Economic Commentary: The U.S. Equity Bull Market: Exploring Signs of a Cyclical Peak

posted in Economic Commentary Jun 4, 2019


Stock investors have been on a roller coaster over the past two years. As measured by the S&P 500 Index, stock prices rose by 20% during the six months ending in January 2018; declined by 10% over the next three months ending in April 2018; rose by 15% through the end of September; and plunged by nearly 20% through year-end 2018. Since the end of December, stocks have risen by nearly 25% to a level within 2% of the all-time peak reached on September 20.

Read More

Retiree Health Care Costs: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly News

posted in Retirement May 28, 2019


Your clients nearing retirement age are hopefully looking forward to many peaceful and rewarding years ahead. However, health care costs could add some unexpected stress to their “golden years.” Let’s dig into the good/bad/ugly news and uncover what you can do to help. We’ll start with the bad news…

Read More

The History of the Dow — Why Risk Control Matters More Than Ever

posted in Financial Life Cycles May 21, 2019


When you look back at life in America over the past 100 years or so, it’s amazing to see the progress made in society. Just a century ago, women were a year away from voting equality,1 there were only 48 stars on the U.S. flag,2 and the average number of hours worked per week was 45.6 with weekly average earnings of $25.61.3

Read More

4 Ways to Respond to “I Already Have an Advisor”

May 14, 2019


Yes, we’ve all had this uncomfortable social exchange at an event.

Read More

Understanding the Impact of Divorce on Retirement

posted in Retirement May 7, 2019


As the saying goes, breaking up is hard to do. Still, the current divorce rate stands around 40 percent, having declined from around a 50 percent marriage failure rate in the 1980s.1

Read More

Is Diversification the Key to Success?

posted in Risk Tolerance Apr 30, 2019


Taking a look at historical market performance, it’s easy to see that asset classes fall in and out of favor with great frequency.

Read More

3 Essential Traits of a Successful Financial Advisor

posted in Client Relationships Apr 23, 2019


Success is subjective for many. As a financial advisor, however, your success is directly tied to the financial success of your clients. While hard work and strategically helping them invest their money certainly play a part, there’s more to building a reputation—and a life—than merely putting in the hours and recommending the “right” portfolios.

Consider these three elements that may help you achieve new heights of success and, in turn, help your clients do the same.

Read More

Economic Commentary: Updating the U.S. Investment Cycle

Apr 16, 2019


The meltdown in risk assets late last year culminated in a sharp retrenchment by investors accompanied by a stampede into safe-haven assets, most notably U.S. Treasury securities. Was the abrupt shift from risk-on to risk-off investing in October justified? How should investment portfolios be positioned for the year ahead? Do current underlying economic, financial, and policy conditions suggest that a recession is not imminent? Is the economic outlook for 2019 favorable for risk assets, most notably common stocks?

Read More

Annuity Taxes — What Your Clients Need to Know

posted in Annuity Apr 9, 2019


As April 15 draws near, many of your clients may face uncertainty about whether they should claim various investment income on their taxes and, if so, how. This is especially true in light of recent tax code changes signed into law — the first major revisions since 1986.1

Read More

Practical Advice for Clients Who Inherit Money

posted in Inheritance Apr 2, 2019


The circumstances surrounding a large inheritance usually involve a combination of emotions — sorrow over the loss of a loved one and appreciation for the financial gain. Conflicted feelings on top of indecision about what to do with an inheritance may have clients in this situation seeking your guidance to help avoid any pitfalls.

To help clients wisely guard and grow their new-found wealth by keeping things in perspective, consider using these three steps:

Read More