Weekend Reading

Dow plunges 1175 pts! MORWM update…

The following message is likely not necessary. However, just to remind our beloved clients that we are standing at attention: this setback is an opportunity, not a problem. Depending on our technical analysis, we will do our very best to buy into this dip. The difficulty herein is that this fall was very rapid, which means that the recovery could be just as rapid. If this is the case, our indicators may not react quickly enough, and we may not be able to pounce in time. The last thing we would do is buy into a dip haphazardly and without due diligence.

Weekend Reading: New Tax Law - 529 Plans

This weekend, I thought that we’d celebrate one good thing included in the new tax legislation passed late last year. There are a few positive attributes to this new legislation that benefit a large swath of Americans, no matter their income level. While many of us have been distracted by numerous questionable changes, there have been some positive developments on the education front. 

Weekend Reading: A Sense Of Purpose

For some time now, we have shared an annual letter written by Larry Fink, the CEO of Blackrock, to other CEO’s.  Our interest in Larry’s annual message stems from his unique advocacy for social and environmental justice; unique in the sense that it is not common among large financial institutions. And even when a publicly traded institution has a deep commitment to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues, unless they are certified B-Corp (Benefit Corporation), more often than not, their ESG agendas conflict with their fiduciary responsibly to shareholders.  Simply put, the traditional corporate structure legally mandates that all decisions be made in the best interest of shareholder profitability without regard to social or environmental consideration. It is this internal conflict which has inspired Larry Fink to address other CEO’s, and use his fame to advocate for a change in the way corporations think.

Weekend Reading: January Market Risk Update

Time for our monthly market risk update. A few notes before we begin: first, although we have been talking about a recession in our future, I want to stress again that we do not anticipate a recession in the near term. However, insomuch as near-term forecasting is just about as accurate as astrology, we have taken some profits, but remain materially invested in the equity markets.

Weekend Reading: Cash and Cars

Two notes:  One is very important, and the other is too.

Why is there extra cash in my portfolio?

In the last week of 2017, some of you may have noticed several sales in your portfolio that resulted in a cash balance that is higher than normal. For the most part, these sales were part of our tax harvesting objective, which we perform each and every year during the month of December. This is an opportunity to lower your capital gains tax liability, and therefore increase the net returns of your investment portfolio.

Why can this weekend’s weather damage my car’s engine?

We pilots have to deal with oil viscosity concerns during every flight because of dramatic differences in ambient temperature on the ground versus subzero temperatures at altitude in flight. This weekend, automobile drivers on the East Coast need to take caution as well!

Weekend Reading: Changes to Medicare 2018

This weekend’s reading may bore some of our younger readers, so to those of you who may sign off at this point, let me relay to everyone our new year’s thought: 

May 2018 bring us happiness and prosperity, life and loving-kindness, and may we have the strength to stand up and fight for what we believe to be in the interest of goodness and fairness, no matter the burdens that may lay ahead.

Now onto the topic at hand…  Since this reading contains no opinion per se, there isn’t any need for a preface, so let’s just get right to it.

The changes to Medicare mean that most beneficiaries will pay more for their benefits in 2018.

Weekend Reading: Feed the World

In December 1984, “Do they Know It’s Christmas? (Feed the World)” was released to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote the tune, and put together a group of huge pop stars of the time. They called the group Band Aid. By January of 1985 2.5 million copies of the song had sold. Their goal was to raise about $100,000 for famine relief. By December of 1985 the song had raised about $10 million.

Weekend Reading: December Market Risk Update

It’s time for our monthly Market Risk update. Before we get to the content, I wanted to briefly update everyone on where the market is now in comparison to our forecast of six months ago. In late June we made several predictions regarding short and midterm market performance. All of which were predicated on the hypothesis that the market would continue to grow in the short run, but begin to show signs of impending recession sometime between late 2018 and mid-2019. The specific numbers discussed were 6-16% growth from the S&P 500 before a meaningful inflection. As of this writing, the S&P 500 is up 9.99% since July 1st  - just under half of the range of this forecast. 

Weekend Reading: HIV / AIDS

This weekend we discuss a topic totally unrelated to finance and investments, but a topic I find to be jaw-dropping. The inspiration to discuss HIV treatment came from a charity event the MORWM staff attended last week. Insomuch as the American public has a very short attention span, we often don’t hear about medical advancements unless they have become a fad.  So let us briefly touch on some outstanding news that very few seem to be knowledgeable about, including myself as of only a few days ago.

2nd Annual MORWM Giving with Purpose List

Last year, one of our most popular weekend readings was a list of excellent holiday gifting ideas adding a whole new level to the concept of holiday “Giving.” The level of philanthropy supported by our clients and friends needs no introduction, and we all struggle with gift ideas for some people during the holiday season. Therefore, we hope you enjoy this second annual list of awesome gift ideas, all of which add a level of charity to our holiday spirit. Please join us in giving credit to Gloria for her wonderful research this year. Below you can find our top ten, as well as a link to many many more we found worthy of consideration.