Has the Federal Reserve done enough? Will we see negative interest rates?

Before COVID hit, a few family members and I were competing in our own version of Biggest Loser, trying to see who could lose the most weight over a set period of time. For the month of January, besides trying to exercise more, I took bread and cheese out of my diet entirely. By the time February had rolled around...

Be Prepared for Your First-Time Home Purchase

Clients often ask me what one can do to best prepare for buying a house, especially for the first time. If you are considering making such a purchase, there are some things you can do to ensure you are best positioned to act when opportunity strikes. Review and Improve Your Credit Score Having a strong credit score will allow you...

A Tale of Two Bridges

The question I get most often from clients is, “Why is the stock market doing so well when the economy is suffering?” For most of the summer, the stock market has been buoyant. According to Barron’s, equity investors are up $13.1 trillion or 55.7% from the March 23rd lows and up $2.2T or 6.3% since the end of 2019, even...

The Time Has Come to Scrap the RMD

Before we get to why I believe that we should finally put an end to the outdated and unnecessary Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rule, it is important to see how we got here. In 1986, as the popularity of the use of IRAs, 401(k)s and rollover IRAs grew, Congress began to become worried that these tax-deferred accounts would be used...

My employer just offered me an early retirement package, what do I do?

Last week Brown University announced they would be offering an early retirement package to some of their staff. Dubbed the “Staff Voluntary Retirement Program”, Brown is clearly hoping to reduce payroll during a challenging time due to COVID. Brown University is the #8 employer in the state, so this could potentially affect a lot of employees. We’ve been seeing more...

COVID-19 is Advancing Greater Interest in ESG Investing

If you are a supporter of ESG investing (combining traditional investing with environmental, social and governance related issues), then COVID-19 may have a silver lining for you. ESG investing has been playing an outsized role in investment decisions since the beginning of the year. The virus has exposed the critical need for companies to beef up practices that can lead...

States Are Reopening, Are Consumers Starting to Spend?

You will often hear, “so goes the consumer, so goes the United States economy.” This is a phenomenon that has grown during my lifetime, as we shifted away from a manufacturing economy to a more service-based economy. Look below at the chart and you will see that consumer spending does make up almost 70% of US GDP and has for...

The Potentially Troublesome Issue With the Stock Market and the S&P 500

There is no perfect measure to say how the stock market in the US is performing. Every major index you see mentioned on the news has some pros and cons.  Typically, every nightly news report will mention the daily returns of the Big 3: the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the NASDAQ and the S&P 500. The Dow Jones Average is...

Who is Right-The Markets or the Economic Data?

So what gives with the markets? Let’s use the S&P 500. It was down 33.9% from its 2020 high on February 19th to its low on March 23rd (shortest bear market on record).  It then rebounded 31.9% until April 29th (a dizzying bounce) and has remained essentially flat ever since. Unfortunately, the S&P 500 is still down 13.2% since its...

Is It A Good Time To Refinance?

I get this question a lot from friends and clients: “Should I refinance my mortgage?” The answer is not always so simple.  In fact, many of us thought the days of refinancing were almost over (well…not literally) because so many people who purchased homes or refinanced over the last few years have received such low rates that the thought of...