All Posts By

Sam Bass Jr.

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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Are Stocks Too High?

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

The stock market continues to party higher and higher with no signs of stopping, or for that matter, any real weakness. As it rises, some consider increasing their exposure to stocks, particularly some big names Amazon, Apple, Alphabet (Google) Facebook, while others consider decreasing their risk feeling the market is overdue for a tumble. Our regular readers know we don’t make market forecasts, however, some historical perspective and wisdom might be welcome at this point, as the Dow Jones Industrials march steadily toward another 1,000 point milestone of 27,000. First, let’s note that a 1,000 point increase doesn’t mean what

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Charitable Giving Can Still Reduce Your Tax Bill

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments

Gone with the new tax law are most of the deductions we traditionally used to lower our tax bills. With only three primary survivors; charitable giving, primary residence mortgage interest, and state and local taxes, it is estimated that almost 90% of taxpayers will fall within the standard deductions, seemingly eliminating the need for tax planning for most. But if you gain even the slightest bit of enjoyment from finding creative and legal ways to rescue more of your hard-earned income from Washington’s grip, take heart and read on. Two of the three remaining deductions, mortgage interest and state/local taxes offer

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Looking Back to Learn, Ahead to Be Prepared

By | The Friday Brief | No Comments
Once again we find ourselves at the end of another year; a time when some reflect on past accomplishments and failures and look forward to new opportunities and challenges. Others simply desire to rest from a hectic Christmas season, and still others busily prepare for one last party to salute the old and bring in the new. Whatever your temperament this year, thank you for taking a few moments to allow us to share some musings from the past year and hopes for the new one. The markets marched relentlessly higher this year making many Americans significantly wealthier. For the first time
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