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Archive for the ‘Current Thoughts’ Category

Ask a Trust Officer: Crisis Investing

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: What portfolio management steps should I take on account of the new war in Europe? —UNSETTLED INVESTOR DEAR UNSETTLED: First, depending upon what you own, an impact will be made on your portfolio by the actions taken by multinational companies, many of whom already have cut their ties with Russia.  So even…

Estate Planning For Cryptocurrency

Digital currencies (or cryptocurrencies) such as bitcoin are not just a fad.  They are resources with potentially significant value, which is why the IRS is increasingly focusing enforcement efforts on collecting data in this area. In 2014 the IRS ruled that cryptocurrency is “property” rather than currency. Accordingly, cryptocurrency is subject to capital gains tax…

2021 Q3 Review and Outlook – Inflation, Stagflation or Neither?

The well-stimulated economy continued to power along in the third quarter of 2021, but the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) barely squeaked out a 0.6% gain. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) was flat (-0.01% return), and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 0.3%.  Year to date,…

Five basic benefits of working with a financial planner

Thanks to the internet and YouTube, doing-it-yourself has taken on a new life.  For example, a young person we know was able to diagnose a problem with his clothes dryer, then order the key part and install it, thus saving the cost of an in-home repair.  Information that once might have been hard to find…

2020 Q4 Review and Outlook: A Very Good/Very Bad Year

Imagine two archivists sifting through old stock charts 1,000 years from now and saying to each other “2020 must have been a great year!”  The U.S. stock market finished a very bad year on a very strong note, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 12.1% in the 4th quarter. The U.S. bond market (as measured…

Managing Your Assets in Turbulent Times

Have questions or concerns about your assets during this volatile market environment?  This brochure offers context for the current situation, with informed observations on how we may help you to respond to it.

Ask a Trust Officer: Having “The Talk”

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: When should I talk to my children about their inheritances? —THOUGHTFUL PARENT DEAR THOUGHTFUL: As a general rule, sooner is better than later.  An inheritance should not come as a surprise; it is something that requires preparation and planning.  In that way, an inheritance may prove to be more than a temporary…

Ask a trust officer: Estate Settlement

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: How long does it take to settle an estate? —PROSPECTIVE TESTATOR DEAR PROSPECTIVE: The short answer to your question might be, “It takes much longer to settle an estate than most beneficiaries think is reasonable.” To get to a more helpful and longer answer, we need to answer many more questions first,…

Should Your Investment Program Be A Trust?

It has been said, investors with $50,000 portfolios have stockbrokers, while those with $5 million have trust officers. That may be true, but it’s also misleading. The fact is, few of our clients are in the truly high-wealth category. A good number of business or professional people, active or retired, count on us to maintain…