With the recent bank failures, we have received inquiries as to the strength of the financial firms holding the assets of our clients. As a fiduciary advisor, we have maintained an arms-length approach to the selection of a client’s custodian, preferring to remain impartial and allowing the client to decide. Since there is a wide variety of options: banks, brokerage firms, discount brokerage firms, etc., there is also great variance in the quality and cost of services. We have historically suggested using Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, or Fidelity due to their size, low cost, service teams and independence. While clients still choose to use US Bank, Raymond James, PNC and others, with the preponderance of the assets we manage at Schwab and Fidelity, we will focus on these two custodians for this discussion. (Charles Schwab bought controlling interest in TD Ameritrade in November of 2019 and will transition accounts to Schwab by October of this year.)
Topics: Investment Management
As life expectancy increases and stock market volatility seems to grow, annuities are gaining in popularity as people seek safety for their money. Last year, fixed annuities saw $139.8 billion in sales, which is an all-time high, according to InvestmentNews.
It is essential to share some truths about annuities and explain the risks of these seemingly safe products which are sold as “can’t miss” solutions.
Topics: Investment Management
The Uber IPO is a hot topic among investors today. Uber Technologies, Inc’s IPO is expected to be priced Thursday and to start trading Friday.
Even on the secondary market, with no profits and based on other analytics, it is a company that we would consider to be speculative in nature.
That isn’t to say it won’t do well for a period of time…as some bets do…but the fundamentals would not put it on our buy list at this time. Without further ado, here are the 10 reasons we feel that the Uber IPO is a sucker’s bet.
As the calendar turns, we look towards the New Year with optimism on what can be accomplished over the next twelve months. Not in terms of performance, as 2015 reminded us, much of that is out of our control. We can construct solid portfolios, but the market will deliver what it will. What is in your control is the action you take this year that you didn’t take last year to improve yourself. This is often called your New Year’s resolutions, typically a list hastily compiled and often dismissed by Martin Luther King Day. This year we’d like to suggest making one resolution in 2016 that will improve either your life or the life of someone else you love.
The recent market sell-off has garnered quite a bit of attention, and we wanted to reach out to let you know our thoughts. We know this kind of market activity is unsettling. This current slide in equity prices feels particularly unpleasant, since the market has been mostly placid this year and has been on a steady advance the last six years.
For the last four years, whenever a news report emanates from Greece, it has been suggested as an excuse for the stock market advancing or declining. This quixotic response has caused undo nervousness as the latest Greek drama unfolds here in the middle of 2015. It is certainly possible they will agree to kick the debt problem further down the road or slip into default by not paying their debts, either way the impact to your portfolio will likely be negligible.
The latest salvo on the death of “traditional” investment advisors has been sent from those promoting the “robo-advisors” method of dispensing advice. The concept of automated wealth management is that the enlightened, new-Millennial are distinctive investors and they don’t have the time to talk with an advisor who can’t beat market performance anyway.
The numbers since the end of the quarter are not pretty: The S&P 500 Index as of this post is down 5.5%, and more surprisingly the yield on the 10 year Treasury is down to 2.01%! This pullback FEELS especially hard after the tepid nature of the market over the last nine quarters.
The message of the Carnegie Counselor this quarter was written to address this particular issue. When share prices slide, do not panic, these things happen. What you don’t do during what we think will be a temporary dip in prices is more important than what you do. Don’t go to cash. Don’t change plans. Don’t forget the long term fundamentals.