Weekend Reading

Weekend Reading: November 2019 Monthly Risk Update

Dear Clients & Friends,

It’s time for our monthly market risk update written by our good friend Brad McMillan.  I also want to give a shout-out to our colleague Sam Millette for helping with this month’s article.  As we did last month, we are going to look more at economic factors than market metrics; both are equally important. 

The summary is this: the outlook is getting grim, but we do not think that the economy, or the market, will turn over in the very near future. However, we are slowly but surely working to reduce risk in all client portfolios because we are worried about 2020 and 2021. I cannot say for sure, but I expect that we will want to reduce risk again in early 2020. These predictions are in line with a forecast we made in February 2018 for a possible recession in 2020. In the meantime, bolstered by positive feedback from our family of clientele, we are very pleased with our 2019 performance (especially given our reduced risk exposure).  That being said - Brad, take it away…

Weekend Reading: 529 vs. UTMA

As the fall weather sets in, leaves begin to turn, and pumpkins and ghosts begin popping up everywhere, we thought that it would be appropriate to write about one of personal finance’s spookiest topics: college costs and how to plan for them. Many readers have probably heard about the 529 plan, America’s college funding darling; however, there are other options, such as the UTMA (Uniform Transfers to Minors Act) or UTMA 529. Today, we will highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of each, and which circumstances might make each a compelling option.

Weekend Reading: We're Back

After taking a few weeks off from our weekend reading, we’re back! 

We had taken a few weeks off in order to devote extra time to the annual Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser.  Before we get into the topic for the week, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of our MORWM family for participating in this effort. While I personally have been volunteering for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for several years, this was only the second year that the company has ridden as a team in the BikeMS event.  Out of all the companies in the Philadelphia area who rode “for a world free of MS,” we ranked #2 in fundraising - and we are a very small company!!  We out-raised companies like Comcast, Campbell Soup, and Nova Care, all of whom are based here in the Philadelphia area.  We are very proud of our efforts.

Weekend Reading: August Market Risk Update

It’s that time of month for Market Risk Update from our good friend Brad McMillan.  My intro this week will be short since our forecasts remain relatively unchanged.  However, I would be remiss in not mentioning the recent increase in market volatility.  We expect this volatility to continue for the foreseeable future for three reasons.

Weekend Reading: Yield Curve

Dear Clients & Friends,

There has been a lot of talk recently about “the yield curve” and, more specifically, an “inverted” yield curve.  News pundits say that an inversion is very, very bad -but they don’t explain why very often, likely because the concept is perceived as being too daunting and complicated for the average viewer’s understanding.  So, I am going to exercise my talent in simplifying complex topics and explain this in a way that non-financers can understand.  Here we go.

Weekend Reading: Don't Leave Home Without Us

I’d like to tell you a short story regarding an unfortunate and poorly timed tax bill that a client of ours recently received. This story is exasperating because the client’s bill was the result of noble intentions.  The moral of the story is: please include us in all conversations about money, no matter how simple the topic at hand may seem.  We promise that you will never bother us.  We are your financial servants; don’t be shy.

Weekend Reading: CBO's Minimum Wage Report

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released new research regarding a potential rise in the federal minimum wage.  We at MORWM support higher minimum wages and efforts to reduce the American wealth gap. Many of our clients recognize that the enormity of our current and growing wealth gap is not conducive to a healthy economic or social culture.  However, this is a more complicated problem than many appreciate. Therefore, we thought that this new research would be a good topic to briefly discuss this weekend.

Weekend Reading: July Market Risk Update

It’s the time of the month for monthly risk update for which we turn to our good friend Brad McMillan.

Once per month, we share Brad’s thoughts on the markets.  This month, we are going to share slightly different research elements that pertain more so to the economy in general.  As we know, perception regarding the economy influences the market very much.  However, the economy and the investment markets are not directly correlated to each other. Human emotion is part of what drives the market, and public perception of the economy influences human emotion.  Therefore, they are highly correlated over long periods of time, but they are not perfectly correlated; and in the short run, sometimes they are not correlated at all.  This can be especially noticeable when news sources pick and choose which facts to share with their partisan audiences, and certain politicians attempt to window-dress reality.

Weekend Reading: June Market Risk Update

It’s that time of month when we explore the monthly market risk update with our good friend Brad McMillan.

To be honest, I’m getting frustrated with the total lack of visibility that is being caused by political turmoil.  We know that market behavior is linked to emotion. Regardless of whether I agree or disagree with President Trump’s agenda, a person of power who makes unilateral, impulsive, and often illogical proclamations without regard to consequence will likely cause more harm than good. People hate uncertainty, and the markets hate it even more. Nonetheless, it’s our job to focus on the metrics as much as possible while navigating the squalls in the meantime.

That being said, let’s get into it.

My Wallet Seems Thin

Dear Clients & Friends,

This week’s topic may appear to be geared towards the children of our clients, such as young professionals and those with young families of their own. However, this topic is just as applicable for those who are charitably minded, which describes nearly everyone in our family of clientele.