Personally Invested In Your Future™

Creating Your Retirement Paycheck (Part II) – It’s Not What You Earn; It’s What You Keep

This is the second in a three-part series of articles designed to help you better understand how to create a paycheck in retirement. (CLICK HERE to read the first one.) To answer that question, we’re addressing the following three topics: It’s not about returns; it’s about your account balance It’s not how much you earn; it’s how much you keep It’s not about

Jul 16
Creating Your Retirement Paycheck (Part 1) – It’s Not About Returns; It’s About Your Account Balance

One of the main questions people want to know as they approach retirement is “how am I going to get paid once I stop working?” Saving and accumulating wealth is much different than trying to figure out how to create a stream of income that’s going to last for several decades and keep up with inflation. This is the first in a three-part

Jul 11
Socially Responsible Investing: Allianz Conference 2019

Martin Walsh attended the Allianz Global Investors “ESG University” conference in New York on June 20th.  ESG stands for “Environmental, Social and Governance,” an acronym that is a filter for evaluating socially responsible companies.  The conference was a detailed update for the investment advisor community on socially responsible investing, including the latest research and trends in the field. At Brown and Company, we

Jul 09
3 Types of Questions Every Advisor Should Ask

A financial plan is only as good as the questions being asked when creating it. But beyond the platitude of needing to ask “good” questions, what does this really mean? After all, does anyone think the questions they ask are not good ones? The way to be less subjective and more deliberate is to consider the different types of questions utilized in the

Jul 01
U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits New Low

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate in the U.S. has remained close to all-time lows in recent months.  The most recent non-farm payroll data indicate an unemployment rate across the broad U.S. working population of 3.6%: a 50-year low.  The news is part of a broad trend of improving economic fundamentals in the U.S. over the past decade. We have

Jun 27
The Defining Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

We all love stories of originality and innovation. Who isn’t inspired by the entrepreneur who was willing to risk it all and, against all odds, succeeded? We all want to hear about the person with strong convictions who swam against the tide, and we want to copy the characteristics of such successful entrepreneurs. But there’s a real danger to pursuing unique ideas. What may appear original

Jun 24
It Matters How We Think About Work

Several years ago, the Principal Financial Group ran an advertisement showing an athletic woman in her sixties wearing a wet suit, carrying a surfboard, and delightedly heading to the shore.  The question was posed “Why do we work?” and then subsequently answered, “For the freedom that a secure retirement brings.”  It ended by stating, “We understand what you’re working for.” It is clear

Jun 20
The Importance of Finding & Collaborating With a Team of Financial Professionals

We often speak with our clients about the need for high quality advice in all aspects of their financial life—not just investing.  As a firm, our approach to working with clients on their financial independence is comprehensive and involves a multi-disciplinary team of advisors. And while many in the wealth management world pay lip service to providing comprehensive planning, in practice the non-investment

Jun 20
Economic Productivity: Are We Missing a Piece of the Growth Puzzle?

There are two primary factors for measuring the change in economic activity in our country, also referred to as U.S. GDP: population growth and productivity growth. In other words, our domestic economy grows as the result of two factors: more people demanding good and services (population growth) and increased economic output per person (productivity growth). Real U.S. GDP growth has maintained a range

Jun 11
Don’t “Give Money Away” (Invest in the Community)

When financial advisors are asked why affluent investors would be reluctant to make charitable gifts, they say it’s because they don’t know if they can afford it. When asked directly, though, affluent investors cite a very different reason: They are worried their gifts will not be used wisely.* We think this makes sense. The clients we work with are often business owners or

Jun 11
Falling Interest Rates: A Bond Update

Medium and long-term interest rates in the U.S. have fallen precipitously in the past month.  Indeed, the yield on the 10 Year U.S. Treasury Bond has fallen from over 2.55% in early May to just above 2.07% today.  A confluence of factors are at least partially responsible for falling interest rates: increasing trade tensions with China, renewed stock market volatility and global economic

Jun 06
Estate Planning Questionnaire: 5 Things to Think About Before Meeting with Your Estate Attorney

Estate documents should be reviewed regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date and still adequately express your wishes pertaining to the distribution of your estate. Changes in your personal, family, or business circumstances along with changes in tax laws can necessitate the need for updates. At a minimum, beneficiary designations on retirement accounts and life insurance policies should be reviewed, as well as

May 30
Managing Income Streams for Retirement

When approaching retirement, many families focus on their ability to reach financial independence based solely upon their investment holdings and savings.  While their investments are, of course, an important part of their overall financial picture, they are not the only factor in the retirement equation.  What families often miss is the contribution of the various income streams that they will expect to receive

May 28
Personal Finance Needs to Be Personalized: Why Rules of Thumb Are Misleading

If you are trying to figure out how much you need to save for retirement or determine how much life insurance you should have, financial rules of thumb can be a helpful starting point. But as your situation becomes more complex and your level of wealth grows, rules of thumb can go from being helpful to detrimental to your financial well-being. For example,

May 23
The Proprietary Product Dilemma: Why Families Should Prefer Independent Advice

For high net worth families, one of the many pitfalls that is not often discussed when hiring and evaluating a wealth advisor is the use of “proprietary products” in their investment portfolio. The use of proprietary mutual funds is very common in the investment industry. Here is how it works: a family hires a bank or large financial firm to manage their investment

May 16
What Business Owners Need to Know to Successfully Transition

According to a survey from PriceWaterHouseCoopers, 3 out of 4 business owners surveyed said they “profoundly regretted” selling their company. Watch this 2-minute video to learn about how we work with business owners to prepare for transition into retirement. You can also read our case study to get more details on our process.   GET A SECOND OPINION: Click here to take our Buyout Barometer® assessment. This

May 14
U.S. Economy Continues Strong Growth

The U.S. economy grew by an annualized rate of 3.2% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in late April.  The growth was surprisingly strong, as the consensus estimate of Dow Jones-polled economists had estimated a Q1 growth rate of 2.5%.  The reading from the first quarter inspired confidence, as many economists and Wall Street pundits have

May 09
Why Market Optimism Matters for Successful Investing

It’s pretty easy to succumb to cynicism and pessimism in the current environment. Nearly 60% of people believe the U.S. is on the wrong track. Trust in institutions is at or near all-time lows. Scandals, natural disasters, and mass violence are all too prevalent. If you start to extrapolate that out into the future, your perspective can get bleak pretty quickly. As an

May 07