How Making Charitable Contribution Can Land You in Jail!
By now, you’ve heard about the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal – some famous – have been implicated in a scheme where bribes helped them secure admission for their children to certain elite colleges and universities.
Why Care About Social Investing?
While it feels easy and natural for some to join the wave of social investing, what about those who do not believe that values and investing should be combined? Why should they, and all investors, care about social investing?
Scamming Seniors: The Ugly Underside of the Graying of America
The American Bankers Association reports that one in three Americans is over 50 and this population segment holds 70% of all bank deposits and in excess of 80% of the wealth.
It’s also bolstering dark industries – those that scam seniors.
KISS… Keeping your Investments Simple and Safe
Investment Counsel stands for transparency in its communication and investment strategies. If we cannot explain an investment to you in simple English, we won’t support it.
Stock Market Continues to Climb the “Wall of Worry”
The news media tell us that the world is ending. That news certainly gets our attention. Are we seeing the last days of an aging bull market? Just how bad (or how good) are things?
Why Don’t I Have International Stocks In My Portfolio?
Many US investors feel strongly about keeping their money in US equities, both to keep their money in their own country, and to support domestic enterprise. But, the reason for keeping your investments within the US may go far beyond a conviction or commitment to personally held beliefs.
Can China Be Trusted?
If you’ve so much as glanced at a news site in the last month or two, you’ve seen the headlines: Tariffs and TradeWars. Do tariffs ever make sense and have they ever worked?
Social Security 101: Four Key Facts
If you were to visit five random Americans in a room on any given summer afternoon, one would likely be receiving Social Security benefits in some form.
An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Cybersecurity 101: What to Watch for and How to Protect Yourself
Todays $64,000 Question
During the 1950s, the television show, The $64,000 Question, was so popular with American viewers that the quiz show ratings exceeded all other television competition.
Human nature propels to seek answers to questions. Today the economy’s $64,000 Question is: Are we in the midst of another 1950s-type boom right now?
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change” -Heraclitus
Markets change. What was free yesterday won’t always be free today or tomorrow.
Studies in Growth – 3M
At Investment Counsel, our goal is to provide superior service and smart investment choices for our clients. We apply our experience, discipline and know-how to your portfolio to help you reach your goals. When we invest in stock, our primary objective is long-term ownership.
I Heard of a Guy That Quit His Job and Got Rich Day Trading!
Buy low. Sell high. We can put that advice to work in many ways. With options come complexity. And risk.
How long can this bull market last?
This is a question weighing most heavily on investors’ minds.
Can Tax Reform Extend the Bull Market?
We take a step back, isolate the core tax code changes most meaningful to investors, examine the changes they may bring to your investments, and consider whether these changes may just extend the current bull market.
When to put down the plow?
By electing to take Social Security benefits early, you could receive as little as 75% of the full retirement age monthly benefits. Nonetheless, there are good reason to take Social Security early ……
Sector Studies: Technology and the Energy Sector
Technology advances have acted as a catalyst in transforming the global energy landscape. Developments in both oil and natural gas are especially relevant to follow because there may be material changes in each respective vertical in the near future.
Five Lessons Investors Can Learn From Lottery Winners
The Powerball paid out the largest single jackpot in North American history. We thought it is a perfect time to look at five reasons why lottery winners squander their earnings, and point out lessons that can be learned for the non-lottery-winning investor.
The “Magic Bullet” to Becoming Rich
Earning a high income does not automatically make someone rich. High earners can often neglect a budget and spend more than they make. Still, there is a multi-pronged, “magic bullet” that can almost guarantee a person’s chances of becoming rich.
When Am I Rich?
Rather than defining richness by the amount of possessions one owns, Investment Counsel believes being “rich” is closely related to security and stability.
Investing is More Than Math
Investing requires a tailored approach that takes into consideration several factors of your life. Some factors include:
1. Risk comfort level
2. Amount of return you want investments to produce
3. Longterm investment goals
Saving for different financial goals is a very personal endeavor that often requires considerations beyond numbers.
Help! Financial Advice Beyond Investing
Our clients told us that they were interested in:
1. Retirement and Education Planning
2. Social Security Income
3. Healthcare costs
Each person’s situation is unique, but we wanted to give a general overview of these topics in this newsletter.
It’s Not What You Earn, It’s What You Keep
Paying taxes is an inevitable part of life. In most cases, taxes are the largest expense investors will incur over the course of their investment horizon.
Employee Spotlight: Scott Milligan
In this newsletter, we want to introduce our newest associate, Scott Milligan, in some detail for those who have not had the chance to meet Scott.
8 Common “Do It Yourself” Investor Mistakes
When an individual has ample time, high knowledge of the markets, and sufficient interest, do-it-yourself investing may be a viable option.
2016 Review / 2017 Preview
As we embark into a new year and look back on 2016, we forecast what might occur over the next twelve months.
Studies in Growth
Each of our client’s portfolios is customized based on the client’s goals and risk tolerance. We only invest in high quality stocks and bonds and focus on absolute returns to help grow wealth long term.
“Money for nothing, and your (distributions) for free”
Individual Retirement Accounts all a great deal of tax advantages over a long period of time. These accounts also carry with them Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) at a certain age that are important to understand and manage.
Clinton or Trump? Your investments are indifferent.
While presidential election outcomes can affect tax rates, foreign policy, and health care, past elections have not significantly affected investments long term.
Are You Planning to Retire?
All too often, many Americans reach retirement only to find that they cannot support their lifestyle …
How to Value an Education
Investing in an education is a decision that requires careful valuation and planning.
“Disinherit” Your Kids
Rather than waiting for one generation to pass, we like to start when all parties are still of sound mind and body.
The Power and Peril of Asset Allocation
Much has been made of asset allocation over the years. So much so that by now most people know they should own a variety of securities in their portfolio.
Relationships and Results
Over the last forty-plus years, the investment management industry, through innovations like hedge funds, ETF’s and now rob-advisors has trended to being ever more product focused and less service oriented. We believe this is a mistake and a dis-service to clients.
Buy … and Hold!
With so many different investment strategies out there all shouting BUY, BUY, BUY or SELL, SELL ,SELL, it’s hard to figure out which one’s are legitimate and which aren’t.
We propose an alternative to the BUY/SELL roller coaster. It’s tried and true, some might even call it boring, we call it BUY & HOLD – and it works!
Find out when it’s time to HOLD in this month’s The Investment Letter (Hint: it’s almost always time to HOLD).
Identifying Opportunities in Equity Markets
One of the most frequently asked questions in investing has always been; “Where are the opportunities today?”
Over-reaction or Opportunity?
The start of 2016 was worse than almost anyone could have imagined – at least in terms of the performance of global equity markets.
2015 Review / 2016 Preview
As we look at the year ahead we consider some of the possibilities that await us over the next twelve months.
Year – End Financial Checkup
Before the ball drops on 2015, and we ring in the New Year, it”s important to consider whether some of the following year-end money moves are appropriate for you.
Leave Your Job, Not Your Money
If you’re at or near retirement, changing companies or going through an acquisition or merger at your workplace, you’ll want to continue reading.
The Dirty Dozen: 12 Financial Products to Avoid
As with many things in life, it’s not only what you do right, but also avoiding mistakes that lead to success.
Lately, most of the financial media’s attention has been on the market’s dramatic swings.
Over the years, we’ve seen investment bubbles and fads come and go – from dot coms to housing most recently, all the way to Dutch tulip mania in the 17th century.
Decoding Financial Alpha, Beta Soup
While we cannot eliminate all the complexities and confusion that surrounds financial lingo, we can, hopefully, demystify some of the more common terms you’re likely to come across while researching a stock.
All In the Family
Everyone loves a great success story. There’s even a popular expression that illustrates the dramatic rise from humble beginnings: “From Rags to Riches.”
Investment Lessons from Samuel Langhorne Clemens
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain, had an unparalleled way with words.
Father Knows Best
Upon reviewing our old correspondence files, the following letter was discovered. We believe it was written in the 1950’s and the author is only known as “Your Loving Father.”
The “F” Word
Fiduciary. A fiduciary is a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another, in other words someone who puts the interests of others before his or her own interest.
Too Good to Be True?
Would you like to invest in something that gets all positive returns of the stock market, while ensuring there are no losses even in bad years?
2014 Review / 2015 Preview
Uncertainty filled the air as we sat here exactly one year ago.
Pennies From Heaven?
Money, and particularly investing, is a topic many people fear, as they feel ill equipped to manage it effectively.
Year End Money Moves
As 2014 winds to a close and we’re firmly in the midst of the holiday season our thoughts naturally turn to the three “Fs” Family, Friend & Food. ….fourth, often overlooked ‘F’ – Finances.
Don’t Get Spooked by October Volatility
Have you followed the stock market over the last couple of months?
Death & Taxes
Celebrities are just like us. Sure, they might appear appear on more magazine covers than the average person, but when it comes to the important things we
are all very much alike.
“Know what you own, and know why you own it.”
For as long as investing has been around, so too has the tendency to buy ‘hot’ investments
Studies in Growth – General Electric: Imagination at Work
Throughout the 85+ year history of our publication, The Investment Letter, we have periodically brought our clients a deeper-dive into their holdings through a series called Studies in Growth.
Ownership has its privileges
If any of the titans of industry, either past or present, asked you to partner with them in their businesses would you accept? Names such as John D. Rockefeller, Bill Gates, J. P. Morgan, and Steve Jobs have all made outsized contributions to their respective industries and the impact their companies have made on our daily lives continues to be felt now and will continue into the future.
Investment Success: The Two Step Process
Achieving investment success is much like losing weight. The formula for slimming down, as any personal trainer can tell you, can be broken down into two important components; 1) eating less and 2) exercising more. Similarly, to achieve investment success one needs to 1) maximize
returns and 2) control costs.
Advisors and Brokers and Planners, Oh My!
Have you ever given any thought to the difference between a Financial Advisor and a Planner? Or perhaps whether there are differences between an Investment Advisor and a Broker? Chances are you, like most people, have not. These terms are used interchangeably in everyday speech, without second thought. However, the terms themselves, in their true definitions, are not synonymous and in fact the nuanced differences between them are quite important to understand.