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The “Gambler”

  You’ve got to know when to hold’em Know when to fold’em Know when to walk away Know when to run… The Gambler (released 1978), lyrics by Don Schlitz, vocals by Kenny Rogers   Growing up in rural western Kentucky, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that country music stations littered the AM/FM radio dials.  The Gambler received significant air time not only on country stations but also pop stations as the country sound began a “crossover” from its honky-tonk roots to arguably, the more mainstream pop or Top 40 genre.  While our method of following disciplined allocation strategies doesn’t correspond with the chorus, the lyrics do seem to reference the subtleties of reading a situation and taking steps (in a portfolio) that might work to one’s advantage.   The Winning Streak To date, 2017 has been a positive year for equity and bond markets alike.  It is always gratifying to see client portfolios increase in measured increments without the anxiety that often accompanies a sharp peak or a deep, extended valley.  What may be less obvious is the un-harried Read on! →

Scams and Hackers and Safety, oh my!

At Clearview Wealth Management, we take the safety and security of your personal information very seriously.  It is essential in today’s global, wired world to protect yourself and your private information.  As we witness almost every day in the news, scams and hackers continue to threaten the security of our personal information.  Below are some areas to consider when enacting better protection over your personal information.     Password Tips Don’t use combinations of your personal information (names, date of birth, address, zip codes) as these are available to the public online. Use phrases like “I attended 1st grade at Edinboro Elementary in 1999”. For some sites you can use the entire phrase, but if not, you can abbreviate it to something like “Ia1gaEei#1999”. If available, use your fingerprint, key fob or voice recognition as your password. Security of your assets Investment Institutions Secured login to your financial institution website, including complex passwords, security questions and voice recognition security. Signature required for money movements and signature matching technology at custodian site Bi-directional oversight (you can verify our actions through your Read on! →

Fireworks to Celebrate the mid-point of 2017!

  As I write this commentary at the mid-point of 2017, the markets have made steady progress in the first 6 months despite what has been an unpredictable and often concerning geopolitical environment around the world.  I often tell clients and interested parties that unexpected events can have an impact on markets but they are generally short-lived.  At the end of the day, the markets go back to being influenced by companies and their profits.  That seems to be the case so far in 2017 as we get ready to celebrate with July 4th fireworks, even though every week is filled with news about our partisan politics or the latest terrorist incident.   In the U.S., the Federal Reserve (Fed) made good on raising interest rates.  Unemployment is low, workers are producing goods and services and financial markets have responded in-kind.  While somewhat different economic factors are in play, most overseas’ economies and financial markets are outperforming the U.S.  Even bonds, an asset class most felt would lag as the Fed raised rates, have done well on a relative basis.  Read on! →

Buckets of Savings!

When saving for retirement, most people save to their employer retirement plans, knowing they are reducing current taxable income, typically receiving an employer match on their contributions, and deferring taxation until retirement.  However, if this is the only place where retirement savings takes place, you can be in for a surprise when reaching retirement.  If all your usable savings resides in a tax-deferred bucket, every dollar you take out to meet expenses will be subject to income taxation at ordinary income rates, thereby forcing you to take additional money out to pay the taxes.  It can also be a shock to find that your retirement income tax bracket isn’t much different than your income tax bracket when you were working.  Additionally, higher taxable income levels in retirement will also impact the amount of your Social Security benefit which is subject to taxation and can also result in higher Medicare premiums. So what should you do differently to give yourself more flexibility and lower overall taxation in retirement?  There is great benefit in having multiple buckets of savings in retirement, each Read on! →

Early to the Market Party?

It’s rare to find someone who likes to be early to a party.  It’s a unique person indeed who enjoys what most consider at best, an awkward situation with a host who silently wishes they had a few extra minutes to prepare.  At the other end of the etiquette spectrum are those who don’t know when to leave.  Most make their exit while still having fun, but there are always a few who overstay their welcome, fueled by the adrenaline of rich food and heavy handed cocktails.  Sound familiar?   Like most celebrations, the “market party” has an awkward beginning with a handful of guests making idle chatter while anxiously waiting for others to arrive.  Somewhere along the way, the early arrivers are joined by the validators.  The party then takes its legitimate place as a festive, burgeoning event where everyone seems happy and revels in good cheer.  Last but not least, the latecomers arrive.  Whether due to procrastination, an overbooked dance card or just plain forgetfulness, every party has them.  Whichever group the investor may belong to there is Read on! →