Wealththought Articles

“Years of research on insurance pricing behavior shows that no single insurance company can always provide the best quote.”

We use the competitive pricing platform of Income Solutions ® when purchasing retirement income annuities for clients.  Here, the founder of Income Solutions, Kelli Heuler, explains the history and importance of this game-changing distribution channel for retirement income products.

Shop accordingly!

A message to our clients about the recent stock market declines

We wanted to be in touch to say: We are not panicking, and hope that you are not either. Read our message here.

Keep your eye on your game plan, not the circus.

Paula’s mention in this recent Forbes article helps describe the importance of continuing to save and invest regardless of swings in the markets. Keep the focus on your long-term goals.

“[Retirement Income Planning] is a really hard problem. It’s the hardest problem I’ve ever looked at.”

– Bill Sharpe, Nobel Laureate, Stanford University

“For many people, being asked to solve their own retirement savings problems is like being asked to build their own cars.”

-Richard Thaler, University of Chicago

Time, not timing, is the best way to capitalize on stock market gains

This chart by Putnam Investments shows how staying invested helps you experience the market’s best days.

When markets hit new highs again, is that actionable information for investors—or noise?

Throughout 2017, the S&P 500 Index recorded 62 new closing highs in 251 days of trading. With stock indices continuing to set new highs, does this mean negative returns for stocks are on the horizon?

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Interesting Insights from Retirement Policy Researchers

Ever hear of a ‘side-car’ savings account?  That’s the term retirement researchers are beginning to use to describe a possible emerging innovation: Having your employer-sponsored retirement plan be a place where you can store up ‘rainy day’ emergency reserves.

As background, researchers are seeing that cash flow ‘shocks’ in retirement can derail daily cash flow, and therefore financial well-being. Oddly, the financial  ‘shocks’  that retirees typically describe are for such ordinary expenses as needing cash for new car tires, a dental bill, or a broken furnace. However, whether retired or not, the arrival of an abrupt need for cash is hard when you don’t have cash reserves, and many American do not have any cash reserves.

‘Side-car’ savings accounts emerged again as a recurring policy idea in a recent retirement policy research conference, EBRI’s 82nd Policy Forum in Washington, D.D. on December 14, 2017.

Check out the high level summary of the proceedings here.

PIMCO Weekly Municipal Update

The municipal market is still assessing the overall impact of the final tax reform bill, but several aspects of the bill should be favorable for the market. Municipal supply is likely to fall as a result of the legislation, as municipal issuers are prohibited from advance refunding their debt in the tax-exempt market. Advance refundings typically make up 15-20% of annual supply. Demand should also be supported, particularly in high tax states, where limited state and local tax deductions may lead to higher overall rates for many.

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Financial Market History: Reflections on the Past for Investors Today

Since the 2008 financial crisis, a resurgence of interest in economic and financial history has occurred among investment professionals. This book discusses some of the lessons drawn from the past that may help practitioners when thinking about their portfolios.

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How many years of retirement do you need to fund?

When planning for retirement, the one question most people can’t answer with any certainty is this: How many years of retirement do you need to fund?

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Q4 2017

“Everything in life, individually or socially, is a trade-off. We determine the risk levels we’re willing to tolerate.”

-Robert Merton

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they know about what they imagine they can design.”

– Friedrich Hayek

“Many of us economists who believe in efficiency do so because we view markets as amazingly successful devices for reflecting new information rapidly and, for the most part, accurately.”

– Burton Malkiel

“I don’t try to be clever at all. The idea that I could see what no one else can is an illusion.”

– Daniel Kahneman

“Do you know what investing for the long run but listening to market news every day is like? It’s like a man walking up a big hill with a yo-yo and keeping his eyes fixed on the yo-yo instead of the hill.”

– Alan Abelson

“Nobody knows which company will prove a good long-term investment.”

– Michael Lewis

“Wall Street’s favorite scam is pretending luck is skill.”

– Ron Ross

“I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.”

– Richard Feynman

“I take the market-efficiency hypothesis to be the simple statement that security prices fully reflect all available information.”

– Eugene Fama

“There are two kinds of investors, be they large or small: those who don’t know where the market is headed and those who don’t know that they don’t know.”

– William Bernstein

“The surest way to find an actively managed fund that will have top-quartile returns is to look for a fund that has bottom-quartile expenses.”

– Burton Malkiel

“Forecasts may tell you a great deal about the forecaster; they tell you nothing about the future.”

– Warren Buffett

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain. As far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

– Albert Einstein

“Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”

– Paul Samuelson

“Almost all of us should act as if prices are right.”

– Kenneth French

“The market is smarter than we are and no matter how smart we get, the market will always be smarter than we are.”

– Kenneth French

“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”

– Sir William Bragg

“Most people might just as well buy a share of the whole market, which pools all the information, than delude themselves into thinking they know something the market doesn’t.”

– Merton Miller

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one.”

– Voltaire

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”

– John Maynard Keynes

“Pundits forecast not because they know, but because they are asked.”

– John Kenneth Galbraith

“Everybody has some information. The function of the markets is to aggregate that information, evaluate it, and get it incorporated into prices.”

– Merton Miller

“The important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one you can stick with.”

– David Booth

“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.”

– Albert Einstein

“The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.”

– Milton Friedman

“All the time and effort that people devote to picking the right fund, the hot hand, the great manager, have in most cases led to no advantage.”

– Peter Lynch

Calculate Your Investing Costs

It is important that you discuss with your advisor all of the fees and charges associated with your financial advisory relationship as well as the value provided for those costs. This is a vital element in a trusted relationship and your advisor should be open to and respectful of this conversation.

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Enterprising Investor

Best of 2017 Weekend Reads: Lost and Found
Do you remember the last time you received a handwritten letter or note, or were struck by beautiful penmanship? I do.

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Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

Review the policy highlights of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act.

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To Bit or Not to Bit: What Should Investors Make of Bitcoin Mania?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are receiving intense media coverage, prompting many investors to wonder whether these new types of electronic money deserve a place in their portfolios. Unlike stocks or corporate bonds, it is not clear that bitcoins offer investors positive expected returns.

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Q3 2014

Wishing Does Not Make a Poor Man Rich

Key Questions for the Long-Term Investor

Focusing on what you can control can lead to a better investment experience. Whether you’ve been investing for decades or are just getting started, at some point on your investment journey you’ll likely ask yourself some of the questions below.

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Money Matters: Who is Your Financial Data Buddy?

Imagine walking into the house of someone close to you, perhaps a dear friend. She’s just had a stroke and will be incapacitated for several months, perhaps permanently. You’ve offered to keep her daily finances afloat while she is unable to do so for herself. In her legal papers, you are her named agent. Where would you start?

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The Personal Part of Charitable Giving

It is important that you discuss with your advisor all of the fees and charges associated with your financial advisory relationship as well as the value provided for those costs. This is a vital element in a trusted relationship and your advisor should be open to and respectful of this conversation.

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Navigating Changing Times

In addition to the change each of us is going through in our own personal lives, we’re living in a rapidly changing world. Perhaps this summer is a good time to kick back and get some perspective. Here are some books to jump start those considerations.

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Five Things Every Investor Should Know About Bond Funds

Whether you’re considering a bond fund because you have lost confidence in the equity markets or are looking to diversify your portfolio, do your homework.
Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating bond mutual funds.

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Get Organized! How to Maintain Your Personal Financial Files

Which files should you keep, and why do you need to keep them? How long should you keep them and in what format?

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