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Blog Posts

“Fall” into your Employer Benefits Package

  Although it may not yet feel like fall outside, we are approaching the last quarter of 2016 and the time when employer benefits open enrollment occurs for the coming year.  Before that benefits package hits your mail/email, here are a few things to consider in advance and discuss with your advisor.   Are you covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)? An HDHP is defined as having a deductible of at least $1,300 for Singles or $2,600 for families.  If your health plan qualifies, you are eligible to contribute pre-tax money to a Health Savings Account (HSA), up to $3,400 for Singles in 2017, or $6,750 for families per year.  By contributing pre-tax money, you reduce your current taxable income, but more importantly, when the money is withdrawn from the HSA for qualified medical expenses, it comes out tax-free.   There is currently no other investment vehicle in which pre-tax money goes in and tax-free money comes out. The ideal situation is to maximize contributions to the HSA each year you are eligible (by having a high deductible health Read on! →

Will Brexit Breakit?

The last few months have been filled with debate over how the Brexit vote would end.  The markets have parroted this debate throughout the month of June with positive and negative swings leading up to last week’s vote.  On Thursday, words turned to action and the argument reached a crescendo when 52% of the British citizens participating in the historic referendum, cast their vote to leave the European Union (EU).  Much has been written and spoken since, about what this will mean to Britain and the world.  Which countries will remain in the European Union, what it will mean to global markets and more broadly, what is the long term future of economic globalization?  No one knows for sure how the next few weeks, months or years will evolve.  What history suggests are world equity and bond markets will be volatile as news on the economic impact sorts itself out. They (markets) will steady as facts become clearer.  Eventually, global markets will resume a more predictable pattern influenced more by traditional financial valuations and less by what seems to be Read on! →

Planes, Trains and Automobiles Part Duex

In the last newsletter, I offered my perspective on the Dow Jones Transportation Index (DJTI) in the form of proxies that most everyone finds familiar.  As expounded on in March, planes, trains and automobiles are important foundations of a successful U.S. economy and equity market.  When reflecting on topics for May’s missive, it became clear while reading Berkshire Hathaway’s latest annual report that expanding on the trifecta might not only be fun, but also prove informative in a very portfolio specific way. It will not come as a surprise to readers who have owned Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A & BRK.B) for a number of years, or to those who may have just purchased the company stock last year, that its per-share market value experienced a drop of 12.5% in 2015.  While somewhat disappointing, we concluded the decline created an attractive discount to the company’s fair market value.  Select legacy holdings and new positions were subsequently increased and added, respectively.  While it is impossible to predict long term results, we are pleased to share that BRK.B (share class owned by Clearview clients) Read on! →

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (or, in this case Trucks)

With the benefit of hindsight, the 1980s was a good decade to be a young adult.  As a child, I remember very little about the politically charged 60s and the social revolution that marked that decade.  During the 1970s, I was a wonderfully out of touch adolescent without the influences of cable television and FM radio.  As I became more aware of the world around me in the early 1980s, disco sounds of the Bee Gee’s and disaster movies like The Towering Inferno (Paul Newman and George Kennedy were much better together in Cool Hand Luke, a late 60s classic and social statement) were fading.  Alternative music born across the pond in the UK and movies of a lighter fare began to take hold in the US. Believe it not, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal prompted these thoughts of the 80s, the music and the movies behind the decade.  One of my favorite writer/producers was John Hughes.  While having many movies to his credit, Mr. Hughes was responsible for writing and producing classic teenage cult movies like Read on! →

Mimi’s cathedral quilt and asset class performance (1/1/19)

My grandmother was exceptional in many ways.  She was full of life and quick to speak her mind, despite who might be within earshot.  For as long as I can remember, she was a seamstress at a local women’s store making adjustments to colorful fashions until they fit “just right”.  It was always a special treat to visit her at Bright’s and explore the lofted balcony where she and Ms. Coreen worked to fine tune hemlines, inseams and sleeve lengths.   Mimi’s work to outfit the ladies of Paducah did not stop at Bright’s.  Many family dinners and visits included talk of fabrics, McCall’s patterns and sales at Hancock’s, the one and only fabric store in Paducah.  This love of cloth and sewing spilled over to most all family members in the form of shirts, blouses and dresses.  As a teenager, I am sure some of the outcomes – think leisure suit – and fabric choices were greeted with a forced smile and reluctant gratitude.   As her grandchildren grew and the need for attire – that she knew we Read on! →