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Global Asset Allocation Views – 4Q 2017

Posted by on Nov 6, 2017 in blog | Comments Off on Global Asset Allocation Views – 4Q 2017

The October 7th-13th cover of The Economist led with the phrases “The bull market in everything” and “Are asset prices too high?” The main article mentioned potential bubbles in equities (at an all-time high), fixed income (boosted by easy monetary policy), real estate (see the 2007 Financial Crisis), and cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Etherium, etc.).  I will focus my attention on equities since they tend to be the most important, and largest, component of a client’s long-term growth.

What I would like to share today are some of the counter-arguments I have come across in my research regarding high equity valuations.  I will then finish up with investment themes, risks, and how we are currently positioning client accounts. (more…)

The Goldilocks Economy and Bear Markets

Posted by on Sep 22, 2017 in blog | Comments Off on The Goldilocks Economy and Bear Markets

Sorry for the pun (hopefully you have heard of The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears), but as we get near year-end it seemed opportune to discuss the current market sentiment and our future outlook.

The U.S. economy is currently in a sweet spot, or a Goldilocks effect, of not being too hot to spur rapid inflation but not too cold to cause a recession.  A bear market, loosely defined as a drop of over 20%, and a recession, two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, seem a long way off.

There are a few factors that warrant monitoring: (more…)

College Planning 101

Posted by on Oct 5, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on College Planning 101

The dreaded Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be available October 1st of this year and should be easier to complete because you can use 2015 tax returns and not have to do any updates in the spring after filing your 2016 returns.  The following link summarizes the changes and gives some tips on obtaining the most aid possible.

http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/25/pf/college/fafsa-application-changes/    (more…)

You are the parent? So What?

Posted by on Aug 24, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on You are the parent? So What?

The applications are in, standardized tests are complete and a college decision has been made.  Now all there is to do is outfit the dorm room and drop the kids off, right?  Maybe not.  A recent visit to an attorney’s office to update our estate documents opened our eyes to something that we hadn’t thought of before. (more…)

Teach Your Children Well

Posted by on Jun 28, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on Teach Your Children Well

Several of the people in our office have college-age children as do our clients, so conversations around topics to prepare us for when our children enter the work force full-time occur frequently. In general, we find that the young people want to be independent and are willing to learn what is necessary to make informed financial decisions. (more…)

Kids, Retirement and a Sandwich?

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in blog | Comments Off on Kids, Retirement and a Sandwich?

Pardon me?

The Sandwich Generation has been defined as the group of adults in their 40s and 50s in the US that has a parent over age 65 and who are financially supporting at least one child.

But wait, kids are supposed to move out and parents can take care of themselves, right? (more…)

Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in blog | Comments Off on Planning for Health Care Costs in Retirement

Among the items weighing heavily on a soon-to-be retiree’s mind is health care, and with good reason if you consider the statistics:

  • People age over 60 are expected to spend more on health and medical costs than on recreation and housing combined (Credit Suisse, Longer Lives July 2011)
  • On average $491,039 is spent by the average 65 year old for health care during a 20 year retirement (Jester Financial; retirement health care cost calculator)
  • From 2012-2022 healthcare rates are expected to increasing an average of 5.8% per year. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)


Short-Term Volatility

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in blog | Comments Off on Short-Term Volatility

The equity markets have undergone a pullback in recent weeks.  Fixed income markets have been up during this time as investors have sold equity positions in favor of fixed income.  Our more conservative models have reduced equity allocations in favor of fixed income over the last year.  Our models are focused on the long-term and invest according to the fundamentals.   The markets were slightly inflated recently; this is why we have reduced the domestic equity positions in the models.

Short-term volatility can be a cause for discomfort, however, over the long-term, managing assets according to a disciplined model has proved to be the best approach.  We are examining value opportunities as the equity markets have receded.  We will continue to evaluate the fundamentals thoroughly during this short-term, volatile period.  Buying opportunities typically arise after a short-term selloff.  As always, if you have any questions pertaining to how we mitigate risk in the portfolios, we are available via phone or email.

–HFS Asset Management Committee

Retirement Income Planning – Part 2

Posted by on Aug 18, 2015 in blog | Comments Off on Retirement Income Planning – Part 2

Once you have secured a steady stream of retirement income, the next step is to make sure that you continue to give yourself a raise every year.  Just as you were accustomed to regular increases in income during your working years, in retirement you will need to increase your income over time as well in order to stay ahead of inflation.

Inflation takes a toll on fixed-income investments because they are just that: fixed. If your cost of living goes up at the average historical national inflation rate of about 3.6% each year, your income has to be able to increase by that amount as well to maintain the same standard of living. Fixed investments are not designed to grow over time.  Their main purpose is to provide a steady stream of FIXED income. (more…)

Retirement Income Planning – Part 1

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in blog | Comments Off on Retirement Income Planning – Part 1

Retirement income planning is a hot topic today that bears some discussion.  This is the first in a series of articles that will tackle the issues most important to those of us facing retirement in the next  ten to 15 years.

When contemplating retirement, the major financial concern is the replacement of a steady income that used to come from a regular paycheck.  This income needs to outpace inflation and last throughout retirement, a period that can be 20 years or longer. (more…)