Blog

Leverage Is Not Your Friend

Jason Zweig, the noted Wall Street Journal columnist, noted recently that between the first and second quarters of 2012, the Federal Reserve’s measure of margin loans at brokerage firms rose 9%, to $161.8 billion, the highest level in nearly four years.  The high-water mark was $386 billion in August 2008—two weeks before the collapse of…
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Economists Recommend Continuing Stimulus

The National Association for Business Economics (NABE), a large international association of applied economists, strategists, academics, and policy-makers, recently surveyed its 236 members on a number of government policy issues.  The results show that there is not much support among economists for policy tightening over the next 12 months.  In fact, the economists recommended increasing…
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A Different Way To Save For Retirement

Many advisors (including us) believe that one of the best ways to save for retirement is to regularly set aside a certain amount of money every week or month, turning saving into a habit.  Many retirement plans such as 401(k)s have been structured to encourage this behavior.  However, when you have to make lifestyle changes…
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How Ethical Is Your Financial Advisor?

Once again, investment advisor ethics are in the news.  A new study from the Diligence Review Corp., a firm that provides due diligence analyses of investments and investment advisors for private and institutional clients, determined that only 10% of the nearly $50 trillion in managed assets is in the hands of companies adhering to the…
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Is It OK To Make A Trust The Beneficiary Of An IRA?

We frequently get this question from many of our clients, so we thought we’d spend a little time explaining why you need to be careful when naming a trust as the beneficiary of an IRA or Roth.  The primary reason is that a beneficiary normally gets to “stretch” the distributions from an inherited IRA or…
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Which Party Is Better For Stock Market Returns: Democrats or Republicans?

Conventional wisdom has it that Republicans are friendlier to Wall Street than Democrats.  One might assume, therefore, that when a Republican is in the White House, stock market performance would be better than during a Democratic administration.  An interesting 2003 academic research paper by Pedro Santa-Clara and Rossen Valkanov at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business…
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