Feature Articles:

Be Careful with Company Stock

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

May 14, 2019Individual Investment Management

Be Careful with Company Stock Understanding rules can save you thousands!

As a form of compensation, many managers and decision-makers are awarded shares of stock within their qualified plans in lieu of income.  This is a welcome perk but can inadvertently cause you additional liabilities...

Read More...

Social Security Can be Fixed!

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

May 01, 2019Individual Investment Management

Social Security Can be Fixed! Why we should keep this valuable program. The death of social security (as advertised) is vastly overstated.  News networks and "financial experts" desperate to sell advertising and attract eyeballs will often exaggerate the death of the program to attract viewers.

First a...

Read More...

2nd Quarter 2019 - Global Slowdown Has Begun

By Patrick Larson, CFA®, MBA

April 16, 2019Institutional Investment Management

Economic Overview 

Our theme for the first quarter was: “Things are Slowing Down” which turned out to be the case.  Many economic indicators in Europe have pointed to a slowdown this year. The Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) peaked in the Eurozone in December 2017 and had fallen below 50...

Read More...

Dealing with Debt

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

March 31, 2019Individual Investment Management

Paying Off Debt - All debt is not created equal.

The often-repeated mantra that "all debt is bad debt" demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of how money really works.  Here are 3 things to consider:

1.  It's just a tool. The apt analogy here is that of a kitchen knife.  Kitchen knives can be dangerous, but...

Read More...

Tips to Avoiding Fraud

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

March 06, 2019Individual Investment Management

March is a busy time of year for you...and those after your money.  

5 Characteristics of Most Scams: March is a busy month.  The market is usually active, taxes are due in April, and people are busy making financial decisions.  Avoiding scams is easy if you...

Read More...

Spending in Retirement

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

February 13, 2019Individual Investment Management

Spending in Your Retirement. A secure retirement is the combination of careful planning and understanding how taxes will affect you. Diversify Beyond Tax Deferral...Let's be clear - 401k and IRA accounts are valuable tools.  A word of caution however - don't forget to stash additional savings in taxable brokerage accounts, Roth IRAs,...

Read More...

Financial Institutions Insights 1st Quarter 2019 Strategy

By Patrick Larson, CFA®, MBA

January 21, 2019Institutional Investment Management

Economic Overview - What a Difference a Quarter Makes! 

We entered the fourth quarter of 2018 with solid economic growth, interest rates near a multi-year peak and an equity market that was trading near record highs.  But things changed.  Expectations that the economy will slow...

Read More...

Stocks in 2019

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

January 10, 2019Individual Investment Management

Stocks in 2019. It's important to be realistic about what the market will (and won't) yield following a multi-year rally in stocks.  

Big Gains?  Probably not - but...Various sectors, classes, and industries do not move in unison and this presents opportunities.  For the past decade, lower quality, high growth...

Read More...

Accessing Your 401(k) Funds Early

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

December 18, 2018Individual Investment Management

Accessing 401k Funds Early...Normally you aren't allowed to withdraw funds from a 401k or other retirement plan prior to age 59 & 1/2 without a 10% penalty in addition to taxes owed.  There is however, a notable exception to this rule if you are looking...

Read More...

The Hidden Rollover Tax

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

November 19, 2018Individual Investment Management

Avoid the IRS Rollover Trap! As 2018 rolls to a close, people across the country will "roll over" old IRA, 401k, and company plans....and accidentally cost themselves thousands of dollars in taxes.  What is a "rollover?"...When you move money from one company retirement plan or IRA into another company...

Read More...

The Winds of Change in Retirement Plan Design: Guaranteed Lifetime Income

By Justin Dorsey, J.D.

November 15, 2018Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

We believe resolutely that there is a slowly, but inexorably, growing movement in the US towards reshaping the question of retirement readiness – at least in part – from wealth accumulation to guaranteed lifetime income (e.g., think old-fashioned pension benefit for life – but in a defined...

Read More...

Crafting the Retirement Readiness Scorecard

By Devon Triebold

November 01, 2018Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement PlansParticipant Financial Wellness Services

How do you measure whether your participants will be ready for retirement when the time comes? This is the question we were faced with in the spring of 2017. The question was driven by wanting to assess – in a measurable way – the impact...

Read More...

Financial Institutions 4th Quarter 2018 Strategy

By Patrick Larson, CFA®, MBA

October 17, 2018Institutional Investment Management

Economic Overview  

The economy is growing at a remarkable pace.  Second quarter GDP increased 4.2% and the 3rd quarter may also exceed 4.0%.  It seems likely 4th quarter GDP will be between 3.0% and 3.5%.  Up to this point, the Fed seems to have gotten both...

Read More...

Market Volatility Returns

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

October 08, 2018Individual Investment Management

With many portfolios flat or slightly down for the year, the 1st and 4th quarters have book-ended a volatile 2018 with 11% and 7% respective sell-offs in the broader market.  What's causing the volatility and is it normal historically? 

What's Causing It?...For most investors, 2018 has felt...

Read More...

Ignoring Social Security Doomsayers

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

September 03, 2018Individual Investment Management

Don't Be Fooled by Social Security Doomsayers. The program is healthier than you think - and its problems are much easier to fix than advertised.  Here are 3 facts about the program you need to know! Fact #1: The Fund & Costs

Despite headlines to the contrary,...

Read More...

Money & Travel - 7 Tips

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

August 10, 2018Individual Investment Management

With vacation season upon us, here is some advice and tips from this author's own experience on the road.  #1: Travel Insurance...A product sold - never purchased!  Customers don't know what they are buying and firms are fuzzy on what they cover.  Most high quality credit cards...

Read More...

Financial Wellness Niche: Student Loan Repayment Benefits – Part 2: How and Who

August 01, 2018Participant Financial Wellness Services

This article is the second installment in a series on Student Loan Repayment Benefits. The first installment discussed why the benefit is gaining traction with employers and the variety of services that are available. We recommend you take a look at Part...

Read More...

Financial Institutions 3rd Quarter 2018 Strategy

By Patrick Larson, CFA®, MBA

July 16, 2018Institutional Investment Management

Trade Issues Take Center Stage

The Fed concluded its scheduled two-day meeting on June 13th and the new Fed Chairman announced a 2nd rate hike that was widely expected.  The U.S. economy slowed slightly in the 1st quarter but is accelerating once again.  Inflation remains...

Read More...

Two Great Mortgage Myths

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

July 09, 2018Individual Investment Management

2 Great Mortgage Myths. Mortgages are a great tool for wealth building - as long as you understand what you are really getting! Myth #1:  Early payoff saves you interest cost. Here we must introduce a vital concept - "opportunity cost."   Simply put, opportunity cost is what I give...

Read More...

Financial Wellness Niche: Student Loan Repayment Benefits - Part 1: Why and What

July 02, 2018Participant Financial Wellness Services

The Challenge

The average 2017 graduate faced $39,400 in student loans.[1] The reality is, student loan debt doesn’t just impact new grads either, 37% of millennials, 22% of Gen Xers and 10% of baby boomers have student loans.[2] Being saddled with that level of debt...

Read More...

Why Social Security Matters

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®, MBA

June 04, 2018Individual Investment Management

Why Social Security Matters. 6 Reasons to Preserve It! Social Security (or SSDI as the program is officially known) is an incredibly important tool to supplement retirement for the majority of Americans.  Here are 6 reasons to preserve it: 1.  It's not an "entitlement:" Despite its image as a hand...

Read More...