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Financial Focus

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Market Commentary, November 2019 Thumbnail

Market Commentary, November 2019

Even though growth is slowing around the world, there seem to be less immediate concerns regarding future growth trends. Not only has sentiment around global trade improved, but The Federal Reserve shifted its tone, saying that the “current stance is likely to remain appropriate.” Given that The Fed seems reasonably content with the Fed Funds rate in the current range of 1.50%-1.75%, we believe that the Fed will only change rates (up or down) if there is a material difference in the outlook. To this end, with the increased probability that the Fed will hold through 2020, the backdrop for risk assets has shown signs of improvement.

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Financial Planning for a CCRC Thumbnail

Financial Planning for a CCRC

Three-quarters of Americans would prefer to “age in place” and stay in their homes as long as possible. But less than half believe they will be able to, according to a recent AARP study. Some retirees can update and modify their homes so they can remain there longer. But many eventually pursue options such as age-restricted neighborhoods and retirement facilities. An increasingly popular option is a Continuing Care Retirement Community or CCRC. And while the price tag can be steep, advance financial planning for a CCRC can help.

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Forecasting—More Art or Science? Thumbnail

Forecasting—More Art or Science?

Many people from all walks of life seem to enjoy reading articles or listening to shows where “experts” forecast the future. Predicting what will happen in the future is one of those basic human behaviors that seem so appealing. Who wouldn’t want to invest 10 minutes of their time to listen to an expert who, in that small timeframe, will provide the audience with some ingenious piece of information that will allow them to get rich quick?

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Market Commentary, September 2019 Thumbnail

Market Commentary, September 2019

One partial explanation for economic weakness could come from the financial sector. Banks and other financial institutions derive a good portion of their income from lending at longer-term rates and borrowing at shorter-term rates. When the spread begins to narrow and possibly turns negative, profitability can take a hit. This has been reflected in weakness in bank stock performance that strongly correlates with moves toward a flatter yield curve. While it is difficult to hold a single sector responsible for weakness in the overall economy, the financial sector is a critical economic driver, and therefore, can increase the likelihood of broader weakness.

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Everybody Knows Thumbnail

Everybody Knows

In a recent call with a bond fund manager that we follow, he related that just five months ago, he was getting calls asking him “Why aren’t you short the Treasury? Everybody knows that interest rates are going to five percent.” As many of us know, not only did interest rates not rise, they have dropped sharply and had this manager based his decision making on what “everybody knows,” the investors in his strategy would have realized significant losses.

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Financial Strategies for the Sandwich Generation Thumbnail

Financial Strategies for the Sandwich Generation

Welcome to the “sandwich generation,” where a growing number of adults find themselves sandwiched in between two generations, serving as the glue that holds the entire family together. Today, close to half of the adults in their 40s and 50s have at least one parent 65 or older as well as one or more children under the age of 18.

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