The U.S. Economy Faces Headwinds From Abroad

February 4, 2015   U.S. stocks advanced overall in 2014, but sounded a retreat for the first month of the year – not unlike what happened in the markets last January. And even though January was down last year, the domestic equity markets still turned in a decent performance for the year. Many market observers, … Read more

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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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.

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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.  

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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 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 … Read more