Because Your Portfolio Deserves Better SM
NY: (607) 217-4146     NC: (919) 239-4163
  • Blog - Tales from the Upside

    Gone phishing?

    Gone phishing?

    As you may be aware a very tricky phishing scam that takes advantage of Google Docs began making its way around the internet last Wednesday. Since it uses a google.com URL and even makes use of Google's secure encryption, it's difficult to tell ...

    Keep Reading
    A Historical Argument (Part 3): Why Investors  Should be  Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    A Historical Argument (Part 3): Why Investors Should be Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    THIS IS THE FINAL PART OF A THREE PART SERIES   Does Historical Data Lend Credence to a Long-Term Optimism? What has been presented above might make you question my optimism. In my opinion there is a great deal of apathy.   Ra ...

    Keep Reading
    A Historical Argument (Part 2): Why Investors  Should be  Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    A Historical Argument (Part 2): Why Investors Should be Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    THIS IS PART TWO OF A THREE PART SERIES   Is the Mindset of Today’s Investor Pessimistic? Before we can discuss a positive longer term view, an evaluation of current and past market history is warranted.    I will u ...

    Keep Reading
    A Historical Argument (Part 1): Why Investors  Should be  Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    A Historical Argument (Part 1): Why Investors Should be Very Bullish Over the Long-term

    Prologue Earlier this year I had indicated it was my belief that we were getting very close to a time period where an investor should consider being Very Bullish over the Long-Term.    In today’s economic, political and geopolit ...

    Keep Reading
    Powerball Hangover

    Powerball Hangover

    Recently I heard an individual state that in graduate school his thesis was that playing / “investing in the lottery” might be a rational way to diversify your portfolio. His argument was that it would allow you to make a small “invest ...

    Keep Reading
    Staying Cyber-Safe

    Staying Cyber-Safe

    It seems that everywhere you turn these days there are reports of people and businesses being subject to data breaches and identity theft.  The millions being spent to protect confidential information can only go so far as thieves and hackers conti ...

    Keep Reading
    Red Alert - Incoming!

    Red Alert - Incoming!

    This blog is a warning that either you have or will be exposed to a large amount of dire warnings and sales material from annuity companies.  Letters, television and radio ads as well as what is on the internet are all coming to you courtesy of the ...

    Keep Reading
    We Should Admit that Multiple Quantitative Easings Saved the Country

    We Should Admit that Multiple Quantitative Easings Saved the Country

    Yesterday Stephen D. Williamson, vice president at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, made the following comment: "There is no work, to my knowledge, that establishes a link from Quantitative Easing (“QE”) to the ultimate goals of the ...

    Keep Reading
    The Difficulty in Buying the Dip

    The Difficulty in Buying the Dip

    It has now been 47 months since the last ten percent correction occurred in the S&P 500.  This now stands as the third longest streak on record.  Since 1927 an adjustment of that magnitude has occurred on average once every eight months.&n ...

    Keep Reading
    Greece Is The Word!

    Greece Is The Word!

    A deal has been made which will “solve” the default issues for Greece.  Stunningly the agreement was ostensibly the same their voters rejected a little more than a week ago!   Either the ECB / IMF told Alexis Tsipras (Prime Mi ...

    Keep Reading
    Greece Says NO....What Happens Next?

    Greece Says NO....What Happens Next?

    Yesterday the Greek public overwhelmingly told the ECB and specifically the Germans that they are willing to risk a complete economic collapse in an effort to receive much more favorable debt negotiation terms. Otherwise they&nb ...

    Keep Reading
    Greece, Puerto Rico.....Who Is Next?

    Greece, Puerto Rico.....Who Is Next?

    It seems that the colossal fiscal problems of Greece have migrated from a financial only to a general news story as the crisis has reached epic proportions.  Over the last five years bailouts and austerity programs haven’t done the trick to h ...

    Keep Reading
    The U.S. Market Has Gone Nowhere...But Has It?

    The U.S. Market Has Gone Nowhere...But Has It?

    Many investors watch the financial news or view another source of media to see how the market and their investments are performing on a daily or other periodic basis.  Because the market averages are at much higher levels than say 1985, 1995 or 200 ...

    Keep Reading
    The Federal Reserve Has Spoken.......Are We Going the Way of Japan?

    The Federal Reserve Has Spoken.......Are We Going the Way of Japan?

    It appears that the Fed is hedging their bet with their post-meeting commentary.  Even though Chairwoman Janet Yellen has stated that they are on pace to raise rates twice before the end of the year, one has to wonder if it will occur.  In ...

    Keep Reading
    Does Todays Employment Report Force the Federal Reserves Hand?

    Does Todays Employment Report Force the Federal Reserves Hand?

    There are many market pundits and economists who now believe that today’s employment report has given the Federal Reserve enough rationale to embark on a path of increasing interest rates.  Some are even calling for them to begin the process ...

    Keep Reading
    A Lesson From a Client

    A Lesson From a Client

    I can offer many examples of working with clients that have been extremely successful at accumulating wealth and then living their “golden years” without a worry in the world.   Yet, what I want to do is focus on a particular coupl ...

    Keep Reading
    Retirement Benefits Case Study

    Retirement Benefits Case Study

    We have provided the following hypothetical case study for you to use as a starting point when calculating your monthly benefits from employer and social security sources of retirement income.   This study has a participant (“Retiree&rdq ...

    Keep Reading
    Current DB Plan Participants... What You Need To Focus On

    Current DB Plan Participants... What You Need To Focus On

    If you have been informed that your Plan will be terminated or that changes are about to occur, you might want to consider the following steps to ensure that you are on the right path toward retirement.  First, use whatever resources your employer ...

    Keep Reading
    Current Market Environment - Sept 2014

    Current Market Environment - Sept 2014

    Currently the market appears to have become “toppy”, as the major indexes are turning lower or are fighting to appreciate higher.  Expectations are that for the rest of September and for some of, if not all, October volatility will beco ...

    Keep Reading
    An Interest In Pensions and Investments Is Born

    An Interest In Pensions and Investments Is Born

    Before undertaking an in-depth discussion on the DB Plans in the next post, let me give you some background as to my experiences in pension plans prior to entering the investment management world in the early 1990’s.   After graduate ...

    Keep Reading
    Many Companies are Changing Their Defined Benefit Plans;  Are You Ready?

    Many Companies are Changing Their Defined Benefit Plans; Are You Ready?

    Interestingly, this blog post was spawned as a result of a significant modification to the retirement expectations for some of our clients. Many are fearful that either their pensions will be cut or they won’t have enough guaranteed income at reti ...

    Keep Reading
    Current Market Environment - August 2014

    Current Market Environment - August 2014

    As this is being written, the market has begun to turn lower / trade in a range and some indexes have even turned negative for the year. Many investors haven’t realized this yet but the data shows a growing number of segments which are becoming we ...

    Keep Reading
    How are Risk Management Portfolios Managed?

    How are Risk Management Portfolios Managed?

    Once you decide if you're really a risk management investor, it's also important to understand that despite what a FBB&A might have said, rebalancing a portfolio is not a risk management tool.  This has been sold by the investment commu ...

    Keep Reading
    Are You Really a Risk Management Investor?

    Are You Really a Risk Management Investor?

    One of the biggest problems for investors is that in a vast majority of instances they aren’t given the opportunity by their FBB&A’s to protect capital in the event a stock or the market declines in value.  Investors should be aware ...

    Keep Reading
    How Could a Buy-and-Hold Portfolio be Managed?

    How Could a Buy-and-Hold Portfolio be Managed?

    The standard mindset of most FBB&A’s is to purchase a plain vanilla portfolio and at least on an annual basis review and rebalance the portfolio.  Many advisers concentrate on broad asset classes to allocate money, to purchase their favor ...

    Keep Reading
    Need an advisor for that 401(k)?

    Need an advisor for that 401(k)?

    Most people begin managing their own 401(k); in essence they are their own advisor, rarely deviating from the pre-selected group of investments chosen at the time of initial setup.   Hopefully, their company provided some matching amount while ...

    Keep Reading
    Does the Concept of Buy & Hold Work for You?

    Does the Concept of Buy & Hold Work for You?

    Under what circumstances should an investor consider a buy-and-hold ("B&H") strategy?   This is the popular method for a vast majority of financial pundits, brokers, bankers and advisers ("FBB&A").   In ma ...

    Keep Reading
    Why Chasing Fads and Lottery Tickets make for a Dangerous Financial Plan

    Why Chasing Fads and Lottery Tickets make for a Dangerous Financial Plan

    “I’ll re-enter the stock market when the market hits the bottom,” is a statement many investors make at some point in their lives.  Still fresh on our minds is the economic crisis of 2008 which resulted in the stock market taking ...

    Keep Reading
    Current Market Environment - July 2014

    Current Market Environment - July 2014

    As we now enter the second half of 2014, the market’s upward trajectory continues unabated with few, if any, meaningful pullbacks.  The upside performance is stunning to say the least.  What’s even more striking is the number of in ...

    Keep Reading
    Getting the Most Mileage Out of Company Sponsored 401(k)'s & SDBA's

    Getting the Most Mileage Out of Company Sponsored 401(k)'s & SDBA's

    Many people do not realize that they are paying for advice when they contribute to their companies 401(K) because they don’t see a separate billing line.  Their company is allowing that cost to be covered by allowing the management company to ...

    Keep Reading
    Does Your Advisor Know How Much They Are Charging You?

    Does Your Advisor Know How Much They Are Charging You?

    Prospective clients come from all walks of life, work in diverse industries and jobs, and have different needs, goals and objectives.  However, in many instances they shared one thing in common: the perception that the advice that was being receive ...

    Keep Reading
    Sell at the End of May and Go Away?!?!

    Sell at the End of May and Go Away?!?!

    If an investor has read or listened to the financial news over the past seven years, they have probably heard the phrase, “Sell In May and Go away”. The concept states that you should sell your equity holdings sometime in May and then repurc ...

    Keep Reading
    A Correction, the Beginning of a Bear Market  or Should We Buy Every Equity In Sight?

    A Correction, the Beginning of a Bear Market or Should We Buy Every Equity In Sight?

    It is an amazing 2014 already.  In just a little over a month, the prior euphoric 18 months have been wiped from the collective memories of market participants.   The fear / greed index as measured on CNN Money collapsed from 68 (greed) a ...

    Keep Reading
    A Discussion of the Government Shutdown

    A Discussion of the Government Shutdown

    Everyone must wrestle with so many issues with regards to managing a portfolio.  Should you liquidate some or all of the positions and stay out risking a “melt up” if a deal occurs?  Do you buy in because prices are getting cheaper ...

    Keep Reading