Market View (February 2018) – Recent Volatility

  |  February 6, 2018

As we noted in our recent Year in Review newsletter, we expected volatility to increase in 2018, and here in the early days of February 2018 we see that volatility increasing as the S&P 500 has declined more than 5% in the last two days. Many headlines say that the recent decline is due to increased worries over inflation, and how the Federal Reserve will react to unexpected inflation news. While that may be a part of the rationale for there being more sellers than buyers, we tend to think this is a rather weak argument. Although the two main inflation indicators the Federal Reserve uses have been accelerating in recent months, they are not indicating a rapid return of inflation. It seems other reasons exist for the recent downturn. Read more Read More

Market View (January 2018) – A Year in Review

  |  January 31, 2018

Like most years, 2017 had its familiar themes and its surprises.  On the familiar side, we continued to see the price of oil be relatively stable as incremental increases in demand were easily met with production increases. Economic growth both in the US and overseas continued to improve. The Federal Reserve began its balance sheet reduction program, which was highly anticipated. On the surprise side ... Read more. Read More

Planning Matters (January 2018) – The Changing Landscape of Life Insurance Planning

  |  January 3, 2018

One of the cornerstone principals of financial planning is the need to adequately evaluate risks to achieving long-term goals and objectives.  Often times that process is referred to as risk management.  At its core, the management of “life” risks is often divided into the following: dying too soon, becoming disabled, living too long, or not having enough assets. The foundational product that has been developed to meet the risk of dying too soon is life insurance. Read more. Read More

10 Thoughts on Investments for 2018

  |  November 1, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close and we look forward to 2018, conventional wisdom suggests that New Year’s resolutions, although made with the best of intentions, will be abandoned as 2018 progresses. But perhaps you’ll find some of these investment thoughts worth the follow-through. We can help by keeping your focus on those things you can control, rather than fixating on those you cannot. Here are 10 investment basics you can count on: Read more. Read More

Financial Planning in the World of Headlines and Tweets

  |  October 13, 2017

If you only look at the headlines these days, you might be compelled to think that the best of all plans, financial and otherwise, is to dig a really big hole and hide. Unfortunately, good planning requires that we look to the facts and avoid the noise.  It’s a truism that “bad news sells newspapers.” However, in spite of the headlines, it is important for us to be making our financial and retirement decisions with data based on facts, and not the headline of the day. Take Social Security for example. Read more. Read More

Market View (October 2017) – Investing Amid Market Highs

  |  October 10, 2017

A recent headline read that the Dow Jones Industrial average posted its first eight quarter win in 20 years. It is rare to go two years straight without a negative quarter, and the question on many minds has been, “When will the equity markets experience a correction?” A correction is often defined as decline of 10 to 20%. Trying to predict the next decline is notoriously hard (some might say a fool’s errand), and back in April we discussed four economic areas that affect the velocity of money. Read more. Read More

Equifax Data Breach Update: Proactive Tips

  |  September 19, 2017

In response to the data breach Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies, recently announced, REDW Stanley is sharing some helpful tips. Although your data might not be at risk, here are some actions you can take to be proactive regarding your financial data. Read more. Read More

Investor Behaviors and Investment Basics

  |  August 16, 2017

Many investors, including some of REDW Stanley’s clients, are a bit uncomfortable with the present state of the stock market. They feel that valuations are too high, that the extended life of the recovery is undeserved, and that, any day now, the other shoe is going to drop (meaning the market will experience a correction – which, incidentally, is a normal part of an economic cycle). What can we, as your financial partner, do to help improve your comfort level? Read more. Read More

Market View (July 2017) – Investing is Not Gambling

  |  August 9, 2017

Perhaps one of the most common comparisons is the one comparing investing to gambling. The similarities are undeniable. You can lose all your money or end up with a great deal of money. Even the indicators of success and language are similar. We talk about being up or being down, being in the red or being in the black, the big loss or the big win. Both utilize statistics and we talk about the odds of certain outcomes. However, there are major, fundamental differences that we will explore. Read more. Read More

Social Security and the Foundations of Retirement Planning

  |  June 26, 2017

Recently, I read an article on retirement income planning that focused on the “best” combination of investments for a couple approaching retirement. The authors proposed that three hypothetical investors set out on their retirement journey with a healthy pot of money in the cookie jar and $24,000 of annual Social Security benefits as foundational income. The analysis then proceeded to look at three different ways to invest the nest egg to allow for the most flexibility in retirement.

I am quite sure that some investors are drawn to the mechanics of portfolio management and asset allocation while others are quite content to hire professionals to manage their accounts. But let’s compare this approach to retirement income planning with three different families that are about to go on an extended vacation, car and trailer included. Read more. Read More