The Cost of Cheap Gas

gas station

The price of a barrel of oil has dropped from over $100 to under $50 since June 2014. This decline can be measured by looking at the Brent Oil which is the international index or West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) which is the U.S. index. Why was there this sharp decline? Like all commodities it is about supply and demand. When the supply is up and the demand is down prices decline.

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Raymond James Financial Reports Fiscal 1st Quarter 2015 Results

  * Net revenues of $1.25 billion and net income of $126.3 million, or $0.87 per diluted share   * Quarter-ended records for client assets under administration of $483.0 billion, financial assets under management of $66.7 bilion, and  net loans of $11.8 billion   * Private Client Group financial advisors reach 6,336, an increase of… Continue Reading: Raymond James Financial Reports Fiscal 1st Quarter 2015 Results

The January Effect Not In Effect, Yet

January 19, 2015   The January Effect not in effect, yet       Many market watchers expected some volatility during the first few months of the year, but it seems obvious that very few, if any, foresaw the Swiss move to discontinue its minimum exchange rate for the franc against the euro. The Swiss… Continue Reading: The January Effect Not In Effect, Yet

New Year Rings With (Cautious) Optimism

January 9, 2015   New Year Rings With (Cautious) Optimism Investors who weathered the volatility of the domestic stock market in 2014 were rewarded come year-end. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended up more than 10% each, and the Dow Jones finished with a respectable 7.5% gain. The final three months were a boon, as… Continue Reading: New Year Rings With (Cautious) Optimism

7 Habits of Highly Effective People That Want to Retire

This article is original content written by Manchester, CT Financial Advisor Thomas Scanlon, CFP®, CPA

age-old wooden trunk with treasures

1) Start Early

 

Do you want to increase your chances of retiring at a reasonable age? Start early. As The Rolling Stones said, “Time Is On My Side.” Well said.  Don’t kick yourself for not starting earlier. You can’t turn the clock back. Just begin where you are now.

 

2) Live Beneath Your Means

 

This goes without saying. Which is why it needs to be said. To get to your retirement, you’re going to need to have some assets and income.  Don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Joneses. Live beneath your means and get to the retirement finish line long before the Joneses.Continue Reading: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People That Want to Retire

4 Reasons to Change Your Financial Advisor

Twenties Arrow1) You Are Having Communication Issues

Unfortunately communication issues can run the gamut. This could be something as simple as phone calls or e-mails are not being returned promptly. Or perhaps it’s either a lack of communication or just inconsistent communication. Either way, communication issues can certainly make your relationship with your financial advisor a challenge. Many smart advisors will promise to return all of their calls within 24 hours. This seems like a good policy and is also a clear measuring stick. We have simplified our approach and called it the “Sunset Rule.” Our goal is to return all of our clients’ calls by sunset, that day. No, unfortunately we’re not always successful doing it. Having this as our goal however and communicating it to our clients is important. It sets both ours and our clients expectations.   Continue Reading: 4 Reasons to Change Your Financial Advisor

3 Proven Reasons Why Investors Should Have Their Own Personal Inflation Index

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INFLATION

 

 

1) The Federal Government Figures Appear to be Gamed

 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) issues the inflation numbers monthly. It’s convenient that the government inserted the word ‘Labor’ into this bureau. Otherwise it would just be “BS”. The number to focus on is the Consumer Price Index (“CPI”).

To do this calculation, they strip out food and energy costs. Their reasoning for this is that these categories are too volatile. Fair enough, they are. But don’t forget, you are still constantly buying food and energy.  After these two are removed, this is the so-called Core Inflation Rate. This is currently running at 1.6% annually as of January 2014.

The primary issue with how this number is calculated is what they call “quality improvements.” For example, if you buy a new computer that has more memory, a faster processor and better resolution in the monitor, this is adjusted in the inflation index.  The bottom line is that the Core Inflation Index is suspect at best.

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3 Easy Ways to Find a Financial Advisor

In our last post we showed you 3 Proven Reasons You Need a Financial Advisor.  Here are 3 easy ways to find a financial advisor. 1) Ask Friends and Family Friends and family is the easiest way to get started looking for a Financial Advisor.  You see them the most and communicate with them regularly.… Continue Reading: 3 Easy Ways to Find a Financial Advisor

3 Proven Reasons You Need a Financial Advisor

1) You Don’t Have the Expertise Today, we live in a complicated world. Things are very complicated in financial planning. “You don’t know what you don’t know” is an appropriate quote. And so it is with financial planning. It doesn’t take much these days to have a complicated financial picture.  Sure, the more assets you… Continue Reading: 3 Proven Reasons You Need a Financial Advisor