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Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Elections, Vaccines, and Markets

USA flag with a taped note on it saying What's Next?

Stocks are rallying toward fresh record highs as investors cheer the weekend’s news regarding progress on a Covid-19 vaccine. This comes on top of last week’s rally that occurred despite the delayed and uncertain election results for both the White House and Senate.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Elections and Markets - Looking Back and Looking Forward

White House Washington DC

We are just days away from another consequential election, and the volume of related news is reaching a fever pitch. So let’s take a step back and take a deeper look into what history can teach us about our investment and wealth-building strategies moving forward.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Learn to See Beyond the Volatility

Learn to See Beyond the Volatility
Concerned about your investments? We've helped clients successfully navigate the markets for over 55 years. With so many unknowns in the world, it’s important to take a step back, get a little perspective, and learn to see beyond the volatility.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

5 Steps to Retirement Planning

A senior man and woman enjoy the view by a lake.
A successful retirement strategy isn’t just driven by numbers - we must also consider elements of our past such as money mindset, relationships, health and goals. Even with these differences, it’s valuable to follow a step-by-step framework when considering retirement. Learn the steps to plan for retirement and how you might work with a wealth advisor.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

A Tale of Two Markets

A Tale of Two Markets

The sharp rebound in stocks has been one of the most surprising in decades. It’s happened in the midst of record unemployment numbers and the worst contraction in GDP in more than 70 years. If investors need to be reminded that economic growth and stock-market performance aren’t always in lockstep, 2020 is thus far the quintessential case study. 

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Challenging Assumptions About When to Claim Social Security

Challenging Assumptions About When to Claim Social Security

For all of us there are any number of variables in a retirement plan. Social Security benefits factor in for almost everyone, with varying degrees of impact. Regardless of one’s wealth, it’s important to integrate Social Security benefits with asset allocation and portfolio withdrawal strategies to efficiently finance living expenses in retirement. 

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

A Timely Revisit of the Roth Conversion

A Timely Revisit of the Roth Conversion
After a historic stock-market rebound, it’s a good time to survey the planning landscape from a more stable vantage point. Uncertainty is still pervasive. Even so, it is prudent to seek opportunities to make the best of these trying circumstances. Events thus far in 2020 have led to one such opportunity – the Roth conversion.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The CARES Act: A Summary and Planning Strategies

The CARES Act: A Summary and Planning Strategies
The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted us all, and millions of Americans are suffering financially as a direct result. In response, Congress recently passed the CARES Act, a $2-trillion stimulus package designed to alleviate the financial stress on individuals and business owners associated with the economic shutdown.  

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Seeing Beyond the Red

Seeing Beyond the Red
Without a doubt, we are living through historic times. The shutdown of the global economy and the accompanying speed of the declines in stocks rivals the steepest selloffs in history. This crisis is playing out against an almost inescapable backdrop of news coverage and social media.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Coronavirus Sparks Volatility

Coronavirus Sparks Volatility
As is typical in environments of higher volatility, steep selloffs have been somewhat offset by sharp increases. The volatility is likely to continue in the weeks ahead as investors try to sort through the noise, and the medical community along with policymakers try to respond to the situation.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Wealth Planning Strategies for the SECURE Act

Wealth Planning Strategies for the SECURE Act
The SECURE Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December 2019 as an attachment to the broader government spending package. Based on the number of changes and new rules introduced or modified by this legislation alone, it could be argued this is the most comprehensive change to retirement and wealth planning in decades.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The SECURE Act: New Law Impacts Retirement and Estate Planning for Many Americans

The SECURE Act: New Law Impacts Retirement and Estate Planning for Many Americans
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act was signed into law in December 2019 as part of a broader government spending package. The law includes many provisions designed to make saving for retirement easier and more accessible. However, other changes related to distributions from retirement accounts may not be as favorable.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Bear Markets and the Hidden Danger of "Safe" Investing

Bear Markets and the Hidden Danger of "Safe" Investing
As a banner year for the stock market draws to a close, it’s worth recalling where we were a year ago. After a strong start to 2018, the S&P 500 Index fell 19.9% during the fourth quarter, just barely avoiding an official bear market.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The Gift of Planning for the End

The Gift of Planning for the End
Facing the issues associated with aging and dying is not fun for anyone. But we all have to face mortality sooner or later. Don't tarnish your legacy by leaving a mess for those you love. Instead, give the gift of planning for the end.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Keeping Uncle Sam in Mind When Allocating Investments

Keeping Uncle Sam in Mind When Allocating Investments
“Location, location, location” is a well-worn axiom keen-eyed investors employ when evaluating a potential real estate purchase. However, “location” can also be applied when thinking about the types of investment accounts that “house” stocks, bonds, and other investments.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The Critical but Overlooked Factor in an Early Retirement

The Critical but Overlooked Factor in an Early Retirement
As advisors, we get to talk about how clients can enjoy retirement and still have resources to travel, help with the grandkids’ education, or buy that vacation home in the South. However, we must also include discussion on a critical and often overlooked drain on cash flow – health care costs.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Interesting Interest Rates

Interesting Interest Rates
When people talk about investing, bonds typically take a back seat to stocks. Typically the Steady-Eddie asset class, bond interest payments and return of principal never seem quite as exciting as the flashy world of the stock market.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Uncle Sam May Change the Rules of Retirement Planning, Again

Uncle Sam May Change the Rules of Retirement Planning, Again
Navigating the shifting terrain of retirement, tax, and estate planning can be a complicated and arduous journey. With so many variables and moving pieces, the landscape is constantly evolving.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The Pension Rollover Question: Do I Feel Lucky?

The Pension Rollover Question: Do I Feel Lucky?
Future retirees with pensions facing the big decision of whether to take a monthly payout or a lump sum rollover to an IRA  must consider a number of factors in order to make the most informed decision. 

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The Substantial Impact of Self Control

The Substantial Impact of Self Control
As we often tell clients, we can’t control interest rates, volatile stock market returns, Fed policy, trade policy, or global economic trends. Because of this we should plan for multiple outcomes. But most importantly, we must control what we can control. 

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

HSAs: The Under-the-Radar Retirement Savings Account

HSAs: The Under-the-Radar Retirement Savings Account
One common example of a reduction to income is traditional IRAs and/or 401(k) contributions. The merits of maximizing contributions to these retirement accounts are well known. But there is another under-the-radar and very effective tax-saving strategy that is often overlooked: the Health Savings Account (HSA). 

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

An Education on College Savings

An Education on College Savings
Because 529 plans are administered by the individual states, the accounts are often held at a different financial institution. As a result, they sometimes become an afterthought.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Seeing the Big Picture

Seeing the Big Picture
Some investors struggle to see the big picture. They choose to focus in on the minute details (in this case, year-to-year returns) instead of taking in the broader view. The bigger picture tells the real story, demonstrating the value of diversification across asset classes.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Year-End Planning Checklist

Year-End Planning Checklist
Dark mornings, early sunsets and beat-up paper calendars remind us the end of 2018 is rapidly approaching. Alongside these preparations, the change of seasons provides an opportunity to take stock of various aspects of our financial lives.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

The Capital Gains Conundrum

The Capital Gains Conundrum
As this historic bull market grinds ever-higher, some commonly-used axioms seem apropos to stock investors. “Patience is a virtue.” “Don't miss the forest for the trees.” “Good things come to those who wait.” But the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” also applies.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

How to Enjoy September

How to Enjoy September
Flipping the calendar to September often seems to engender the feeling of a fresh start. A new school year, a new football season, and (usually) a welcome break from the hot, humid dog days of August.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Return on...Sleep?

Return on...Sleep?
As the power of technology grows at a dizzying pace, so does our ability to track, measure, and analyze nearly everything about our lives.

Blog: Beyond the Numbers

Your Wealth: The Number

Your Wealth: The Number
It's safe to say most people have seared into their memory a few important numbers: Social Security number, home address, phone number, kids' birthdays and anniversaries (hopefully). However, one number that is critically important to financial success is underappreciated.