Past Blog Posts

24
Jul

Mid-Year Outlook: Not Out of the Woods Yet

Investors have had good reason to celebrate this year, but is it truly time to let our guards down?  Thanks to practical policy guidance, more than half of the US population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine in 2021.  Add to this the boost…

30
Jun

Inflation: An Insidious Threat Your Financial Independence Journey

Financial independence plans are coming under threat from inflation’s insidious rise. According to a government report, prices paid for everyday household items rose by 4.9% in May compared to a year earlier. Even when stripping out volatile components, like food and energy, prices were up…

29
May

Does Crypto Belong in Your Retirement Portfolio?

Life changing money. That’s what happened to John Ratcliff. In 2013 the software developer from Colorado purchased 150 Bitcoin. Today, his $15,000 bet is worth millions as the price of cryptocurrencies (crypto) skyrocketed.  Another individual who also came into life-changing money this year is Vitalik…

27
Apr

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan: Will a Deal Get Done?

City streets had been flooded for hours before the hurricane made landfall in Louisiana on the morning of August 29, 2005.  Levees all around New Orleans had collapsed, and by 5 a.m., the city’s largest canal, the 17th Street Canal, failed.  Over 1,800 souls lost…

29
Mar

From Six Figures and Broke to Financial Independence Master

When Frank began practicing bankruptcy law, his average client earned between $8 to $9 an hour. A decade later, his clients increasingly earn six-figure incomes. And Dave and Beth were one of Frank’s high-earning clients. At one point, the couple had amassed over $100,000 in…

26
Feb

Should You Invest When the Market is High?

Some investors today are worried. They’re asking, “is now the right time to get into the markets?” Their primary concern is putting money to work at the top of the market, only to see their precious savings decline in a selloff.  And they have good…

20
Jan

How to Stay Sane when the Markets are Going Crazy

Let’s face it, no one wants to be the one person that missed out on what seems to be a once-in-a-generation investment opportunity simply because you’re trying to do the right thing. This decision is especially difficult at a time when making money in the…

30
Dec

Why Your Investments Might Thrive in 2021

This past year has been a period in history that many of us would like to simply forget. Concerns about our communities’ wellbeing led to a seismic shift in the way that we work, educate our children, socialize, and go about our daily routines. Without…

19
Nov

Are Vaccine Hopes a Shot in the Arm for the Markets?

Financial markets have posted notable gains month to date.  And market optimism concerning the US elections has been amplified this week by hopes for a COVID vaccine.  A key question for investors now is whether news of a vaccine will be enough to push risk…

16
Oct

Look for Investment Opportunities in a Biden Win

The outcome of next month’s Presidential Election is likely to be of great consequence for the US economy and financial markets. Given former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent gains in the polls, it’s possible that the market narrative driving markets could turn if Biden clinches…

28
Aug

Has the US Dollar Lost its Dominant Reserve Currency Status?

Is US dollar dominance poised to end, and what might it mean for your finances?  Uncertainties surrounding US dollar strength have been top-of-mind for some individuals for many years and for a good reason. A significant decline in our nation’s currency could lead to higher…

21
Aug

Five Ways to Free Up Cash When You Have Little in the Bank

Cash is king. During times of uncertainty, having cash on hand can make the difference between financial stability and the host of issues that come with insolvency. That’s why regardless of your current financial situation, having cash options can not only help keep you solvent,…

14
Aug

Are Emerging Markets the Right Investment for You?

Should emerging markets have a place in your investment portfolio? In today’s low yield, low growth environment, some investors are looking outside of the US to generate extra returns on their savings. For some individuals, emerging markets appear attractive on the surface, given their historically…

07
Aug

How Can You Rebuild a Broken Retirement Three-Legged Stool?

The road to retirement is not as straightforward as it used to be. There was a time when simple metaphors, like the three-legged stool of retirement, captured how you could achieve retirement security with ease. This concept illustrated how securing a good pension, obtaining a…

31
Jul

Worried About Inflation? Look Beyond Gold.

Savers are increasingly looking to gold as a way to address rising inflation and for a good reason. The Federal Reserve’s policies in 2020 have massively expanded the supply of money. And more money could lead to higher prices down the road. In anticipation of…

24
Jul

How Fast Can You Break Free from Student Loans?

Eliminating student loan debt can put you on the fast-track to achieving your essential life goals. If you’re one of the millions of Americans struggling with this vital issue, you know first-hand the challenges of student loan debt. As student loan balances continue to balloon…

17
Jul

Four Ways to Prepare for Heightened Market Volatility

Many investors know that managing volatility is central to achieving essential financial goals. But how much should you worry about volatility, and what can you do to prepare for it? Volatility represents the ups and downs of asset prices over time. And quite often it’s…

10
Jul

Six Ways Target Date Funds Simplify Investing

Investing is simple, but it’s not easy. No matter where you are in your savings journey, you probably know that a lack of diligence and poor investment decisions can lead to a major financial setback. That’s why having a disciplined process is crucial to growing…

02
Jul

Are Stocks Setting Up for a Second Quarter Repeat?

U.S. stocks had a blockbuster second-quarter. Indeed, both the Dow and S&P 500 have posted their best returns in decades. How long can this outperformance last?  With market sentiment still generally positive, some investors are asking whether supportive central bank policies and hope for a…

26
Jun

Feeling Stuck Financially? Hit the Reset Button.

You’ve been diligent with your money. You’ve amassed sizable savings. Then life knocks on your door – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity falls through, work moves you to another state, a family emergency calls, or your primary source of income evaporates. Years of diligent financial progress comes…

04
Jun

Three Things to Know About Paying a Financial Advisor

Did you know that not all financial advisors get paid the same way? And while compensation does not make the financial advisor, how they’re paid can influence the advice you receive and potentially the outcomes of your financial goals. What’s more, if you don’t understand…

28
May

Ten Signs it’s Time to Find a Financial Advisor

Having a firm grasp of your finances is a critical part of reaching your financial goals. With money being a very personal matter for each of us, knowing when you might need help can be a real struggle.  Even so, changing circumstances and life events…

15
May

What Are the Chances of a V-Shaped Recovery?

So why should you care whether the US economy is in a recession? By many estimates, growth in the second quarter is likely to come in at an even more disappointing rate. With unemployment spiking and various leading indicators still in decline, there’s little doubt…

08
May

What’s the Best Way to Protect Your Hard-Earned Wealth?

What’s the best way to protect your hard-earned wealth? That’s the million-dollar question that’s on a lot of people’s minds right now. The fact is that the coronavirus has demonstrated in absolute terms how an unexpected event can quickly take away your earnings ability and…

01
May

Keep Your Money Growing with Two Simple Steps

Growing financial wealth in today’s environment has been a struggle. Whether it’s the wide swings in asset prices that make it hard to decide whether to stay in or get out the markets to the dour economic conditions that have negatively affected business earnings. Finding…

17
Apr

Are Markets Getting the COVID-19 Recovery Wrong?

Various earnings reports, data releases and the IMF’s World Economic Outlook have served investors notice not to get ahead of themselves.  Truly, global risk assets have moved lower this week in response to historically disappointing corporate earnings and economic reports.  It’s certain that the stay-at-home…

10
Apr

The CARES Act and Thriving During a Downturn

By the time the U.S. economy reopens weeks from now, tens of millions of people will have lost their jobs and thousands of small businesses will remain shuttered on account of the COVID-19 outbreak.  Estimates of the economic impact differ widely and it’s very likely…

03
Apr

Adjusting to Seismic Shifts

In the blink of an eye the coronavirus has fundamentally changed our world in more ways than we can imagine.  While it seems like an eternity ago, it only has been a matter of days since Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued his first stay-at-home order…

16
Mar

When will they shut the markets?

Global risk assets continued to move lower on Monday, pushing the current selloff well into bear market territory and on pace with a level of volatility not seen since the market crash of 1987.  To be sure, the S&P 500 index shed over 12% in…

12
Mar

Is now the right time to get into the markets?

It would be an understatement to say that financial markets have experienced a bit of volatility this week.  In fact, the VIX surged to its highest level since the height of the Global Financial Crisis more than a decade ago.  To be sure, we believe…

27
Feb

Economic update: Downside risks still increasing

The outlook for the U.S. and global economy has deteriorated yet again.  Unsurprisingly, the culprit behind the outlook downgrade has been news of the coronavirus’ continued spread.  To be sure, risk assets sold off this week and financial market volatility increased as concerns about the…

12
Feb

What should you know about the SECURE Act?

If you are preparing for retirement, are currently retired, or own a small business chances are you’ve probably heard something about the SECURE Act.  So what is it?  Simply put, the SECURE Act is a law that makes it easier for small business owners to…

02
Feb

Why the coronavirus is relevant to your finances

It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the potential financial fallout from the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) outbreak underway.  Some of this fallout was evidenced in the global stock selloff on Friday and futures (as of this writing) point to a weaker start at Monday’s open. …

26
Jan

Cut costs to increase investment returns

Cutting costs may be one of the most effective ways to increase investment returns this year.  To be sure, some investors have been riding a wave of positive market momentum over the past year as lower central bank policy rates have broadly boosted asset prices…

20
Jan

Economic update: Recession risks on the rise

U.S. Growth Our latest estimates continue to suggest that economic growth in the U.S. will weaken in the coming year while the risk of a recession remains elevated.  We expect growth to come in around 2.1% YoY in 2020, slightly weaker than our expectation of…

18
Jan

Let the good times roll: the beginning of the end?

Stock market prices continued to grind higher as economic data releases surprised to the upside this week.  Indeed, a host of indicators suggest to some that growth in the U.S. may in fact be improving after a softer showing in 2019 which has supported a…

03
Jan

Personal financial playbook: your path to getting ahead

Households will face many near- and long-term financial market complexities and economic uncertainties in the years to come. A personal financial playbook can help people get ahead despite these challenges.   We believe that a flexible and adaptable personal financial playbook should include three important…

03
Jan

Acute threat: a looming U.S. recession

The threat of a U.S. recession will add to a number of looming issues contributing to heightened financial market and economic complexities and uncertainties in 2020. While some of the latest economic data suggest that growth in the U.S. economy remains steady, some key market…

02
Jan

Getting ahead isn’t what it used to be

Various economic and market indicators suggest the U.S. economy is in a better spot today than a decade ago. While some are more well off today, the traditional life playbook for getting ahead has seemingly failed many households. Looking ahead, we believe that the key…

02
Jan

Brace for more uncertainties in 2020

An undercurrent of seemingly benign financial market and political developments are poised to move both prepared and unprepared households further away from their financial goals in the coming years. These issues include monetary policy-related financial market distortions, a drag from excessive global debt and the…

02
Jan

The rise in wealth and a decline in financial security

Financial conditions have become increasingly complex and uncertain even as the economy and financial markets have gained in recent years. A lack of financial preparedness, fewer savings opportunities for a younger generation and retirement insecurity are just a few reasons why a growing number of…

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