Personally Invested In Your Future™

Barron’s 2019 Conference Recap

Martin Walsh attended the Barron’s Team Summit in Las Vegas in early February.  The conference is an invitation-only event, aimed at recognizing the achievements of the top financial advisors in the United States.  Mark R. Brown has been a perennially leader in Colorado atop the Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors list. An annual event which Brown and Company has attended for the past several

Mar 20
Challenges and Benefits of Simplicity

In a world of increasing complexity and unprecedented technological advancement, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. As a result, simplification can be a real gift. Ask anyone who has recently tried to research and enroll in health care benefits, and they will gladly accept an expert’s offer to simplify all of it. When done well, simplification has many benefits, ranging from the emotional

Mar 19
When to file for Social Security benefits?

The question of when to file for Social Security benefits is a frequent topic of conversation with our clients.  Even with ultra-high net worth clients, the value of the income stream from Social Security is large enough to warrant a careful discussion.  Indeed, the capitalized value of an inflation-adjusted income stream that pays several thousand dollars per month for the rest of someone’s

Mar 14
Upfront Hindsight: Anticipating Problems Before They Occur

One of the most common descriptions of financial planners and advisors is that we are problem solvers. But while it is certainly true that advisors need to be able to solve problems for clients, we would argue that the value of problem solving is not what it used to be. The greater value an advisor can provide is to correctly anticipate problems before

Mar 12
Why Do-It-Yourselfers Become Delegators

Historically, financial advisors have tended to think of two broad categories of investors: do-it-yourselfers and delegators. Delegators tend to seek out advice and are willing to pay for it. Whereas, DIY types are less inclined to see the value of wealth advice and, therefore, are less willing to hire someone to help them. That’s the theory, anyway, but we’ve found that this type

Mar 05
Financial Planning for Widows: Do You Have a Plan If Your Wife Survives You?

We see a very common fact pattern among retired couples, a potential pitfall that can lead to unintended consequences if not planned for appropriately.  Often, a husband has been the primary breadwinner for a family and has been the dominant decision maker on most financial decisions of consequence.  These financial decisions include hiring a wealth advisor and making investment decisions on behalf of

Feb 27
Should You Hire a Wealth Advisor?

As technology has improved and it has become increasingly easier to open accounts and invest money in a diversified portfolio, people are often asking whether financial advice is worth paying for.  Or, more specifically, what is the value of financial advice? The answer ultimately depends on what type of advisor you are considering hiring and what level of advice they can give.  Still,

Feb 26
Are We Headed For Another Recession?

There has been much doom and gloom predicted for the stock market looking ahead to 2019, at least in some corners of the investment world.  Much of the volatility in the market that we witnessed at the end of 2018, and the ensuing pessimism from investors, is predicated on a potential economic recession for the U.S. and global economies.  And there is no

Jan 18
Falling Interest Rates

Intermediate and long-term interest rates have fallen significantly in the past few months. For those who have yet to lock in long-term mortgage financing on their home, the recent decline in yields represents a new opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payment. As financial advisors, we are continually looking for ways to improve the financial outlook of our clients. While we focus much

Jan 16
Putting an Extremely Volatile Market in Perspective

On Monday, the S&P 500 Index came about as close as possible to the technical definition of a bear market without officially registering one (defined as a 20% or larger decline based on closing prices). Enduring these sharp declines can be unnerving for any investor, making it difficult to avoid the urge to react and sell at market lows. To hopefully provide some

Dec 31
Ben Bernanke Speaks In Denver

Mark Brown and the Brown and Company team attended a luncheon with Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke in Denver on November 28th.  Dr. Bernanke is now an advisor to PIMCO, one of the largest fixed income managers in the world.  The lunch was a forum put on by PIMCO in order to better understand Chairman Bernanke’s current insights on the markets.  It was

Dec 10
Oil Prices Down Significantly in Recent Weeks

Crude oil has officially entered into a bear market, with West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude prices down over 20% from their highs in early October.  The selloff in oil was as drastic as it was sudden.  Prices have approached $50 per barrel of WTI, the lowest price since November of 2017.  What happened to oil and why did the move occur so suddenly? Source:

Nov 23
Donating Appreciated Stock to Charity

Smart Year-End Charitable Giving We are a nation of procrastinators, at least with respect to charitable giving.  Indeed, a very large percentage of charitable giving occurs According to the National Philanthropic Trust, 30% of all charitable gifts in the United States are given in December.  Further, more than 10% of giving is done in the last two days of each calendar year.  So

Nov 20
2019 Income Tax Rates

The IRS has announced its updates to income tax brackets for 2019, reflecting slightly higher limits to this year’s tax brackets to account for inflation.  The announcement is merely a slight tweak to the current marginal income tax brackets that were established by Congress.  As you may know, personal income taxes changed quite markedly in 2018 due to the tax cut passed by

Nov 16
Midterm Elections Update

The midterm elections are now largely behind us, save for a few close races that have yet to be decided.  The outcome was what had been predicted by most experts: Democrats took back control of the House of Representatives, while Republicans kept control of the Senate.  Democrats added approximately 40 house seats, depending on several races that are still counting votes.  It appears

Nov 08
International Trade: What’s Going on With NAFTA and China?

Most signals coming from the U.S. economy have been extraordinarily strong over the past year.  Unemployment has neared all-time record lows, GPD growth is tracking to be close to 3% in 2018 and inflation has remained subdued.  It is no wonder that the past few years have been a good time for stocks and the broader financial markets. But what is out there

Oct 29
Non-Profit Spotlight: Rotary International

Recently, we have made a point to highlight the non-profits with whom we work most closely in our community.  We can think of no organization more important to us than Rotary International.  Indeed, Mark Brown is a multi-decade member of the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast.  Mark has also been a past President of the club.  You can find a link to the

Oct 26
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index

The Conference Board released its latest monthly update to its “Leading Economic Index” on October 18.  The Index is a composite of many different data points in the U.S. economy, providing a window into the pace of growth in the U.S. economy.  Happily, the latest report that covers the month of September was positive once again, increasing by 0.5%.  The Index now stands

Oct 24