Feature Articles:

1st Quarter 2020 Strategy

By Tony Albrecht, CFA®

January 16, 2020Institutional Investment Management
Financial Institutions Insights 1st Quarter 2020 Strategy “A Short-Term Rebound Followed by Economic Softening”

 

Recommendations

Interest rates declined 90 basis points in 2019.  While current levels seem low (5-year Treasury note yield at 1.60%), remember in 2012 the same Treasury had a yield 0.50%.  Unless the duration of your bond portfolio is...

Read More...

Fourth Quarter 2019 Municipal Insight

By Patrick Larson, CFA®

January 15, 2020Individual Investment Management

The noisy themes for the 4th quarter were centered on concerns of a global economic slowdown, uncertainty related to trade negotiations, and manufacturing weakness in the US and abroad. These themes were countered by strong domestic employment numbers , real wage growth,...

Read More...

New Retirement Rules

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

January 09, 2020Individual Investment Management

New Retirement Rules How the IRS is Changing Retirement (Four key changes)

Change #1:  IRA RMDs If you are of age 70.5 or higher, it was required that you take a draw from your qualified plan or IRA.  This age has now been raised by the IRS to age...

Read More...

SECURE Act

By Dan Schroeder, QKA, QPFC

January 06, 2020Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

In a major victory for the advocacy efforts of the American Retirement Association, the most comprehensive retirement savings policy bill since the Pension Protection Act of 2006 was signed by President Trump on December 20. Years in the making, the Setting Every...

Read More...

The More You Know: Automatic Enrollment Notices

By Dan Schroeder, QKA, QPFC

December 13, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

Many retirement plans today provide automatic enrollment for employees, meaning the plan sponsor initiates enrollment into the retirement plan on behalf of the employee. One common question plan sponsors come across is whether their enrollment kit satisfies the annual automatic enrollment notice...

Read More...

The Benefits of Matching Retirement Contributions

By Dan Schroeder, QKA, QPFC

December 12, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

As the unemployment rate has dropped, hiring has grown increasingly competitive - especially for businesses with highly specialized positions. It’s important to understand how retirement matches factor into the hiring process and how they can financially benefit your company. Here are a few...

Read More...

Year End Planning Ideas

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

December 03, 2019Individual Investment Management

End of Year Planning What to consider before 2020.

Idea #1:  Convert or Fund a Roth IRA: If you earn more than $137k as a single filer or $203k jointly you are not allowed to contribute to a Roth IRA for 2019.  There is however, no limit on...

Read More...

Crafting Client Care with DALBAR

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

November 21, 2019Individual Investment Management

DALBAR - Your Advocate as a Client! Certain industries carry with them elevated levels of scrutiny.  Similar to health care and banking, the world of investment advisory is heavily regulated and layered with multiple levels of checks and balances.  Not all practices are required however, and it pays to understand why a firm would use...

Read More...

A Strong 403(b) Fiduciary Foundation Reduces Plan Sponsor Anxiety

By Bernie Heffernon, AIF®, CFS

November 18, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

Over the past few years and accelerating over the past few weeks, there has been a significant increase in 403(b) retirement plan litigation and enhanced government scrutiny over 403(b) plans in general.

Since 2016 over 25 private universities have faced lawsuits from groups...

Read More...

How to Choose the Right Custodian

By Cindi Bruns

October 29, 2019Individual Investment Management

A custodian is a financial institution that will hold or maintain your securities for safekeeping. In addition to holding securities for safekeeping, the custodian generally offers account administration, transaction settlements, collection of dividends and interest payments, and tax support.

Below are a few...

Read More...

Holding too Much Cash

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

October 29, 2019Individual Investment Management

The Cost of Missing Out. 2008 was a scarring experience for many.  Due to market losses during the great recession, many have avoided stocks altogether causing them to miss the great bull market that followed.  FOMO (or "Fear of Missing Out") is certainly something that may apply in...

Read More...

The Wealth Mindset

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

October 09, 2019Individual Investment Management

As someone who grew up solidly middle class, money was fascinating to me as a child.  How did people afford expensive things?  Is there a "secret" to becoming wealthy?  There are certain questions that only experience can answer.  After 20+ years in financial advisory, a graduate degree in...

Read More...

4th Quarter 2019 Strategy - “PMI Data Stokes Slowdown Concerns”

By Patrick Larson, CFA®

October 08, 2019Institutional Investment Management

Economic Overview

The U.S. economy chugs along at a 2.0% pace (GDP) with a quarterly range between 1% and 3%.  Recall GDP advanced 3.1% in the 1st quarter and the 2nd quarter was reported at 2.0%.  Expectations for the 3rd quarter are centered around...

Read More...

Why Do Plan Sponsors Hire A Retirement Plan Consultant/Advisor to help with their employer 401(k) plans?

By Stacy Allen, AIF®, PRP

October 08, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement PlansParticipant Financial Wellness Services

After working over 25 years in the retirement plan industry, I still often get asked, “Why would I hire a Retirement Plan Consultant/Advisor to help with our 401(k) plan when that is what our recordkeeper is for or that is my job?”

The role of the...

Read More...

Mortgage Payoff Rules

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

September 27, 2019Individual Investment Management

One of the most common questions I get from prospective or current clients is whether to retire a mortgage early. Since it comes up often, it's worth writing this month's note on the subject. Here are a few "rules" when it comes to making this decision: Rule...

Read More...

4 Reasons to Hate Annuities

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

September 03, 2019Individual Investment Management

With over 20 years of experience in finance, I've seen (almost) every sales pitch under the sun. From timeshares and teaser rates to penny stocks and partnerships, there's a multitude of ways to "invest" your money - and a never-ending parade of "advisers" who will sell...

Read More...

Rates & Your Money

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

July 16, 2019Individual Investment Management

Recently I was visiting with a prospective client discussing her portfolio.  As we began to discuss the allocations, I spoke briefly about her large bond position relative to her goals and how moves in interest rates may affect her.  I was then presented with a...

Read More...

3rd Quarter 2019 Strategy - “Inflation is too Low”

By Patrick Larson, CFA®

July 15, 2019Institutional Investment Management

Economic Overview

The expectation of a rebound in Q2 GDP is not likely going to happen.  The 3.1% we experienced in Q1 looks like it will fall to the low 1% area for Q2.  The lag in GDP reporting explains why we discuss it here...

Read More...

Why DO Stock values Rise?

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

June 27, 2019Individual Investment Management

Why DO Stock Values Rise? The assertion that stocks are excellent long-term investments is not held by all investors (thank you, 2008!). There are, however, good reasons why values of companies generally rise over time.  

Read on...

Historical Returns: According to Credit Suisse (CS) long term track records of...

Read More...

Why Stay Invested?

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

June 17, 2019Individual Investment Management
Why Stay Invested?

How market timing can kill returns. The market's gyrations are often unnerving, but there are good reasons why you need to be a long-term minded investor.  Whether you're an aggressive growth investor or take a moderate stance, attempting to "time" the market's best days will...

Read More...

Reduce Risk in Your Defined Benefit Plan – Asset Liability Immunization Strategy (ALIS) Explained

By Tony Albrecht, CFA®

May 30, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

Often the focus of Defined Benefit (DB) Plans is on the return generated by the plan assets.  The DB assets are managed to provide an attractive rate of return which usually requires a significant allocation to equities or other forms of risk-seeking assets in...

Read More...

“SECURE” Legislation

By Justin Dorsey, J.D.

May 21, 2019Institutional Investment ConsultingRetirement Plans

Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act

On March 29, 2019, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., introduced new bipartisan legislation, The Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which eases the ability to offer...

Read More...

College Planning Basics

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

May 21, 2019Individual Investment Management

College Planning Basics Important Facts to Know What are some important planning tips?   Read on...

1. The 529 Plan - Use It! Want to save for college?  Do you have family that would like to gift money for school?  Would you like to do it in the most tax-efficient method possible?  You need to open...

Read More...

Be Careful with Company Stock

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

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®

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®

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®

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®

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®

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...

Market Volatility Returns

By Mathew Coyle, CFP®

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...