We are delighted to announce that Cristina Licciardello has passed her Series 65 exam and has joined the ranks of Trusted Financial Advisors at Compass Capital Corporation.
When I meet with my clients to review health insurance options each year, the focus of the conversation tends to be on the premiums, and out of pocket costs for their employees. These are very important points of discussion, as we always do our best to keep each as low as possible. However, the reality […]
Every moment of the day, both internal and external digital attacks can be made against you. How can you best guard your finances and your reputation from these threats? Review these Do’s and Don’ts to protect yourself. DO’s: ■ Protect all passwords and never share them with anyone. Longer passwords are better; avoid obvious names […]
From the Desk of Tom Licciardello, CFP Is it possible that our congressional leaders will allow us to fall off the fiscal cliff? Let’s hope calmer minds prevail and a compromise is reached. If not, what are some of the possible tax implications we face? The current Federal Income Tax rates are set to expire […]
The Global Portfolio Strategies Group recently released its second-quarter 2012 economic outlook. A summary of its conclusions is provided below
As a fee based financial advisor, my job is to help manage the financial affairs of my clients in a way that will give them the best opportunity to achieve their values based goals. It occurred to me that this explanation may be less clear than I thought. If a picture is worth a thousand […]
There is no denying that the past year was a trying one for investors. Global equity markets were mostly lower. Global bond markets saw extreme volatility, with the debt of a few select countries (the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and Canada, to mention the most important ones) registering the only healthy returns in an investment environment that swung from risk-on to risk-off with unnerving frequency and ferocity.
There is, however, no rest for the weary. Global financial markets remain fragile and subject to sharp moves based on the latest headlines. With Europe on the cusp of recession, China laboring through the downside of a property bubble, and the U.S. heading towards its most important election cycle in decades, there will be no quick end to the uncertainty that has made investing a difficult enterprise.
As government debt problems intensify in the European Monetary Union (EMU), financial firms outside of Europe have come under increasing pressure.
MF Global, a small U.S.-based broker-dealer, recently declared bankruptcy due to its exposure to EMU government debt; another, Jefferies, has come under intense investor scrutiny. These episodes illustrate the powerful effects that fear and uncertainty can have on investor behavior and market volatility.
The larger issue is not individual firms, but the risk of contagion from Europe to the global financial system and world economy.
The European financial crisis is top of the news every day now with bailouts being structured and governments re-arranging their deck chairs in Greece and Italy. SEI’s Investment Management Unit has authored a commentary worth reading
The link below will bring you to a short 7 minute presentation (prepared courtesy of SEI Investments) to advise you on our current thinking about the economic recovery so far in 2011 and some of our reasons for optimism and reasons for caution. In any case please remember that we have built your portfolio for a time like this.
• Despite the media attention in the wake of several recent natural disasters, emergency planning and disaster preparedness remain relegated to the backwaters of financial planning. This paper argues that the topic merits the same level of consideration in the client-planner dialogue as other holistic planning topics, such as estate planning, asset protection, and insurance risk management.
Despite the recent volatility, our view of the markets remains intact. Strategically, the U.S. economy appears to have entered a soft patch from which it is likely to emerge without entering recession. Equity valuations appear attractive to us, and we believe Treasury prices are rich. Unfortunately, markets continue to react in an irrational fashion, and we expect them to continue to do so until the European debt situation is resolved, the U.S. debt ceiling is permanently addressed and the 2012 elections have come and gone.
After 17 consecutive weeks of claims registering north of 400,000, this week’s number finally fell below that psychological mark while also setting a four-month low. Hopefully, this is the start of a new trend. With the market in need of positive data to at least partially offset recent negative developments, the claims number was welcomed by investors.
After months of political wrangling, a deal has been reached to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
Few are happy with the results, and long-term measures to address the debt must still be implemented.
While a debt-rating downgrade is still a very real possibility, the financial markets have already moved beyond the spectacle of the debate and are reacting to the host of indicators signaling a potential economic slowdown.
Despite the economic woes, we remain firmly in the camp of those who anticipate continued market advances.
We view any market pullbacks as opportunities to add to equity exposures using assets currently invested in U.S. Treasuries or investment-grade securities as a source of funding.
European leaders are working out the details in the latest effort to mitigate the financial crisis that began in Greece and started to spread to other European nations. While it may be difficult to understand, at first glance, how Greece is relevant to the global financial markets (the country is not a financial, industrial or military power, is not a strategically important commodity exporter and contributes only about half of a percent to world gross domestic product), a default on the country’s debt poses the risk of a financial meltdown similar to the one that followed the failures of investment bank Lehman Brothers and insurance giant AIG in late 2008.
Read the full SEI report
The question on every investor’s mind: Will this year’s episode of market weakness and uncertainty end as positively as last year’s, with growth reaccelerating and equity markets posting strong recoveries?
So, What about that dismal jobs report?
On June 30th, Vin Capozzi, Senior VP of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care visited the “world headquarters” of LFS/CCC to lead a discussion on the impact of health care reform under the National and Massachusetts plans.
Concern over Greek debt has again come to the forefront in recent weeks. After receiving a €110 billion loan in May 2010, it now seems that the country is in need of a second financial bailout from the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loan, which could be up to a further €100 billion, could help to ensure that Greece is able to continue to service its debt and meet financial obligations over the longer-term.
In recent weeks, major credit rating agencies have expressed renewed concern over the fiscal outlook for the U.S. government, even raising the possibility that it could eventually lose its AAA rating. What are the implications for investors? There’s both a short- and a long-term dimension to this question. In the near-term, the Treasury estimates that if its statutory borrowing limit is not soon raised by Congress, it could default on interest and debt repayments by August. This risk is still viewed as remote, but if it did occur, it could cause significant dislocation in markets, and a credit rating downgrade would be justified. Additionally, rating agencies worry that the U.S. government is on an unsustainable long-term fiscal path. Does any of this lead us to believe that investors should not own U.S. government debt?