, the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series draught and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. With all that’s going on it might be easy to forget about your year-end financial […]

The S&P 500 is more concentrated than you think

Because the S&P 500 Index is concentrated of late, too much of its return is coming from too few of its stocks.

If you make orange juice from frozen concentrate you can mix it too strongly. Add only a little water, and it tastes too sugary, too tangy. Something similar is happening with the S&P 500 Index.* Lately, the index tastes funny. It’s too concentrated. “The S&P 500 has a big performance issue that should be a […]

The Panama Papers and you

The Panama Papers leak revealed names of people who had previously been anonymous owners of shell companies.

It was the topic this spring that everyone talked about — except for some lawyers and bankers who generated the talk. The Panama Papers, an April 2016 leak of 11.5 million documents from a Panama-based law firm, revealed the murky world of tax havens and offshore companies and identified by name some very wealthy people […]

Keep calm and carry on

S&P 500 Index Returns During and After Big Down Days

I wrote an article in 2013 entitled, “History’s investment lesson.” The article showed that in most years the stock market experiences at least one 10% drop during the year, but ends the year with an overall positive return. What’s unusual about the bull market since March 2009 is that we have not experienced these big, […]

What does a broker-dealer do for you?

A broker-dealer keeps an eye on your goals and the advice you receive.

If you’re a client of mine, you’ve probably noticed the name Securities America associated with my firm. It appears on your monthly and quarterly statements. It’s named in the disclosure below. It’s noted on my website. You probably receive enough mail naming Securities America that you may think they’re your pen pal. Who is Securities […]

Don’t be chicken of the Fed

Don't let Fed rate moves make you a chicken of the stock market.

Much has been written about when the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will raise interest rates. At its July 28 and 29 meeting, or later? Many want to know, What will a rate increase mean for stocks? If a rate increase is on the horizon, what should an investor do today? How will stocks react? […]

Win at the slowest possible speed

Setting smart financial goals can help you succeed.

It’s tempting to compare your investment performance with others. In doing so, you may find that some of your friends and family members have had good experiences in working with financial advisors, whereas others have not. Often, those who say they’re unsatisfied with their advisors tend to focus on portfolio returns as a key measure. […]