Personally Invested In Your Future™

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
How to Protect Yourself Against Unexpected Retirement

The Boston College Center for Retirement Research published a recent report on retirement age and the factors that contribute to people retiring early. The results were not surprising, although there were some interesting takeaways from the research, especially regarding unexpected retirement.[1] The report on retiring early comes from other economic research, which suggests that many Baby Boomers have pushed out their estimated retirement

May 02
Retirement Lifestyle Questionnaire: What Does Retirement Mean to You?

Husbands and wives are often out-of-sync when it comes to retirement because of differing views of how they’d like to spend their time. These differences are not necessarily a problem if you become aware of them ahead of time. To help you get started with this process of envisioning a meaningful retirement, we recommend thinking about someone you know who has “retired well”

Apr 30
Market Hits New Highs

The S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq Composite closed at all time highs on April 23rd, marking a significant turnaround from the U.S. stock market’s decline at the end of 2018.  The S&P 500 Index closed the day at 2,933.68 and the Nasdaq at 8,120.82.  For the year, the S&P 500 Index is now up over 17%.  A combination of encouraging macroeconomic and

Apr 25
How much are you willing to lose to achieve your goals?

Academic theory of the financial world is often built upon one main assumption: that people are perfectly rational in making economic decisions and that these rational decisions by individuals help to create a high degree of efficiency in the broader financial markets.  Efficient markets work, as the theory goes, because all actors are behaving in ways to maximize their own self-interest.  And usually

Apr 18
Diversification in Finance: Why It’s Not Always the Answer

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is not just good guidance for those of us trying to keep the peace at home with our kids this Easter. The need to diversify is so foundational to financial advice that it can seem absurd to even question it. But sometimes clients question us in ways that have made us rethink the conventional wisdom regarding diversification

Apr 16
Is It A Good Time to Invest in Energy Stocks?

Energy stocks have been some of the weakest performers of the U.S. stock market over the past five years.  It’s easy to understand why these stocks have done so poorly in recent history, given significant volatility in the underlying oil market.  Following a precipitous drop in the price of oil, which reached a bottom at below $30 per barrel of crude oil in

Apr 11
Preparing for a Recession

For the past ten years, we’ve had a strong bull market in equities; in fact this is one of the longest bull markets in history. That doesn’t mean that it’s been all upside for the past decade. For instance, the S&P 500 Index declined by more than 10% in late January / early February of last year. But the overall trend in the

Apr 09
The Leap of Faith

Growth is an important theme at Brown and Company.  We place a tremendous emphasis on hiring great people, utilizing the latest technology to improve efficiency and re-investing back into the client experience.  It is through growth that we are able to deliver our best work to our clients. As part of our growth trajectory, we welcome the opportunity to work with new families

Apr 04