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The Friday Brief

Life-Changing Work

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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

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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

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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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The Market Has a Stomach Bug

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If I may quote a bit of Dickens, “Stocks are down: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.” After such a pleasant (if not completely paranoia-free) 2017 in the markets, 2018 has been a bit more…markety. We had a rough patch in early February where we saw stocks give up double digits before climbing back up a touch, and here we are again this week, with the S&P 500 down 4.5% and the Dow down 5% and retaking its low close on February 9. Ascribing a narrative to market movements is surprisingly easy, but also impossible. At

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Are You Driving or Riding?

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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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Turns Out, Most Stocks Fail to Outperform Treasury Bills.

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You may have heard of the 4% rule as it pertains to retirement. It goes like this: If you begin retirement withdrawing 4% of your savings and adjust each following year’s withdrawals for inflation, your money should last 30 years. It may be the most widely accepted and most often cited rule of personal finance. Fewer of us, though, are familiar with the other 4% rule. I admit, it’s not something I was aware of until recently, but the implications of it have further solidified my beliefs about the most appropriate way to invest. In January of 2017, Hendrik Bessembinder,

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Time

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“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

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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

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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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