Single Point of View

Single Point of View is our way to occasionally share planning ideas relating to personal finance. Our goal is to pass along concepts that you may not be exposed to on a daily basis.

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When a "Dream College" Isn't So Dreamy

For a few weeks this summer we were once again lucky enough to have Liam Cronan join our office as a summer intern.  Liam has just finished his freshman year in college, he'll be spending the second half of his summer working on a political campaign.  While Liam was here he worked on a number of projects, the most prominent was building the framework of the Investment Expense Analysis tool which many of our clients have already seen the results of.   Liam had a very successful first year of college, from a grades standpoint.  However, he learned that Bentley University was not the right fit for him.  In the guest blog post below he shares his experience in coming to realize that he was at the wrong school, and the process he went through as a transfer applicant.   Almost every high school student who chooses to apply to college...
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Stock-picking Mutual Funds die hard… for now

The ability of traditional Mutual Fund stock-pickers to deliver out-performance has been decaying for 2 decades. A recent WSJ editorial by renowned finance scholar Burton Malkiel sites the most recent stats published by Standard-&-Poor's and they are absolutely ugly. •“More than 90% of active US managers under-performed their benchmark indexes over a 15-year period.”  •“Over 85% of small-cap managers under-performed the S&P Small-Cap Index.” •“Since 2001, 89% of actively managed International funds had inferior performance. “ •“Even in less efficient Emerging markets, index funds outperformed 90% of active funds” The total value of US public stocks is worth 25 Trillion dollars, and though active stock-picking funds still dominate with market share at around 67%, over the last 5 years their share has declined by 12%.  In terms of new money flows, the Market-Tracking index products have been taking 75-80% of the available dollars. This is partly a reflection of younger investors’...
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Making Your Estimated Tax Payments Online

With tomorrow being June 15th, we wanted to update this post from last year as a reminder to pay your quarterly tax estimates.  Below are the links to simplify things and make these payments online. For many of us who have income that is not subject to tax withholding (for example: earnings from self-employment, interest, dividends, rents, alimony, etc.) April 15th, June 15th, September 15th and January 15th represent a day of writing checks to the IRS. These are known as estimated tax payments.  If you've ever found yourself scrambling to find your vouchers, or, the address to mail them to on the due date there is a simpler way.   Did you know you could make these payments to the IRS using their "Direct Pay" service? For Federal payment, use this link for the IRS site: http://www.irs.gov/Payments/Direct-Pay   If you are in MA, you can also make your estimated state...
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Who is an Aging Life Care Professional, and What Do They Do?

As financial planners, we are often tasked with answering the question of how our clients will fund their advanced care needs later in life.  However, who is helping you make the choices on how, and by whom, that care is provided?  In this Guest Blog Post, Kate Granigan (CEO) & Anna Pollard (Dir of Clinical Services) of Life Care Advocates outline to us what an Aging Life Care Professional is, and the role they play in helping you plan. Who is an Aging Life Care Professional, and What Do They Do?  By: Kate Granigan & Anna Pollard May is Aging Life Care Professionals (ALCP) Month!  Who, you may ask, is an Aging Life Care Professional, and what do they do? An ALCP is a highly experienced health care professional, usually a social worker or nurse, but also includes mental health professionals, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and others.  Many have had experience...
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Markets are not always efficient, nor right

Of the 46 previous declines of -10% or more in the stock market (S&P500), a little more than a third (19) became bear markets, defined as a drop of at least -20%.  Most of the -10% pull-backs – as sharp and painful as they are - turned out to be just false signals and momentary detours as the market resumed its upward march within months.  The Market at times becomes divorced from fundamentals, and over-obsessed with ‘headline’ risk.  Over-interpreting the ‘signal’ from these pullbacks is almost always a losing proposition.  Discipline in the face of noise is essential to long term out-performance. I have also observed that every now and then different asset markets go through bouts of over-pessimism or over-optimism. You may hear that a certain asset class (e.g. high-yield bonds) or sector (e.g. pharma) is ‘trading on sentiment’ rather than fundamentals; or that its price reflects an implausibly negative...
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