Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)

Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)

A Health Savings Account, more commonly known as an HSA, can be a powerful tool. To put it simply, an HSA is a savings account. An individual or a family can deposit money into this account to be used for future health care costs; with one caveat: the funds inside the account can only be used for certain qualified medical expenses, otherwise taxes and penalties may apply.
Read More..

The Central Bank Effect

The Central Bank Effect

As 2018 ended, it appeared as if the Federal Reserve was intent on further interest rate hikes (after 4 in 2018).  In addition to interest rate hikes, the Fed had hinted that the reduction in its balance sheet would continue, and was basically on “auto-pilot”.  Both of these policies made investors fearful that the Fed would over-tighten monetary policy and cause the economy to contract sharply, with a distinct possibility of recession.

This year, one of the reasons the market reacted so strongly to the January Fed meeting was the abrupt pivot that the Fed signaled with respect to rate hikes.  In a fairly dramatic change of tone, the Fed indicated in January that further rate hikes were “on hold”, and that at current levels the fed funds rate was nearing their “neutral” target (whereby monetary policy is balanced).
Read More..

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt

Your personal net worth consists of both assets and liabilities. The simple equation to calculate your Net Worth is:

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Liabilities or debts, often given a bad rap, tend to be overlooked in favor of assets. However, debt can be a powerful tool; the amount you borrow and the way in which you use it will determine whether it is good or bad. Read More..

From QE to QT

From QE to QT

Investors will be glad to say goodbye to 2018, and especially the final month of last year, which turned out to be the worst December for the stock market since 1931.  December is usually a solid month for the market historically, which is probably why so many investment managers were caught off balance by the swiftness of the downdraft that occurred.  We had been discussing the prospect of getting more defensive in our portfolios, but believed it would be a task for 2019.
Read More..

2018 Year End Planning

2018 Year End Planning

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, now is a great time to give your finances a review. The following financial planning moves, if appropriate for your circumstances, are items to consider as we wrap up 2018 and look forward toward 2019.
Read More..

Charitable Donations: Stock vs. Cash

Charitable Donations: Stock vs. Cash

As we approach year end and the holiday season, you may be thinking about giving back. According to the Network for Good, 29% of all giving done on their platform in 2016 occurred in December, with 11% taking place over the final three days of the year. Properly planning your charitable contributions can help lead to a more profound positive impact on the cause of your choice while helping to alleviate the tax impact on yourself. Now is the time to plan out and begin to execute your charitable giving strategy.

Donating stock can be a very impactful way of making your charitable contributions. Consider these four reasons when deciding to donate stock vs. cash to your favorite charity or cause.
Read More..

Mid-term Election Jitters

Mid-term Election Jitters

Investors will recall that 2017 was a year characterized by an extreme lack of volatility in the stock market relative to historical norms. Coming into the current year, we said that investors should expect a pickup in volatility, and that the markets were overdue for a correction. Moreover, mid-term election years have historically exhibited greater volatility than the average year. Read More..

The Financial Crisis: Then and Now

The Financial Crisis: Then and Now

Today, we can look back and glean important insights from the financial crisis that began with the U.S. housing market and culminated with a full-blown global credit crunch that affected many countries around the world. This crisis, known as the Great Recession, is the worst recession in the United States since the Great Depression. The start of the crisis is often marked by the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008. Read More..