Yearly Archives: 2014

Global equity markets were generally positive in the 1st quarter of 2014.  After a weak start in January, February was strong and March added further to gains for the quarter, albeit that nearly all the March gains came on the very last business day of the month.  There were a couple surprises in the quarter.  Real estate, which was only modestly positive for all of 2013 while other equity asset...

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Is a home a good investment?  Most Americans think so.  A recent poll by Gallup indicated that owning a home was ranked ahead of gold, stocks, mutual funds, savings accounts, and bonds as the best long-term investment.  Interestingly enough, from 1890-1990, real home prices (inflation-adjusted) rose a mere 0.2% annually, with a virtual flattening of values the last 25 years.  Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has garnered...

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Joe Bantz, CFP®, AIF®

Why Generosity?

At Foster Group, we love talking with our clients about charitable giving, gifting to kids or grandkids, or anything else related to generosity. Some find that unusual for a financial advisor – but we understand it’s really an important part of any successful financial plan. Recently, Carl Richards shared some thoughts about a succinct post from author Seth Godin that I thought was great! We want to help our clients have...

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What's your measurement? “Our worries – when it comes to money – are about psychology as much as economics, the soul as much as the bank balance.” John Armstrong, How to Worry Less About Money 2012 and 2013 were such good years for US stock investors that some of us can begin to forget what large losses feel like. In recent conversations with physician investors, especially younger ones, I've been posing the question, “How...

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Tim Mabee

Heartbleed Bug

Password security is a huge concern to many, especially after the national Target security breech and now the newest website security issue, the Heartbleed Bug.  This concern was identified last week and has to do with the website security mechanism called OpenSSL.  OpenSSL was designed to prevent hackers from retrieving personaldata submitted by users to a particular website. Foster Group wants...

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American consumer confidence hit a six-year high in March, according to data recently released by the Conference Board, providing promise that the first-quarter economic stagnation may have been mostly weather-induced, after all. Following three-plus months of mostly uninspiring domestic returns, the Conference Board index showed that consumer attitudes rose a full four points - from a rating of 78.3 in February to 82.3 - for the final...

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Savers Beware

Our government is at it again.  The proposed 2015 budget coming from the White House includes a few modifications to retirement accounts.  Most of the proposed changes reared their ugly heads in last year’s initial budget proposal, but all were eventually nixed before becoming law.  One new piece of legislation, however, targets Roth IRA accounts and would require those accounts be subjected to the same annual Required Minimum Distribution rules...

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Nothing wrong with free money, and the 401(k) structure and governing rules provide investors with a fantastic retirement savings tool.  One troubling trend, though, as evidenced in recent industry studies indicates that many employees are cashing out their 401(k) account balances when switching jobs.  Rather than executing a rollover of their assets to the new employer’s retirement plan or a self-directed IRA, avoiding taxes and penalties, 30-40% of Americans making...

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Having a conversation with your kids about finances is no easy task, but it is important to educate your children on effective money management. The importance of teaching such skills to children was most recently substantiated by a 2013 survey conducted by Junior Achievement. The results showed that teens who feel that they will be able to support themselves without parental assistance between the ages of 18 and 24 declined...

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