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March 2016 Monthly Insight: Lessons From Buffett’s Shareholder Letter

Posted by on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 in Investing, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance | 0 comments

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is one of America’s great investors—arguably, the greatest ever. Over the last 50 years, Buffett (now 85) and his partner Charlie Munger (91) have executed one of the greatest allocations of capital in history. They have transformed Berkshire Hathaway from a failing textile company to a worldwide conglomerate comprising about 90 businesses across diverse industries. Last year, Berkshire Hathaway had total revenue of $210 billion and net earnings of roughly $24 billion. I find Buffett’s...

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February 2016 Monthly Insight: The January Barometer

Posted by on Monday, February 15th, 2016 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance | 0 comments

“As January goes, so goes the year.” At least that is the case according the old adage made popular by the Stock Trader’s Almanac. This phenomenon is also known as the “January Barometer.” It simply means that January’s market’s performance, as measured by the S&P 500 Index, is a harbinger of how the market will do for the year. According to a recent story in the New York Times, the January barometer has been right 88% of the time since 1950 (ignoring basically flat years) and 75% of the time including all years....

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December 2015 Monthly Insight: The Clouds Part

Posted by on Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance | 0 comments

Bernard Baruch is not a household name, so a quick background is in order. He was a financier, a stock investor, a philanthropist, and an economic advisor to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt.  Baruch once quipped, “The main purpose of the stock market is to make fools of as many men as possible.” While he earned his fortune in an earlier period, few today can consistently amass wealth by trying to time the market’s ups and downs. Or, for that matter, ride a few hot stocks and cash in at the right time.  So from that vantage...

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November 2015 Monthly Insight: Budget Bill Changes Social Security Strategies

Posted by on Sunday, November 15th, 2015 in Investing, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Retirement | 0 comments

October was a wild month for the markets—and for many baby boomers who planned for retirement income by synchronizing and coordinating their timing for claiming Social Security benefits. The last week in October saw Congress put an end to two Social Security filing strategies that many couples have used to add tens of thousands of dollars to their retirement incomes.  However, there is a six-month window in which couples who are at least 66 years old can still take advantage of these strategies, and a partial reprieve, through grandfathering,...

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October 2015 Monthly Insight: Volatility is a Natural Part of the Market

Posted by on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Retirement | 0 comments

Last month’s letter talked about preparing yourself for major market moves, especially downward moves, by conducting “lifeboat drills” in order to dampen your “startle response”, which might result in an inappropriate decision that would derail your long-term investment goals and objectives. During the month of September, investor anxiety continued to spread as uncertainty around the future of interest rates continued to drag down markets.  For the month of September, the market was down for the month, down...

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