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The Reward of Tuning Out 11 Years of Noise

By |2019-01-22T20:38:53+00:00January 22nd, 2019|All, Investing|

This recent market downturn has many investors drawing parallels to how they felt during the infamous 2008 financial crisis. The last 11 years have been a roller-coaster ride for investors. Right after seeing market highs in late 2007, investors experienced a nearly 50% market decline of the S&P 500 in 2008. In the following 9 years, the S&P 500 delivered double-digit positive returns in all but two years, and then unfortunately had that barbelled with today’s most recent threat on […]

2018 Market Insights

By |2019-01-18T14:52:05+00:00January 18th, 2019|All, Investing, News|

2018 was a woeful year for investing. All major stock market indexes were down, bonds enjoyed a year-end rally to finish flat, and commodities such as gold and oil fell. Seeing all asset classes drop in unison is unusual and unlikely to continue. Stocks Stocks began the year on solid footing, but fortunes quickly changed as early February saw a 10% drop in equities. Markets steadied over the spring and summer, with domestic stocks reaching new highs in the early […]

Invest Like You’re Driving, Drive Like You’re Investing

By |2019-01-14T20:59:40+00:00January 14th, 2019|All, Investing|

I’ve been watching people drive all my life. I’ve been an individual investor and an investment advisor guiding clients for more than half of my adult life.  I’m a curious soul and during a recent trip from Syracuse to Atlanta, I had quite a bit of time to watch and observe the behaviors of all sorts of motorists and their driving habits.  I could not help but draw comparisons between peoples’ driving habits and their investing habits; impatient drivers expose […]

Quarterly Market Commentary – January 2019

By |2019-01-11T21:08:39+00:00January 11th, 2019|All, Investing, News|

Stock Markets December’s market reminds us that risk is real – even after the uptick at the end of the month, a global stock portfolio is down about 15% for the quarter and 12% for the year. Technology stocks (Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Netflix), which have been driving the market to new heights in recent years, were off nearly 20% this quarter. Future returns depend on news, which, of course, can’t be predicted. (If it could it wouldn’t be […]

Rockbridge’s Guide to a “Bear Market”

By |2018-12-28T20:28:56+00:00December 28th, 2018|All, Investing, News|

Depending on the news you read, you may have come across headlines talking about bear markets and stock market corrections. The following is a guide to what they mean and how to put them in the context of history. The conventional definition of a bear market is a price drop in a stock market index of 20% or greater from its high. The most quoted stock market index in America’s investment community is the S&P 500. When people reference our […]

Market Commentary – October 2018

By |2018-10-22T20:20:09+00:00October 22nd, 2018|All, Investing, News|

Stock Markets For the last quarter, stocks are up except for Emerging Markets, which were close to flat. Domestic stocks are seemingly shrugging off the uncertainties of increasing interest rates, trade wars and tariffs. Year to date, an Emerging Market stock portfolio would be down almost 9%. It is not surprising that today’s uncertainties are having a greater impact on developing economies as they tend to have larger debt levels denominated in dollars and exports are a bigger part of […]

Is Your Cash Earning Interest?

By |2018-10-16T18:48:17+00:00October 16th, 2018|All, Investing, News|

Interest rates are rising, and yet you may not be earning much on your cash.  As financial markets finally begin to reflect a recovery from the crisis of 2008-09, the brokerage industry is changing the way they handle customers’ cash, and investors need to pay attention. Over the past ten years we have become accustomed to earning nothing on our cash.  The Federal Reserve kept rates at essentially zero for so long that investors came to expect no return on […]

Understanding Bond Returns

By |2018-10-12T14:25:06+00:00October 12th, 2018|All, Investing, News|

We had several clients this year reach out to ask how bonds were performing in their portfolios. These are great questions, so we created a few items to address what you see in your statements.  Some people notice they have held bonds for several years but seem to have a loss with their holding. This may come from their monthly statement from the custodian. Below is an example of how that looks: From looking at this statement, it seems this […]

New Tax Law Makes Bundling Gifts to Donor-Advised Funds Attractive

By |2018-10-09T17:19:58+00:00October 9th, 2018|All, Family Finances, News|

“Give, but give until it hurts.” – Mother Teresa –    I don’t think Mother Teresa paid much attention to the tax code, but her quote is unusually prescient for 2018 taxpayers.  The changes have made it unlikely to get a tax break on money given to your favorite charities. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law late last year, the intent was to reduce taxes and simplify the tax code for all Americans.  Some of […]

What to Ask Your Financial Advisor

By |2018-09-20T18:39:36+00:00September 20th, 2018|All, Family Finances, Investing, Retirement|

How does/and how much does your advisor get paid? Fees matter.  It is important to know how much you are paying and the value you receive for that payment.  If you’re paying 1% or more for only investment management with no in depth retirement planning, we should talk. Is your advisor required by law to act in your best interest? If not, why? Most advisors are only required to do what’s “suitable” for you and are not required to act in […]

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