All Posts By

Sam Bass Jr.

Life-Changing Work

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

Yesterday, I had one of those wonderful opportunities to share life-changing news with a new client. I’ll call her Mary. During two prior meetings, Mary had shared how difficult her job was and how she would love to change to a less stressful and more rewarding job. She had proven herself indispensable to an employer that was in continual downsizing mode, heaping ever more responsibility and work on the survivors, with precious little  gratitude. We had not met in a few months because Mary’s dad had passed away and she had been busy settling his estate on top of all

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Rocky Road – Smoother Ride

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

On January 26th, markets abruptly exited the smooth freeway we had grown so accustomed to for a rocky cross-country romp that may continue for some time. The uncertainty of trade wars, Federal Reserve interest rate tightening,  and possible inflation have replaced the confidence of tax cuts, a growing economy, and infrastructure spending. But this time, the bumps seem worse than usual. According to the pundits, the shock dampening effect of bonds, specifically US Treasurys, is no longer working.  Our 7-10 year Treasurys are down 2.4% so far this year, while stocks, as measured by the US Total Market Index, are

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Why Market Declines Are Met With Market Rallies

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

Market volatility of late concerns more than tweets, who delivers your packages, and risks of trade wars. While the President’s comments via Twitter and from the podium have added to market uncertainty, the week’s economic data is rather quietly (as far as the media is concerned) telling a story of it’s own. Year to date, major stock averages are largely flat, but the ride has been anything but with swings as large a 700 points on the Dow or almost 3% in a day. These moves can be disconcerting. The headline drivers of the markets’ volatility, have included Facebook’s security

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Are You Driving or Riding?

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know And you are the one who’ll decide where to go. Dr. Seuss Sometimes the day gets away from you, and it did today. So, with your indulgence, I’d like to re-share a Brief from March 30, 2012 that enjoyed broad readership. It’s also a topic on the subject of allowing ‘the day to slip away from you.’ Anyone who can grasp the concept of a future understands the power of goal-setting

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Time

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town Waiting for someone or something to show you the way” Pink Floyd, “Time” The concept of the finite is something we’ve understood since our infancy. We first encountered it in the form of a delicious white substance that was delivered during one of the most pleasurable times of our waking day. At first we didn’t realize, but in time we learned that the gradually declining level of deliciousness in

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Inflation Not Bad Yet & Download Our New App

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

The markets are settling down now as price data for January, mostly in, shows that fears of rapid inflation were largely overblown. Price increases, both at the consumer level and the producer level show, while rising, are not so out of control to warrant the two trillion dollar decline just witnessed in stock prices. This past Wednesday, the government reported that consumer inflation was up 0.5%, while core inflation (more volatile food and energy removed) confirmed the strength, up 0.3%. Producer prices also rose in January by 0.4%. Today’s Import and Export prices reinforced the growing trend with a higher-than-expected 1%

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Introducing Ryan Smith

By | The Friday Brief | One Comment

We are pleased to introduce you to Ryan Smith, who joins our Beacon family as a talented Wealth Advisor. Ryan brings 12 years’ experience as a wealth advisor, practicing most recently with a local firm and earlier in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up on the North Shore of Massachusetts and starting his career in Boston, Ryan’s life changed dramatically after meeting Emily, who would become his bride, and Raleigh his home, in just eleven months. At the time, Emily was an RN at Duke University Hospital. She now enjoys being home with their two children, Jack and Gwen. The

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What’s Our Strategy?

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

In the past two trading days the S&P 500 is down 6.1%, nearly two-thirds the way toward what is widely regarded as a market correction – a 10% drop. Good news of job gains and pay raises have set investors’ eyes on what the Fed might do in the coming months to raise interest rates in order to stem inflationary fears, which may or may not be warranted. Whether the ‘correction’ will be brief or longer-lasting rests both the potential of inflation (prices rising) becoming reality, and how the Fed reacts to the information it monitors. A too-heavy hand (increasing rates too

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Can We Retire?

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

Ask most 50-year olds if they think they’ve saved enough for retirement and you will usually get a quick and emphatic – No Way! Their reasons are always the same – there just wasn’t enough left over to save. The individual reasons run the gamut from educating the kids, high healthcare costs, more fun to travel and eat out, expensive divorce, investment loss, or simply never getting around to it. If you feel that you haven’t saved enough for retirement, you are certainly not alone. According to a BlackRock study featured on the Motley Fool website, “the average pre-retirement baby boomer (defined

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