Prediction Season

December 2016

The close of each calendar year brings with it the holidays as well as a chance to look forward to the year ahead.

In the coming weeks, investors are likely to be bombarded with predictions about what the future, and specifically the next year, may hold for their portfolios. These outlooks are typically accompanied by recommended investment strategies and actions that are aimed at trying to avoid the next crisis or missing out on the next “great” opportunity. When faced with recommendations of this sort, it would be wise to remember that investors are better served by sticking with a long-term plan rather than changing course in reaction to predictions and short-term calls.

Predictions and Portfolios

One doesn’t typically see a forecast that says: “Capital markets are expected to continue to function normally,” or “It’s unclear how unknown future events will impact prices.” Predictions about future price movements come in all shapes and sizes, but most of them tempt the investor into playing a game of outguessing the market. Examples of predictions like this might include: “We don’t like energy stocks in 2017,” or “We expect the interest rate environment to remain challenging in the coming year.” Bold predictions may pique interest, but their usefulness in application to an investment plan is less clear. Steve Forbes, the publisher of Forbes Magazine, once remarked, “You make more money selling advice than following it. It’s one of the things we count on in the magazine business—along with the short memory of our readers.”[1] Definitive recommendations attempting to identify value not currently reflected in market prices may provide investors with a sense of confidence about the future, but how accurate do these predictions have to be in order to be useful?  Read more

Client Update Newsletter – Winter 2016

Client Update Newsletter – Winter 2016

Our latest Client Update is now available offering insights on a variety of topics, Including;

  • Keep your business healthy with a comprehensive annual checkup.
    Monitoring your business activities is a good “preventive care” approach to maintaining financial health. Check out this article to see what to review.
  • This valuable tax break offers benefits and surprises. It’s a silent deduction, but valuable, and so common you might forget how complex it can be. What is it? If you answered “depreciation,” you have probably bumped into these complex tax rules over the years. Read about two that may surprise you.
  • Changes to your financial situation during 2017?
    One good way to achieve big goals is to start with small steps. Here are 4 suggestions for fine-tuning your finances. Read it here! 

 

The Tax Planning Letter – Year End

The Tax Planning Letter – Year End

This Letter is intended to remind you that tax planning is a process, and successful planning favors the prepared. It’s important to weigh the risks and rewards of tax-saving moves you can take now while maintaining the ability to respond rapidly and effectively to the inevitable changes. Get started by reading the suggestions in this Letter. Feel free to share the information with friends and associates. Then call with your questions and to schedule a time to discuss which options will work best for you.

BAM Quarterly Letter – Fall 2016

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Dear Clients & Friends,

The third quarter of 2016 was characterized by a return to normalcy after an extremely turbulent first half.  Oil prices stabilized at levels where the industry can turn a profit. The dollar, while still strong compared to most other currencies, has been relatively stable so its negative impact on corporate earnings is easing.  And the European and Chinese economies are growing at stable rates, albeit slower than historical averages.  Read more

Quarterly Market Review – 3rd Quarter 2016

The Quarterly Market Review features world capital market performance and a timeline of events for the past quarter. It begins with a global overview, then features the returns of stock and bond asset classes in the US and international markets. The report also illustrates the performance of globally diversified portfolios and features a quarterly topic. This quarter’s topic, “Presidential Elections &  the Stock Market

Client Update Newsletter – Fall 2016

Client Update Newsletter – Fall 2016

Our latest Client Update is now available offering insights on a variety of topics, Including;

  • Health accounts – which should you choose?
    As you’re reviewing your options for making changes to your benefits during your employer’s open enrollment period, consider the differences between a health savings account (HSA) and a health care flexible spending account (FSA).
  • Education deductions and credits aren’t only for college students.
    A quick review of work-related education tax breaks. Some deductions are available for employees, employers, and the self-employed.
  • Don’t react badly to bad economic news
    Reacting badly to bad national economic events can turn a challenging situation into a devastating one. When troubling headline news comes your way, consider these tips before making financial moves. Read it here! 

 

BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR RETIREMENT INCOME

Achieving your retirement goals takes disciplined saving, spending and investing – all of which can feel overwhelming, especially as the retirement landscape continues to change.  We have created a seven-part blog series called Principles for A Successful Retirement to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

In previous weeks we provided you with principles 1-6 and you will find the final principle of this series below.  Scroll down If you would like to revisit any of the other 6 principles in the series. We hope you find the material interesting and useful and urge you to call us if you have questions or concerns.

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PRINCIPLE 7 

DON’T SPEND TOO MUCH OR INVEST TOO CONSERVATIVELY      Click for Visual

Be flexible with your retirement income

How you invest and how much you can consistently spend in retirement are interdependent. Read more

Minimize Taxes to Maximize Your Retirement

Achieving your retirement goals takes disciplined saving, spending and investing – all of which can feel overwhelming, especially as the retirement landscape continues to change.  We have created a seven-part blog series called Principles for A Successful Retirement to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

In previous weeks we provided you with Principles 1-5 and you will find Principle 6 below.  If you would like to revisit Principles 1-5, scroll down. We hope you find the material interesting and useful and urge you to call us if you have questions or concerns.

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PRINCIPLE 6 

Minimize Taxes to Maximize Your Retirement 

Three ways to pay less in taxes: Read more

USE TIME TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Berkson Asset Management_Use time to your advantage
Achieving your retirement goals takes disciplined saving, spending and investing – all of which can feel overwhelming, especially as the retirement landscape continues to change.  We have created a seven-part blog series called Principles for a Successful Retirement to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

In previous weeks we provided you with Principles 1-4 and you will find Principle 5 below.  If you would like to revisit Principles 1-4, scroll down to our earlier entriesWe hope you find the material interesting and useful and urge you to call us if you have questions or concerns.

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PRINCIPLE 5 

Use Time to Your Advantage     Click for Visual

Save and invest based on your time horizon  
All goals are not created equal, so investing for them as one may not be the best plan. Instead, decide how much of your savings to put toward college, retirement and other goals based on your priorities. Next, create an investment strategy that allows you to take on more risk for goals with longer time frames. To keep your strategy on track, be sure to have a short-term fund that can cover emergencies without having to sell your investments during down markets.
Good things come to those who wait
While markets can always have a bad day, week, month or even year, history suggests investors are less likely to suffer losses over longer periods.
This chart illustrates the concept. While one-year stock returns have varied widely since 1950 (+47% to –39%), a blend of stocks and bonds has not suffered a negative return over any five-year rolling period in the past 65 years.

Important disclaimer: Investors should not necessarily expect the same rates of return in the future as we have seen in the past, particularly from bonds, which are starting with very low yields today.

Next week we will send Principle 6 – Minimize Taxes to Maximize Your Retirement

 

RISING HEALTHCARE COSTS

Achieving your retirement goals takes disciplined saving, spending and investing – all of which can feel overwhelming, especially as the retirement landscape continues to change.  We have created a seven-part blog series called Principles for A Successful Retirement to help you stay focused and reach your goals.

In previous weeks we provided you with Principles 1-3 and you will find Principle 4 below.  If you would like to revisit Principles 1-3, click this link. We hope you find the material interesting and useful and urge you to call us if you have questions or concerns.

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Principle 4

Know What to Expect with Rising Health Care Costs.                        

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Medical expenses tend to rise sharply throughout retirement as we grow older and require more care at higher prices. Read more