Personally Invested In Your Future™

Jan 18
Are We Headed For Another Recession? See More

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 doubt that if a severe recession were to be anticipated in the United States, that the stock market would suffer.

Jan 16
Falling Interest Rates See More

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.

Dec 31
Putting an Extremely Volatile Market in Perspective See More

Going back to World War II, there have been 14 bear markets, with 7 of them accompanied by a U.S. economic recession and 7 during economic expansions. The recessionary bear markets were quite painful for stock investors, with an average S&P 500 decline of 37%.

Dec 10
Ben Bernanke Speaks In Denver See More

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 a very interesting lunch and it was particularly exciting to hear Chairman Bernanke’s thoughts about the financial markets, interest rates and politics from the seat of a private citizen.  David Braun, a fixed income portfolio manager at PIMCO, joined Chairman Bernanke on stage to ask questions and engage in a dialog.

Nov 23
Oil Prices Down Significantly in Recent Weeks See More

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?

Nov 20
Donating Appreciated Stock to Charity See More

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 it is very likely that you may have some last minute charitable giving to do between now and year-end.

Nov 16
2019 Income Tax Rates See More

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 Congress.

Nov 08
Midterm Elections Update See More

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 that Republicans actually gained in the Senate, likely picking up two net seats (which will be confirmed by Mississippi’s runoff Senate election in December).

Oct 29
International Trade: What’s Going on With NAFTA and China? See More

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.

Oct 26
Non-Profit Spotlight: Rotary International See More

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 club here: https://portal.clubrunner.ca/2193 

Oct 24
The Conference Board Leading Economic Index See More

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 at 111.8, which is a new high.

Brown and Company Inc. Presents Molly Bloom from the hit movie Molly’s Game

Oct 17
Oct 12
Social Security Increase for 2019 See More

Those receiving Social Security benefits experienced a bit of good news this past week, as the government announced a 2.8% bump in benefits for 2019.  This 2.8% increase reflects a cost of living adjustment, as inflation in the U.S. has risen over the past year.  The benefit bump is the largest since 2012 for retirees.

Oct 10
What To Do About Rising Interest Rates? See More

A common question that we get from our clients is how to invest in bonds in today’s market, given the trend of rising interest rates.  It has been one of our more difficult investment challenges over the past five years.  The heart of the problem is simple: during a period of rising rates, the value of existing bonds (with comparatively lower interest rates) that we hold go down.  How to appropriately manage existing bond portfolios from rising rates?

Oct 08
Housing Prices: Still Strong, Though Moderating See More

It is no secret that housing prices in the U.S. have recovered substantially since the 2008 financial crisis.  In the Denver metro area, and across many metro areas, housing prices are now well above their prior 2007 peak.   And this is largely a good thing, as a robust real estate recovery has created jobs, strengthened consumer balance sheets and improved the lending portfolio of most major banks.

Oct 04
Inflation and Bonds: An Update See More

We have been blessed with an extended economic expansion in the U.S. that has come with relatively little inflation.  Since the financial crisis of 2008, inflation in the U.S. has been very low, averaging well below 2%.  Indeed, the Federal Reserve’s stated inflation target of 2% per year has rarely been met over the past decade.

Oct 02
Interest Rates Are Climbing See More

In the U.S., we have lived through a period of unusually low interest rates over the past decade.  In response to the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, the U.S. Federal Reserve cut short term interest rates close to 0% for almost a full decade.  Moreover, the Fed engaged in quantitative easing as well, buying bonds from the market in an attempt to lower interest rates on the longer end of the yield curve.  Accordingly, we have had extremely low interest rates for longer than most economists expected.

Aug 14
Mark R. Brown was Recognized as 2017 Financial Times Top 400 Advisor. See More

For the 12th year in a row, Mark R. Brown of Brown and Company, Inc. in Denver, Colorado was recently named one of the Top Financial Advisors in America by Barron’s, a leading financial magazine. The advisors included in America’s Top Advisor Rankings represent the top one percent of professionals in 50 states and the District of Columbia. Mark ranked #10 among recognized advisors in the state of Colorado.