<em>Americas Watch:</em> May 2017
April was a notable month for political activity and uproar (the first round of the French election, North Korea’s provocations, and intraparty battles in the U.S. Congress, to take just three headline generators), but the U.S. economy wasn’t affected by all the...  more
Elephants: The unseen power
Elephants are endangered in their natural habitat but they are doing very well in living rooms all over the world. Not gray (or white) elephants but metaphorical creatures that take up space in a family’s life. “When elephants make unwanted appearances—at dinners,...  more
<em>Monthly Market Tracker:</em> March 2017
After a strong performance in February, world markets as a whole were notably more restrained in March, with some sectors painfully negative—REITs were down 2.5 percent, which was better than the Bloomberg Commodities index’s negative 2.7 percent. It isn’t that...  more
<em>Tax-efficient equity investing:</em> Active tax-management techniques
Some observers believe that investors are better off not taking an active role in managing their portfolios. Too many people, they say, let emotions decide when to make buy or sell, with dire results. For those who are able to follow their rational side, Timothy...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> April 2017
“South Korea has been rightfully called one of the ‘tiger markets’ of East Asia, so ferocious has been its economic growth and expansion, as well as social progress and development, in recent decades,” Shane Taylor and Juliet Cha say in the April 2017 issue of Asia...  more
<em>Market Pulse Report:</em> April 2017
There’s a good reason for diversifying your portfolio, expressed in the proverb “Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.” Human nature being what it is, however, the basket you didn’t invest in may look better than any basket you might have chosen. “How many times...  more
<em>Quarterly Flash Report:</em> April 2017
U.S equities have had a good run in the first quarter of the year, though the run stalled in March. Or “took a breather,” if you prefer. The bull market may continue if earnings are stong, though more analysts believe valuations are getting stretched. Pathstone...  more
<em>Global Macro Outlook:</em> April 2017
Economics forecasting is a virtually impossible task, like trying to predict the position of a series of moving objects with incomplete information about all of them. The largest moving target, global growth, is often revised, and AllianceBernstein’s Global Research...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> April 2017
Cautious optimism in the face of daunting prospects characterizes the April 2017 issue of Europe Watch. Frank Aalbers and Esat Gueler recognize the seriousness of the U.K.’s leaving the E.U., the shaky status of some Italian banks, and the strength of right-wing...  more
When is it time to update your estate plan?
“An estate plan is generally thought of as a collection of legal documents that provides instructions for how one’s property is distributed upon death,” Michael Rudegeair says. “Because it is implied that the documents are supposed to outlive the deceased, many people...  more
First quarter 2017 <em>Market Review:</em> The beat goes on
Wall Street wisdom says you should buy on the rumor, sell on the news because anticipated results get built into a stock’s price. The reality, when it happens, is often less positive. Something like that “buy on the rumor” tenet seemed to be propelling U.S. markets...  more
<em>Americas Watch:</em> April 2017
As real estate investors survey the U.S. economy, the prospects for continued growth seem solid. Stocks have held on to most of the post-election gains, even after retreating a bit in March. And manufacturing looks good too. “The manufacturing sector, which had...  more
<em>Capital Markets Flash Report:</em> March 2017
Wealth advisory firm Greycourt & Company reviews the returns recorded in March by several asset classes, including domestic and foreign equities, fixed income, hedge funds, and commodities, in the Capital Markets Flash Report.The failure of the health insurance...  more
The importance of rebalancing
Financial experts are proponents of regular portfolio rebalancing as a necessary discipline to reduce risk. To investors it appears to flout logic to sell winners in order to buy laggards. Actually, it goes back to why and how the portfolio was set up, as Buckingham...  more
How Uncle Sam factors into your wedding plans
An unseen guest at every wedding, Uncle Sam delivers his gift a year after the celebration: the marriage penalty. To be accurate, it is “not a penalty per se, but rather the effect of the tax rates being calculated at different levels, resulting in a higher tax,”...  more
What’s in a phrase: Slogans show us how human behavior influences investment decisions
The characters that have made up the U.S. stock market over the years have created many sayings and catchphrases that distill their hard-bought wisdom. A few have made their way into the wider society—“This time it’s different” became well known after the Dot-com...  more
Measure twice, cut once: Structural advice for private foundations
For a family, establishing a foundation can bring many intangible benefits. Of course, there are financial rewards, but those are not as long-lasting, as Massey, Quick adviser Daniel Weitz points out. “Private foundations are great solutions for those looking to...  more
<em>Market Pulse Report:</em> March 2017. Fooled by averages
Investors and the financial press celebrated when the Dow charged past the 20,000 mark in January, riding a wave of post-election exuberance that added 12 percent to the large-stock average by the beginning of March. The defeat of the American Health Care Act at the...  more
<em>Tax-efficient equity investing,</em> chapter 1: The importance of tax management
Given the headwinds, it is surprising that anyone makes progress towards an investment goal. Taxes take the biggest portion of the profits, especially if they are ignored, as Timothy Atwill and his colleagues at Parametric Portfolio are well aware. “Despite the fact...  more
<em>Asia Pacific Watch:</em> March 2017
Developers are not likely to put their names on warehouses or other industrial properties, but the sector can reward careful investors. This is as true in the Asia Pacific region, which is expected to show healthy growth in 2017, as in developed markets. In the March...  more
<em>Global Economic Outlook:</em> March 2017
It may put their membership in the Dismal Science Society at risk, but AllianceBernstein’s Global Economic Research analysts believe 2017 will be a good year for economic growth. “We now expect the global economy to grow by 3.0 percent this year, up from 2.4 percent...  more
<em>Monthly Market Tracker:</em> February 2017
February was warmer than average, in the Northeast at least, and for many market sectors as well. In fact, REITs and the S&P 500 Stock Index were smoking, and emerging markets and world markets as a whole were close behind. Among other noteworthy data points...  more
<em>Europe Watch:</em> March 2017
The financial crisis of 2008 hit Ireland hard and recovery was slow. After the economy bottomed out in 2009, growth was held back by a commitment to austerity as a recipe for recovery. Since 2015, though, growth has accelerated, to the point that Andrew Angeli...  more
What to know before moving to Canada
Whether for business, person, or political reasons, more Americans seem to believe that foreign grass is greener, and are putting that belief into action by giving up their U.S. citizenship. The numbers aren’t large but did grow 25 percent to more than 5,400 from...  more
<em>New York Tax Insights:</em> March 2017
As readers of New York Tax Insights know, if the New York State Department of Taxation says you are a New York resident, as a rule it is better to pay the tax. But every rule has an exception, and a taxpayer who presents a well-documented case may reverse the ruling....  more