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Midterm Elections: What Do They Mean For Markets?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments by Chip Hymiller

It’s almost Election Day in the US once again. While the outcomes of the elections are uncertain, one thing we can count on is that plenty of opinions and prognostications will be floated in the days to come. In financial circles, this will almost assuredly include any potential for perceived impact on markets. But should long-term investors focus on midterm elections?

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A Look Back on Black Monday: October 19, 1987

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since “Black Monday,” the day the stock market declined a whopping 22.6%! Although I was merely a sophomore in high school, I remember the day quite well.  Having my first real job and being a “saver” by nature, I had just become interested in investing.  I had recently invested in a …

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Sequence of Returns Risk: Considerations for New Retirees

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Retirement Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

Research has shown that the timing of one’s retirement can be important – especially as it relates to investment returns in the early years of retirement. Someone who retired just prior to the “Great Recession” could have experienced significantly larger portfolio “drawdowns” than someone who retired during a period of economic expansion and higher investment returns.

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Economic Snapshot

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

The Economic Snapshot is a sampling of a number of widely followed economic and financial market statistics.  Beacon Financial Strategies utilizes these and other economic indicators as a gauge of the general financial health of the economy when making investment decisions. The purpose of the information contained in this post is to provide you with a general gauge of domestic economic …

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Market Pulse – First Quarter 2017

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Market Pulse – 2016 Market Review

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Market Pulse – Third Quarter 2016

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments, Market Review, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

We, at Beacon Financial Strategies, believe strongly that the most effective investment strategy is one that is developed within the context of a financial plan and customized to meet your personal risk profile and return requirements.  Click here to learn more about our investment philosophy. Research has proven time and again that it is impossible to consistently time the financial markets, by …

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Understanding Risk—Capacity, Tolerance, Perception & Risk Required

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

This article explores four elements of an investor’s risk profile – risk capacity, risk required, risk tolerance and risk perception. Understanding each type of risk is an essential element of building an investment portfolio that can both meet your specific investment needs, while allowing you to sleep easy during times of personal and financial stress.

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Dementia – Do You Have a Game Plan?

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Increasingly, families have to figure out how to best deal with dementia and other memory-related impairments that naturally happen as people age. This is especially true when navigating the complex and often times confusing area of personal finances. So, what can you do to prepare yourself should you, or a member of your immediate family develop dementia? Here are a few ideas that you may find helpful.

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Investor Beware of Year-End Capital Gain Distributions!

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

It looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for mutual funds making capital gain distributions. While on the surface capital gains sounds like a good deal, but in reality they can pose a tax nightmare for some investors – especially people who invest in mutual funds in non-retirement (taxable) accounts. This article explains the problem with mutual fund distributions and provides a resource for those performing year-end tax planning.

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Surviving the Financial Stress Test

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

When making financial planning and investment decisions, we believe that it is important to consider the probability of negative outcomes. We call this “stress-testing” a financial plan. By stress-testing financial planning assumptions, we are able to help our clients identify and protect against financial risks that could derail their financial plans.

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Has Investor Complacency Arrived?

In Asset Allocation, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Market Review, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

With over 20 years in the investment industry, we have helped clients navigate through a number of economic and market cycles. Through the years, we have developed our own set of descriptive names that are used as an indication of where we are in the market cycle. These names are generally based on client emotions and range from “malaise” to “exuberance”. Currently, we are in what we call the “investor complacency” phase.

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Chip Hymiller, CFP® Interviewed about Financial Wellness

In Cash Flow and Budgeting, College & Education Savings, Company News, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Chip Hymiller, CFP® was recently interviewed on the show Community Matters with host, Bill LuMaye. The topic for the show was financial wellness. Chip’s segment of the show highlighted the need to prioritize financial goals, manage debt and develop a strategic long term plan.

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A Lesson In Investing History: How Will You Respond Next Time?

In Asset Allocation, Investments, The Economy by Chip Hymiller

In our office, we celebrated privately the passing of the four year anniversary of what would be a 13 year stock market low point.
That’s right, it has already been four years since March 9, 2009 when the S&P 500 Index closed at 676—a level last seen in the summer of 1996. As of the date of this article, the S&P 500 Index has surpassed its all-time high of 1565, which was achieved in October 2007!

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2012 Market Review

In Investments, Market Review by Chip Hymiller

Even with the backdrop of many unresolved problems, the financial markets continued strong performance in 2012. Many of the major domestic stock indexes experienced returns in excess of 10% for the year, with the S&P 500 advancing by 16%.

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Which Portfolio Accounting Method is Best?

In General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Personal Financial Planning, Tax by Chip Hymiller

How do you track the cost basis on investments held in your taxable portfolio? What portfolio accounting method does your broker, custodian or advisor report to you or your CPA? This is a decision that, for some investors, can save thousands of dollars in taxes and ultimately make a significant difference in a portfolio’s after-tax rate of return.

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Beat Inflation With I Bonds

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Cash Flow and Budgeting, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Financial Planning by Chip Hymiller

In a prior article, we discussed the importance of maintaining an emergency fund.  We offered our insight into how much is appropriate to keep in cash or savings, as well as emergency fund targets.  As a result of that article, we were asked the question:  “Where can I invest my emergency fund, such that it earns an interest rate that …

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Planning for Retirement and Increasing Life Expectancies

In General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning by Chip Hymiller

Let’s face it, seniors today are healthier, more active and are likely to have longer lives. So what are the financial implications for retirees who will likely live well into their 80s and possibly their 90s? We believe that from a financial standpoint, retirees need to make financial planning decisions that reflect the high probability that they will live longer. Here are a few recommendations to consider.

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Considerations When Investing in Bonds

In Asset Allocation, Bonds, Investments by Chip Hymiller

One of the most important reasons why investors choose to invest in bonds is for their steady and predictable stream of income through interest payments.  Though they are not risk-free (e.g., a bond issuer could default on a payment or even fail to repay the principal), bonds as a whole are considered somewhat less risky than stocks.  

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Taxation of Exchange Traded Funds Can Be Tricky

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance by Chip Hymiller

With more than $80 billion invested in exchange traded funds (ETFs), they have become a very popular investment for both retail and institutional investors. While ETFs can be an integral component of a sound investment strategy, investors should understand the tax treatment of these investments in order to avoid unexpected tax consequences.

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Market Corrections are not Unusual

In Asset Allocation, General Financial Planning, Investments, Personal Finance by Chip Hymiller

he financial markets have experienced continued volatility since the end of April. In fact, with stocks having declined in excess of 10%, the markets have officially entered a period of “correction.” Although corrections are normal (and actually healthy for the markets), many investors may be a bit uneasy, especially with the wounds of the “Great Recession” still fresh in everyone’s mind.

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All Star Portfolio?

In Asset Allocation, Investments, Personal Finance by Chip Hymiller

A recent USA Today article titled “Finding the All Stars:  How we whittle down the funds” scanned the universe of mutual funds in an attempt to identify a number of “all star” mutual funds.  The list of funds that were selected for the article all have impressive track records and are certainly worthy of consideration in any portfolio.