Posts Categorized as Uncategorized

By Jay P. Syverson of Nyemaster Goode 

Probate is the process by which a person’s estate is settled after death. Final bills are paid, final taxes are filed, and assets are collected and distributed to the beneficiaries. The entire process is supervised by the court, usually takes 9-12 months, and comes with expenses – court costs and attorney fees – that can exceed 4% of the estate. Additionally,...

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2015 Market Recap

2015 proved a frustrating year for many investors, and a test of their patience.  Full-year returns ranged from +6% in foreign small companies to minimally positive US large-cap stock and US bond positions, to downright ugly in emerging markets; volatility was prevalent across nearly all asset classes. Developed foreign markets performed better than domestic markets through the first half of the year, but fell off more steeply in the second half,...

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Generosity

“Two years ago, Foster Group had the unusual privilege of helping some clients create and deliver generous and anonymous scholarships to deserving students. The clients had identified two students who were highly qualified to attend excellent universities, but had family circumstances that would have made it very difficult for them to attend without taking on burdensome student loan debt. Because of the clients’ desire to remain anonymous, Foster Group was involved...

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For global stock market investors, the news from December of 2015 and the first week of 2016 has been marked by negative returns. In December, global stock markets virtually all weakened to make 2015 a marginally negative year for the majority of investors, capping off another year of historically low interest rates and sluggish economic numbers globally.

As even the most successful investors realize, negative stock market returns are...

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Foster Group's Top Ten Blogs From 2015

As we reflect back on a fantastic 2015, we want to highlight the top ten blog posts from the past year. Enjoy these various posts written by our advisory team.

1. No Holding Back

By: Ross Polking Well, if you get tired of hearing us talk about timeless financial planning disciplines (aka avoiding pitfalls), then enjoy and embrace this quick read from...

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Back in June, Seth wrote a blog noting Dimensional’s receipt of the top Stewardship Grade from Morningstar.  I’m giving Seth’s piece a little spike here…and if you haven’t yet read the written rating on Dimensional, I would recommend it (you can do so by clicking here).  It is a good overview into what makes DFA different.  Their tie to the academic community and resulting intelligent design and execution of...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

Stock prices in markets around the world fluctuated dramatically for the week ended August 27. On Monday, August 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,089 points—a larger loss than the “Flash Crash” in May 2010—before rallying to close down 588. Prices fell further on Tuesday before recovering sharply on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Although the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively, for the...

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Foster Group is thrilled to announce our move from 1001 Grand Avenue to 6601 Westown Parkway, a larger facility in West Des Moines. Our relocation stems from our need for additional space to accommodate growth in demand for the firm’s services. With this move, the company’s space increases in size by 20%, allowing us to best accommodate clients...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

While the human lifespan is ever-increasing, the average lifespan for a publicly traded company in the US is going in the opposite direction.  According to the Boston Consulting Group, 30 years can be expected (on average) for a publicly traded firm to stick around.  This is a significant decrease from the 45-year average lifespan of publicly traded companies back in 1985.  Today, nearly 10% of public companies fail annually, and...

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Ross Polking Thumbnail Photo

A recent survey by Bankrate.com asked investors what they felt would be the best investment for money they would not need for at least another ten years.  Here are the results:

27%   Real Estate

23%   Cash

17%   Stocks

14%   Precious Metals

5%     Bonds

24%   Other/Unsure

Some wildly different opinions, especially at the top, with first and second prize representing opposite ends of the liquidity...

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