First Quarter Perspective

April 19, 2012  |  

First Quarter Perspective

The first quarter of 2012 was great for equity markets. We experienced a global-wide rally of double digit returns in many indexes. Here at home, the S&P 500 Index rose 12.59% and the Russell 2000 Index rose 12.44%. Overseas, international markets faired just as well with the MSCI EAFE Index gaining 10.98%. The trend upward […]

April 16, 2012  |  

The Long-Term Care Dilemma: Insurers Leaving, Premiums Increasing

We often receive questions about long-term care insurance and those questions have increased lately with the news that several insurers are leaving the long-term care market. While most of our clients have done a fantastic job of accumulating assets and self-insuring their long-term care needs, parents, family and friends may benefit from the following insights […]

April 11, 2012  |  

Why Is The Average Investor’s Performance So Poor?

The data is conclusive. The average investor’s returns are, umm, below average. How can this be? What appears to be statistically impossible is due to two basic factors, investment discipline and costs. Over the last 20 years, the average stock investor earned 3.49% compared to the S&P 500’s return of 7.81%. A $100,000 investment in […]

April 2, 2012  |  

The Perils of Market Timing: Part 2

For many investors, the temptation to try to time the stock market is irresistible. However, for most investors, market timing is as dangerous as it is irresistible. In my last market timing post, I discussed the downside of missing a few good return days. In this post, I discuss the downside of trying to time […]

March 26, 2012  |  

Is There Value In Morningstar Ratings?

Morningstar is a US-based research firm that publishes stock and mutual fund data. The firm is widely known for its mutual fund “star” rating system. The system rates mutual funds according to a five-star system, with five stars indicating superior performance for the time period. Although Morningstar warns against choosing funds solely on its star […]

March 12, 2012  |  

Charitable Giving Made Easy

A donor-advised fund offers an easy way for a donor to make significant charitable gifts over a long period of time. It’s similar to a private foundation but requires less money, time, legal assistance, and administration to establish and maintain. A donor-advised fund also enjoys greater tax advantages than a private foundation.   What is […]

March 6, 2012  |  

The Perils of Market Timing

Missing just a few days of high returns in the stock market can substantially erode long-term performance. The harsh reality of market efficiency has not stopped speculators and other traders from attempting to read the future. On paper, market timing offers a seductive prospect: By predicting market direction ahead of time, a trader might capture […]

February 6, 2012  |  

Five Key Concepts for Financial Success

While investing can at time seem overwhelming, the academic research can be broken down into what we call the Five Key Concepts to Financial Success. If you examine your own life, you’ll find that it is often the simpler things that consistently work. Successful investing is no different. However, it is easy to have your […]