Annuities: Approach with Caution (Free Dinners Aren’t Free)

December 23, 2020

Have you ever received a mailer about a “free dinner” at a local restaurant? All you must do to earn your $50 steak and $12 glass of cabernet sauvignon is listen to a “financial advisor” give you a pitch about “strategies to protect your nest-egg,” or “how to ensure a stress-free retirement in these turbulent…

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Ask a Trust Officer: What is a “Corporate Fiduciary”?

October 23, 2020

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: I understand that you are a “corporate fiduciary.” What is that exactly? Aren’t you just a different flavor of stockbroker or financial planner?—SHOPPING FOR ADVICE DEAR SHOPPING:  “Fiduciary” is a legal term that describes the duties that one party owes to another in a business relationship. A fiduciary duty is the highest…

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2020 Q3 Review and Outlook

October 14, 2020

Keep Your Politics Out Of Your Portfolio The stock market had a decent 3rd quarter, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 9.0%. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) eked out a 0.4% gain, and a 60% stock/40% bond portfolio gained 5.6%. Despite 2020 being…2020, investors…

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Ask a Trust Officer: Retirement Readiness

August 18, 2020

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: I’m old enough to retire, but I’m not sure I’m ready yet. I think I have strong financial resources, but I don’t know if they are enough to make me financially independent for the rest of my life.  Retirement seems so terribly uncertain to me. When should I make the jump? –…

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Managing Your Assets in Turbulent Times

August 17, 2020

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.

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Ask a Trust Officer: Having “The Talk”

August 6, 2020

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…

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2020 Q2 Review and Outlook

July 17, 2020

The Nike Swoosh or the Square Root? The U.S. stock market’s trend in the second quarter of 2020 was a mirror image of the first quarter’s, with the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY) gaining 20.2% vs. a 19.5% drop in 1Q. The U.S. bond market (as measured by the US Aggregate Bond ETF – AGG) gained 3.1% (matching…

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Ask a Trust Officer: RMD Rollovers

July 8, 2020

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: I turned 70½ in 2019, so I had to take my first required minimum distribution in early 2020, before April 1.  I did.  Now I’ve heard that I didn’t have to take that RMD after all?—DRAWING DOWN SLOWLY DEAR DRAWING: You’ve heard correctly.  The waiver of RMDs was included in the CARES…

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Ask a trust officer: Required Minimum Distributions in 2020

May 1, 2020

DEAR TRUST OFFICER: I’m 74 and my wife turns 70 this year.  I’ve been taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from my IRA, and she should begin hers this year.  However, we hate to sell our stocks at low prices.  Any suggestions?—COMFORTABLY RETIRED DEAR COMFORTABLY: If you have not yet taken your RMD for this year,…

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Ask a trust officer: Estate Settlement

June 4, 2020

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,…

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