Money Conversations

We are once again honored this week to be featured in Roger Wohlner’s blog, The Chicago Financial Planner! Roger was recently named #3 on the list of “Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisers in the US.” Last week Roger featured a blog by Cheryl Sherrard on the Money Conversations you should be having with your spouse regarding caring for your aging parents. You can read an excerpt from the write-up below, or read the whole article, here. We all know that when we get married, we marry the entire family.  What we may not realize is that each of us comes into a marriage with expectations about how we will interact with and assist our families.  Most couples talk about and come to consensus on topics such as when to visit which set of parents and can usually resolve that by rotating holidays with their respective families.   However, the discussions you may not have had revolve around each of your expectations surrounding caring for aging parents and in-laws.  You may be fortunate if the prior generation has already dealt with planning Read on! →

Don’t Leave the “What-Ifs” to Chance

If you are like most individuals, once you put your home and automobile insurance coverage in place you rarely, if ever tune in to the subtle, periodic changes your insurance company makes to the coverage parameters and the associated costs.  These typically include inflationary adjustments to reflect increases in home values and mandates by state regulatory agencies.  If you are more diligent, you proactively work with your property and casualty agent to adjust coverages for such things as home improvements, fine jewelry and art purchases and you might even assess deductibles from time-to-time.  While adding coverage for tangible assets may be obvious, what might not be as clear is a trend by insurance companies to change deductibles from specific dollar amounts to a percentage of your home value. The Basics Overall, both auto and homeowner’s deductibles have been climbing in recent years. While auto deductibles are now often $500 to $1,000, homeowners have moved toward $1,000 to $2,500 a claim from the $250 or $500 that once was common.  Traditional dollar based deductibles are still the norm but State Farm Read on! →

MARKET-VIEW 2ND QUARTER 2014

Portfolio Recap The 2nd quarter was marked by very low equity market volatility and steady, positive performance across all major indices.  Our diversified approach to managing investments continued to focus on limiting downside equity risk through a bias for value-oriented, high quality, dividend paying domestic and international equities.  In the short term, volatility and potential for loss has been further mitigated by allocating fewer investment dollars to US Small Cap stocks.   They have experienced significant gains over the past several years and in our opinion, have been richly valued for quite some time.  This is why we reduced our positions in the latter half of 2013, well in advance of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s remark about the category valuations being stretched. Hybrid investments, led by preferred stock, global bonds and energy infrastructure, had a strong quarter validating our belief the asset class can perform well during strong equity markets.  Our consumer-focused emerging market investments slightly under-performed during the quarter but exceeded our expectation on a risk-adjusted basis.  Despite headwinds created by the Federal Reserve’s plan to stop tapering and end Read on! →

How a Financial Advisor Can Help Your Aging Parents

We are honored to be featured on SeniorAdvisor.com’s blog! Cheryl Sherrard, CFP® shares her knowledge and expertise with adult children who are trying to navigate the changing relationship with their aging parents.   You can preview a snapshot of the article below, or read the entire post by visiting SeniorAdvisor.com.  How do you navigate this changing stage of life with your parents, without losing your mind or your relationship with them? Is there an easier way to work through these aging phases with your parents, while still allowing them to be in control of their own futures? This can be a difficult phase for both parent and child, but it can be manageable if approached in the right manner. If you’ve never been down this path before, locating the right resources to fit your parent’s needs can be both time consuming and confusing. You may not know what the realistic options are for your parents based on affordability, as they may be hesitant to share their financial information with you, their child.  Many adult children are finding that a good approach is to engage a trusted financial Read on! →

Couples Conversations about Aging Parents

We all know that when we get married, we marry the entire family. What we may not realize is that each of us comes to a marriage with expectations about how we will interact with and assist our families.   Most couples talk about and come to consensus on topics such as when to visit which set of parents and can usually resolve that by rotating holidays with each family. However, the discussions you may not have had revolve around each of your expectations for the assistance and care of your parents and in-laws as they age. You may be fortunate that the prior generation has already dealt with planning for any needs that will arise in their later lives, but you and your spouse should consider what you know about their current situation, their preparedness for unexpected issues and your ability and willingness to help and supplement their care if needed. While we can’t control the specific course nor the timeframe of how our parents age, we can proactively discuss what our expectations are and how we want to Read on! →