News & Events

What to Do After a Strong 2017? Rebalance

As appeared in Independent Investor – February 2018

By now, you have probably received year-end statements   for your investment accounts and retirement plan. If your investments include a large share of stocks or stock funds, the news was probably good. In fact, 2017 was a banner year   for stocks in general. The S&P 500 increased by 19% for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 25%, and    the NASDAQ Composite increased an impressive 28%.  Growth and value stocks both did well, while large, mid, and small cap indices all saw double-digit gains.1

This strong performance adds to an already solid bull run — the second longest in history. From the start of 2009 to the end of 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average increased approximately 180%, the S&P 500 almost 196%, and the NASDAQ Composite an impressive 338%.2

Market analysts are at odds as to where the market will go from here. But they do agree on one thing: such a run-up is likely to leave many a portfolio heavily weighted in stocks.  For many, it could be a good time to rebalance.

Risk Tolerance Probably Isn’t What You Think


                                  “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”

                                                           Warren Buffet

by Michael Velazquez

This was the title of a Wall Street Journal article from several months ago. Whether you invest on your own or are our client, this is a simple but really important point: you need to understand the relationship of risk to how your assets are managed. A little story for background first.

I still cringe from my first real investing experience I had as a customer, when I was much younger. I had received a bonus from my employer at the time and decided I should get help to invest some of it. I walked into a financial services office and told the receptionist proudly that I had a whopping $10,000.00 to invest. Since it was a lot of money for me then, I had thought surely every broker in that office would be tripping over themselves to work with me. Instead, I got one of the youngest people in their office who proceeded to ask me “what kind of investor are you”? After reading the confusion on my face, he struggled to find the words to explain what he meant. In hindsight, I had no clue what he was trying to tell me, so I accepted the biggest potential for gains, without respect for downside risk. I traded on margin, I was doing options of all kinds, and for a few months I did very well. It didn’t matter, because shortly thereafter was what became known as Black Monday. Worldwide, markets reacted to program trading and a few days later I cashed in about 25% of what I started with. Lesson learned. Nowadays, as an investor and advisor, I have a lot more respect for risk because I understand its repercussions.

The Secret Ingredient

Quote of the Day

"The way you speak to others can offer them joy, happiness, self-confidence, hope trust, and enlightment. Mindful speaking is a deep practice."

Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

 

 

by Carol Duschinsky

Pick 5 marinara sauce jars off of the shelf. Taste each one and each will taste different. They each are called Marinara Sauce each containing the basic recipe, but to each a chef has tweaked the basic recipe by adding his own secret ingredient. And so after tasting each of the chef’s recipe, you find one that suits you. The one that speaks to your taste buds and gives you that comfortable feeling.

What about your selection of a Professional Advisor? Do you look for that secret ingredient in choosing the person for that role? You know what I am talking about, that relationship that will give you that comfortable feeling like a really good marinara sauce does. A taste that stays with you. So with food it is really simple, your taste buds tell you right away – oh that is good or ugh that tastes awful. Simple analysis and decision. But dealing with human relationships is not so easy to analyze and choose. And yet there is a way to decide on the best person for you to work with. Find the right professional who has the right secret ingredients for your personality.

New Grandson - New 529 - New Rules

 

 

Bob With Nicholas_0.jpg            Nicholas Douglas Crawford_0.jpg

Bob with Nicholas              Nicolas Douglas Crawford

 

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin

 

December 2017 was an amazing month!

My wife Renee and I were blessed with a beautiful Christmas gift, our first grandchild, handsome baby Nicholas.

Of course we wanted to begin contributing to his college education via a 529 college saving plan as soon as possible.  We know that since 2001, the 529 contributions can be deposited into plan account and that the accumulation of assets would have the possibility to grow income tax free, as long the account funds are used for the benefit of Nicholas’s college expenses. 

However, with the enactment of the new tax legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, some significant 529 plan account expansion items were enacted. 

These new changes allow for several compelling improvements that may benefit baby Nicholas’s future educational opportunities.

The Science of New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Don’t Work (Usually)

by Michael Velazquez

The 3 Velazquez_0.jpg

The 3 Velazquez - Holidays 2017

You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.

C.S Lewis

Happy New Year Everybody!

 I had two choices for this article: this one, or I could have written about the new tax law. As the latter is so technical, with many ramifications, I opted for the former.

 I did some research. What I found was interesting and even useful. Psychology can sometimes be a feeble science but not this time. Please keep reading. It won’t be boring (like the tax law would have been).

 With every ringing in of the New Year and champagne cork that pops, there are just as many repentant souls promising lasting changes in their lives through the magic of New Year’s Resolutions. You won’t be surprised to know the top 4 resolutions: 1. Losing weight 2. Doing more exercise 3. Quitting smoking 4. Saving money.

 Professor John Norcross, PhD, studied this issue at the University of Scranton and found that less than 10% of resolutions are actually achieved. But why? We can find some answers in the two main lines of brain and behavior science: the sciences of habits and self-stories.

The Science of New Year’s Resolutions and Why They Don’t Work (Usually)

by Michael Velazquez

The 3 Velazquez_0.jpg

The 3 Velazquez - Holidays 2017

You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.

C.S Lewis

Happy New Year Everybody!

 I had two choices for this article: this one, or I could have written about the new tax law. As the latter is so technical, with many ramifications, I opted for the former.

 I did some research. What I found was interesting and even useful. Psychology can sometimes be a feeble science but not this time. Please keep reading. It won’t be boring (like the tax law would have been).

 With every ringing in of the New Year and champagne cork that pops, there are just as many repentant souls promising lasting changes in their lives through the magic of New Year’s Resolutions. You won’t be surprised to know the top 4 resolutions: 1. Losing weight 2. Doing more exercise 3. Quitting smoking 4. Saving money.

 Professor John Norcross, PhD, studied this issue at the University of Scranton and found that less than 10% of resolutions are actually achieved. But why? We can find some answers in the two main lines of brain and behavior science: the sciences of habits and self-stories.

Happy New Year 2018

 

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Spain - Passionate, Sophisticated, a Country of Diverse Landscapes

by Michael Velazquez

I wrote this as I was cruising at the speed of light somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean returning home from an unforgettable road trip through Spain. We started in Madrid and drove through the north of Spain with stops in Burgos, Rioja, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, San Xenxo, and back to Madrid.

Spain is a country of stark contrasts. You can stay in a 12th century castle with modern plumbing and air-conditioning. They are obviously proud of their past but embracing the future nervously. They love Americans and our culture, especially our music and the NBA, but also express real joy of their own La Liga being one of the best Soccer leagues in the world.

The Glorious Transitional Month of October

by Carol Duschinsky LPL Registered Associate

I am now a California girl, but in my history I have lived in many states of our country and so have enjoyed the beautiful foliage that October brings. Cooler, crisper air, crunchy walks, feelings fully energized. So good to be alive. Bikes, come out, walking shoes on, we are getting motivated! We feel the same in California. We actually do get weather changes, maybe to a lesser degree, but we certainly get all the energized feelings of the fall.

 October means taxes are all over, holidays are coming, we are in the 4th quarter and winding down. Love October! It is the transition month. Transition from summer and the youthful feelings that summer always brings to all the seasonal and mood changes that cold and winter bring. Thank goodness for October stuck in between.

Time Management - Hoax or Reality?

Financial plan.jpg

 All my kids are musicians. One of them somehow managed to assemble 9,468 songs on an iPod. I don’t even know if people still use these contraptions since this is now the era of the Apple Watch. (btw, why didn’t they call it the iWatch?) As I write this I have a long plane flight across the Atlantic for a brief vacation, so I have time to listen to music.

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