Monthly Insights

"Ideas shape the course of history." -John Maynard Keynes


November 2015 Monthly Insight: Budget Bill Changes Social Security Strategies

Posted by on Sunday, November 15th, 2015 in Investing, Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Retirement | Comments Off on November 2015 Monthly Insight: Budget Bill Changes Social Security Strategies

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 | Comments Off on October 2015 Monthly Insight: Volatility is a Natural Part of the Market

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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September 2015 Monthly Insight: Taming Your Startle Response

Posted by on Tuesday, September 15th, 2015 in Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Wealth Management | Comments Off on September 2015 Monthly Insight: Taming Your Startle Response

Last week Don and I sent out a special newsletter that highlighted historical market volatility and average recovery time it has taken the markets to return to previous highs. For example, investors can expect draws down of approximately 10% about once a year. A market drop of 10% is commonly referred to as a “correction”. From the bottom of a correction it takes about 8 months to recover. For this month’s letter I started thinking back to my time spent in the military and, interestingly, the couple of times I have taken a cruise. Before any...

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August 2015 Monthly Insight: The Viability of Social Security

Posted by on Saturday, August 15th, 2015 in Monthly Insights, Personal Finance, Retirement | Comments Off on August 2015 Monthly Insight: The Viability of Social Security

Social Security offers U.S. Government-guaranteed, inflation-adjusted lifetime income.  Having such a guaranteed income is of great importance to most retirees, and it’s important to understand how timing and claiming decisions for Social Security can have an impact on the strategy you employ for drawing from other retirement assets.  Just as you evaluate the investments you hold in your retirement portfolio, you should also review the viability of your Social Security.  Each year, the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees reports to...

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July 2015 Monthly Insight: The “Greek Tragedy” of Debt Default

Posted by on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 in Investing, Market and Economic Updates, Monthly Insights | Comments Off on July 2015 Monthly Insight: The “Greek Tragedy” of Debt Default

Over the last month, Don and I have watched with passive interest the long-running saga regarding the potential of Greece defaulting on its scheduled debt payment on June 30.  This “Greek tragedy” has actually been running since at least December 2009.  As a matter of fact, since Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1832, it has been in default or rescheduling its debt 51% of the time.  Last Tuesday, Greece defaulted and missed its scheduled €1.6 million payment.  Later, the International Monetary Fund and the...

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