2017 Market Review

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At the beginning of 2017, a common view among money managers and analysts was that the financial markets would not repeat their strong returns from 2016. Many cited the uncertain global economy, political turmoil in the US, implementation of Brexit, conflicts in the Middle East, North Korea’s weapons buildup, and other factors. The global equity markets defied their predictions, with major equity indices in the US, developed ex-US, and emerging markets posting strong returns for the year.

The ...

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An Index Overview Part III: Index Investing – Opportunities and Obstacles

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Legend has it, a pharmacist named John Pemberton was searching for a headache cure when he tried blending Coca leaves with Cola nuts. Who knew his recipe was destined to become such a smashing success, even if Coca-Cola® never did become the medicine Pemberton had in mind?

In similar vein, when Charles Dow launched the Dow Jones Industrial Average (the Dow), his aim was to better assess stock prices and ...

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An Index Overview Part II: Index Points and Mechanics

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As we covered in our last piece, indices have their place. They can roughly gauge the mood of a market and its participants. If you have an investment strategy designed to capture that market, you can see how your strategy is doing in comparison … again, roughly. You can also invest in an index fund which tracks a market index.

This may help explain why everyone seems to be forever ...

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Stock Market Index – Part I: Indices, Defined

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 20,000 for the first time on January 25, 2017, but you probably already knew that as every media outlet went crazy reporting the “news”. But when a popular index like the Dow is on a tear, up or down, what does it really mean to you and your investments?

That’s the real question we need to ask ourselves.

In this multi-part series, we’re going to cover ...

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2016 Market Review

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In 2016, the US market reached new highs and stocks in a majority of developed and emerging market countries delivered positive returns. The year began with anxiety over China’s stock market and economy, falling oil prices, a potential US recession, and negative interest rates in Japan. US equity markets were in steep decline and had the worst start of any year on record. The markets began improving in mid-February through midyear. Investors also faced uncertainty from the ...

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Real Estate Investing

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Just as the world around us comes from the elements found in the periodic table, capital markets are made up of asset classes, broadly organized into stocks, bonds, alternatives and hard assets like commodities and real estate. As elemental as asset classes are to investing, it often makes sense to include some real estate investments in your globally diversified portfolio.

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2015 Review: Economy & Markets

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The US economy and broad market showed modest gains during the year, although investor discipline was tested by news of a global economic slowdown, rising market volatility in China and emerging markets, falling oil and commodities prices, and higher US interest rates.

The S&P 500 Index logged a 1.38% total return. The returns across US indices were mixed, but overall the broad US market, as measured by the ...

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How we Choose the Funds for You

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fund selection

A question we are often asked: How do we choose the funds we use?

In order to understand how we go about choosing the funds we use it is important to start with the awareness that investments are personal. Starting with a plan is the key to develop the right investment strategy to fit your unique situation. The investments must be structured in a manner that is consistent ...

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5 Smart Year-End Tax Strategies

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year end tax strategies

If you manage tax planning through a holistic wealth management approach and look at a multi-year financial projection; it tends to uncover trends and opportunities to reduce your tax exposure. While the general rule in tax planning is to defer income and accelerate deductions, holistic planning will help you uncover additional opportunities for tax savings and enhance your overall financial plan.

TIP: ...

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Financial Tips on Tax-Efficient Investing- Part 1: Investment Manager Selection

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tax cost

One of my favorite quotes was written by Supreme Court Justice Learned Hand: “Anyone may arrange his affairs so that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which best pays the treasury… for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands”. With the October 15th “tax return filing deadline” upon us it is an ...

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