Personally Invested In Your Future™

Jul 09
Socially Responsible Investing: Allianz Conference 2019 See More

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.

Jul 01
3 Types of Questions Every Financial Advisor Should Ask You See More

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? What ARE the questions a financial advisor should ask you to create the best plan?

Jun 27
U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits New Low See More

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.

Jun 24
The Defining Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs See More

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.

Jun 20
It Matters How We Think About Work See More

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.”

Jun 11
Economic Productivity: Are We Missing a Piece of the Growth Puzzle? See More

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 of 2-3% per year over the past few years—solid but not spectacular.

Jun 06
Falling Interest Rates: A Bond Update See More

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 growth trends all feature prominently.

May 30
Estate Planning Questionnaire: 5 Things to Think About Before Meeting with Your Estate Attorney See More

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 titling of accounts.

May 28
Managing Income Streams for Retirement See More

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 in retirement.  Social Security benefits, a pension, annuity payments and rental real estate can all play a significant role in securing financial independence—especially for wealthy families.

May 16
The Proprietary Product Dilemma: Why Families Should Prefer Independent Advice See More

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 assets. Over time, the family begins to see that their portfolio is increasingly full of mutual funds and investments that bear the name of the firm that they hired.

May 09
U.S. Economy Continues Strong Growth See More

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 suggested a potential economic slowdown in 2019.  At least with respect to the first quarter of the year, no slowdown is in sight—the Q1 GDP number is the best first quarter number since 2015.

May 07
Why Market Optimism Matters for Successful Investing See More

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.

May 02
How to Protect Yourself Against Unexpected Retirement See More

The report on retiring early comes from other economic research, which suggests that many Baby Boomers have pushed out their estimated retirement age to 65 and beyond.  Americans are retiring later for a whole host of reasons, from greater expected longevity to reduced retirement savings in their later working years.  Interestingly, only 16% of U.S. workers expected to work past the age of 65 in 1991, while in 2018 nearly 48% of U.S. workers expected to work past 65.  Given the expectation for working past 65 for almost half of Americans today, it is important to understand why people may be forced to retire early—and what plan should be in place to protect families against such contingencies.